Driver comfort is a key variable to being safe and getting consistent fast lap times. A driver who is moving around in the seat, can’t reach the pedals, or is having difficulty turning the steering wheel, will not yield the best results.
Kid kart seats come in one size which more often than not is too big. Make sure when fitting and securing the seat to the kart that your driver has his or her suit and mandatory rib vest on. Things to look for are:
1. Can you fit your 4 fingers along one side of your drivers his or her rib vest so that they have no movement?
2. Can your driver grab the steering wheel while still maintaining a slight bend in their elbows?
If you have problems with either of these issues, here are some possible remedies:
1. If your driver still has a lot of wiggle room you may need some additional padding. There are seat padding solutions available or you can attach some high quality foam with some 3M Super 77 contact adhesive.
2. You can use a larger steering wheel. Normally Kid Karts come with a 9-10” diameter steering wheel. A 12-13” wheel will be better. The additional benefits of the larger wheel are that it will slow their hands down and it will give them more mechanical leverage over the steering mechanism.
3. Another option is an angled steering wheel hub. This will tilt the wheel at 10 degrees and allow them a better feel.
4. The steering column upper support block can be mounted above or below the cross bolt. Mounting below may be necessary for the driver to reach the wheel and/or be able to see over the wheel.
5. With small drivers, it is important to move the seat as far forward as possible. If the seat position forward exceeds the factory upper mounting positions, The PKT Seat extenders can be used. This will make it easier for them to reach the pedals.
Once your driver can reach the steering wheel and turn it easily they need to be able to reach the gas and brake pedals. They should not have to stretch out their legs completely. There should be a slight bend to the knee at full pedal travel. The heel should not be up off the floor pan and the back of the leg above the heel should not be hitting the tie rod affecting the steering or causing discomfort. A PKT Pedal Riser System solves these two problems. We also make a PKT Brake Relocation kit for those whose pedal riser system will be attaching to hydraulic brakes. It mounts to the floor pan and will raise the heel 2” upward and away from tie rods. It also relocates the pedals closer to the driver for now but are adjustable to move the pedals forward as the driver grows. For safety, the driver should be able to fully actuate the brake pedal and come to a stop easily. A rolling test should be done to ensure the driver can stop before going on the track.