Kite Buggy Speed Record

Details of the current kite buggy speed record, how and where it was achieved and how you can increase your own buggy speeds. <<< Back to Home Page

Current Kite Buggy Speed Record

Speed: 82.9 mph (133.4 kph)
Who: Arjen van der Tol
Where: NABX 2010
Gear: 2.7 Peter Lynn Vapor, Xxtreme Apexx Buggy
Where: Ivanpah Dry Lake, Primm NV

Check out this great video of Fast Arie's kite buggy speed record at NABX 2010

Increase Your Kite Buggy Speed

My own attempts at speed runs have come up with a measly 67.2 kph, quite slow in comparison. So how do you increase that buggy speed? Well I have heard of and tried a number of ways.

This page has been updated to include a few tips from Wayne Carkeek and Carlos Fandango aka Popeye The Welder, thanks to both.

Wide back axle and wide wheels

These will give you more grip to prevent the buggying losing traction and sliding sideways. The wider axle also gives the buggy better stability so gives you a better ride at those higher speeds.

Carlos also recommends a long buggy and having large disc wheels as well as buggying on as hard a surface as you can find e.g. hard sand or a dry lake bed.

Also grooved tyres provide more grip than 'slicks' to prevent those sideways slides at max power.

Larger kite

Obviously the bigger the kite generally the more power it will supply. Unfortunately there is a limit to the power at which point the buggy will start to slide sideways.

However smaller kites will move faster through the air, especially ones designed for racing, so a powered up smaller kite may still provide high buggy speeds.

Lowering the centre of gravity

A pretty straight forward tip this one. Adjust your buggy seat until you've got as low centre of gravity as possible. This helps with buggy stability. A lot of new race buggies are the 'goose-neck' style which helps with this too.

Carlos suggests a low seat position to reduce wind resistance too.

Adding weight to your buggy

This increases the traction of the buggy and consequently allows you to get more power from the kite before you start to feel that sideways slide. How you achieve adding weight is up to you, a couple of extra burgers before buggying may be? More commonly, weights are strapped/attached to the buggy. A common one for beach buggiers is to fill plastic bags with sands and tape these to the back axle.

This last tip may sound bizarre but it does help with traction, yet it will lower acceleration. So a bit like a grunty V8, may not be the quickest away from the lights but that top speed will be better than anyone else!

If you have any tips of your own that help increase speed, feel free to drop me a line and I'll add it to the list.

Here's a link to Carlos' site for a full list of kite buggy speed personal bests along with other kite buggy records.

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