By on August 21, 2017


As long as there are going to be vehicles that are still under human control, there will be street racing. It’s not safe, it’s not very smart, and it’s not going to go away anytime soon. Detroit Police Chief James Craig says that his department tracks as many as 500 street races some nights. The racing usually take place at 2 or 3 in the morning on weekends. The police can track them because street racers, like police officers, are creatures of habit.

French Road, on Detroit’s northeast side, has long been used as a dragstrip by outlaws racing cars, trucks, and motorcycles.

That explains how a 30-year-old motorcyclist ended up hospitalized in serious condition Sunday evening, the result of a racing crash. It doesn’t explain, however, why the as-yet unidentified driver of the other vehicle in that collision decided to choose a go-kart as his steed. That wasn’t the only curious decision the 21-year-old man made. He also, according to police reports, veered in front of the motorcycle, causing the wreck and his own death.


TTAC’s resident karting expert tells me that the go-kart appears to be an adult racing kart powered by a four-stroke motor, possibly an Animal-class engine. Considering that it was running fast enough to cut off the motorcycle, a four-cylinder sport bike, it wasn’t slow.

I can understand test running a go-kart on a closed off cul-de-sac, or even on an empty shopping center parking lot, (I’ve done that myself) but street racing a kart must surely put the deceased into competition for a Darwin Award.

Image Source: Fox2 Detroit.

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12 Comments on “Do We Have to Say That Street Racing a Go Kart is a Bad Idea?...”

  • avatar

    21 in Detroit? Darwin probably missed this one by 3 kids at least.

    • 0 avatar

      Well, if that motorcycle tire had not smacked him upside the head (hopefully knocking some sense into him for a least a few micro seconds) he probably would have sired 5 or 6 more. So I guess we should count our blessings.

  • avatar

    “Do We Have to Say That Street Racing a Go Kart is a Bad Idea?”

    no, because the teenage jackoffs who do this s**t won’t listen anyway. let them kill themselves by their own stupidity.

    and people, if you’re not willing to do the hard work of being a parent, then please for god’s sake don’t have kids you just inflict on the rest of us.

    • 0 avatar

      “and people, if you’re not willing to do the hard work of being a parent, then please for god’s sake don’t have kids you just inflict on the rest of us.”

      I agree with you for most cases, but my parents did everything right and yet I would still go on and race my Integra in the industrial park every once in a while with my buddies! My dad would show me burnout marks on our road and tell me how irresponsible and stupid it was for kids to be doing that and how dangerous it could be for other people on the road who ended up being the victims in accidents. That driving your car in a dangerous manner makes your car a weapon. I would nod in agreement, smile, my father would be content with our heart to heart, and that night I would go out and race with my buddies as if he had never said anything. I’m 34 now, never had an accident, but can’t help but feel stupid for all those chances I took even though nothing ever happened. Parents definitely have they’re role to play, but just using me as an example I can’t hold all parents accountable for stupid things kids do.

  • avatar

    No headlights, no suspension, no brain, no problem!

    Speaking of karting, I’m gonna try and go this weekend.

    • 0 avatar

      Sounds good. If you’re ever in north Georgia, be sure to try out Atlanta Motorsports Park’s public karting. The Hermann Tilke designed kart track there is like no other.

      On the indoor karting scene, i like K1 Speed.

  • avatar

    Unless they’re doing relay races, it sounds like not a single policeman in Detroit gets Saturday nights off.

  • avatar

    We need someone from TTAC to go under cover at these events and get us the inside scoop. Or maybe hire someone to report regularly from these events.

  • avatar

    On the up side, it looks as though that Akrapovic pipe held up pretty well!

  • avatar

    The thing about street racing that makes me have so much contempt for it, is that not only is it dangerous to the participants, but it also puts at risk people who did not volunteer for that risk. Plus, as anyone who has done any closed course racing can tell you, what you can do on an open public roadway is so weenie compared to how hard you hang it out on the race track that it’s not worth doing.

    Now, closing the roadway and having a race, that’s intense. Look at the Isle of Man TT, it is totally testicular.

  • avatar

    I am no expert, but at high speed on a go-kart with small diameter race tires and no suspension, he possibly didn’t turn in front of the motorcycle purposely, maybe the kart bounced and veered off because of the road condition. Usually these drag races are held on rural or less used roads where there is less maintenance done on them causing them to be in pitiful condition. But again, I’m just assuming! It’s also been seen before where the race is over and one guy turns in front of the guy doing a fly-by!

    • 0 avatar
      Weylon M

      Having raced karts for a few years, I have to agree with you. The complete lack of suspension means a small-for-a-car bump would be deadly in a kart doing 80mph

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