I think Jeff was giving you a rough cost assessment based on all the support gear you’ll need to go with your program, including a new kart.
If you’ve been racing Barber, a shifter may be more stimulating for you. There are deals out there (used) if you shop it. The Spec Moto is a sought after package right now and not a lot of deep deals with it’s low operating cost and great performance. You can however buy other packages that are great fun and can fit your budget. Tag (touch and go) is a very popular class that runs 125cc 2 stroke or 250cc 4 stroke, dry clutch on the kart, and there are some good buys out there. A step up is the Tag 4 Stroke, more initial cost, horsepower and in the long haul, less operating cost. Talk to people before you dive in. You can rent Tag karts, not sure about shifters, but if you have that kind of open wheel experience under your belt, I’m sure someone would be willing to flop you in a shifter to get a feel for it. I will have a spanking new, custom painted, Spec Moto package finished in a few weeks. If you can demonstrate reasonable abilities in a Tag for me, hell I’ll cut you loose in it. You’ll wear out well before the kart does. You could put together a Spec Moto kart for around $5500 – $6000 if you shopped it and were frugal (with used gear) that would be somewhat competitive. Possibly even new. Talk to Brad or Bobby @ Imi 303-286-1676, Aj @ Kartworks 303-587-4656, Doug, Jeff or Greg @ Shockwave 303-781-7829, Barrry @ Billet 303-841-4855 or any of the other advertisers here on the website and pick their brains.
Jeff and his family own a kart racing shop and manufacturing plant and rightfully have an obligation to get you accurate information. Which includes, not painting an overly optimistic picture for the new racer. The cost of the support gear is equally as important and adds up. Jeff will give it to you like it is. Another reason to go visit with racers in addition to the shops. Ask them what it takes to run their machines. Some will race at the club level and some may race at the regional or national levels. Ask them what it takes, what they ran into that wasn’t planned for. Just to reinforce what you hear from Jeff and the other shop owners. Look through their tool boxes and see what they carry to support their effort. If your running at the club level, you may run the same axle till it gets damaged, a good regional guy may try 3-5 axles in a weekend and so on.
The cost are higher than it was a decade ago for sure. Technology, time and euro exchange rate have escalated cost in this sport for sure. But, bang for the buck? Still pretty good if you ask me.
Good thing about karting is; you can show up with a semi, or show up with your kart on top of your station wagon, either way, it’s a kick in the a$$! As you know. Just feel your way around and figure out a way to come out and have some fun.
My cell is 303-886-4190