The fun of owning a gasoline-powered go-kart usually comes from whizzing about your neighborhood, pulling stupidly tight turns and making a lot of noise. But the PlyFly adds something else into the mix. It is made purely of wood, and it comes flat packed, just like the Ikea bookcase in your house. While that might sound like some people’s idea of engineering hell, for those of us with a childlike love of building things, it represents a whole new dimension of fun.
On paper, birch plywood doesn’t sound like the most robust of materials with which to construct a vehicle, however low-slung it might be. But there is method in the apparent madness — using plywood means that the parts can be machine cut using a CNC router, thereby keeping costs low. Once cut, the parts are then shipped to your door, and assembly is meant to take only a few hours and some everyday tools.
The choice of material doesn’t seem to have compromised the driving experience, either. The go-kart comes in 2.5 and 4 horsepower models, which provide a thrilling 17 mph and 25 mph respectively, and you slow yourself down with a disc brake. Steering is provided by a solid rack and pinion system, the seat is adjustable, and the tires are foam-filled to avoid punctures and to provide a smoother ride. There is even a smartphone mount for capturing your best powerslides.
With the project fully funded, backers can secure themselves the base model for a pledge of $745, with the sportier version available for $100 more. Delivery for the kits is scheduled for May and June, and with a bit more funding, the stretch goal of some cool vinyl decals for kart customization should be reached.
For more on the PlyFly, or to back the project, visit the Kickstarter page.