Advice needed for kart track bike

Discussion in 'Tech' started by africanjon, Jan 28, 2020.

  1. africanjon

    africanjon Active Member

    I live close to Sonoma and want to take advantage of the kart track days they have and need advice on what type of bike would be best. I have two options close to me, the first is a 07CRF150 supermoto set up and the other is a KTM rc390 both at good prices. I do not race but enjoy doing track days (about 10 a year) on my 13 675r. So the question is, which bike would benefit my riding on the trumpet more? Or should I just spend the money on more track days (easier said than done with life commitments)?
    Thanks in advance.
  2. dallen.helmer

    dallen.helmer Well-Known Member

    390 or yahama r3 or even a ninja 300. Unless you are a supermoto type of person. Your going to have issues with the supermoto on pavement those motor aren't meant to handle the downshifting and grip like a sportbike will. Eventually the motor will lock up safer bet is to go with a sportbike that's meant to do stuff like that if you plan to do it a lot.

    also to add with my personal experience. We have two tracks where I'm from New Orleans Louisiana we have our big north traxk and our small cart track I used to have a 600 put a big track and I bought a 300 just to get the extra days for cart days i rode more and more on a 300 I realize it's a better track learning tool than a 600 don't get me wrong the speed is fun but man once you get fast at a 300 everything else just becomes too easy

    Sent from my SM-G965U1 using Tapatalk
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2020
    africanjon likes this.
  3. DonTZ125

    DonTZ125 Purveyor of Neat Toys

    Many years ago, some racers from the Bahamas came up to ride at Shubenecadie. They normally race in parking lots with temporary circuits marked out with cones.

    My favourite comment was, "So that's what those other three gears are for ..."
  4. rob linders

    rob linders Well-Known Member

    Unfortunately you will get different opinions. My son ran on kart tracks for 3-4 years before moving to big tracks. To me a KTM 390 seems too big and unwieldy on a kart track, it or a R3 or Ninja 400 are fine on a big track and will teach you things.

    Of those I would choose a 150r, they are plenty quick and fun on a Kart track. If you are considering racing, you might want to see what classes have the best participation?

    If you go KTM, how much is the 150R, I’ve been wanting to go play on a kart track again.

    Stockton is another kart track up there that has a lot of open track days, used to be run by AMA pro Elena Meyers dad, Matt.
    SuddenBraking and noles19 like this.
  5. Chango

    Chango Something clever!

    It depends on how small the cart track is. I've only ridden on one, but it was so small that a 250/300/400 Ninja would have been uncomfortably big. I rode the TU250 I had at the time around it a couple of times for giggles but then gladly got back on the little Honda 100 or 110 I was borrowing for the day.
  6. sharky nrk

    sharky nrk Rubber Side Up

    I couldn't imagine a ULWT class bike on the kart tracks I ride but there are some that are large enough to really have fun on one. Down in Houston there is SpeedSportz that is large enough to run one, but the other tracks in the area - no way.
  7. noles19

    noles19 Well-Known Member

    150r 100%
    The rc390 isn't a good bike to begin with, and it's certainly not a good kart track bike.

    In my 8 years of running supermoto and mini bike trackdays I think we've had a 300 on track maybe 10 times and the only ones to enjoy it are Moto America kids and they would rather ride supermotos ..
    A bike like a ohvale would be a good option too.
  8. SpeedWerks Racing

    SpeedWerks Racing Well-Known Member

    "Which would benefit your riding more?"
    IMO, and this is esp. true for the kid's that transition to bigger tracks and bigger bikes.
    they (you) benefit a bit more, being on a 'similar bike'. ie; NSR50, Kayo 125, Ohvale, Metrakit, etc.
    Ducti89 likes this.
  9. D-Zum

    D-Zum Alex’s Crew Chief

    On a budget, you want an XR100, CRF125 or TTR125.

    The R3/390's are absolutely not minigp bikes for kart tracks.

    The CRF150R is a even a bit much.

    I have a Grom I did some racing on in MiniGP last year. The nice things about the Grom, it's fuel injected and parts are cheap. I put Ohlins on mine for less than $1000, and found an exhaust on Amazon for $90 just to shed the weight of the boat anchor OEM exhaust, clipon kit was $200. Is it the best platform for MiniGP....not really. I struggle to keep up with the guys on the CRF/TTR125's..but that could also be because I'm learning on the mini I need to learn so much more, and being over 240 pounds, 8 horsepower's going to struggle with trying to haul my ass around. Doesn't matter to me...I'm having a blast with my kid. I decided being his pit bitch is cool and all...but I got the itch to ride, got the Grom. It's still tagged.
    4 bolts and I can put the headlight and signals back on it and be a street hooligan, too. If you choose a Grom, I HIGHLY recommend the Dunlop TT93 tires. You can get them off Amazon.
    They're about $200/set, have impressive wear life and stick like glue.

    I also got an Ohvale 160 for this year. If you think I put a hurtin' for certain in the Grom, the Ohvale's gonna beg for mercy with my ass on it. I'll be giggling the whole damned time, too.

    Riding/Racing on kart tracks is a completely different animal than Track Days. You can mask so many bad habits and lack of ability with big bikes. You cannot do that on a mini. Which is the point. I haven't ridden my R1 since the 2018 season because if there was a schedule conflict with a Track day I wanted to do and Alex had a MiniGP event that weekend...I deferred to
    the kid's chance to ride. But the last time I was at Pitt, after doing the NJMiniGP camp, and some practice days on the Grom.....I dropped 2 seconds on my best time at Pitt. I feel minis have improved my body positioning, trail braking, and getting on the throttle sooner. I'm not afraid the Grom's going to high side me to the moon like my R1 it let's me work on that part of my "game" on a much less "intimidating" platform.

    I just picked up a 7x14 V-Nose because Alex adding the CRF110 to his program and me adding the Ohvale makes tossing everything into the back of my truck for a day trip not doable anymore (price of progress). Once it's a little warmer, I'll start working on setting it up. Don't think paint will dry/cure properly with temps reaching freezing at night these days. We're
    gonna call it the "Portable MiniGP Man Cave".

    My 2 cents...have a blast!
    rk97 likes this.
  10. dallen.helmer

    dallen.helmer Well-Known Member

    The size of the kart track may make a better decision or advice this is ours pretty big with many configurations. I still vote a 300-400cc bike especially if you have a bigger track on site. Cheaper and better to learn on so when you go back to the 675 it's similar in comparison. The 300 can do both [​IMG]

    Sent from my SM-G965U1 using Tapatalk
  11. jksoft

    jksoft Well-Known Member

    I just learned that the kart track at PittRace allows up to 600cc bikes. I've not ridden the kart track at PittRace yet but would like to this year. I've seen the Ohvales on the track and can't really imagine a 600cc lugging around that thing. I have an EX250 I may try out there.
  12. SPL170db

    SPL170db Trackday winner

    Ohvale GP-0 :D
    D-Zum likes this.
  13. turner38

    turner38 Well-Known Member

    We converted a YZ85 to Race on Kart tracks when Kris first started. Put it on 125gp tires. It was a freaking ball to ride, even with a 230lb big guy on it.
    A two stroke will
    Always teach you more than a four stroke IMO.
    Unless it is a really big kart track their is no way I would consider the 390...
    rob linders likes this.
  14. L8RSK8R

    L8RSK8R Well-Known Member

    Curious, how would an 87 RM125 perform on a kart track?
    Slick tires mounted if available.
  15. TurboBlew

    TurboBlew Registers Abusers

    huh?? I cant think of a single track where more power ia going to teach anything. Even if you were an experienced rider just looking for set up seat time.
    And youre dead wrong about being the same... only thing different is the actual momentum the bigger bike creates...which most acclimate in a few laps sharpening reference points. The actual mechanics of eye, head, foot position are identical which is the whole point of riding minis. Not to put disks on a drum brake or change pencil thin forks to beefier units.
  16. JBowen33

    JBowen33 Only fast on Facebook

    450 MX bike and throw some SM wheels on it.
    racerx13 likes this.
  17. rk97

    rk97 Well-Known Member

    I vote for xr100 or grom...

    Other bikes are better, but not worth the additional cost to me.

    Biggest thing minis teach you, IMHO, is keeping your body movements smooth. When you weigh more than the bike, mid-turn movements are drastically amplified.

    I had an Xr for years. Will likely pick up a grom so i can street it, and race it when i want.
  18. noles19

    noles19 Well-Known Member

    Grom sucks compared to a xr100 on track, its so damn heavy for a kart track.
  19. rob linders

    rob linders Well-Known Member

    Hey @dallen.helmer at the risk of coming off as a jerk, how much experience do you have and how fast are you?

    I was involved in minis for three-four years with Benny Solis, Austin Dehaven, Tommy and Michael Aquino, Daytona Anderson, Joe Roberts, Jason Aguilar, Anthony Alonso, Michael Gilbert, my son, Andre Ochs, Peter Lenz, Gabriel Hernandez, Lex Hartl, and all of them went to AMA or Europe. They raced with a bunch of adults, that aren’t recognizable names, and none of the kids or adults ran on a big bike (Ninja250,300,400, KTM 390) like you are suggesting on a kart track. And it’s not because they are kids, the quick adults weren’t on those bikes either.

    Most of them started on NSR50s, 65’s, 85’s, and 150’s. Once moving to 65s and larger many were on a RS125 chassis with the above mentioned motor size in it, but some ran supermoto style bikes in those sizes.

    Danny Turner above also suggested a 85cc 2 stroke and mentioned how the 2 strokes are harder to ride and teach you excellent skills, which I agree with. His kid has podiumed at AMA and MA events too.
  20. Ducti89

    Ducti89 Ticketing Melka’s dirtbike.....

    This guy knows.

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