The list of problems are to numerous for me to be bothered typing up in one post. We will give you the run down slowly bit by bit. The reason the motor was “invented” was because of a collusion between an industry member and a high ranking Karting Australia (our governing body) official who is a customer of the industry member. They colluded to replace the KT motor with this abortion of an engine that is made up of old left over IAME parts. It should retail for $900 for what it cost them to build it but it retails for the same as an X30 even though it has less parts (no radiator, water pump etc). The price of parts is ridiculous compared to the Yamaha i.e. Yamaha conrod $80 compared to KA100 rod $450. The thing wears out as fast as a Yamaha and parity is no better. We have nothing but bad news for you I’m afraid. I have provided a link to my Facebook group above so you can read the comments yourselves. I will provide you links to other forum discussions about it as well.
The motor is a disaster. It was the wrong choice for the Australian market. Jetting is all over the place and wear is as much as the kt100s but at twice the price to maintain. Parity is a joke as well. Keyways in cranks have been moved to alter timing from manufacturer so some customers ended up with dogs of motors thru no choice.
Stay away from this and buy an x30.
I have had a some what different experience with the KA engine. I’ve had one from new, have done over 20hrs (12 months of racing) with no drop off in performance. My engine builder has told me to keep running it till it gets slower. The longest I have heard of it running between rebuilds was 36hrs.
Used both carb’s released with it in Australia no noticeable difference between them.
It has been the best thing to happen in Australian karting, parity, and engine life are exceptional. The crank is the same size as a 125cc crank so the bottom end is extremely robust. After all the hrs on mine, cross hatching is still visible on the cylinder walls.
It is my belief (unproven) that the engine is being tuned too close to the edge by some people and any issues they are experiencing stems from this.
There is a faction in Australian karting that has a problem with the current administration and anything they do is wrong in their eyes. I would take with a grain of salt anything they have to say.
They KA engine would be a great addition to US Karting
4 posts were split to a new topic: Two Stroke Vs Four Stroke Longeivity
A post was merged into an existing topic: Two Stroke Vs Four Stroke Longevity
I don’t know anything about the KA100, but it sounds like you should all get a lovely British made TKM engine.
20HP, you can choose direct drive (with a decompression valve), clutched or TAG, with all in price ranging from about $1400-$1900 (direct drive to TAG) with a recommended service time of 15-20 hours (although realistically we are talking about piston every 8). Pistons about $100, conrod about $180.
Sorry couldn’t help myself.
I’d go for it if there were a market here, sounds really interesting
Bill Holt… You say that you are getting 20 hrs before replacing the piston?. That is approx 15 race meetings? Most are fitting new pistons after 5 meetings at most.
The 125 crank you speak of is why the motor destroys main bearings. The crank is from the old RL Leopard motor that had no balance shaft, and that is why the RL Leopard also destroyed main bearings.
The new carby is 3 tenths quicker than the old one as verified by all that have tested it. Nine out of ten Australians are completely disappointed in the new KA100 and it is not limited to a certain faction that have nothing but disdain for the Karting Australia administration. Most circuits are lucky to get enough entries in the KA100 class to form a field.
We were promised an “out of the box” competitive engine… yet it still requires blueprinting to get it on the pace. The sleeve is unnecessarily thick, causing heat dissipation problems… the electrics often fail… and due to the engine being unusually large… drivers continually suffer problems with elbows knocking on the engine causing pain. Parity is no different to the KT100 as engines vary by half a second. The difference in times between the front of the field and the rear are no different to what they were with the KT100.
It costs more to buy… parts a triple of what they were… and longevity is no different. It costs $1500 for a full rebuild. For that money I could buy a brand new Yamaha fully blueprinted. The USA will be deeply disappointed in the KA100… just as Australians are.
The exact same thing could be said about anyone that’s pro KT (or any other engine/tire/chassis/class/widget) so by saying that we’re not really adding anything to the discussion here.
Could these issues not be addressed with (optional) changes to the Yamaha internals and it’s clutch, rather than adding a $3500 (not sure on cost actually) motor though?
I’m skeptical of the KA motor. It’s price point really dilutes the value proposition for me. I say that with reservation because I am a big believer on trying different things and experimenting to move things forward. I am glad that it’s not my money being spent on it though and I hope it doesn’t hurt USPKS.
Agreed. I don’t wish failure upon any class, but I’m glad that there’s probably some time before this engine disseminates to Route 66. There is typically a core group of reasons that Yamaha drivers are in their class: lower engine cost which translates into lower parts cost; simpler engine (no RAVE, battery, onboard starter, irritating wiring loom); lower weight. The KA avoids checking any of these boxes successfully. There are some karters that went back to the Yamaha from TAG, myself included, with eyes wide open of the engine’s issues to get back to a class that hits those targets. I can’t help but feel that there has to be a solution here that updates or replaces the Yamaha formula with alienating the reason why people race Yamaha in the first place.
Komet on the 3 pipe would be ideal. They killed Komet with the 4 pipe because even though it was a bit faster, you revved it to 15.5k on occasion to get the most out of it and rebuild costs skyrocketed.
Yamaha could be fixed, we tried that new pipe in WKA a couple years ago and it was really great. You slipped the clutch lower with it, the engine was faster, better to drive… I pushed for that in USPKS and Route 66 for seniors after that but for some reason it fell off the radar.
The point my dad brought up about Yamaha finding it hard to justify building the KT is interesting as well. If there’s a possibility that they stop production of it, it would be good to find an alternative now.
The bottom line right now is that Yamaha at USPKS had 5 entries in senior. Five. Totally unacceptable. The only place it’s strong around here is Badger’s club races and Route 66. None of the Route 66 guys want to spend the money to race USPKS. That’s why I think it’s a good idea to bring it to USPKS and see how it goes and let the Yamaha be a club/regional engine for now.
This is the most important factor: managing expectations. This is where I see challenges for the KA, or any new widget for trying to make inroads. Setting those expectations, but at the same time they can be a big guess due to a lack of real world competition testing. On the other hand, the initial sales pitch is often exaggerated (80 hours?), leaving people pissed off and feeling mislead.
Extreme example of managing expectations: F100 in the U.K. Arguably the largest grids in the UK yet the highest maintenance motor in existence for karting. They made the value proposition clear, while also being very transparent about how much work is involved to take part.
If you don’t have a decent value proposition or differentiator along with a marketing plan that’s going to line up with reasonable expectations, you don’t have a viable class/product/widget.
At this point, I’m looking hard for this with the KA, but I’ve yet to find it. This is by no means exclusive to the KA though, there’s a lot of “snowflake” classes and so forth in karting and we need we to address that with objectivity.
I have had a totally different experience to you, which class do you race in?
None of the guys in my club have had any of the issues you are talking about.
I haven’t heard of a piston being replaced that often. Mine is still in there at over 20hrs with no drop off.
The only crank issue I have seen is a bottom end going after 2 seasons of solid competition.
The parity has been awesome, we have had a real mix of winners the last few years, way more than in the Yamaha era.
If you are paying that much to have your engine rebuilt you are being ripped off by your builder. I would suggest somewhere under $1000.
I am pleased I don’t have to go out and buy 2nd hand Yamaha that someone has made from a bunch of others to get a “gun” engine, just to be competitive. Some of those went for $10k
One issue regardless of what engine you’re running, whether it actually lasts 5 hours or 50 hours between pistons, is that some people will ALWAYS rebuild every 2 hours because they have the money to throw at it.
I know people rebuilding their X30s every 2 hours. We rebuilt ours like twice all year this year and ran up front at every event.
I would only be to happy to show anyone my receipts for our rebuilds. This is not because we wanted a rebuild or a refresh it’s because we had to. If you truely think that there is no drop off or lack of performance after 8-10 hours, you are truely kidding yourself. The quality of parts provided for our KA100 has truely been underestimated.
It’s commonly know there is problems, just import the better quality parts and give people the choice. Is that to much to ask. Some of our rebuilds where under the $1000 dollar mark, that’s only because we noticed the problem early. The rest where up around the $1500 dollar mark with crank replacement included in the price. I admit when these engines are going they are awesome, and a much superior engine to the Yamaha. Our first twelve months there was no issues with either engine we own. I can tell you the last twelve months has been a huge challenge trying to stay competitive. Not knowing if your engines will make it threw a heat, let alone a full meeting. Good luck guys!
Doug can you give some details? Sounds like you had a bad experience.
What parts are failing and when? What’s considered “good” parts and “bad”.
One in three or four rings will fail after a refresh, luckily the dyno picks this up quickly. Not really a concern! Our main fault this year has been bottom end bearing fail. Our first twelve months we only did one bottom rebuild with no problems. Since a new batch of bearings was imported early this year we have had no end of problems. Thinking we would do the right thing this year we had complete rebuilds on both our engines, before the new season started. What a mistake that was! After three bottom ends failing in quick concessions I wasn’t impressed. Eight bottom ends in total.
As a past Manager of a bearing company I had the bearings check by a past college. The report was. The bearings in question where of a cheap quality and having a plastic cage that should never have been put anywhere near a high rpm engine let alone a race engine. Now because these engines are homologated everyone has to put up with the same cheap product. These problems are not confined to just our engines. These are engines in every spec, with the same issues from Jnr to Snr classes. Now once the bearing over heats the cage melts, cracks apart, then you end up with plastic right threw your engine. Rebuild time again! Hopefully your crank has not been damaged in the process. The type of product you would expect in a chonda!
Maybe this getting to far off topic, but looking at the alternatives, the TKM BT82 Exreme w/clutch w/o onboard starter seems very nice. If the Tal-Ko price sheet is current, adjusting for the exchange rate, they’re $1,436 each. The KPV3 is more affordable than the KA, but not by much after blue printing. We might need better distribution for TKM, but this is why I think it’s worth the trouble…
The KA100 might work as a one off for national series, though I’m worried that, being that it’s first series to run KA, it might be difficult to get 10-15 karts when they can’t run anywhere else (elbow/nudge TJ ). Where my mind is at are the regional series. The tail can’t wag the dog here (regional series typically don’t see classes trickle down to the club level; you need the numbers at the club first), and I have a really hard time imagining clubs going for the KA.
With the significantly better price point, I could see the TKM working. With the smaller cylinders, the TKM could even be used for junior and rookie, though cadet looks to be out of picture.
Being that USPKS has a history with IAME, it might be in their interest to increase that relationship. I don’t mean to insinuate they get financial support from IAME, though, if they did, I wouldn’t be against it. But if there were some larger players, such as USPKS or Man Cup to go the route of something more palatable to the club level, it may make clubs more comfortable with going that direction and finally and fully putting the Yamaha to rest.
Distribution for the TKM has to be a factor I would say. Shame because as you’ve said, it’s a quality product with known history.