January 18, 2018 at 11:50 am #90273
Looking to get back into karting and I want to do it somewhat on the cheap since, well, I have many other hobbies. It’s looking like with x30, used Leopards have lowered in price.
In an effort to make the best possible decision I’ve tried to inform myself on the older Leopards, the differences between MY09 and older motors, etc. It’s all been a little confusing, I’ve seen people mention changes to 3rd bearing support, ignition, even cylinder? Not sure.
So can someone give me a rundown about the evolution of the Leopards, did it all happen from 08 to 09, and maybe thoughts on what to get/not to get? This information is surprisingly hard to find, and yes I’ve used the search. The engine is so popular though that it’s hard to get the right info.
Much appreciated, thanks!
January 20, 2018 at 7:43 pm #90347
I just got back into karting after an 8 year lay off and here is what I found. If you are planning to race, there are not too many places that have Leopard only classes. The F Series in the northeast is one place and it is kinda like a Masters class with some younger drivers mixed in — all at 380lbs. Typically with high 20s / low 30s kart count.
Only race a 09MY Leopard in a mixed TAG class if you get a 10lbs weight break to an X30. Forget anything pre-09MY Leopard. All 09MY Leopards are the same You can buy a complete 09MY Leopard for $700-$1200 depending on condition
X30 are nice and very popular. You can get a used one for $1000 or so more than a Leopard — figure $1800 to $2300 for a decent responsibly fresh X30. Note all the prices I have listed are on the low side of the advertised prices what you in the Classified section of this site, but if you negotiate a little that is the real prices. I would not pay more than $800 for a topnotch Leopard and not more than $2000 for a top fresh, tuned X30
If you are not going to race, buy a Leopard. If you are going to race and there is not a good Leopard only class, buy an X30
January 20, 2018 at 8:30 pm #90348
Hey thanks for the reply and the explanation.
I’m actually not looking to race, at least not this first year, although it’s possible I’ll enter an event or 2. Either way I work a lot of weekends so it’s not likely that I’ll be interested in being ultra competitive since I’ll miss a lot of races. I’ll be in Indianapolis, so New Castle has KRA and x30s and Leopards are same weight.
Honestly I found a great deal on a MY07 Woltjer leopard fresh with tons of spares and that’s the reason I’m wondering about the differences. If they’re slower and people aren’t racing them a lot, making parts/used parts cheaper, I could be on board with that. But not if they’re much more unrealiable or something. That’s where my lack of knowledge comes in. Could you elaborate on the differences, in terms of power and reliability? I was under the impression the old leopards could still keep up and even be faster than Rotax, am I wrong?
January 22, 2018 at 7:36 am #90392
If you are not racing and the 07 Woltjer is fresh and an excellent price, then buy it. It will only be possibly a tick slower than a 09MY Leopard.
January 23, 2018 at 6:58 am #90446
While that 07 Leopard might seem like a great deal, just understand that it’s a glorified paper weight with almost no value. You’ll be better off in the long run with an X30. Even a LO206 is a smarter choice right now than a $500 Leopard.
January 23, 2018 at 7:25 am #90447
The pre-MY09 Leopards are essentially identical as the MY09 Leopards in terms of power and performance. However, the MY09 is a pretty good upgrade in terms of reliability with the added 3rd bearing support and the slightly beefed up bottom end.
I remember during the transition years from pre-MY09 to MY09, we found the MY09 liked to rev about 200-400 RPM less or so in most cases.
I think you’ll have a better and easier time if you can find an MY09 engine, however, you may never have an issue with an older one either if you take care of it and aren’t screaming the RPMs.
Compared to a Rotax, the Leopard of any model year will beat the Rotax on tracks with tight corners and long straights, but on a more flowing track, the Rotax might have the edge, as it makes all it’s power in the mid-range. At New Castle, a few people (Di Leo and Rios) were able to make the Rotax work against the Leopards at a national level, but it wasn’t easy.
January 23, 2018 at 7:51 am #90450
Thanks for the info. The goal is to keep rpms below 16000.
I went ahead and purchased the Woltjer with spares. Should be a fun time.
Honestly I was between this and kt100, and even if I kept rpms super low it would still be quite a bit faster.
How long does a clutch friction hub last on these? I’ve seen people claim a whole season.
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