The Modern

Racing Kart

Don’t be misled, racing karts are  completely different from the rental, leisure, and corporate karts that you may have encountered before. Racing karts are purpose built racing machines that are much more sophisticated, lighter, agile, use racing tyres and have substantially more power to produce fantastic acceleration and top speeds.

With a few exceptions such as the French made Sodi, most of the world’s top kart chassis are now manufactured in Italy, where a hard core of long established ‘manufacturers’ offer a range of karts brands such as Birel, Tony Kart, CRG,  Energy, Intrepid, Praga, Formula K and Riccardo, all of which are readily available in the UK’s new and used market.

As for speed and performance...

Bambino karts for the youngest racers are capable of 30mph under carefully controlled conditions, while a senior kart can reach speeds of between 60 and 80mph, while the KZ2 gearbox kart can achieve up to 100mph on kart circuits, although on a full motor racing circuit some gearbox karts can attain speeds of  over 140mph.


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Purpose Built Power

Like the chassis market, the vast majority of kart engines are also engineered in Italy, home to one of the main manufacturer’s IAME, but the world leader in kart engine production is undoubtedly  the Austrian  company, BRP-Rotax, (which in turn is part of the global Canadian Bombardier recreational products conglomerate), who manufacture a diverse range of powerplants for global multi-markets from aviation to kart racing.


While both Rotax and IAME engines are battling fiercely for market share throughout the world, in the UK the market leading Rotax engine continues to dominate, this is especially true in Scotland and at our track in particular,  where the Rotax engine is the primary engine of choice for the majority of our classes.  The outline specifications of the various engines racing at Littleferry are as follows;


  • The Rotax water-cooled 2-stroke engines have a capacity of 125cc and depending on the configuration for the relevant junior and senior classes, produce between 8hp and 30hp at 11,500rpm.


  • Not unsurprisingly, the Honda Cadet class uses a race tuned version of the Honda air-cooled GX160 4-stroke industrial engine of  163cc capacity, producing about 12hp.


  • The KZ gearbox category utilises a 125 cc water-cooled two-stroke engines from IAME, Vortex, TM and others, yielding about 45 hp at14,000rpm. The engines are equipped with a 6-speed gearbox.


  • Finally, the Bambino category uses an air-cooled Comer C50 2-stroke engine of 50cc capacity which produces a mere 2hp, but that’s more than enough to propel our youngest racers in their formative years competing in time trials.


To ensure competitive and performance equitability within each category, the specification of the chassis, engines and tyres that can be used in each class are strictly regulated. In particular only a single make, type and configuration of engine can be used in each class (The exception being the KZ gearbox class which allows engines from different manufacturers to be used.)

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Buying Your First Kart

Let a Club Member Guide You


When you are ready to purchase  your first kart, the club urges you to only buy  from reputable and trusted kart dealers, a reputable Facebook karting group, or better still directly from a  club member, either from the NSKC or one of the other kart clubs in Scotland. If you intend to race then you must ensure that the kart you purchase is allowed to race at our track, and indeed at other circuits in Scotland.  Avoid the disappointment of buying an unsuitable kart from eBay or Gumtree, simply because many advertised karts are not eligible for the classes of racing that we run at our track. Ask for guidance from a club committee member who will only be too glad to help you with your research and sourcing - the highland karting community is closely knit and helpful, so just ask!Newcomers to the sport should be aware that a kart that is technically eligible to race in Motorsport UK events will usually be eligible to compete in IKR events; BUT a kart that is eligible to compete in IKR events may not be accepted at a Motorsport UK event.


It is also worth noting that different clubs and tracks run different classes of karts. We strongly recommend that those intending to practice and race at other tracks choose a kart class that is well supported at these other venues.