2stroke or 4stroke Cadet

My son is turning 8 this December and we will be moving up from Kid Kart to one of the Cadet classes. I am trying to decide if I should get him a LO206 or IAME 2stroke. Both classes have 6 or 7 kids running in our area. I am open to any thoughts.

A few things to consider. Cost, Maintenance, Driving Ability, Tuning.

Cost - Swift will be more both in startup cost and maintenance cost
Maintenance - Swift would require occasional rebuilds, Carb rebuilds
Tuning - Swift would require more tuning than an LO, as Swift settings may need to be adjusted throughout the day
Driver Ability - If your son is already driving good lines and has a good idea of the track, a Swift will be fine. The LO can help to teach better lines and how to carry corner speed if he’s having troubles with that.

I know more people that initially moved their kids into LO their first year out of kid karts, a few did both, and some started in LO initially and then moved to Swift near the end of the year.

We have a 206 and couldn’t be happier. Cheap to run and very reliable. Just what you need when your starting out. Spend the extra money on more seat time…

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I recently went through the same decision. Best advice I can give is to look at the field sizes and support for both classes at the track and club you intend to run. If there are 20 kids in the class that’s great, but also a bit dangerous at times. Conversely if there are only 3 it can be boring for them.

Swift will also be noticeably more money for initial buy-in and continued maintenance over a 206 as noted

Talent and money brings two stroke. if you can afford it and the talent is there i personally only believe in the 2 cycle class. Four cycle class sure requires talent but IMO the class is more “flat lined”. It also depends on the region. IMO i never been a four cycle fan nor have i ever tried it.

No disrespect intended but 4-cycle is better than No-cycle.

2 cycle is expensive.

I would leave more towards the 4 stroke side of things. I way more cost effective and a national class that you can go travel anywhere and race. It will him teach how to be smoother through corners and keeping momentum. The 206 classes tend to have closer racing so he can get used to more wheel to wheel racing too. Then once he moves up to junior you can always make the switch.

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That’s a great 2ay to put it Dom. The smell of a 2 stroke running gets my blood pumping. But… We can’t afford to be competitive in a 2 class right now and are so glad to have a class like the 206 where limited budgets are not a deal breaker at club level racing. Maybe as my sons skill level develops and life and finances change we can move into 2 stroke but for now are life is 4 stroke.

Like Chris said above, I would let the field size of where you plan to race dictate what you get. If you want to have fun, improve your driver, and reach some real milestones then find the best and fastest kids you can race with and go race them. You will likely get smoked at first, but you have a great ladder to keep climbing as you move further forward in the field.

As for 2 cycle vs 4 cycle, both can be cheap or expensive. Depends on what you want to spend on it. I see guys with Swifts with 20 hours still doing fine, and guys with newly freshened 206’s for every race. It will take a while for your kid to get everything out of the kart, so I don’t think the engine matters all that much. What matters is the competition.

I fully adopted the low budget approach to the 206. I am still using the first one we bought in 2016. It gets the oil changed maybe once a year. The clutch gets some triflow about once in a blue moon, maybe after a rain race. It just won the 2019 WKA National Championship for 206 against some incredibly fast kids. It has been back to Comet once for a head adjustment, and several times to get re-assembled after complete tear downs in tech. The engine has cost me basically nothing in the grand scheme of things. So 206 is very cheap. Swift costs more for fuel, and you may need a clutch once a year, but otherwise it can be run as cheaply too. If you find your kid is fighting for top three at every event with a big field then you might start doing rebuilds every 6-8 hours which will be about $800 each time. If you start going to the big stuff like Supernats then get out your wallet, it can cost more than most people’s mortgages.