You Want The Extended Warranty For That Engine?

Ummmm, Harbor Freight.  I’m getting all emotional about how many things you can buy at this store.

The first item: a 212 cc Predator 4-cycle motor to replace the 2-stroke engine already on the kart.  (For now, anyway.  That baby’s going back on once I actually get competitive!)

I did some research and I need to do the following to this engine:

– remove the rev limiter

– put stronger valve springs in

– replace the flywheel

Okay.  I’ll give it a shot.

The nice young lady at the checkout counter asks whether I want to buy the extended warranty for the engine.

“If I change the springs, remove the rev limiter, and change the flywheel would that void the warranty?”

She smirks then gives me that “Oh, you’re one of Them” looks.

I hope I can become one of Them.



My mother has pointed out that the kart I bought has the number 51.  I just turned 51.  That must be a sign of something.

Hopefully it’s not a sign of a mid-life crisis.

Thank Goodness for craigslist

On July 3 of this year, I thought, “Well, I’d better take a look at craigslist again.”  There were several karts for sale in the Bay Area but not many here in the Sacramento area.

And there it was: $1,300 for an Intrepid Cruiser KT1000.

Whatever an Intrepid KT1000 was?

But it was definitely a kart and good for someone starting out like me.

A nice young man was heading off to college back east this fall and was taking break from karting while he was there so he was selling it.  A couple of calls later and there I was at his place, check in hand.

(I’d actually watched a video of his about his kart on YouTube.  What will they think of next on computers?  Hey, this guy was a celebrity as far as I was concerned!)

So, the kart looks good to me and I actually manage to ask one question that makes me look like I actually had been talking to people down at the track for the previous month.  Which I had,

The Kart

There she is in all of her glory. My new mistress.

even though I didn’t understand much of what they said.  (“You want to make sure you get one with a fliegle-flaggle on it…”)

“Is that a 4-cycle engine?”

“No, it’s a 2-stroke.”

Uh oh.  That means it’s really, really fast.  Not fit for the “beginner” league I wanted to get into.

“I won the championship last year at the Blue Max Kart Club in its class,” he says.

Yeah, baby!!  I like him more every minute! And now I HAVE to have this kart.

He throws in a gas can, spare tires, gears, and a few odds and ends and helps me load it into the back of my ex-sister-in-law’s pick up truck.  (Yeah, I don’t actually have any way to get the kart down to the track yet.  One thing at a time.)

It has begun.

What Started All This?

“Uncle Pete, why don’t you buy a kart?”

This simple question from my nephew, Ben, started all this.

Why not, indeed?  I couldn’t think of a good reason.

Ben and I were talking at my son’s college graduation party about the recent tragic demise of Marco Simoncelli at the MotoGP race in Malaysia.  That got me talking about F1 and my plan to someday take an open wheel racing class at Skip Barber’s school in Las Vegas.

“I just sold my Touch and Go for $1,700,” Ben said. “Otherwise, I’d have sold it to you.”

$1,700 for a working race car?  Now we’re talking.

And that was it.  I was on my way.