Buying a LO206 Engine: Kit vs Built

Hey all, I’m looking at getting into karting as cheaply as I can and was naturally looking at the LO206 class. I was wondering your opinions of buying an engine from a builder for $1600 dollars versus a kit, some which I have seen listed for anywhere between $900 and $1300. I’m a pretty handy person and have access to tools and a machine shop so that doesn’t bother me.


If you’re just starting out, just buy the kit and get on track. You might gain a few tenths from a tuned engine, but you’ll gain multiple seconds per lap working on your driving.

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Also, you won’t need anything from a machine shop for the kit. Its basically bolt on the header, and plumb the fuel lines.

If your new, you don’t need a built motor. Being 100% honest, your going to be slow in either event being new, so why spend the money now? I didn’t look toward upgrading my motor until after I got some experience in 206, after I got some experience, then having a built motor made more sense and it got me close to the front runners to eventually becoming one. But it was less motor at that point and more seat time and/or experience. You need experience, not motor if you’re new to 206. :100:

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Any advice on motor mounts and clutch? Several kits advertise a Hillard clutch or an Odenthal mount and I’m curious about the advantages and if it’s worth the extra cost

Odenthal mounts are highly recommended from me. Makes life easy. I use hillard clutches

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I make my own mounts, and I will openly admit to them being inspired by odenthal. If i didnt make my own, I’d use an Odenthal. Hilliard is the nicest clutch we’ve used yet, very tuneable, tons of adjustments for them. I did just buy a Draggin Skin clutch to try out because i hear a lot of good things about them, but I doubt it will make any difference over the Hilliard.

The advantage of the Odenthal is that it is a rock solid platform, is adjustable to meet any need and the slide adjustment makes chain tension easy to set. Its worth the extra money. As for the clutch, The Hillard is economical and reliable, and does what it needs to do.

the REV mount is also very good, very similar to the Odenthal mounts

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Welcome to Kartpulse, Toby!

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I love my Odenthal mount! It is super rigid but also easy to slide the engine forward and back to adjust chain tension. Because of the sliding mount design, you don’t have to actually loosen the frame clamp bolts. You just loosen up two bolts on the slider, adjust chain tension, nip them back up, done.

I also went with an Odenthal after I gave up on my original mount. It got to where it would shift nearly every session, and the money I was throwing away on practice fees thanks to a chain jumping off alone made the Odenthal worth it.

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That’s a great point that some miss. When you factor in your time and costs, missing a session is not cheap even in the most economical classes. Great example of cost vs value.

Sprocket protector is a good item to add to that list too.

Agreed, had that issue with my son’s first kart, garbage engine mount and no sprocket guide. Tosses chains all the time. Started making my own odenthal style mounts and using sprocket guides and haven’t tossed a chain more than once in the past 2 seasons

Yup this this this. A good sprocket guard is crucial

I too recommend the Hilliard. Maintenance is easy, you can’t lose a key, and you can tune them easily with different springs. I’d also recommend that you DO NOT get the bully conversion. The Hilliard drivers are way better than using a bully driver.

More on Hilliard vs Bully driver, please.

I actually first tried a sprocket guard, and that was a horrible step back. I must run lower ride height in the rear than most or something, but it would catch on the curbing and bend. It caused more problems than not having anything and even bent my sprocket. That carrier is now a permanent part of that axle, too.

I am still entertaining the idea of running a guide instead of a guard, but I have not had a need since getting the Odenthal dialed in.

Interesting I run the generic plastic one, have also ran chassis lowest setting in the rear without issues. I also don’t hit the curbs much for 206 at my track

Maybe just bigger curbs where you race but that seems like your pretty far on the curb if the sprocket guard is hitting it

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