|Photo #1, Jan 14, '05: The vehicle fresh out of the box; yes, it came in a cardboard box! This one's called a KPX Xterro, but they go by many names. They're all made in China at the same factory but the workmanship is surprisingly good. It had the distinction of being the cheapest new and complete drive train on the market. It has a 150cc engine, electric starter, centrifical clutch (with forward and reverse), headlights, taillights, even a horn. It weighs about 600lbs and is very stable at rest, but squirrely in a turn at just about any speed. Retail is $3,500 but ebay flogs 'em for around $2k.|
|Photo #2: With people to give one a sense of scale, it's just 7ft long and a little over 4ft wide. Top of rollcage is maybe 4ft high, so a seat located on top of it would put driver's eyes at about 7ft; i.e. perfect for Playa excursions. Front wheels are farther apart than rears. I've stood on the side rails, grabbed the rollbar and hung my 230-lb ass out as far as I can and the kart had no tendency to tip or even rock; it's a solid platform.
Driver and passenger sit right on the deck; eyes are maybe 3ft off the ground; i.e. dangerous for Playa treks and dust storms, particularly at night. I toyed with the idea of adding a periscope, but realistically a perch on top of the rollcage is the only cure.
|Photo #3: I snapped this vehicle at the '04 Burning Man. What I liked about it was the neat billboard that he's constructed on top. The frame is copper tubing, to which he's attached a seemingly transparent material; like a screen door but coarser; maybe 3/16 in. or 1/4 in. squares. It's made of Jutte and it goes by the name of Woven Wire, available from Del Lighting in San Antonio, Texas; be warned: it ain't cheap! What he's done is attach EL wire to it; at night it looks like a tropical fish with a waving tail; very beautiful!|