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A complete gas powered wooden go-kart that is as much fun to build as it is to drive. Arrives in 3 boxes and assembles in 1 day.
A complete gas powered wooden go-kart that is as much fun to build as it is to drive. Arrives in 3 boxes and assembles in 1 day.
A complete gas powered wooden go-kart that is as much fun to build as it is to drive. Arrives in 3 boxes and assembles in 1 day.
118 backers pledged $51,780 to help bring this project to life.

About

PlyFly Go-Kart: A 25 MPH Wooden Roadster project video thumbnail
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PlyFly Go-Kart: A 25 MPH Wooden Roadster

$51,780

118

We are grateful to have successfully completed our KickStarter campaign, if you missed us you can always find us at flat.works to order this or find out about our other kits.

We made our Stretch Goal! 

A giant thank you to all of our backers and all of the support we have received! We couldn't have done it without you.

As seen on:

You can read what they had to say here, here, here, here, here and here.

Stretch goals:

Now that we have achieved our stretch goal, we will give all backers the choice of one of these three vinyl overlays for their karts or balsa kits. See the most recent update for more information.

About the PlyFly Go-Kart

The PlyFly Go-Kart is the thrill of building, sharing, and customizing embodied in the creation of an iconic American object: a gasoline powered go-kart. We have done most of the heavy lifting. All you need to do is grab your sense of adventure, a few tools and assemble it.

The kit comes complete with all of the wooden parts, hardware, and a gas engine. No need to buy anything else. All of the karts have the following features:

  • Rack and pinion steering 
  • Disc brake 
  • Foam filled tires (non-pneumatic) 
  • Adjustable seat (can accommodate a large adult) 
  • Smartphone mount for action video and telemetry (both cameras are pointed properly for great video of the driver or the road ahead)
  • Safety flag for increase visibility

Two models available

There are two models available. One has a 2.5 HP engine, perfect for flat areas and lower speeds. The other has a 4 HP engine that is quicker and is better suited for hilly areas and bigger people. Both kits consist of wooden parts made by us in Newport, RI and include all the necessary  hardware. 

New Live Axle Option

We have added an option for a solid rear axle to the 4HP karts. Please see the updates for more information and videos.

How the kit works

The kit arrives in 3 boxes. Box 1 is a flat box with the wooden structural parts. Box 2 is the hardware and 3 is the engine. 1.2.3. That's it. 

Follow the easy to read instructions and you will be rolling along in no time. With our highly accurate CNC manufacturing and tab-and-slot design, assembly is a breeze and the end product is shockingly strong and light.

Time-lapse video of the assembly. In the video below, only two people are assembling (Tim and Kenton) The two others (Jen and Craig) are documenting the build with still and video cameras for future reference material. The clock showing elapsed time was stopped during refreshment breaks.

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Why Wood? 

Sure, steel karts are fun and strong, but they require a large number of specialized tools to build, repair or modify. Tools that most people don't have. Wood, on the other hand, can be crafted with tools available in most homes and all home improvement stores. We want to provide kits that people can make their very own, by painting, fixing or modifying and wood is a natural fit for this.

For the last several years, we have been using CNC routers to make prototypes of car interiors, surgical robots, geared mechanisms and other amazing items in wood. We have come to love its strength, flexibility and appearance and now treat it as the engineering material it is. 

The wood used in this kit is a 3/4 inch Baltic Birch plywood. It is a natural fit for the go-kart due to it's strength and appearance. The 13 plies make it incredibly strong and give the end grain a beautiful contrast. Best of all, it can be modified, repaired or reworked with common household tools.

Project Schedule

The kit design is done, the prototypes have been made and the components have been specified. All we have left to do is make a few tweaks, order the parts and cut the wood.

Please back us!

We have put our heart and soul into this project and are ecstatic to share it with all of you. We are so close, but we need your help to get us over the final hump. Please place a pledge and join the fun!

The not-so-small print:

It is vitally important that anyone riding a go-kart wear the proper protective gear. The rider should wear, at a minimum, a full-face DOT-rated motorcycle helmet, gloves and a helmet supporting neck brace. These items and other safety equipment are not supplied with the kits but can be found through many online or retail sellers.

We aim to provide the best assembly documentation in the industry and will include written instructions and online videos for all of the crucial steps. We will be available to help you through the process, so if you need assistance, please ask. However, this is a kit and the ultimate build quality is up to you.

We will ask you to sign a reasonable waiver prior to shipment that covers these and a few other topics. 

Risks and challenges

Any project has inherent risks and the PlyFly Go Kart is no exception. However, we like to think that we can and have minimized these obstacles through a combination of upfront work and experience.

Over the last 8 months, we have built 8 prototypes of the design with the last two being used solely to test the assembly process and suppliers. We have evaluated multiple suppliers for each item and have chosen the most robust component with regards to both availability and performance. We have planned the time it takes to source each component and create each kit to maximize the probability that we can deliver in our promised windows.

However, the nature of any design forces us into incorporating single-sourced components in a few areas. If one of these suppliers is late or delivers a flawed product, it could hinder our ability to deliver on time, especially with such aggressive milestones.

As seasoned professionals and engineers, we feel confident in our ability to handle any adversity that we have not anticipated. Our experience says tackle the hard issues first, and communicate openly so our backers will be the first to know if anything comes up.

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Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Karma Contribution. Signify your love of the concept with a donation of $5 or more. To show our gratitude, we will include your name in the instruction manual and provide you first notice to all future product releases.

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    17 backers
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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    Wear the colors. A high quality T-shirt with a design unique to our backers and never to be produced again. We will use the post Kickstarter survey to get your size.

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    Ships to Only certain countries
    15 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $70 or more About $70

    Share the fun, on a smaller scale. Get a balsa wood kit for a scale model of the PlyFly Go Kart with working steering. Perfect for a desk or shelf display to show your support for American ingenuity. Laser cut by The Flatworks.

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    Limited 27 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $575 or more About $575

    Kart only - no engine. Get a complete PlyFly Go Kart kit ready to assemble without an engine or clutch so you can customize your own drivetrain. Mounting pattern for standard Honda clone engines can easily be customized for other engines.

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    0 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $745 or more About $745

    Limited Edition 2.5 HP Model. Get a complete PlyFly Go Kart kit ready to assemble with a 2.5 HP engine. Plenty of power for tooling around and smaller individuals. Each kit will be serialized with the production number visible on the front and back of the cart.

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    Limited 8 backers
    $
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $825 or more About $825

    Get a complete PlyFly Go Kart kit ready to assemble with a 2.5 HP engine. Plenty of power for tooling around and smaller individuals.

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    Ships to Only certain countries
    1 backer
    $
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  7. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $845 or more About $845

    Limited Edition 4 HP Model. Get one of the first complete PlyFly Go Kart kits ready for you to assemble with a 4 HP engine. Each kit will be serialized with the production number visible on the front and back of the cart.

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    Reward no longer available 25 backers
    $
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $915 or more About $915

    A complete PlyFly Go Kart kit ready to assemble with the more sprightly 4 HP engine. A bit of extra power and top speed.

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    3 backers
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,700 or more About $1,700

    Everything is better in pairs! Get 2 kits with your choice of engine and a stack-able storage rack so they take less space in your garage.

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    Limited 6 backers
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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $6,500 or more About $6,500

    Fill your paddock with instant fun! Get 4 kits with your choice of engine and one of us will travel to your location and help you assemble them over a weekend. Freight shipping to the continental US and special stack-able storage racks are included.

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    Limited 0 backers
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Funding period

- (34 days)