Considering giving 2 stroke a try with my son

Am I nuts?

A little back ground here. My son is going into his 4th season of karting, he’ll be 10 in March. He’s been in 4 stroke all along and will primarily be focusing on briggs cadet this year with some regional and possibly a national round along the way.

Anyway, I’ll be picking up a new chassis for his Briggs since thats his main focus, and was going to sell off his old Parolin Cadet chassis, but once I put it on the surface plate, I realized the frame is absolutely perfect, not a bend or twist in sight, so my mind started thinking about getting my hands on a Mini Rok engine and building the Parolin up and letting him have a taste of that as well.

If I went that route, what can I expect for engine maintenance to run at a club level? Can the maintenance be done myself or are the Rok engines sealed like Rotax used to be? (I ran Rotax myself like 20 years ago).

Any other 2 stroke specific maintenance that I should consider after doing only 4 stroke for the last 3 years?

Just to recap…am I nuts for considering doing both classes?

It’s not nuts but it’s not easy. Depends on your and his personality.

It gets frantic when dealing with 2 karts and 2 heats. But, totally doable.

All 2 stroke have rebuild schedule, unlike the 4’s. At club level it was a mid season top end and a full rebuild end of season. That was for x30. The folks who wanted to have fresh engines did more. Not sure it helped them a lot (in club).

Thanks, im going to do some more research into maintenance schedule for Mini Rok at the club level, as that’s all he’d be doing for the time being in a 2 stroke.

I’m not sure on the Mini Rok, but with the IAME mini swift there is a little maintenance to do. For me I’ve put a new piston in my sons engine myself at 10 hours, and bottom end done around 20 hours. I sent the jug off to be honed and had them tell me what size piston to get and I changed it myself.

I’ve rebuilt the carb after every race day and replaced the spark plug as well. It may be overkill at a club level, but for my son’s first year I just wanted him to finish races. I wasn’t going to accept or allow lack of maintenance on my end ruin his race day.

I don’t think its nuts for running both classes. The more seat time he gets the better off he potentially will be traveling. I started off in 4 cycle back in 2000 and made the switch to 2 cycle in 2004. I ran a few 4 cycle races while racing KT100 on the same weekend and I felt it made my 4 cycle “program” better.

If you choose to run both and make the Briggs the primary focus, let the 2 cycle be a learning/growth tool as a driver for your son and a mechanic/tuner for yourself as the 2 classes are vastly different in driving styles and kart setups.

Ooh good point! Racing the 4 stroke will feel like easy mode to your child compared to the 2 stroke.

So when he’s sloppy in 4-stroke, he/she will really feel it. This is good. Pain builds character.

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Thats part of why I want to do a bit of 2 stroke. His home club is 4 cycle only, so that will be priority, and while I know the driving style will be different, I figured the speed and reaction time needed for the 2 stroke will make the briggs feel sleepy.

There is a guy at NTK that runs Tag Masters and LO206 Heavy. The LO is usually after the Tag race, so its a bit of a breather in comparison to the other way around. I call him the Iron Man, because I know how winded I get after a long Main. I can’t imagine two back to back, but he does it.

Like others have said, going from the 2 stoke to the 4 stroke will feel like everything is moving in slow motion. At least that’s how I feel after running my Tag Kart and then jumping into a rental kart shortly after. Somehow your brain adjusts to the how much faster everything is coming at you in a two stroke, that when you go back to a four stroke it just feels like you are just cruising rather that racing. Definitely good training to stay sharp in LO.

Ye olde Sensation of Speed at work. A beautiful thing.

Two classes is basically 2X warm up, 2x Quali, 2X Pre, 2X final.

Add that all up and you have a persons slot on a 6hr-ish endurance team. Your pal is fit because of it!

For sure your son will benefit from the 2-stroke/4-stroke experience (RE the different information processing requirements). However, maximum benefit will be gained if the mental reserves that appear when driving the 4-stroke are directed toward increasing resolution of feel for energy movement, traction, forces, etc.

The two biggest advancements I made in resolution of feel, when racing formula fords, came from:

  1. Driving on a tire with much more grip than the tire used in the main series I drove. When I went back to the harder tires, what had felt like the ragged edge, was like a walk in the park, which kinda sounds backwards, but that’s how it worked for me.
  2. When did a couple of Superbike School sessions at Laguna Seca, that profoundly influenced the resolution of feel I had with I got back in a race car. Something about drifting on only two small contact patches makes their feedback automatically more important, and that trained me to think/feel differently about driving.
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This happened naturally for me. The lower demands of the slow, slippery kart revealed more clearly the wasteful things I would do in TAG. It was somehow more obvious what needed to be done, when going backwards in power and grip.

I experienced the same thing recently with the opening of the multiplayer beta. The beta is on the ka100 on Mg reds as opposed to the x30 on yellows.

It’s shocking how well I acclimated to the lower power kart and was quick, quickly. It’s the same line basically, happening 25% slower.