Thanks for your responses, Martin, Eric and Freddy.
Martin – I will definitely look into those engines you’ve recommended – I’ve been seeing a lot of info on the CR125 engines – strange to see that they’re made in ’97 – ’01 rather than in the last decade (or it’s all people talk about). I’ll be reading and reading. I appreciate your thorough reply.
Eric – Great links man. I’ve been meaning to visit my local shop but seemingly everyone is at the Super Nationals race in Las Vegas. I figure I do as much studying and research on my own until they come back.
Freddy – What would be the reason for removing the front brakes if I were to ditch the shifter? Couldn’t I just run both front and rear brakes and possibly adjust so the fronts don’t bite as hard?
The reason I got the kart, beside being a killer deal, was to learn more about engines and driving fundamentals as well as selling my street/track car.
I’m no expert when it comes to engines, but not mechanically illiterate. I love to tinker and motorsports – Karting seemed like the way to go since it seemed a lot more affordable than street cars. Now I’m learning I just opened up a money pit seeing that people rebuild their motors WAY more frequently than I ever expected…
Here is my S2000 I occasionally run at the track:
Maybe going with what you recommended is the best way to go. I don’t want to give up the shifter, but I’m not settling yet. Are there any brand new cheap engines sub $500-700 I can just swap or keep a couple for spare parts?
Helpful links I’ve found for other noobs doing the same research: