Home Forums General Karting Discussion Help me understand my engine choices

This topic contains 22 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by  TJ Koyen 4 years, 9 months ago.

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  • #38168

    Mike Prokup
    Participant

    Right now it seems it might be very easy to spend a lot of money on an engine that is close to being boat anchor material.  I am sure I have made a mistake here.

    (senior 125 classes and senior piston port)

    Leopard: wka and USpks but not the same specs for skusa? Also no fwt?

    x30: wka and skusa but not uspks or fwt

    rotax sr: not skusa, USpks,wka , yes fwt but now new engines available?

    rok sr: yes fwt, no wka, no USpks,  no skusa? But new version coming 2016?

    kt100: can USpks, pipe wka.

    kpv: gone forever?

    i would really like to know what engines can be raced in multiple series without major rebuilding/modification.

    thanks

  • #38171

    FREDDY SANDOVAL
    Participant

    Yamaha KT100 ;)

  • #38177

    Gary Lawson
    Participant

    None. And you arent alone. It’s not good for Jr or Sr when it comes to tag engines. Jr’s need a different engine for skusa, wka, and uspks. The fragmentation between different series couldn’t be worse. Everyone is pushing their own agenda$$$. Far too many options out their right now so no you cant just take your yamaha can and go anywhere and race like the old days. Vote with your wallet and pick one series that fits your liking. Knowing you personally, I would run uspks and some route 66 in can if I were you. It’s affordable and gives you more flexibility than tag. I just cant see investing in a leopard at the moment and with uspks not using the x30 I wouldn’t want to limit myself with that either. There is no perfect answer that’s for sure.

  • #38189

    Mike Prokup
    Participant

    Gary

    you know this is going to kill local kart tracks. I remember when tracks ran wka rules etc. now what will they do?

    looks to me like there will be these super multi series racers with multiple engines competing with the same guys for the next ten years or so….. Big deep pockets with similar rich kid feeders coming from national junior races. Clubs will get destroyed.

    Raced a couple kt races last year at Route 66. Not so much excitement as a few people told us all the good racers are running tag. Not sure I agree with them but it did Sorta took the wind out of it all. We won a trophy….got in some tussles and left pretty much ready to move on.

    Maybe a new rich man big tent sport with no room for family racers .

    Anyway….time moves on and all things do change.  Need to quit complaining and go race the car. My sons tell me to forget about it and focus on the stock car. Guess they are right.

     

  • #38203

    TJ Koyen
    Moderator

    I agree with Gary. I’m running Yamaha next year. TaG is a sh*tshow at the moment.

    Driver/Coach/Wrench : Innovative Performance/Exprit
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  • #38204

    Mike Prokup
    Participant

    Tj that is great.

  • #38214

    Kirt Burcroff
    Participant

    Exactly the issue my son and I are dealing with. He’s running senior this coming year. We don’t have the money to compete regularly in any one national series (because it’s gotten God awful expensive to compete with the pro teams)  but we love travelling to big races when we can afford it. The problem is that with every series doing something different you need about four different packages. And I really don’t want to go back to those Yamaha clutches. :/

    I’m wondering if SKUSA is dipping their toes into the crazy East Coast series wars with the announcement that they are coming back to Indiana.

     

  • #38231

    Dan Schlosser
    Participant

    Yamaha – Pipe is more fun and better suited for the senior weight but at the end of the day if the kart counts are there that’s all that matters. Switching back and forth requires a $40 pipe mount, $240 pipe package and a clutch adjustment. With that in your quiver you can race WKA, USPKS, Route 66, Badger, New Castle, Pitt Race and most of the other local tracks in between.

    If you are really hell bent on running some big events just pick the package that makes you happy and run those couple events in that series. In reality you really weren’t going to run all of WKA, USPKS, SKUSA, Winter Tour and Rotax anyway unless you had a quarter million dollar budget.

    Its karting. There are too many people with vested interests in IAME, Vortex and Rotax that control the direction of the sport. And there is just enough money on the line, but not enough for everyone to share, for there ever to be a way for them all to just get along.

    We finished the year with 15-20 Yamaha Pipes at Pitt Race and many more to come in 2015. People are finally using some common sense and going to the track to have fun and not break the bank. Karting should not be a huge financial burden to the point it causes stress. Go and have fun.

     

     

     

  • #38752

    Brock Weiss
    Participant

    I wished KPV was still going strong. I still think that is one of the best engines out there but it doesn’t make any money for the engine builders so they killed it.  Which is a shame.

  • #38756

    Tyler Curley
    Participant

    What makes TaG a lot more expensive than yamaha? Besides initial buy in costs (Serious question, im new to TaG)

    Im considering buying a lightly used TaG kart to go racing at local clubs, hoping to not break the bank besides intial buy in costs

  • #38759

    TJ Koyen
    Moderator

    They’re more high performing, thus, they need to be maintained more meticulously. More rebuilds and such. There’s also more moving parts so there’s a lot more breakables. Not to mention the class is known for rougher more aggressive driving, leading to a lot of busted up chassis components.

    This article might help enlighten you to the topic.

    http://kart360.com/features/back-to-basics

    Driver/Coach/Wrench : Innovative Performance/Exprit
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  • #38775

    Tyler Curley
    Participant

    Nice article

  • #38790

    Daniel White
    Participant

    I raced Rotax for  4 season, and Yamaha the past 2. Maintenance wise, it’s not straightforward.

    Engine
    Rotax: no problem whatsoever. Yamaha: two race days were lost as I trouble-shooted poor engine performance; eventually, I sent it to a guy with a dyno who figured out it was loose wire in the coil / magneto side of the motor ($90 repair).

    Starter
    Rotax: had to replace my starter once. Yamaha: all sorts of issues with a POS starter I bought used from a dealer. Bought a BRAND NEW mini-starter in September, and sometimes the thing won’t shut off!

    Carburetor
    Rotax: total BS; you need to spend megabucks to nail down weather conditions to achieve optimum performance; apparently, the new carb will solve the problem. Yamaha: generally worry-free, but you need to keep an eye on the screen, and the system needs to be rebuilt way more often

    Clutch
    Rotax: the old one was awful; the new one a breeze. Yamaha: my dry clutch is complicated and needs constant attention; have broken one, and twice the gear screws have worked themselves loose, which locked up the crank

    Rebuilds
    Rotax: I put 33 hours on mine and rebuilt the top end once ($300) and a complete rebuild once (about $900). Yamaha: bought used and crapped out after one race (bought it from the same guy who sold me the crappy starter); full rebuild was $700, raced less than 8 hours, then rebuilt again for another $650-700.

    Power valve
    Rotax: clean every now and then. Yamaha: no power valve

    Exhaust
    Rotax: somewhat of a pain to mount (needed to change to a 10-degree motor mount, and even with 4 springs it leaked and made a mess). Yamaha: no real problems, other than accidentally leaving a paper towel in it (which ruined two race days as I tried to figure out why my motor wouldn’t run).

     

     

    • #38800

      Jay Sinon
      Participant

      Daniel

      No offence but most of your Yamaha problems seem self induced. It sounds to me if you removed a rag and used a torque wrench and locktite most of your problems would have gone away.

      Here’s what it cost me to run a Yamaha:

      1 New Woltjer KT100  $1850.

      1 New Horstman HDC5B CLUTCH $320.

      Every 3 to 4 races take the clutch apart. check the bushing, gear, basket and clutch clearance $5. to $80 depending on needed repairs.

      Every couple of races rebuild carb $6.

      Every 10 Hours send the engine back to Woltjers for complete rebuild approx. $ 600. Yes they do were out fast which is why your used motor probably blew up so quickly.

      Overall still much cheaper then running Rotax.

      TaG Sr.

  • #38849

    Daniel White
    Participant

    Jay, the paper towel thing was certainly my fault, but I don’t see how the wire working loose from the silicon is anything I could have prevented.

    Moreover, I buy all my clutch drums with a gear already on it, loctited by Comet. The Horstman dry clutch I had before that failed when the gear sheared off from the drum.

    The brand news starter I purchased came with a faulty starter button that just gets stuck.

    The guy who owned the motor before me claimed it had 2 hours on it (he sold it to a local kart dealer who soon after sold it to me). I took their word for it–my mistake. But a decent, fair-minded dealer / reseller would have at least dropped in a new piston and ring. But I digress.

    • #38852

      Jay Sinon
      Participant

      Daniel,

      Sorry, I misunderstood what you said about the coil. I thought you meant the grounding bolt on the coil came loose causing a intermittent no spark.

      I have seen the problems your having with your clutch baskets/drums. I have bought aftermarket clutch baskets from comet and never had that problem but did notice that they seem to wear out faster then the original Horstman stuff so I went back to buying there stuff and there’s very little price difference between them. I will say though when I service my clutch I take those bolts out and re-locktite them back in place. If your having a lot of repeat failures one other thing you might want to try is buying  a one piece drum and gear assembly. That would eliminate that from ever happening again.

      I’ve seen people have the problem you’re talking about with the starter. I think it is inherit to that design. If you remember old fords they had the same problem and used that same style solenoid I remember taking the solenoids apart to sand down the copper disk that would weld itself to the contact point of course now I think there riveted and not screwed together.

      I have had the same thing happen to me with used engines. Only raced twice of course what they don’t tell you is they practiced six times for a total of eight hours or the chain broke and it went to 16000 RPM! Unfortunately I find it harder and harder to trust people anymore. (sad) Which is why I switched to buying new stuff its only more expensive if you don’t have a problem with the used stuff, but as you and I  have found out its just as expensive to buy someone else’s junk and then have to rebuild it as it is to buy new. Racing is just to hard on things.

      Good luck racing!

      TaG Sr.

  • #38884

    TJ Koyen
    Moderator

    Daniel,

    While I appreciate the analysis and write-up of your maintenance and costs of the two classes, I would just like to note that I’ve had almost none of the issues you’ve described with your Yamaha in around 6-7 years of racing the class. Running dry clutches I’ve had almost no failures, even when I ran Yamaha Pipe on a 3-disk dry clutch (something most people generally thought was a tad unreasonable when slipping to 10k). I’ve used like 3 starters in my 13 years of racing.

    It sounds like you had some bad luck with your Yamaha stuff.

    I’ll also note that in my more limited Rotax experience I have had almost no reliability issues either. But the engine is a PITA to adjust the carb on and it’s absolutely zero fun to drive.

    Driver/Coach/Wrench : Innovative Performance/Exprit
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  • #38932

    Curtis Cooksey
    Participant

    TJ and Daniel make the Rotax sound like a good choice. I need more horsepower than the KT100 and I think the Rotax are hard to drive and that makes them fun!

    • #38968

      TJ Koyen
      Moderator

      Oops, didn’t mean to make Rotax sound good! I’m not a fan. Obviously the program is successful so it has it’s merits, but I’m a purist. Scooter engines don’t belong on karts in my opinion.

      Karts should have a nice linear powerband, be light and flickable, and should scream at some obscene RPM.

      But then again I’m running Yamaha next year, go figure. Guess that says something about the current state of karting engine formulas…

      Driver/Coach/Wrench : Innovative Performance/Exprit
      Owner : Oktane Visual - www.oktanevisual.com
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  • #38970

    Daniel White
    Participant

    Jay, I will definitely be more proactive maintaining the clutch drum screws by replacing the screws and using fresh loctite.

    And a couple of guys at the club have encouraged me to replace the starter button with something more reliable.

    I was under the impression that I needed to remove my clutch after each day at the track, cleaning the floater and with brake cleaner and roughing them up with medium grit sandpaper. Are you saying this is unnecessary, that I only service the clutch every 3 races?

    TJ, I completely agree about the Rotax driveability. My kart was very hard to set up with the power band coming on the way it does, particularly on our 180 degree banked left-handed, which comes after a slow section, taken flat.

    If I go back to TAG, it will probably be an X30, though I am intrigued by the new Rotax Evo.

  • #38981

    Jay Sinon
    Participant

    Daniel

    I know there are a lot of people that say your supposed to take your clutch apart every race but I found that they really don’t need that much maintenance. The main wear idem I see is the clutch drum bushing there about $5 a piece and they seem to last about 4 or 5 races.(When it starts to go bad you get a lot of wobble between the clutch drum and the crank letting you know the bushings worn out) Every time my kart  comes off the track I spray the crank and clutch drum with WD40 that seems to keep the bushing lubed and freed up. When I spray it, it gets all over the clutch material but I have never had a problem with slipping or wear.

    As far as locktite goes I take almost the whole kart apart every 3 to 4 races to clean it real good and then re-locktite it with Blue locktite because a lot of things loosing over time Those karts and engines have a tremendous amount of vibration trying to rattle everything loose.

    You Know I also hear a lot of people say you should rebuild the carb before every race because a fresh diaphragm gasket (fuel pump gasket)makes more power but I go several races before changing the gaskets. I have rebuilt them in the past but never noticed a difference in our lap times so I let them go longer. That being said my kart doesn’t sit for long as we practice once a week and maybe it is the sitting with gas that hurts the diaphragm?

    Hope this helps!

    Jay

     

    TaG Sr.

  • #39043

    Tim Koyen
    Participant

    “…Karts should have a nice linear powerband, be light and flickable, and should scream at some obscene RPM…”

    Didn’t we just discuss Route 66 doing Komet at #330 for 2015?  I believe that meets your requirements.

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  • #39073

    TJ Koyen
    Moderator

    Sure does! When Komet Lite ran at 320#, that was my favorite class.

    Driver/Coach/Wrench : Innovative Performance/Exprit
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