Hands on with the Crazy Cart XL drifting go-cart

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The Crazy Cart XL is a go-cart designed for drifting (Photo: Gizmag/Stu Robarts)

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Not so long ago we featured the newly-announced Crazy Cart XL, an adult-sized version of the original drifting Crazy Cart. It looked like great fun. Well, it turns out that it's even more fun than it looks. It's also a little trickier to get the hang of than it looks, which I found out the hard way.

As we detailed back in October, the Crazy Cart XL is powered by a 500 W motor and has a top speed of 17 mph (27 km/h). A pressure-sensitive foot pedal lets users vary their speed, and the 360-degree steering wheel allows for all sorts of tight and twisty maneuverability.

The real fun begins with the drift bar. With the drift bar in its default down position, the rear casters are positioned at an angle, meaning they closely follow the direction of the front wheel and the Crazy Cart XL acts like a normal go-cart. Pull the drift bar up, however, and the cart is pulled up on top of the casters at a 90-degree angle, meaning it's just as happy to go sideways as it is forwards.

Having watched videos of Crazy Cart inventor Ali Kermani drifting with effortless precision around parks and warehouses, I was pretty confident when stepping into the Crazy Cart XL that I'd have no problem learning to control it. Unfortunately my realization that this wouldn't be the case came in front of a large group of onlookers at the London Toy Fair.

At 44 inches (112 cm) long and 30 in (76 cm) wide, the cart provided enough space to fit my 6 ft 1-in (1.85 m) frame without feeling cramped. Although the user's knees are bent when in the cart, the seating position is comfortable enough and avoids you having to stretch for any of the controls.

The cart certainly felt nippy, although the relatively confined space in which I was using it meant there wasn't a chance to really open it up. The steering, meanwhile, felt a touch heavier than I expected, but not to the extent of making the cart feel unwieldy.

And so to the drifting. The moment I lifted the drift bar, any amount of turning sent me sliding away to one side or the other. I knew that I could use the drift bar and steering to temper my drifting and sculpt intricate patterns with the cart, but I was damned if I could actually do it. Much of my time was spent wondering why I was going in a certain direction when I'd intended to go another, and trying to pull the cart back into shape.

Ultimately my struggle to tame the cart led to disaster. During one of my attempts to swing its back out and swoop a graceful curve past the Razor stand, it occurred to me that I'd gathered plenty of speed but not a great deal of turning motion. This sent me careering sideways into a roller shutter. Not only was the shutter slightly dented, but so too was my pride. Conversely, those in the crowd that had gathered to watch my ill-fated performance seemed to find the whole debacle highly entertaining.

Don't let any of this give you the impression that the Crazy Cart isn't great fun or cannot be controlled. On the contrary, I had an absolute whale of a time in it and I've no doubt that with a little more time I'd have picked up the knack. I reckon 45-60 minutes would be long enough to grasp the basics and develop some semblance of control. Suffice to say that for the US$799 asking price, you'll have a permanent grin plastered across your face.

Razor also showed off its newly announced RX200 Electric Scooter in London. The RX200 is designed for use on rough terrain, with off-road tires, disk brakes and a gear ratio that is set up for "high-torque trail riding." It has a top speed of 12 mph (19 km/h) and can be used continuously for up to 40 minutes. The RX200 is expected to cost $279.99 and to be available from June this year.

The video below shows Kermani demonstrating how it's really done in the Crazy Cart XL.

Product page: Razor

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