Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Drift Kart is massive sideways fun at 5mph w/Video

Friend of BB, Chris Baker, made the epic Craigslist trade of the century last year. He got a running Go-Kart in exchange for a non-running Ninja 250 that he didn't even pay for. While the beat up kart was fun, it only really turned to the right and the 6 hp Chinese motor wasn't enough to be dangerous. So Baker procured some 10" diameter PVC pipe, slipped it over the rear tires and Drift Kart was born. The rear tires now have Power Wheels levels of grip, which is to say almost none. Applying the right pedal means big plastic burn-outs, touching the left pedal locks the rear axle, and turning the wheel is instant spin cycle without ample counter-steer. Its everything you really need to know about car control and you're only going 15mph. More after the jump.

Drift Kart may have been originally set up for circle track as the steering is completely asymmetric. Drifting to the right is possible with ample counter steer, but any indication of turning left is immediate spin out. So we tried to turn right whenever possible. The motor has more than enough power to break the tires loose at any speed that feels sane in this thing.

Turning to the right must be followed with quick counter steer to the left, the oversteer begins immediately even without touching the throttle. Initiating a drift isn't necessary as every curve driven above 2mph results in a rear end slide. The steering has enough travel to provide counter-steer for a very healthy drift angle.

Years of racing front-wheel-drive cars has numbed by drifting skills so it felt good to practice my on throttle oversteer. Baker is our resident master of oversteer so I'm expecting massive sideways shenanigans until the PVC wears through.

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