Home Forums General Karting Discussion Spec Racing Is Here – What Engine(s) will you be racing in 2015?

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    • #38493
      Rob Howden

      After years of attempting to balance the performance characteristics of multiple engines in the Touch-and-Go (TaG) category, the sport’s leading series and organizations have moved to single-supplier spec programs. Over the past couple of weeks, both MaxSpeed and Superkarts! USA have made major engine announcements. Rotax will be introducing engine upgrades to present the new EVO. SKUSA has announced that they will move entirely to IAME for their TaG classes, from Cadet to Master. The Florida Winter Tour has re-cast its second weekend with Rok Cup classes, and it is expected that the USPKS will continue with its Yamaha-Leopard equation.

      So here’s the question to our EKN readership….What are you going to race in 2015 and why?

      Are you going national racing, or regional racing? Are you going to stick with the program you ran in 2014 or are you going to try something new? Let us know. The sport of karting is in a significant state of evolution right now, so how are you going to roll?

      Rob Howden - eKartingNews.com Publisher / Editor - @RobHowden

    • #38495
      Curtis Ruth

      Don’t forget about Briggs &Stratton lo206 and world formula classes in the spectrum.

    • #38497
      Tony Hager

      Briggs LO206 for myself and my son

    • #38499
      Benn Herr

      Briggs World Formula with Southwest Karters. The whole Challenge class is World Formula.

    • #38500
      Jim Stine

      What are you going to race in 2015? Yamaha

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

      Are you going national racing, or regional racing? Regional


    • #38505
      Kerry Matthews

      Going road racing, running with NCK and their ’99 only Stock Honda program.

    • #38510
      Clark Gaynor Sr.

      Road race with WKA and WKC, Stock Leopards for both my son and I.

      Local sprint racing with a ProGas Animal Sportsman for my 8 year old grandson, and a LO206 for my son.

      Clark Sr.

    • #38513

      Club racing and NJ Sprint Series.. Spec PRD SR class.  About eight to ten older guys and was affordable to get me back to kart racing.  Great class and guys respect each other most days.

    • #38514
      Stu Hayner

      KPV/HPV in 2015. I love the simplicity and the close competition.

      I’ve raced them all, but 25-35 100cc racers heading into turn one still makes me smile.

      F100karters has 11 races scheduled here in SoCal. If I have a little strength left in me, TAG Senior at LAKC.


    • #38515
      josh martin

      Our team is relatively new to the sport above a local level, but the decision has been made to move almost entirely to stock honda and more or less abanbon TaG and Yamaha. While the buy-in on the stock hondas is considerably higher, so is the reliabilty. Maintenance costs are lower (22 races this season on 2 pistons and the same clutch) and multiple sanctioning bodies seem to agree what comprises a “stock honda”. While we might have to change an airbox or silencer series to series, at least we can run the same powerplant. This decision should help end the disappointment associated with finding out that $20k worth of engines purchased one season are not only not legal for the following season but also essentially worthless on the used market. Shifters all around for 2015!

    • #38516
      Ambrose Buldo

      I really wish there was KPV/HPV/support at my local track.  The performance level, the cost effectiveness of running that simple and durable engine was hard to beat.

      I’ll be doing a few select Rotax Races in 2015 as that is the engine supported my my local track and thus the engine that has the most participants.  That said, I read TJ’s article and it is spot on.  I’d switch to a air-coolled 100cc program in a heart-beat if there was support/participate.

    • #38518
      Keith Bridgeman

      I will be running a Maxter KZ engine roadracing where open engine large classes still exist.

      Once this conversation is over lets add why the spec engine situation is so much more popular now.

      Its control!   a % of it is getting the engines equal but really its the orgs wanting to own their piece of the pie and controlling the engine and even tires.    Jump on the bankwagon of ROK,  IAME or Rotax spec series.   Each corner of the country is now positioned with their choice.    Is this your choice?  Who cares!     I guess this is the way it will be but there really isn’t any going back now.  Don’t like your engine package near you.   Quit karting and do something else, thats the message.

      Then again many like spec,   many would be good with a spec kart to I bet.  Just like indoor karting.

      I get having the Briggs L206 taking control of the 4 stroke market and I think that is good.   The clone thing was a joke.     After that it gets pretty messy.




    • #38519
      Greg Marlow

      Looking to race Regional, although the track selection isn’t that great.  What happen to Grange?  Calspeed?


      As for engine- Looking to Spec Honda.  although Im still not happy about not having everyone use the same cylinders.  As for them saying that people stopped complaining and arent having problems with the 01 cyl, its BS.

    • #38527
      Dennis Chappell

      Road Race Shifters with CES, WKA

    • #38528
      Dennis Chappell

      Road Race Shifters with CES, WKA.

    • #38529
      Daryle Redlin

      I lay the blame to changes like this on all of us, me included. We just want to go and race and we don’t want to put the time and effort in the organize and run the series. There is nothing wrong with it except that you are then basically along for the ride when it comes to changes in the series. In 2014 we raced in Rotax, Rok, and the entire Protour with Skusa. It was really expensive but it was my choice. I don’t like the fact that I cant use my perfectly good Rotax engines anymore without upgrading. The real problem with Rotax is the piece of crap tires, Hey Rotax why don’t you fix those. I’m also not happy that I just bought two new Leopards at the start of the year and now I have to buy two new x30’s. Both are Iame products so whats the problem with allowing both engines for ever. Lets be honest here, anyone running at that level is going to have a few engines anyway so if you really need a Leopard and an X3o who cares, as long as I can get some real value out of using them for 3 or 4 seasons. I really feel for the juniors in Skusa, they are in a real sticky position with buying product, especially if you plan on moving up in one year. You would basically have to buy engines twice over a two year period, how is that better for the sport? No everyone is going to be happy but what I see is more division in the sport than ever. Engines that are run in the east are not run in the west and vise versa. Its just crazy. What we need is for the sanctioning bodies themselves to sit down and layout out a 5 year plan on what engines will be allowed and for how long, now I know anyone reading this just laughed out loud but in my opinion that is what is needed to stop this fracturing of the sport. If you knew that you could by an engine and race it all over North America for 5 years without the damn thing changing I think it would make a big difference to the plans a lot of racers make. There are a lot of problems with the way karting is currently structured at some point we all need to stop the madness. There are a lot of passionate people in this sport surely between us all we can come to some sort of structure that works for the sanctioning bodies, the dealers, the engine builders, the chassis manufactures and most importantly the racers. We need some open, and frank discussions.

    • #38531
      Eric Stevens

      My Son will race in TAG Cadet with the new IAME Mini Swift in Skusa PKC, and with possible full Protour time and budget permitting, LAKC with same TAG Cadet. Also KPV1 at Socal-Sprinters.

    • #38535
      Mike Myers

      Daryle pretty much summed it up. You are now forced to buy a new engine every couple of years, and sport is getting very fractionalised  with single engine classes, what I run in Florida I can not run in California.  I have a Rotax this is now worth $0.00 If you own a Leopard it is worth $0.00 after this year but at least you had a couple of years notice.  Thousands of motors are will or will be obsolete very soon. I do not think this is good for the sport. Will be running Rok and USPKS unless my driver goes to Europe to run KZ, which you can run any number of motors.

    • #38536
      Daniel White

      If you have been racing IAME TAG engines and plan to continue, you need to shell out $3200 for the X30, then try to find someone who will purchase your out-of-fashion Leopard.

      OTOH, Rotax is offering to fix issues with its current engine, issues that have plagued this motor for years (I hated the low end power characteristics and the hit-or-miss jetting), and issues that made the motor less preferred at certain tracks. Moreover, they are offering current owners a deal to upgrade the engine for around $500. Now they will be on more equal footing with other motors at all tracks (if they are permitted to race together), and won’t have to get rid of their expensive motors with fire sale prices.

      Seems to me Rotax took a more economical approach this time.


    • #38544
      Charles Wagner

      How about this one.  Skusa stops running minirok engines which makes them worth 0 since no one else runs them in california.  Then you move up to junior and have to buy a leapord motor that will be worth 0 in a year.  Then have to by an x30 the next year.   Maybe it’s time to rethink this.

    • #38547
      Brian Mead

      lo206 in Nashville.  Southeastern Karting Alliance has put together a class with kartwarehouse  that’s as cheap as you can get, fields of 16-22, just a lot of fun.  The races are at the speedway, easy to find, pavement everywhere to pit on, Brick  restrooms and concession stand,running water, simply all aces for an old geezer to go a run and have a great time. You do have to bring your own shade, and  yes, that is very important in the South.  Your in Southern Nashville, literally minutes (like 10 max) from I-65.  I love that little motor. Slower for sure, but just an anvil and you can start the thing from the seat.  Too cool.  Get one , come on over and dive in.



    • #38563
      Bob Vehring

      Were in a situation now, where each engine Manufacturer has carved out an area and put together its own series. They fight desperately for their series.
      Like any well run business they understand supply and demand of their product. This means they come up with a new engine plan, we all have to buy in to it if we want to race. Problem is after a season or two, most of the available market HAS bought into it, so in order to maintain sales at the level they need, its time for a new engine package again. This isn’t going to change if we continue in this same direction.
      What is now referred to as kartings glory years as far as participation had a major differance, our world was controlled in the east by WKA and the west by IKF. Not that there weren’t some problems with that plan, but both were member owned/run groups that controlled where and what we do, NOT private enterprizes.

      We have been involved for a decade also in the snowmobile racing world, they have yet a different plan to make sure things there, do not spin out of control.
      This is run somewhat differently. It is controlled by a group called ISR. ISR does not make the rules, they host meetings yearly for each group (ovals, snow X, drags, cross country etc of racing. Each meeting is made up of reps from the various race venues, manufacturers, parts suppliers and race promoters.Each group has two people at the meeting and one vote.
      Ideas or issues are submitted throughout the year, a agenda is sent out by ISR and once each spring the meeting is held.
      To pass, any issue must get a majority of the votes in the room. With every group well represented it is very hard for any one group or any one area to get anything passed that is biased. For the most part it keeps every race, every class fair and equal, many classes rules are written into the rule book then froze for a period of 5 years to keep them stable for the racers.

      THis concept works here because ISR has done a good job of running the sport. All big races are ISR snanchoined, ISR works out a very good ins. program for their racers, they have a big influence in things like major sponsors and TV coverage which is big in this sport.They help make the sport big and its big across two countries because its stabil and its structure is well controlled.
      Basicly all serious races are ISR because of what ISR does to make good races.

      The kart world seems unfortunately to be heading exactly in the opposite direction, and were letting it happen

    • #38573

      To answer Rob’s question directly, we are running KT100 with USPKS for 2015.

      But, I must add my two cents:  Even the KT100 decision is more complicated than it used to be just a year or two ago, at least in the mid-west.  You now have to basically choose between pipe and can, whereas before you could run your can motor legally throughout the mid-west.  Even at the local club level:  OVKA runs pipe in conformance with WKA, while KRA will run can, in conformance with USPKS, reducing our options for club racing.

      Something this simple probably has both KRA and OVKA missing a few entries that would have run one-off’s between them, and puts some previously non-existent limits on where we can race with the Yamaha now.  (unless, of course you want to have more Yamaha engines in your garage…)

      So even the simplest decision to run the simplest of engines takes more thought now. . .


    • #38574
      Jeff Wesell

      Road Racing with WKA NRRS and select regional road race series – Stock Leopard.

      Streeter Super Stands
      "Roll with The Best!"

    • #38577
      Jim Derrig

      Running the new Italian Motors X125 TaG motor in the Pacific NW (SIMA race track and IKF Region 6 Gold Cup).  The latent engineer in me fell in love with the motor even though it is not yet accepted on a national level.

      Regarding the TaG fragmentation, I don’t think we can analogize to snowmobiles (or motocross) because those sports have far better spectator and TV appeal.  Because of their scale and relatively low top speed, karts do not make for good TV or spectator attendance.  Therefore, the only only money in karting is from selling product and from entry fees, which is a pretty small kitty. We’re seeing a relatively natural evolution in which competitors are attempting to maximize their slice of the pie in a sport in which there is no common, shareable revenue like TV dollars.

    • #38578
      Roberto Perez

      TAg MAsters Championship Series

      IAME X30

    • #38586
      Wade Wishneski

      Select races in the NJSS & F1 Gear Up Series on the east coast, some club racing as well

      this will be me & my sons first year racing karts in 2015 –  Leopard both of us

    • #38596
      Bob Vehring

      I think Jeff Wesell just might remember this, and he and my kids are perfect examples why having simple and nation wide classes helps us all.

      Yes there are differances in sleds and karts, probably not as much as you think but, we just can say karting doesn’t have the ability to get a prime TV deal. We actually had it for several years on ESPN2, a series called Sat Night lightning. It air every say night at 6:30 pm so pretty prime time. It was billed as live, but in reality most often two races were filmed each time we went down to Indy, which was every two weeks. One race played live, the other was filmed live and broadcast the next weekend.
      Structure was very simple, two classes KT100 and Briggs FH. that was it and people came from everywhere.
      I really can’t think of anything that brought the sport that kind of publicity then or now, everyone saw it and it lasted I think 3 years.

      The reason this show just popped up was very simple The old Diamond P productions sent their crew to Indy every other week to do a show called Thur. Night Thunder which was cars at IRP, as long as the crew was there it was very simple to do a second series and the perfect place for it was right down the road. There it was and it worked very well and again, the best PR we ever had

    • #38597
      Christian Fox

      We will be sticking with Rotax for 2015. My son will be in micro for one more year, and this past season we had a very good, competitive group of kids. We were getting between 10 and 15 kids for club races at OVRP, and the same for the Northeast Rotax regional series. Between 12 club races, 12 regionals, nationals, and 1 or 2 FWT races, we will have all the racing our schedule can handle next year. I’ve been getting poked and prodded to buy a Mini Rok, but honestly I don’t have the time or interest to deal with another package. As long as the EVO stuff doesn’t scare people off (it shouldn’t), I don’t see any reason why we shouldn’t have a good crop of micros for 2015.

    • #38614
      Steven Kilsdonk

      Lo206, the best thing to happen to 4 cycles in a decade. Doing a potluck brew of tracks, maybe Rt66, MASS, or 206 Cup depending on who nails the tire and weight rules. FL to NC to TN and WI.

    • #38615
      Lawrence Doty


      KT100 was the largest class we had last year so that’s what I’m racing this year.

      Clone, Animal and PRD Fireball are waiting in the wings…

    • #38648
      Mike Gerould

      Bought my X30 last year with all intentions of racing in the TaG Masters class for the SKUSA Texas PKC. Thanks to rule revisions on the weight, I’ll actually be running in the Seniors class.  Now I just need them to announce the dates and locations so I can plan things out.   I’ve already signed up for the Lonestar Grandprix.  Rotax is dominant locally, but we run together in a mixed brackets resulting in pretty decent field sizes and some pretty good racing at both the tracks.


    • #38659
      Larry Hayashigawa

      I’m staying w/ Rotax in the Masters class. Hopefully, they stick to their past history and the new changes improve ease-of-use, consistency and reliability but leave performance the same. Nonetheless, I think the upgrades will be consistently faster than w/o but the old setup could be setup just as fast but just harder to do.

      On the other hand, the cost of the upgrades seems reasonable, so why fight it? It’s less than 2 sets of tires.

    • #38669
      Kirt Burcroff

      X30 – Regional and very limited national schedule.


      My son and I got caught squarely in the TaG  dilemma. Having just moved to TaG in 2014 it only made sense to buy X30s. That decision has helped us fit really well in WKA national and regional races, but excluded us from the hot series’ of the day.

      Diminishing kart counts have us wishing we could follow the big fields but I refuse to buy the predecessor to the engines I own.

      So we’ll keep throwing our money at WKA and hope the crowds come back and join us.


    • #38691
      Jay Sinon

      WHAT: My daughter will be running Yamaha Sr. this year.

      WERE:  We will be running regionally at the GoPro Motorplex (Mooresville NC) running there GoPro karting challenge and when USPKS comes to that track we will take off the WKA Sr. pipe and run the can instead as per there rules. It would be nice if you could run either a can or the pipe and just find a way to weight the pipe accordingly .

      WHY: Just as TJ (Back to basics-Kart360.com)and others have said  Price! I want to have fun and make memory’s with my daughter and not go broke in the process!!

      TaG Sr.

    • #38698
      Daniel Justice

      KT100 again for 2015, then we’ll (hopefully) jump ship to Stock Honda. The way I see it, the costs of TAG would eventually equal out to that of Stock Honda so why not go a little faster?

    • #38750
      Brock Weiss

      We will be running the KPV komet engine at our local track since it is one of the few tracks that still run this engine.  I can’t for the life of me figure out why people are killing this motor.   Oh yeah I know why.  GREED.   SAD BUT TRUE.  you can’t tell me Yamaha KT 100 is a better motor than KPV.  So why is that engine running everywhere and the KPV is dead?

      I think that is one reason why karting is in such a decline and why our sport is so messed up.  The KPV and Yamaha engines are the cheapest and in my opinion the most fun to race.  But the engine builders want their money so they killed the KPV because it is such a reliable and maintenance free engine so they want something that you have to spend money on.  I love karting but this side of karting is sad.

    • #38791
      Derek Lodato

      Been following karting a REALLY long time.. There has always been a debate about something. I remember the fight between Stock Moto and ICC back in the 90’s.  Then more recently it was Stock Moto vs KZ. The argument was always over how expensive KZ is compared to Stock Moto. Now years later we have the dilemma of SKUSA reassuring us that stock moto will be around for a long while.

      I am off topic a bit here because the main argument in this article was I believe the TAG packages.. .etc but the point I am trying to make is lets look at Europe. I have never seen an issue overseas with engine wars. It has always been pretty well organized.

      Here we fight .. greed takes hold and the racers suffer. Who really wants to remain in the sport if they have worry about their engine package purchase not being supported after only a year?

      I just can’t understand why it’s so difficult to increase the longevity in owning certain engine packages by creating a rule that allows that specific engine to run in a class for ‘X’ number of years. This way the owner/racer has a timeline on when to upgrade or whether to wait for the next flavor or choose a completely different class altogether.

      Let’s face it .. karting is expensive..  but switching engine rules so often only increases the cost and takes potential racers out of the game before they can even roll their karts to the grid. Not Cool. Bottom line is we do this for fun .. albeit it’s serious fun. But when it gets stupid it becomes work .. and work isn’t much fun.



    • #38792
      Mike Prokup


      if you take that wka pipe off and stick on that USpks can…..don’t expect your ole Yamaha to perform like it did with the pipe… Or the other way around….

    • #38797
      Jay Sinon


      Your absolutely right we are moving from Yamaha Jr. and its can to Yamaha Sr. and the pipe. We have been practicing with the pipe for a while now and she loves it much better mid-range and a little more top end not to mention the can sounds obnoxious and sprays oil all over everything. So yes I know the pipe is worth almost 2 seconds on our track but do you think it makes a difference to how the motor is made? I have 2 Woltjers engines and Daniel asked what we ran so at that time we used a can and that’s what he built them to do.What can really change?  They’re the same specs right? Would he have made changes if I said a pipe?( I GUESS HE WOULD SINCE HE ASKED) Maybe I should call him to find out. 1 of them needs to be sent back to him  for a rebuild so I guess I will find out  if it is faster then it was when it was built for a can.

      TaG Sr.

    • #38798
      Mike Prokup

      The builds are different. Daniel is one smart guy. Let him know. Sorry for the bad news.

      • #38804
        Mike Giles


        Pound for pound most bang for your buck and unlike many who have posted in other threads I’m cool with the upgrade. Why so many are down on a the only OEM to offer a relative economical upgrade to an already proven formula boggles the mind.

        ROTAX = the class of common sense.


    • #38840
      Mike Prokup


      Kt100 supercan.

    • #39125
      mike wu

      I’m racing my PRD in TAG at the club level because that’s what I have.  It would be nice if I could try a regional or national race with my equipment, but it doesn’t seem worth it to buy one of the 3k+ engines that will allow me to race in series x but not y or z next year, and who knows what will happen after that.  So I’ll keep doing what I’m doing for now.

    • #39284
      Charles Kaneb

      What: 2007 Margay Brava, Maxter MX-L ICA, Chrysler Cirrus airbox, old Kawasaki snowmobile radiator, some interesting home-fabricated parts.

      Where: East Lansing Kart Track, Point Pelee Kart Centre (if I can come up with a good way to get past Customs and Border Protection – they are convinced I am coming over to set up as a carpenter or mechanic whenever I bring over tools), local autocrosses.

      Why: Spec racing can go and jump in a lake – it gets rid of all of the fun of the winters in the garage. My engine package cost less than $1,000 and is faster than the TaGs when it’s not saddled with 180+ lbs of Detroit muscle behind the wheel. It cost $330 for Stoney Creek to rebuild it this winter after ten hours of use this year. If East Lansing will let me do it, I’m going to run Ayrton-style (with no plastics) at least once. Kevin Haun at East Lansing has made karting affordable for Michiganders by accident – the curbs are so ferocious and the track so grippy and tight that there’s no sense having an expensive chassis or engine.

    • #39329
      Ray Mcik

      I agree with you Tim, and it put us in a position to make a decision, at the time, many of our local  racers who go to WKA wanted us to follow suit with the y-pipe, we gave it a year before making the change.  I had thought that other local tracks would follow suit . Turns out that is not the case.  So now we have to deal another fragmentation of engines…

      Now I will say this about the y-pipe, it woke up the KT-100 just where it needed it, the lower end especially on our tight track. It also leveled the playing field in Senior SuperCan/Y-pipe  and Mastercan/Y-pipe .  The karts were much closer together in lap times a couple tenths instead of of 7 or 8 tenths  , even if someone was a bit over weight..     made it more competitive which is what karting is suppose to be about…

      As to the orginal question , we are basically running the same class structure as last year, keep in mind we do have a rule that if the bring 4 or more karts , we will find a place for you , it just needs to meet WKA rules IE safety etc etc….

      We do have a heavy weight class that allows the big boy to run, I am talking 500 lbs kart class running 420 clones ….15 hp will move you quit quickly down the track…

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