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Top Kart Go-Karts: History And Reviews

In terms of well-known kart manufacturers, I’m sure you’ve all seen the distinctive blue team colors of Top Kart whenever you’ve been to a track! And that’s with good reason. Through this article, I’m going to delve into the manufacturer’s history, and pick out the best karts currently available to buy from them.

Passionate Origins

Unlike a lot of manufacturers in this field, Top Kart’s beginnings are somewhat harder to pin down. There aren’t exact dates of founding, nor early direction or product innovations that they keep track of.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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This is all down to how Top Kart functions at its core: a collective.

The company began in the late 1970s near the grounds of the famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway. There wasn’t one individual who started this business, and instead a collective number of passionate race drivers came together and decided to revolutionize everything we’ve come to know about kart manufacturers.

Instead of simply building karts and having them tested at the site of their headquarters, as most others did and continue to do, the visionaries behind Top Kart wanted to make a whole experience, a community of kart drivers that would carry on for generations.

And so, the lack of definitive founding date for the company begins to make sense. All that mattered after the business began was forging this path, and delivering an experience to enthusiasts without the hefty price tag that other manufacturers slapped on their products.

Indeed, another of Top Kart’s founding goals was to give the gift of karting on a more agreeable budget. Although go-karting is by far the most affordable motorsport in the industry, it can still add up to being a huge expense for most.

With the objectives set to create a karting community which supported growth in the sport, and affordable karts, Top Kart was onto something pretty unique which started to separate them from other manufacturers the world over!

What Karting Should Be

Truly, more than any one chassis that Top Kart designed and made, their principles and values became the focal point of their manufacturing business. This was done to help go-kart enthusiasts focused on what karting should be about; something that can so easily be lost in the world of competitive motorsport.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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In the words of their website which discusses their mission as a company: “Managing for profit is like playing golf with your eye on the scorecard and not on the ball”.

This philosophy became integrated with everything that Top Kart did, from their early chassis to the growing services they wanted to provide for all go-kart drivers, not just those who owned a kart made by them.

Innovating As A Team

As I previously mentioned, Top Kart’s primary focus wasn’t on marking product innovation. It certainly happened across their many years of chassis construction, as seen in all of their current and past chassis that put adjustability and flexibility at the forefront of racing.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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In spite of that development over the years, product development always came second to growing a go-karting support system that people could rely on.

This started back in the 1980s, when Top Kart began a kart racing team under the same name as their manufacturing self. They put together a large number of kart repair ‘squads’ of sorts, and these mechanics were sent out all across Indianapolis, IN and beyond to offer maintenance and repair services on race and practice days.

The kart repairing avenue grew and grew, with more and more races being attended by Top Kart mechanics offering repairs for a low price. The color blue started to be more widely seen throughout the US, especially since the Top Kart racing team started to snag national titles left, right and center.

With their production of karts going through the roof to properly outfit their racing team, new steps were taken by the manufacturer to expand their level of services for those who wanted to buy the karts.

This was when they started to offer a lifetime of maintenance for anybody who bought a Top Kart go-kart, at no extra cost whatsoever. This also extended to testing days where mechanics would tune and prepare the kart for race days or whatever occasion the kart owner wanted!

Affordable Excellence: Karting For Everyone!

The reception received from these amazing maintenance services was, as you can imagine, positively glowing. Top Kart hit the ground running from this success and upward turn of kart selling by introducing another integral aspect of their service:

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Transportation and Tent Programs!

They received a lot of feedback from new kart owners that the costs and problems of transporting their go-kart was becoming an inhibiting factor, and as such, the transportation and tent program was born.

Upon buying a Top Kart go-kart, you’ll receive the option of being enrolled into the transportation service. This is a round-trip transport with huge space available for your kart(s), and all equipment for usage at the track will be provided by Top Kart themselves to cut down on logistics for you, the owner.

Then, at the track, go-kart owners can take hours alone setting up their workspace for the race day ahead. Top Kart eliminated this factor by providing a free tent set-up for anybody using the transport option, and you can otherwise request a tent if you take care of the logistics yourself.

You’ll get a bright blue Top Kart tent, complete with a banner, and representatives of the manufacturer on hand to help with yet more innovations to the go-karting experience!

The Modern Kart Owner-Driver

The latest and most ground-breaking of the various services offered by Top Kart blow some of the others out of the water, it goes without saying. Purely and simply, they offer driver coaching and development, plus data and video analysis of your performance on the track.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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You can access these on race days by looking for Top Kart’s characteristic blue tent, or contact them to receive the services ahead of events in advance.

Driver coaching can range from helpful tips, all the way up to private lessons on tracks of your choosing. And the data analysis will be a variety of things, including go-pros attached for a recorded performance, lap timing and equipment hooked up to the kart to read various parameters.

This transition into the modern era of go-karting and motorsport is what defines Top Kart as a competitive manufacturer, just as much as their affordable chassis make them highly desirable and accessible.

Top Kart’s Current Range: 3 Karts Reviewed

Now that you know the dedicated and driver-centric history of Top Kart, surely you want to check out the best of their current karts that continue to win them titles out on the track!

I’ve researched the manufacturer extensively and had the pleasure of driving some of their karts, so my picks for their best karts at the moment were pretty easy to make. Check out the current stars of Top Kart’s line-up!

The MSTEM3 EV Kart

This rig really is something special, and that’s down to its combined purpose of racing excellence and scholarly education. Its engine is entirely electric, and was designed in conjunction with Purdue University as a project to educate STEM students in a more exciting, engaging way.

It’s truly a world first for so many reasons, and as such, a place has been earned here at the top of Top Kart’s outstanding karts!

“The M-STEM modules focus on motorsports as the context for teaching important 21st century skills and content knowledge through the use of problem-based learning. Students will work in teams to solve a challenge or develop a solution to a given problem.”

— Source: http://topkartusa.net/electric/

Notable Features

  • EV Engine Pack (Motenergy ME0708 PMDC Motor, 24-48V, 8 hp cont, 15 hp pk)
  • Controller (Alltrax SPM-48300 24-48V / 300A)
  • Contactor (Gigavac GV200QA-1 48V 500 Amp Contactor)
  • MyChron SOLO Laptimer
  • Gravity Brake Bleeder
  • Fiberglass shell seat
  • Hydraulic fluid system brakes
  • 30mm moly tubing chassis

The SR30.2 Kart

What lineup would be complete without highlighting the current ace of Top Kart’s racing chassis? The SR30.2 is the newest rendition of their most competitive rig, described as being the true performance-bringer of their arsenal.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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It’s a premier rig designed to be used with every major engine on the market for the 100cc and 125cc racing classes. Designed for Junior (age 12-15) and Senior (15+) and usage, the kart is as formidable as it is inexpensive.

The chassis itself is easily adjustable and tunable, making it perfect for beginner drivers and pro drivers alike!

Notable Features

  • 30mm moly tubing chassis
  • Front torsion bar (2 settings)
  • Brakes: Caliper Ven09 – Disc Ven11 – Complete Floating System
  • Magnesium Low Volume 132/212mm wheels
  • 1050mm wheelbase
  • IMAF Silver seat

The Economy “Carter” Kart

Nothing about this kart looks ‘budget’, that’s for sure! But the price tag certainly says otherwise.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Top Kart have always strived to make karting more accessible for those with less money to burn, and their Carter chassis is the true accumulation of that vision. It is based on the Twister chassis, previously their premier racing machine before the SR line came along, to bring amazing race performance to meet easy adjustment for a maximum edge on the competition.

It can be used with 100cc and 125cc engines alike, and is suitable for both Junior and Senior racing age categories. In Top Kart’s own words, “the Carter is the performance driven, dollar saving machine you have always been looking for to start your kart racing career” (source); ideal for new drivers.

Notable Features

  • 30mm moly tubing chassis
  • 1050mm wheelbase
  • Changeable axle, 50mm or 40mm
  • IMAF Silver seat
  • Hydraulic brake system
  • Magnesium 130/180 – 130/210 wheels

Final Thoughts

Part of what makes Top Kart so unique alongside their constant bid to make karting more affordable is the host of driver/owner services they offer, and it really adds to the community they’ve built over 40+ years in the business.

Owning a product made by them is more than just flying solo and hoping for the best! You can constantly develop and improve with the support of Top Kart, and that’s what makes them so special among kart manufacturers.