206 only in US?

Dear all,

Before I came here I never heard of the 206, but it seems that it’s one of the most popular engines in the US. Is it a national thing or is the popularity spreading?

In Europe we have many durable 4-stroke engines like Honda GX390, B&S World Formula or RK1 (150cc). Is the 206 any similar? Or is it closer to a high performance engine like VT250? On http://www.briggsracing.com/racing-engines/206 I cannot find anything about durability, torque and bhp.

Edit: sorry, I found this which answers many of my questions: http://www.vroomkart.com/news/29086/is-the-briggs-206-race-engine-an-answer-to-increasing-the-participation-in-karting

I think the Briggs 206 (which is nothing but a sealed, slower Briggs Animal) is close in performance to a world formula, and it’s not that far from a GX390 either. Far from being a high performance engine.

It’s closest to a GX200 (200 vs 206, both OHV, low output). World Formula makes “about” 12-14HP vs the 206 at around 8.

World Formula is considerably more powerful than a 206. It is the same basic engine, with a bigger piston and different stroke I believe. It puts out 18 hp if built right.

At CO tracks, World Formula is ~4-5 seconds faster than a 206 if they were both on the same tire (no one really races WF, but on track days that is what we see).

The World Formula IMO is a great engine. The issue, however, is that it never really filled a need that couldn’t be met with another engine. The 206, on the other hand, couples the reliability of the Briggs engines with the ‘sealed’ nature of an engine that makes it low maintenance.

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Its starting to appear in Europe with CRG’s partnership with B&S.

http://www.kartcrg.com/en/com-news/preview-of-the-entry-level-project-by-crg-and-briggs-stratton

I always thought of Europe as looking down on 4 stroke, so it’ll be interesting to see if it can take off.

It’s rise here is also relatively recent. Only in the past few years has it really taken off as the engine of choice for club racers or low-budget regional racers.

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Thanks all. Didn’t realize that a popular engine like that was this low on power. Not that I mind, I like rental karting.

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They’re actually not that slow. That and the harder tires makes them plenty of fun.

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I think that’s going to make adoption in Europe a little harder. Where there is four cycle action in Europe, the GX series is already in place and people seem to be happy enough with them. In the US, folks were fed up with clones’ (At least on pavement) constant rule changes and engine disparity. It was out of those frustrations, along with the need for something simple and low maintenance that the demand for the 206 came up.

In the UK and Ireland, Briggs have a perception challenge they have to overcome following the (Mostly racer inflicted) crank failures that occurred with the World Formula.

I can say that in Ireland, a lot folk’s first exposure to the 206 package was paired with a brand new CRG chassis with a retail price to match. Needless to say, the reception was luke warm. The idea of spending as much as two or three used TaG type karts on something the speed of a rental kart was pretty alien to them. So the benefits of the 206 were lost at that point.

It’ll take some time for people to come around and understand the benefits. Some first adopters will have to be found to seed things. Others will see the benefits of it and it will gain some legs.

Overall, what I’ve always liked about the 206 (and in general Dave Klaus’) approach is that it’s a long term play, karting needs as many of these as we can get.

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My first post on here and it’s interesting to find out more about 4 stroke karting as there isn’t a lot here in the UK other than Cadets. I, or rather my daughter has got involved in National Schools Karting, NatSKA, where there is a beginners class using adult chassis with GX160 engines for those children who are new to karting but too big for Cadet karts. The World Formula engine is being used locally but at present numbers are quite low and it’s adult only. Cost is one of our main reasons for not going 2 stroke. Ideally a GX200 or similar engine would be better for us as my daughter is almost as tall as me. There is also a tuned class but there are plans to use a sealed GX390 in it’s place to keep the costs down.

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In the early noughties there used to be a good grid at the Honda Challenge/Super2. They had two grids of cadets (single engine), jnrs and snrs (double engine) config GX160’s (i think).

I suspect in the UK it would be difficult for B&S to break that hold. Plus the UK has TKM which allows the 2 stroke buzz for a low cost.

GThe double engined GX160 are prokarts and still quite popular in the UK I believe. But like you say it’s not really a junior class. And the single 160 (cadet) is too small for Steve’s child. I think a senior chassis with a large child will be too heavy for the GX160 with low torque. In my country (the Netherlands) the World Formula 150cc or the RK1 150cc is the usual step up from cadets.

We race the World Formula here in NH, 30+ karts every race! The engine is awesome. Much faster than a 206 and just as reliable, wish Briggs had sealed this engine like the 206 from the get go.

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Any chance that Briggs might start sealing the WF motor? It would take a year or two to homogenize, but do you think it would make the class bigger and better?

It doesn’t seem like it. They are pretty committed to focusing on the 206. We did a live show with David Klaus a few weeks ago and that exact question came up:

I doubt they would do that. It would cannibalize sales.
Although, there is nothing that would stop clubs from just creating a ‘Spec World Formula class’, and having tech rules for it, but that would take work from people to organize.

I like the idea of the sealed motors for keeping things simple. Perhaps there could a sealed WF class at a National level, but local clubs can do what they want. I’m starting out in the 206 class and level that is sealed from inspection stand point and knowing that we are on a more level playing field. If I wanted to go to a faster class, I would be looking at WF, but not looking for to lack of seals. But again, I’m new to karting and I’ll see what I learn over the next 1-2 years.

Our club up here in NH seals them and the class is huge and continues to grow!

My thought that a clear, single lineage from Briggs nationwide is the best way to go.
Let other regions bolt on other formats/classes as they deem fit.

But the 206 should be the core focus because it has demonstrated it has the broadest appeal.

Rick, I was just up at NHMS to get my kart teched. Can’t wait to join the growing 206 class.

Agreed that the 206 class should stay as stable as possible and not change rules to peoples whims. This a problem SCCA has with many of it classes and its not helping. So for both those reasons, I’m going kart racing after Crewing for 15 years in SCCA. Plus its cheaper and I do everything out of the trailer. It helps since dont have a garage. :grin:

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