Praga as a company has a long history. They are a company that has been involved in many different projects over the years. From cars in the early 1900’s, to planes in the 1930’s and race cars in the 2000’s, Praga seems to have been able to do everything.
Praga was born in 1907 in Czechoslovakia, more recently known as the Czech Republic. Throughout the years this company has grown to become one of the biggest automotive engineering firms in central Europe.
But does this mean that they make good racing karts? Later on, in this article we will be reviewing some karts made by Praga to see if this European giant of a company is anywhere near as good as their competitors when it comes to karts.
The Praga company was started in 1907, starting with cars and trucks. The company built numerous models of vehicles to start off with, releasing their first model under the license of an Italian company. The founder of the company left after only one year, and in 1909, the company was officially given a name. Praga, meaning Prague in Latin, was on its way up in the automotive world.
In the 1920’s, Praga started to diversify their work, expanding into the manufacture of buses, trucks and agricultural vehicles. Praga also released their first ever motorcycle, which was used successfully in racing.
As Praga’s focus remained on motorcycles during the 20’s, they also managed to release a few new small cars during the same time period. Their cars became popular as an affordable option to first-time car buyers.
In the 1930’s, Praga decided to diversify once again. This time they took to the air. They built a single-engined light aircraft which started Praga’s further advancement as a company. During the same timeframe, Praga had also supplied light tanks to several armies across the world.
The 1940’s brought yet another new challenge to the company. World War 2 meant that the German occupied factories of Czechoslovakia were forced to produce military vehicles. Praga factories mainly produced light tanks and transport vehicles for the German military, however, they still managed to produce some of their more popular models of cars during this period.
The factory saw some sabotage by patriotic employees who attempted to slow down the manufacturing of military vehicles for German use, and in 1945, nearly 90% of the Praga factories were severely damaged during a bombing by the Allied forces. This forced the company to move locations and ended the production of cars.
Their new focus was on trucks and buses. These types of vehicles were of greater demand in the area and under the political circumstances they found themselves in. The 1950s and 60s saw Praga continuing with the production of trucks, focused mainly on military use trucks, but with some civilian production as well. Some of these trucks can still be found on European roads today.
In 1964 the Czech car industry was rearranged under socialism, and Praga was assigned to the production of transmission components for trucks. This took Praga away from automotive production for the next 30 years.
Finally, in the 1990s Praga returned to producing motorcycles. This is where Praga’s history in racing starts off. They manufactured their very first enduro bike, and started finding success in cross-country motorcycle racing in the US. Meanwhile, Praga continued its truck production for civilian and military use.
This period is also when Praga moved into the karting industry. They started off with racing karts, producing Mini Max, Cadet and Adult class chassis. They have more recently moved into producing rental karts as well.
Praga didn’t stop at karting, though. In the 2010s they formed their own racing team and are now even producing their own race cars (the Praga R1) and have recently released a supercar (Praga R1R) as well. The Praga racing team focuses on driver development, progressing drivers from karting all the way into their racing cars.
So how successful is a manufacturer – with such a turbulent history – in karting? Well, Praga has quickly become a popular karting brand. Forming their own racing team has certainly helped them to attract driers from all around the world, and they have promoted numerous drivers into professional racing series such as Formula 4.
Praga was a bit late to join the motorsport community, especially considering how far back their history goes. However, they have been performing well in the karting world, and their beautiful white, blue, and gold livery definitely stands out from the rest of the grid.
They have received feedback from various world championship-winning drivers over the years on how to improve their karts, one of these drivers being the legendary Sebastien Loeb. With feedback from such highly regarded drivers, Praga has managed to build up a strong kart and driver development programme.
They might not have many karting world championships to their name like their competitors do. However, this is a young team who are making huge strides in order to catch up to the pack.
Praga Rental Karts
Praga only recently moved into rental karts, however, they have started off very well. They offer a ‘race line’ which consists of rental karts. These have been built off their racing karts, with added safety features, adjustable seats and customized sticker kits.
The race line also comes in an electric version as well as a mini version for kids.
The next set of rental karts is RTK. Praga has always been known to produce reliable work horse vehicles, and they wanted to translate that into their karts as well, resulting in the creation of the RTK line.
The RTK line comes with a rollbar and seat belts, which are uncommon features when it comes to karts. In addition, they also added shock absorbers in the bumpers as well as engine safety covers. This line comes in the Evo model for adults, Mini model for kids and the Double Seater, which is fantastic for driver coaching.
Praga Kart Reviews
Dragon Evo 2
The Praga Dragon Evo 2 is the flagship model of the Praga racing kart line. This chassis is used in every class from junior all the way up to DD2 and International KZ. This model comes in various wheelbase lengths, which can be useful if you are going to use it on a specific circuit, or if a kart with a shorter wheelbase really suits your driving style.
This kart is extremely popular with fans of the brand, and these models are used by the racing team. What sets this kart apart from those of other manufacturers is its brakes. According to Praga, they have built the best brakes in the karting world, and applied it to their Dragon Evo 2 chassis. If you like late and hard braking, this might just be the chassis for you.
This kart comes with some interesting optional extras, and that includes easy-adjust pedals, which are more commonly found in rental karts than in kart racing. In addition, there are also toe alignment discs, adjustable steering wheel hubs, magnesium components and different strength grades for the floor plate.
Praga Dark Evo
The Praga Dark Evo is a model that has been built to be extremely beginner friendly. This is something that is not normally found in other kart manufacturers very often. The kart chassis has been built to make adjustments more easily, however, Praga wanted to keep the performance of the chassis at a high standard.
Consider this kart if you are looking at starting in professional karting but don’t have a mechanic to help you out. Dark Evo karts will go for around $5000 race-ready. It is the perfect kart for beginners, but you’ll still be able to keep up with the pros in their more expensive and complex chassis.
The kart chassis is solid; however, they have not won many international championships. For example, if you look at more famous brands such as Sodi and CRG, you will see various championships under their name, however, not as many for Praga.
It’s a good chassis for a start, but do plan to move on to a better chassis when you become a bit more competitive in your racing career.
Praga Monster Evo 3
The Praga Monster Evo 3 is the performance kart designed for youngsters. This chassis has years of experience poured into a smaller package. This chassis is used by the younger generation in the Praga racing team who race in the Mini Max category.
It comes with all the extras that are available for the Praga Dragon Evo 2, so you can teach your younger racers about setups and the mechanics of karts from a young age. It comes with 3 wheelbase settings, which allows for a large range of setup differentiation.
These might all be good factors, however there are many other good Mini Max chassis out there to look at. Tony Kart, ZipKart and CRG are very popular in this class and definitely worth having a look at.
Praga is a company with a rich history in the automotive industry. They have gone through many phases and changes and have had some very turbulent times. Having started with cars, they have also moved into light aircraft, buses, motorcycles, and even artillery trucks.
The question is, has their advancement into the motorsport world been a success so far?
Considering how young their motorsport program is and considering that they are known for building trucks and buses for the military, I would say that Praga has done very well with their entry into motorsport.
Their karting chassis are good, and they are able to compete with the best out there. However, if you are looking for karts with an established racing history, you may have to take a closer look at CRG, Tony Kart or Sodi. Praga as a karting brand is still young, and there is a lot of room for improvement.