Journal: Which Kind of Fun Would You Rather Have?

Which Kind of Fun Would You Rather Have?

Michael Banovsky By Michael Banovsky
July 24, 2015
23 comments

Photography by Michael Banovsky

The great thing about having fun is that there are so many different varieties of it. Within weeks, I found myself behind the wheel of both a $1,500 homebuilt CycleKart and a $340,000-ish McLaren 650S. Both hugely entertaining, in its own way. The McLaren is a spaceship in comparison, but…

Because this isn’t a high school sleepover, this isn’t a choice between the McLaren 650S and Dennis Thomas’ CycleKart. The McLaren wins, every time. But each thrills in a different way. In the McLaren, it was in the feeling of superiority over my surroundings. On-ramps, back roads, slow-moving traffic—I didn’t see a faster car all day. Faster drivers, definitely, but they were sadly mostly behind the wheel of overloaded Ford Econolines.

I’m confident I know what made the McLaren fast, but if had asked me to draw a schematic of how, say, the McLaren Proactive Chassis Control system works, you’d get an illustration of spaghetti.

The CycleKart, though, that was a much more childish sort of fun. I think I could feel the camber changing on the wheels as I hurtled through Thomas’ shop. I locked up the tire(!) under braking, and quickly learned how to induce understeer and oversteer on command.

There will be a full article on each car soon, but for now, I’m wondering: today, right now, which sort of fun would you rather have—and why? 

 

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Rachel W
Rachel W

How did I miss this the first time round?! Just saw this on Facebook and now I want one, I want one very badly…

David Lake
David Lake

Enjoy Dennis’s Cycle Kart and see other builds at http://www.cyclekartclub.com

Cheers
David

Jono51
Jono51

I feel at a disadvantage in this conversation, as, due to a) bad career choices b) lack of cash and c) lack of connections (all of which are probably interrelated), I’ve never had the opportunity to drive a properly fast car – by which I mean one capable of more than 130mph. So that is one thing on my bucket list.

That aside, however, I am encouraged to see that others here don’t seem to think that supercars provide more excitement than go karts!

Alexander Bermudez
Alexander Bermudez

In my experience racing karts is about as much fun as you can have with your clothes on! Although for me it lacks a certain intensity that one gets from racing cars.

Dennis Thomas
Dennis Thomas

I choose Cyclekart fun!

Nicolas Moss
Nicolas Moss

Hmm… at $340000 the McLaren costs as much as most houses, which I guess makes it a mobile home? How fun could that be?

Dennis Cavallino
Dennis Cavallino

But where’s the shed for the cycle cart(s)?

Brian Driggs
Brian Driggs

For my money – what little Sallie Mae allows me to keep for myself every month – I’ll have the CycleKart. Twice, now, I’ve had the privilege of tossing a $1500 CycleKart about. Considering you can fully exploit them on any skill level, they fit the bill. Flat out through the neighborhood. Flat out through the production floor. Flat out is flat out the pinnacle of motorsport desire. Gets me wondering… What’s the fundamental difference between the new McLaren and the Ludicrous Tesla? I mean, the 650S has a 19 gallon tank and gets 15-22mpg for a total range of… Read more »

Christopher Gay
Christopher Gay

I prefer to go karting with my son. The sensation of speed is relative.

So, I guess TWO cycle karts would offer more of the right kind of fun. Even better, we build them ourselves. 😉

Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger

Mr Gay if I may let me say ;

You well and truly Get It ! Two huge thumbs up ! The fact that you and your son build them adding an additional +1 x 1000 to a factor of ten !

Christopher Gay
Christopher Gay

I’m presently putting together his OWN tool box.

The only real “problem” I see is that I won’t be faster than him for much longer. I guess my consolation will be that he had a good teacher. Ha. 😉

Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger

The genuine sign of a good teacher having given excellent instruction is when the student doesn’t need the teacher any longer . So what seems like a problem is in fact a major compliment . But .. as in my [ professional ] case . Even though the student no longer needs the teacher at some point this wily teacher/professor always manages to stay a step ahead of his students . Remembering the adage ‘ Old Guys Rule ‘ As long as we keep growing that is . A fact that never fails to surprise said students .. even the… Read more »

Niklas W
Niklas W

Thank you for this brief and refreshing discussion. Made the whole article for me. In the progress of building a workshop/garage where I hope to start tinkering with an Alfa GTV 69 within the coming year or so. Sons are now in moped age (which is big in Sweden) for which I am hoping for spending time with tinkering sons too. Inspiring. Would love a cycle cart but wouldn’t know where to drive it :-/

Christopher Gay
Christopher Gay

In today’s media and digitally driven society, it is a tough road (and certainly the one less traveled). You gotta get these kids outside and find ways to inspire them. In my experience, so much is teaching by example. Art, music, sports, anything to keep their bodies and minds active. Lately we’ve been complementing the karting with the guitar. When I recently showed him footage of P.T. destroying his guitars and speakers at the end of the show, his eyes grew and jaw dropped. 😉 Magic and inspiration can be found in the darndest places. Now he can’t put the… Read more »

Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger

Perhaps its because I’m older with a lot more experience [ including ownership ] behind the wheel of exotics and race cars but the fact is I’ve found both the McLaren MP4-12C and its barely evolved 650S as well as the pretentious rebadged MP4-12C posing as the P1 both on road and track to be the least satisfying , boring , most overly hyped and utterly homogenized so called ‘ Exotics ‘ I’ve ever had the very distinct displeasure of driving . As I said in a review I was asked to write on the 650S ; ” The sad… Read more »

Alexander Bermudez
Alexander Bermudez

Guitar, That is quite a damming opinion of the new McLaren!
Is it really that bad? Could you go into more detail as to why?

Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger

Sometime Mr Banovsky you and I need to have a very pleasant conversation … preferably over a glass or two of your favorite micro brew , Stranahans or a good glass of vino about just how much your generation has missed out on by having been force fed so much virtual rather than the real since almost day one . Before we do though a couple of book recommends ; Aldous Huxley ” Brave New World ” Neil Postman – ” Amusing Ourselves to Death ” [ more relevant today than in 1984 when it was written ] Suffice it… Read more »

Patrick Peters
Patrick Peters

“and why every manufacture hates me”
Every manufacture hates you? Really? so they know who you are then? Why is it that every car manufacture knows you?

Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger

Hmmn . How to keep this succinct and to the point . If one was to only judge the car by the numbers then of course more positive things would need to be said . Problem with me [ and why every manufacture hates me ] is I don’t judge a car strictly by the numbers . My judgement being based on a combination of performance – driving experience – skill level needed to drive etc . And just to be fair in my opinion ALL of todays so called Exotic , Hyper and Supercars fall very short when it… Read more »

Alexander Bermudez
Alexander Bermudez

Guitar, so in your mind a Super/Exotic/Hypercar by definition should me difficult to drive at or near the limit and only reward the individual who has committed years to the craft of driving.

I can see where you are coming from and to a certain degree I would have to agree with you. With that said, every time I watch this video I really want a 12CGT3….
[url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ajN5fVVOLOw”]Doerr Motorsport 12C GT3 sets lap record at the Nurburgring 24 Hours[/url]

Ian Miles
Ian Miles

The McLaren wins, every time. Well perhaps but in the right circumstances I reckon the cart would provide a bigger thrill, more excitment and fear. So isn’t that largely why people buy supercars. Sadly not, they buy them because of the “look at me” factors and cache they have perhaps. I would rather have a fast motorcycle than a fast car!:)

Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger

You nailed that on the head . Its all about the ego and the next shiny new thing that once found will displace the current shiny new thing they just recently had purchased . Average length of ownership of any new exotic from delivery being substantially less than ten months across the board .