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Oversteer and understeer

Oversteer occurs when the back of the kart loses grip. It can result from many factors, such as accelerating out of corners too early, braking too late, or the kart’s rear tires being worn. Whatever the reason, you have to react quickly to avoid a spin. The reaction needed is called opposite lock or counter-steering. To do this you turn the wheels of the kart in the opposite direction of the bend in order to restore balance. Thus if, for example, you feel the rear end slipping when taking a right hand bend, steer immediately and firmly to the left, until the kart is back in line. Note that while using opposite lock it is very important not to brake because this increases oversteer. The best drivers may even accelerate, while the less experienced will simply ease off both pedals and let it “coast”.

Understeer is quite simply the opposite of oversteer that was described above. In effect, this occurs when the front loses grip. The main cause for this is excessive speed, and the result is that turning becomes impossible! In effect, when the kart enters the turn, you can turn the steering wheel in all directions but the kart will not turn, or turns only a little. This is commonly known as “shooting straight on”. The only cure for understeer is braking. By reducing speed, the weight is transferred to the front of the kart and the tires recover grip making it possible to steer again. However, be careful not to brake and steer at the same time as this could cause oversteer.

Introduction section
   The flags and their meanings
   Oversteer / Understeer
   The racing line : theorical approach
   The racing line : examples
In depth
   Special racing lines
the rain
   The tight corner
   Trail braking
   Looking for sponsors


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