November - Resources and Books
Of course there is the ever present internet. There are a myriad of websites that claim to be your source of wisdom and knowledge on everything karting. While I have yet to find this fountain of genious "online", there are several places, indeed, that you should check out. Google up karting sometime and just see how many sites are available. Many offer tech sections, many offer open forums, etc. Be vary wary of open forums. OFten times the person sitting on the other side of that monitor has an agenda. Be it to push their products, or bash someone elses, they often time use their computer anonymity to hide behind their actual pretenses. Keep in mind that you cannot know the age or education of the author of many online articles, forum submissions, etc. You may be reading the intellectual stimulation of an active eight year old, or a karter wannabe coming down from an all night alcohol binge. Again, you may be reading from the Old Testament writers of karting and Moses, himself, is suggesting what to do with your chassis. With the internet, there's a lot of insecurities. Just be cautioned that there is at least as much mis information out there as there is valuable information. Use common sense as you browse and don't take anything for granted.
How about videos? Well, there are a few videos that have been produced. Joey Padget, of Checkered Flag put together a video "From the box to the Dyno" some ten years ago or more. While much of the video is dated, it is still a good insight as to what an engine builder goes through in building a competitive flat head engine. Dyno Cams has a great "Valve Float Technology" video that is current, sans a couple years now and is a great study of controlled valve float on today's flat head stock engines. Then there is "Professor" Harrill Wiggins, of Phantom chassis fame. While most of these videos were originally restricted to their customers and dealers, most are available directly from the Phantom shop and many mail order houses. While some of the videos may seem basic, the later versions are fairly in depth and discuss some great chassis tuning subjects at length. Of course they are geared towards their brand of chassis, but much of the information is applicable on most any brand of chassis. Scour the usual sources, swap meet tables, onine classifieds, and even on Ebay....as people get out of our sport, many sell off their video collection seperately and can be had for pennies on the dollar and are a wise investment, if not worthy of your entertainment dollars.
While I don't discourage guys from reading, viewing, and studying what little is available on the subject, I DO caution them on the value of the content. Again, like the internet forums, there's about as much misinformation out there as there is good information. That makes it very difficult for the newbie to get his "bearings" straight out there.
So what, exactly is MY motivation for sharing my insight into karting on this website? Here it is in a nutshell, IF in 30 years of being involved in karting as a competitor and a businessman, I can't help a customer, or possible future customer, then something's wrong. Information is free around this shop - ALWAYS. If it makes your son, daughter,or youself faster, then it makes our motors, chassis, and complete product line look even better on the track. So, I guess, in some round about way, there is a benefit to our business in the long run. Most of all, I do it for the love of our sport. I want to enjoy karting with my family for many years to come. I've been involved in karting from my youth, and made a living from it over the past 20 years now. I'm always ready to give back to this sport I love. See you at the races!