Best Class/Engine package in your opinion?

So what is the best engine package/class in your opinion in overall fun and ownership experience. In my opinion the HPV/KPV was the best package due to price, speed, reliability and functionality. They were more or less equal out of the box. They were fast, reliable, had 4 different pipes for different speeds. No unnecessary electronics like a starter or radiator adding extra weight. It was a great idea and a shame it died imo. Currently i think the ka/vlr is the next best bet, lo206 is nice too but a bit too slow to get the “real” karting speeds and the sound and feel of a 2 stroke revving up is completely different.

What do you guys think?

I think it’s hard to answer this question because $.

I am a huge advocate of 4-stroke and love it immensely. That being said, the best engine is the fastest one I can afford.

For me, all the engine I’ll ever need is 125cc tag. Specifically an x30 howling away at 16100 rpm at EOS. Much as I love 4-stroke, it pales in comparison.

Who doesn’t want that feeling of power?

Theres no right or wrong answers, just want to see what everyone thinks. I like tag too but the engine disparity, extra weight, constant need for maintenance puts me off. Plus the fields arent as packed together closely like the 100cc classes used to be or currently are (vlr/ka)

That’s almost a different question. I’d run lo206 in a heartbeat because it’s affordable. But there’s no field.

Engine package is so dependent upon location, it’s all one big compromise.

But if none of that mattered:

  1. Rental karts here and there as the mood takes me.
  2. I’d have one of each:
    KZ or iame 175
    X30 x2 and Rotax x1

2 chassis. Compkart.

Its just a hypothetical question if you could pick one class/engine which would it be. Lo206 is nice too just wish it was faster and had that 2 stroke sizzle :slight_smile:

Ok 2 x30s and as many tires as I want
I want fresh engines constantly since we are idealizing things

I’d compromise and run the new vlr or iame 100

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Like you say, all matters is what’s “best for you” vs what someone else’s opinion

I think the KPV was a great package. A good iteration on the Yamaha. 100cc aircooled simplicity, piston port means less parts to break and higher quality components. It marred by a lack of marketing\promotion to the level it deserved I think.

The VLR and KA are a natural progression on something like the KPV, but with more marketing structure.

3500+ people on the 206 is pretty awesome.

My personal favorite, wow so many that I like. Twin 250’s of course. You know I have a soft spot for the crazy 100cc Formula A/Super A engines from the late 90’s.

Although the driving experience was never my personal favorite, you can’t deny how the Rotax Max has massively changed the Karting landscape in the last 20 years. For all the criticism it’s caught, it’s still a great reliable package with decent power… and that’s not even the biggest impact they’ve made. They pretty much paved the path for the big “spec” events that we see today for IAME and Vortex.

We’re actually blessed with a ton of quality products in Karting… That’s part of the problem in a way. What really makes the difference is the marketing, which bolsters the perception of support for racers. The model of having larger events and giving prizes to clubs and racers is the new model.

Kinda like what we had the the 100cc FA days there’s a place for everyone and a path along the way for those that want to take it to the next level… without the revs…

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All else equal I like high reving 2 stroke with low RPM fixed engagement clutch. Since all is not equal I like LO206. Locally I can run two classes, one averaging 15 drivers and the other 25. All at low cost.

Fun topic! In my opinion, shifter karts simply can’t be beat. The Stock Honda is the reigning champ in my book as far as bang for the buck, and that probably holds true even more so, now that many are transitioning away from this package.

Personally, I made the shift (see what I did there :wink:) from the stock Honda to the Iame 175 SSE, and the performance difference alone is enough to convince me that was the right choice.

If outright $$$ are a constraint, then it seems like the KA/VLR provides some nice bang for the buck. I don’t have any experience with either of these, but I’ve heard good things in terms of both performance and reliability.

If you’re newer to the sport, or have a tighter budget, you can’t argue with the fact that there is great racing in the LO206 category. At my home track, NCMP, they routinely have 40+ karts in the class. I’d be bored to tears with the lack of power, but large classes pretty much guarantee that you’ll always be racing for position on track.

In summary, it all comes down to what you want to spend, but I’d certainly encourage those that are curious to take the plunge on a well-maintained shifter package. You simply can’t beat it in terms of performance for the money, especially with the Stock Honda. I made the switch from Tag about 10 years ago, and it’s been no looking back since.

I’m a single-gear 100cc fan. HPV/KPV was a good class, but has it’s shortcomings. It was my favorite at the time when it was popular. KA/VLR is a good step up. It’s been my favorite engine package the past few years.


I agree with Evan that you can not match the performance per dollar of a shifter. I do not agree it is the best class. I ran Moto TM shifter for a while. It was a built engine and a rocket. The class did not have the close competition of some of the other classes.

Evan, why does people transitioning away make it better?

If Dollars are not an issue…
There is a class here in Aus that is called Open Performance.
We race twin engine, 175 x30 supers, KZ all in the same class. Weights are shifted pretty much every year to keep it reasonably level.
People race 10-15 year old twin air cooled piston port/rotary valve engines, twin X30’s, twin KF engines, and the latest and greatest KZ gearbox. It is hands down the best racing I’ve seen and been apart of.
The sound of a twin engine chasing you down the straight is like the world is ending.
Obviously is a bit expensive and doesn’t happen at your average club day, but when it does there is always people on the fence and lets people do their thing that is a bit different from everyone else.


Todd, there are many national-level Honda motors now on the market for a fraction of the price they used to command, so that was the point I was trying to make…many great deals to be had!

Sorry to hear your shifter class wasn’t super healthy at the time. Some of the best races I’ve ever had have been shifter racing here in the Midwest within the last few years (Battle at the Brickyard, SKUSA GLPKC, Gear Up)!

Now I understand. I did not see how fewer racers made better racing. Makes sense. For me the feeling of the perfect corner is what I enjoy most. Shifters tend to move towards the point and shoot approach and the finesse of a perfect corner is lost. Still I tell people of all the cars and karts I have raced, shifters are by far the most wicked.

I never owned one but Rotax always intrigued me. I like the idea of basically owning the same engine but “upgrading” parts as you progress in age.

I’ve seen some of this and it’s mental.

The Aussie dirt champs have inspired me to setup a dirt sprint track this summer…

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There’s a lot of engine packages out there that seem great right now, and in my opinion the current crop of engines is quite good. I love the sights and sounds of the old FA and FSA. Hopefully one day ill have the chance to drive one. For me currently however, personal favorite engines by far are the KZ’s, or just shifters in general. I don’t think you can beat the driving experience of gearbox karts for anywhere near the same money.

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The Dirt Kart scene in Aust seems to be going from strength to strength, they also have a similar Open Performance type class similar to what we do on bitumen.
I’d like to have a go, but I don’t have a track near me, and its too dirty for me!! I hate cleaning my sprint kart after a weekend with out driving it on dirt…

On a price-for-performance point of view (not something everyone cares about of course, but some do) the new reed valve 100cc two strokes (KA100 and VLR100) are in a class by themselves, imho.

Basically, unless a TAG driver has fairly fresh equipment, fairly fresh tires, and can drive the heck out of their kart they can count on being passed by any good 100cc reed valve drivers and their ‘lowly’ air-cooled engines with 25cc less than they have. That’s pretty dang impressive. The qualifying times that I’ve seen fully race ready KA’s with top drivers on fresh tires turn absolutely amaze me. They’re not all that far off the best TAG times at the tighter twistier tracks, and they’re light years ahead of piston port 100cc and/or LO206 times. It also seems to be a top growth class right now.

Id like to make the move to KA/VLR soon because it isnt much more expensive than WF and its a 2 stroke. Ive loved the WF (first year). Its much faster than 206 (about 4 seconds a lap) and practically the same price. In an ideal world id like to see wf replace 206 at national events because its the exact same price and style of racing just faster.