Since I’m starting to see adoption of KA100 at the masters level nationally (though it doesn’t really have any entrants yet) I’m hoping that sooner rather than later it will trickle down to club racing levels. I enjoy Yamaha’s but welcome the new package too.
So my question is…while I know there’s not a TON to be gained from blueprinting a KA…I still feel like if you’re going to be racing one you need a builder to support your efforts. So if you were choosing a KA builder right now who would it be an why?
I’m completely biased (as I think most answers will be here), but Innovative Performance probably has one of better KA programs out there right now. Scott bought a few when they came out and we’ve been running 2-5 drivers under the tent at regional and national events every year since it came out, so there’s tons of data and experience there. The three Innovative KAs in Senior at the last USPKS race were in the top 5-10, l was 4th (I think?) in 2017 USPKS KA Senior points and 2nd in 2018 with 2 wins, and I’ll be the first to admit it wasn’t all my sublime driving skill that got us there.
That being said, I can’t remember where you are located Andy, but it’s worth considering someone who is somewhat local as well, or who can be at the track or at least available via phone to chat if something is up with the engine between sessions.
Also, like you said there isn’t a TON of difference between builders.
Your kart certainly had plenty of grunt at USPKS. I didn’t want to bother you but I was there watching on Saturday and it was entertaining to watch you run down the front pack. I honestly didn’t realize that Innovative did in-house engines so that’s great to know.
I’m in the midwest (ohio) so there are plenty of great builders around and Comet has been outstanding with my Yamaha’s but none of the builders around here seem to be talking about their KA program because our clubs are still very much committed to Yamaha here.
I think that’s a very valid point and a prudent way to go.
A thought that comes to mind if one is interested in working with a builder… Perhaps instead of going for a blueprint, perhaps a checkover (verify popoff for example) and dyno break in?
I’m in Texas, and I’ve seen a few strong ones running KAs built by Comet. I sent ours to P1 Engines, and were able to pull the Comets slightly. Jesus was great and stand up guy. I chose to send mine to P1 because the motors that he has been building have been finishing near the top. He has great service, and has provided some tips and hints for tuning, and said he would be available just about anytime I need help.
My last experience with a Komet was the HPV, and I found, with close examination, there was nothing to do to it when new. It was straight, it had the right cc for the class, the ports were in the right position, the compression was good for a brand-new engine, nothing wrong with it. The crankshaft had no run out. I put gas and oil in it and ran it. At the time, at the track I was racing at, there were no other K 71’s so I had nobody to compare it to. It ran fine, as far as I can tell, but who knows. When you have no competition it’s hard to tell if your engine is good or not.
Strange thing about that engine, there were engine builders charging their normal blueprinting fee, same as the Yamaha, to blueprint it. So be careful when choosing someone to rebuild it, when you’re ready. When I raced raced the K78, Terry Ives sold me the engine and I was always happy with it. Won Northern California Regional Championship with it. Also a 2nd at the IKF Nationals in 1977, actually won the 3rd heat.
If it’s any help I can confirm p1 as a good engine builder. I owned one last season which I was happy with. Multiple podiums.