christa kojima top kart twister

Christa's 2013 Ride- 2013 Top Kart Twister

By Mike Kojima

Karting is perhaps one of the best training aids for racing.  Karts are much cheaper to operate than cars and it's usually a simple deal to get your kart ready for a weekend of fun compared to your race car.  Most of us agree that Karting is probably harder than cars as well, more akin to a formula car than a sedan. The MotoIQ crew goes karting frequently to get a speed fix without spending a lot of money.

Karts are also good training for future drivers that are too young or small to drive a full sized car!  Christa Kojima has been karting ever since she was about 8 years old, starting in a 50cc kids kart, then moving up to a 100cc clutch kart at the mandatory age of 9.  Now as she approaches 12 she will have to move up again from her current class of HPV-1 to Jr's.

Unlike the smaller Cadet kart she drove in HPV-1, a Jr class kart is a full size kart, some of them have a little shorter wheelbase but the dimensions are mostly equal to an adult kart.  There are several Jr classes but Christa is going to be in Jr2 which allows powerful 125cc TAG electric start engines using an inlet restrictor.

You can read about her old kart here!

 top kart twister
Christa's kart is a 2013 Top Kart Twister.  Christa has been driving Top Karts  and we chose the Twister for her because we feel that Top Kart makes a better chassis for lighter weight drivers.  The Twister features a chassis constructed of 30mm chromoly tubing with 32mm cross bars.  Since karts rely on chassis flex for tuning, we felt it was better to start with a small tube chassis.  Top Karts have a reputation for being the Kart to beat in Cadet and Jr Classes.  We bit the bullet and bought a state of the art new chassis from Empire Karts.  Until now Christa had been driving used second hand stuff.  We decided to splurge this time because she still loves to drive as she has gotten older and is committed to the sport.
 top kart twister
A modern racing kart is not a toy, having more in common with a formula car than a fun kart powered by a lawnmower engine.  The chassis is highly adjustable to tune the handling balance.  The bodywork is aerodynamically designed to reduce drag, produce some downforce and must be certified by the FIA for impact protection.  It is important to have a good shop to support you, especially when starting out.  We use Empire Karts in Redlands California because they have always given us awesome customer service and have always been helpful with our tech issues.
 PRD Fireball
Christa's kart is powered by a PRD Fireball engine, a 125cc water cooled two stroke.  Unrestricted it produces about 28 hp at 16000 rpm.  For Jr class it is restricted via a carburetor plate and airbox inlet restrictors to around 22 hp.  The engine has a 7.5:1 compression ratio, a 22mm Tillotson pumper carburetor that uses crankcase pulsing to pump the fuel, CDI ignition, carbon reed valve induction and a tuned expansion chamber.  The kart is capable of over 80 mph.
 A large aluminum radiator provides the cooling.
 Like most water cooled karts, the water pump is driven off of the rear axle.


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Thursday, December 20, 2012 4:30 AM
These kart articles are great, I'm hoping to get my son a kids kart next year as the youngest classes start at the age of 5.
big mack
big macklink
Thursday, December 20, 2012 9:05 AM
Good job !!!!!!
Thursday, December 20, 2012 11:29 AM
Will she run SKUSA in 2013? Maybe we will to see her at Streets of Lancaster in September?
Thursday, December 20, 2012 12:58 PM
Ahh, the children of gearheads. My son's been tooling around on his own 50cc quad since he was 3, and now won't let me leave camp in the buggy without him in it.

Karts? Ugh, I'll have to let him decide. My pocketbook's going to be angry!
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Thursday, December 20, 2012 5:13 PM
I think she will be doing LAKC.Her engine is not homologated for PKUSA
Thursday, December 20, 2012 11:02 PM
Mike, if you want to do some in depth articles on karts and karting, email me. I can give you info on road race karting- TaG, shifters, and laydowns- both TaG laydowns and 100cc aircooled like the KT100 or Reedjet. Sit up TaG road racers with CIK bodywork can get over 100mph at Daytona if drafting properly in a pack. Cheers!
Monday, December 24, 2012 4:47 AM
Great read, once more Mike, thanks.
Chances are you can get smoked by your kid right now, if you go racing!
Merry Christmas to you, to the MotoIQ staff and all the readers.
Turbo Shangbanger
Turbo Shangbangerlink
Monday, December 24, 2012 7:55 PM
Mike...you are being the coolest dad ever. This kind of support is amazing. She must have a pretty good advantage in kids motorsports with THE Mike Kojima as pit crew.
Zero 1
Zero 1link
Monday, December 31, 2012 9:45 PM
I currently own and race a 2008 Tony Kart with a PRD motor. Is she running the Tillotson HL-360 or the HL-166?

Going from sports cars to karting in my case actually improved my driving in sports cars immensely. I picked up so much from karting it's hard to explain to anyone who hasn't participated in the sport. Bar none if you think your 350Z or you're Porsche corners hard you are in for a shock the first time you drive one of these.

Pound for pound they are the hardest cornering machines for the price you spend. Good for your daughter, hope she does very well and I wish the best of luck.
Thursday, November 26, 2015 11:19 PM
It is really nice stuff and i was looking for this type of information. Thanks for your sharing. I would like to wish u a very happy Christmas in advance and i will recommend to all this year you should as well wish your family and friends with best words.

Christmas Card Wishes Greeting
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