About this project
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:
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.
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.
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.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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