Engine choice for economical practice

New to karting here. Been doing kart rental with my older children and finally decided to invest in my own equipment. Found a solid deal on a 125cc TAG (leopard) for myself and cadet (Comer K-80) for my son. Not sure how much time there is on the big kart, but PO says less than 2 hours of non-race use teaching his kids on the cadet. Though 15 years old, it looks brand new. Both karts are winterized and so have not been run yet.

Initially I’ll just be teaching the kids to drive the thing, then a little later we’ll be working on lines, braking etc, plus basic car control. My question is does it make sense for me to use the karts as they are for this initial learning period, while we decide who might be interested in racing, or would it make more sense to put a 4 stroke engine in the kart. After skimming the Comer manual, I realized that the mx/rebuild times are fairly short. The parts are not cheap. (cylinder on the k-80 is $500 plus piston, rings…) I imagine in non-race use they will last longer, but does it make more sense to pull off these low time engines and save them for a possible race future? Is this possible/wise to do to a kart that is already set up for 2 stroke racing?

If so, what makes sense. Briggs 206? Predator? I imagine we’ll put in a couple weekdays a month at the local track, then re-evaluate the plan for next year.

I appreciate the input.

I would leave the kart as is for your son until he shows a desire to remain in karting. Chances are that you’ll not have to place a cylinder. A piston and ring maybe, but he’ll be in a non-competitive environment. Being slightly down on power is not going to greatly effect his driving technic. You might have to replace the clutch. Otherwise, enjoy the time with your son.

The comer for the kiddo is pretty standard. The leopard for you is fine as well but a bit on the powerful side for a first kart but nothing unreasonable. I started on a similar engine for racing, x30, but learned the basic chops on 100cc 2-stroke. Since you already own it, no worries. You may change engine in a season or two if you start racing as the leopard seems to be less widely run, now. Depends on what’s raced in your series.

AS for the cadet kart I think you should look at what your local track is running. The Comer has been around a while and not every track runs them. Also, how old is your son? If he is close to the age where he would move up to another class you might just start with what you have. Most karts can be converted between 2 and 4 cycle. I don’t have much experience with 4 strokes, but they seem fairly simple and less fickle than 2 strokes.

As for you, the TAG 125 can be a hoot to drive but if you have plans to race you may find the level of competition a little intimidating. At our track most adults start with 100cc and they are more approachable to race and simpler to maintain. A good running Leopard is still competitive.

My 2 penneth

The kids kart will be great. For you leopard will indeed be a blast but if you’re gonna be pottering around teaching the kid for a while I’d consider swapping it out for something that isn’t going to oil up the plug every session because you’re not pushing it to high rpm. 2 strokes don’t like running around at low rpm.

Once the kid knows what he’s doing put the leopard back on and let her rip potato chip :grin: