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Tkart magazine

Tech Focus | The multi-adjustable pedals by IPK

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19 January 2020
Safety, comfort and functionality without sacrificing aesthetics. These are the main features of the new adjustable pedals made by IPK, the manufacturer of Praga Karts, Formula K, OK1 and the RS chassis. Let us discover all the benefits and the many adjustment possibilities which improve the driving abilities.

One of the conditions to go fast and strong in karting is to feel comfortable and, although we cannot speak of real “comfort” while driving a kart, we certainly can address the “being in the right position”. The distance of the steering wheel from the driver’s body and the position of the pedals are definitely of fundamental importance. While adjusting the steering wheel position there is the steering hub which allows you to modify the distance and inclination, for the pedals there usually are three adjustments available for the chassis. At most, if the driver is of shorter stature, extensions are used, even if the solution is certainly not ideal. IPK, with the design of its new adjustable pedals wanted to study a product able to best adapt to drivers of any height.

When a company like IPK decides to modify or produce a new accessory, the first input almost always comes from the need expressed by the official Racing Teams to improve a situation experienced during the race weekends. In the case of the pedals, the need expressed was to quickly adapt the Minikart chassis to the smaller drivers through a pedal that would allow a greater number of adjustments. The process, at this point, provides that after a comparison with the racing team, the technical office develops a first CAD drawing of the accessory in 2D and 3D. Then, once the maximum measurements and the technical specifications have been confirmed, the next step is the implementation of the real prototype which, at IPK takes place through the use of a 3D printer. Once the first samples have been checked and the necessary modifications made, the next phase is the prototyping carried out with C.N.C. machines.
The new IPK adjustable pedal is made of 7075 aluminum alloy (Ergal), an aluminum alloy used mainly in the aeronautical field. This material is described by being the lightest aluminum alloy and, from a mechanical point of view, more resistant to impacts, stresses, weight and torsion. It is also the aluminum alloy that is less subject to thermal expansion and, therefore, more suitable for use in outdoor environments as it better withstands temperature variations. In short, a material which guarantees safety and quality. The processing, as for all IPK accessories, is obtained from a solid block of material with numerically controlled machines. In particular, in the manufacturing of the pedals, two types of C.N.C. are used. The first one deals with the milling of the pedal body, while the second (the latest generation automatic lathe) produces the screws made to measure for the accessory. At IPK, a strong supporter of a corporate philosophy that wants all accessories to be machined from solid blocks of metal and cared for in the smallest details, all this processing takes place in-house.
The possible adjustments of new IPK pedal are manifold. The pedal body, in fact, is made of two pieces joined by a pin which is closed by two screws on each side. In this way, the upper part of the pedal can rotate on 4 positions, moving closer or further. Additionally, the footrest can be moved 2 centimeters further back, bringing the possible positions to choose from to 8 (4 adjustments for the pedal body and 2 for the footrest).

The two-part element and the double position for the foot support provide the new IPK pedals a variety of possible positions

To make the project even more efficient as a whole, the IPK pedal is “ambidextrous”, that is it can be mounted either on the right or the left side, avoiding retailers having to stock two different items and racing teams to bring two different spare parts to the track. The only difference between the two pedals is the torsion spring, a solution that effectively eliminates the rings welded on the chassis, necessary for fastening the classic return spring for the accelerator pedal. The IPK pedal is unique with regard to the different categories. Thanks to the wide range of adjustments, in fact, it can cover all age groups while following and supporting the driver throughout his/her growth.
The pedal’s adjustment does not involve only for the driver. The master cylinder control rod and the accelerator cable, in fact, are fastened to the pedal as well. IPK has also thought about these aspects, predisposing well 5 fastening positions for the brake rod (which thus remains parallel to the chassis floor pan depending on the fastening chosen for the master cylinder) and 2 positions for the accelerator cable bushing. The introduction of the bushing allows to eliminate the excess wire, usually stored inside the chassis front tube. This solution allows to keep the pedal area “cleaner” and, above all, brings the accelerator cable to a more external position compared to the driver’s shoe, thus avoiding the contact between the two.
The adjustable pedal can be mounted on the pedal unit, another accessory made in-house by IPK and already sold on the market. The pedal unit allows a perfect adaptation of the kart to drivers during their growth phase as it can be mounted on all IPK brands chassis, from the Mini to the KZ, and having a movement range of 18 cm. The main bracket to be fastened to the chassis, made in aluminum and C.N.C. machined from a solid piece of metal, has 10 adjustment holes all along its length. To complete the pedal unit, there is the aluminum heel rest, which is also adjustable according to the driver’s preference.
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