A Race-Ready Shifter Kart Is The Most Aggressive Thing You’ll Ever Drive
Getting real mean on four wheelsby Jonathan Lopez, on
You hear it all the time – “it looks aggressive,” “it drives with a lot of aggression,” “it’s got an aggressive suspension tune,” etc., etc. This is, of course, all quite subjective, and can be applied in a variety of different ways, but this isn’t a piece about automotive semantics. This article is about telling your story, and we wanna know – what’s the most aggressive thing you’ve ever driven?
Now for my take on it. The most aggressive thing I’ve ever driven has to be my 80 cc shifter kart. I still remember the first time I ever got it on track. To get it started, you’ve gotta push it down pit lane, then hop into the extremely tight-fitting seat (if I’m honest, it’s actually more like a fiberglass cocoon than a seat), then pop it into gear and drop the clutch. From the moment I felt that thing burst to life, I was astonished – the sound, the vibration, the way it darts to and fro with the most minor of inputs… it was all extremely intoxicating.
Everything about a shifter kart is aggressive. Everything. No suspension means you feel every single pebble and aberration on the pavement. Your ass hangs about an inch from the ground, so you better be watching those curbs. The brakes will fling your head forward like a slingshot. My kart had a tuned engine that delivered all peak power, which meant a good deal of lag, then bam, a surge of forward momentum that drops your stomach off a cliff. Lift off the throttle for a split second, upshift, then back on the throttle and bam; you’re in free fall once more. All impressive stuff, but the most aggressive thing about a racing kart by a country mile has to be the way it corners. Uber sticky rubber, an ultra-wide track, and just a few hundred pounds in between conspire to create visceral, vicious, and downright violent levels of grip. The way a racing kart can change direction is otherworldly, and if you hit the banking with speed, you better have some rib protection, otherwise, you’ll probably be left gasping for air. This is racing distilled down to the bare essentials, the crack cocaine of motorsport. One ride and you’re changed forever.
So then – what’s the most aggressive thing you’ve ever driven? Tell us in the comments!
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