Shifter karts as they are often referred to, are designed to operate on
full size motor racing
circuits, and evolved from the early, much simpler
Superkart is fitted with engines sourced
from racing motorcycles of various capacities with
a gearshift, hence the American term Shifter Karts. Honda RS125, RS250,
Rotax and Yamaha TZ250 are popular engines
for superkart in Australia with a
scattering of engines built by European
and American boutique engine makers. BRC,
FPE, SGM and just a few.
There are various superkart chassis
manufacturers in Australia and around the
Stockman Superkarts is a very successful
Australian manufacturer and Avoig is
making headway .
Elsewhwere in the world, Zip, PVP,
Go-karts began their lives in the U.S.A. as barely more than fancy billy carts
usually fitted with small
stationary engines and run around back streets, empty parking lots and dirt
Before long, organized events were being run in empty shopping centre parking
lots and the sport of Go-Karting, now known as Sprintkarting was born! A good
site worth checking out is
Plenty of pix and stories on old gokarts from the 50's. Its worth a look to see
how it was done real early!
a superkart appeared, and then became a stand alone category in
go-kart racing, is
somewhat shrouded in mystery.
What is known though, is at some stage,
some of the
sprintkart fraternity in the quest for more speed fitted motorcycle engines
to their sprintkart frames and the superkart, as they are now known were born!
With the higher
power outputs available from motorcycle engines and the flexibility afforded
by clutches and gearboxes, speeds far higher than the shorter sprintkart tracks
could safely handle were being achieved, so some clever characters decided
to give their toys a run on the full size motor racing tracks.
The rest, as they
say, is history!!
100cc No Gearbox and Rotax Max 125cc, Superkarts are predominately fitted with motorcycle type
engines. These engines are sourced
from either Grand Prix motorcycles such as RS Hondas, TZ Yamahas and RS
Aprillias of single cylinder 125cc and twin cylinder 250cc variants. Or
from single cylinder 80cc, 125cc or 250cc Motocross bikes such as CR Honda,
RM Suzuki, KX Kawasaki and YZ Yamaha and utilize 5 or 6 speed and sometimes
even 7 speed gearboxes!
manufacturer Rotax manufactured the venerable twin cylinder 250cc
inline superkart specific engine that have, for many years powered so many
state, national and world champions around the globe.
manufactured kart specific single cylinder engines of 125cc and 250cc capacity
as well. Other manufacturers are now entering the 250cc (F/E twin cylinder) fray, riding the back of the ever increasing
world wide popularity of this big inch superkart class
by designing and building their own 2 cylinder inline
engines in a very similar configuration to the Rotax
256 and these makers include Hemmingway, SGM, FPE,
Vee-Dot and BRC Engineering.
of most superkarts are a gearshift lever, front disc brakes and the addition of various aerodynamic
aids such as
wings, fairings and bodywork. Aerodynamic equipment is largely unnecessary
on sprintkarts due to their lower engine power output and lower top speed.
100cc NGB karts
are fitted with unmodified Yamaha KT100S sprintkart engines only. 125cc
Rotax Max class karts are fitted with the very reliable and successful Rotax Max
water cooled engine.
brakes, wings and full fairings are not permitted in these non-gearbox classes.