Up close and Personal
Very consistent and robust welds cover the chassis.The foundation of a go kart is the chassis. One glance at the Merlin frame and it is apparent that they work hard to build the best product possible. The welds on the chassis are robust and consistent. From front to back the Merlin chassis is practically flawless.
I had the opportunity to look over two Merlin MR 32s at the same time. While doing this it struck me how well MRC is able to build equipment that is perfectly identical time after time. It is not unusual to see other brands produce the same model twice with various differences in the end product. Not only were these chassis identical in front end alignment but it was obvious that even the smallest and least important items were produced identically to one another.
While the Chassis is important, you can not complete the package without the components. A look at the MRC components reveals an extreme devotion to appearance, quality, and performance.
The Merlin front hub is an impressive piece.Merlin components have several qualities that can be admired. First, one may notice the meticulous look and feel of the pieces themselves. They are all anodized in a high quality gold and show laser etching of the Merlin logo. Second, MRC's has found the ability to produce components that are able to out-perform the competition and yet are extremely simple. This simple design not only saves weight but aids in one's ability to work around the kart. In life it is said that the little things are what make life great. For this brand, they seem to have gotten this down pat. For example, the pipe mounting assembly is easily adaptable for both Rotax Max and ICA by simply removing a few bolts and changing the orientation of the mounting pieces. This is an unusual quality, typically I find myself fabricating pipe brackets and other small accessories that are standard on this chassis.On track
We arrived at Beaverun for the first test of the new Merlin Mr32. It was a Thursday practice and there were not very many karts participating. Track conditions were rather green. None the less, I was eager to see what the chassis could do. The MR32 was setup up in the ICA configuration. At first, we placed worn tires on the chassis and simply attempted to shake the kart down. Luckily, nothing fell off. The first thing that I noticed when lapping were the brakes.The Brakes
The pedal throw was short and firm, the large MRC caliper made it clear that locking the rear wheels was no issue. It was not long until I found a great deal of modulation in the pedal. One thing that was a surprise about these brakes is how effortless they are and yet the pedal throw is very short. The pad compound combined with the large four piston caliper produced what is obviously a very competitive braking system.Handeling Characterisitics
Another quality of the MR32 chassis that I found interesting was the karts ability to turn in. With medium sized front hubs and medium front width chassis turned with no hesitation. Later in the day the track conditions changed slightly and we had applied the use of some new tires.(Continued on page 2)