IAME Leopard Ignition Issues - Comet kart

206 is definitely a reliable engine package, and very popular. Fuss free.

I’ve never had bad luck with the leopards though, the only bad experience I’ve had was I had a brand new one that had a faulty starter housing that kept killing starters, and it cost me a regional win potentially, and a regional championship due to starter rules back in 2007…

Electronic gremlins are the worst though. Whether its with a car or karting, it just sucks!

I just fixed a 14 year old kids leopard today as his wasn’t running and he was tired of spending money on it like you… turns out for him a 3 dollar fuel filter was his issue!

Anything with an engine is going to be a money pit in a way. 2 strokes just have a price tag to go with it, but once you figure the leopard out it’ll last a good while if you don’t rev it to 17k like top level racers do :wink: I blew up 2 in one weekend and I thought I did something wrong, come to find out there have been 3 other leopard drivers that had the same issue at this track, so I blame the track!

It depends on the x30 ignition you are referring too… the new style that came out or the older key start ignition? The key start i believe is similar to the MY09 leopard and should work. The new usa update I don’t think will work, and its not worth the $350-$400 price tag to find out.

I can’t give an opinion on Rotax though, they are virtually bullet proof as they rev super low compared to the leopard. The rebuild time is significantly better on a rotax, but it has a higher price tag to rebuild too.

In the off-season I’d be willing to look over your electronics and help in anyway I can!

Post a picture of your stator and wire connectors from the stator and we can start work from there…

1 Like

Much appreciated Myles! I appreciate your help.

I’m not too familiar with leopard electronics, Rotax whilst it’s got much longer tear down intervals unless you’re running in a series that allows you to run unsealed engines, you can’t do ANYTHING yourself. Not even replace a reed block. Electronics on Rotax I hate, they’ve made so many updates and modifications it’s really complicated.

X30 electronics are simple, piston changes are a doddle. Reliability wise I can’t complain unlike my old dog of a Rotax I chopped in for the X30.

Micron said I was at 18k rpms. Idk what to trust. Newbee x motorcycle racer.

My bikes never broke down

Thanks guys for all the advice. That’s why I’m here!

I was looking into that recently. My engineer had suggested Rotax since they are very long service interval now. Presumably the pointy end of the grid rebuild more frequently but club can go a long time relative to x30.

2-stroke is just going to be more expensive no matter what. (It’s also a blast. But more track time is better).

Do you have a series that lets you run leopard? The only one round here is Ironman Gearup I think (Ironman is old guys 40+ I think).

18k is too much for a Leopard. 17k is about the limit before you start really hurting the engine.

Keep it in the 16k range and it’ll last much longer and still will perform pretty well. If you’re just pounding laps you can gear it down lower too to make it more reliable.


Yeah 18K is going to wear out parts fast if that’s what it’s hitting. Could it be an anomaly from a failing ignition system? What do the RPM graphs look like?

So, this is there route I’m going to go if it can work for a leopard. Does anyone know if the stator/magneto are interchangeable or close enough to modify between the x30 and leopard? If so I like this option as I can upgrade to an x30 after using all the leopard stuff. Any info is appreciated!

Andrew, this was the ignition system I didn’t think that would work with the leopard as it was designed for the x30. I mean you can try it, I just know the rotor timing is different from the previous X30 and MY09 leopard. Again for $600 as an experiment is kind of steep.

If anything sell the leopard, get what you can for all the parts and the engine and get a decent used x30. I picked one up completely freshened up for $1300…You can find them most of the time from $1300-$1700…

If interested I have the old style X30 ignition as I’ve upgraded to the 2021 igniton. (Coil, stator, ecu, relay) I’d sell you. I just dont have the keystart module

Do you by any change have measurement for the old stator ? What the 3 coils are measuring ?

I’m about to give up on this. Maybe go to kt100.

KT can be fun and be cheap now that they aren’t raced much anymore, but do note you will have added things to keep an eye on like clutch maintenance.

206 or KA not options for you? They’d be contemporary so parts would be easy and they are both super reliable and easy to run.

TJ, I read on another forum you were a fan of the ka. It’s seems to be a good option. I’m going the 100 route or I’m gonna spend the money on an x30 package. I don’t want to go to a 206 at this point.

1 Like

Myles I believe you are right about the wiring harness. Seems that iame doesn’t want the old one’s to live imo.

Andrew, If you want to go 2 stroke and race, then go the KA100 route. It’s probably the best motor package I’ve run in the last 20 years of karting but certainly not as sexy and certainly a bit slower. I ran an X30 before switching to the KA. The KA is so simple to run compared to the X30; No coolant, no radiator, no hoses, no water pump, no exhaust flex, sprockets and chain last longer. Every one of these items listed above each has a subset of parts that need to be chased after. For example with exhaust flex, there are springs and packing that need to be looked after. The water pump needs to be adjusted and belt drive belt need to be looked at. You can’t just remove the motor, the coolant needs to be drained, its not water so it needs to be funneled into a container. There are myriad of hoses and hose clamps that need to be tightened and looked after. With the radiator, you’ll need to manage the temperature, so it will need to be taped up on a cold day and removed during the race. The complexity goes up 4 fold from KA 100 to an X30. Make sure there is a 100cc TaG class.


Compelling argument, Larry.

1 Like

Thanks Larry. And yes, a very compelling argument. My local track has a “Yamaha” class for the kt. Ka too I assume? Alot to learn in this world :earth_americas:! Thanks so much for the information guys!!

KA would not normally run in the Yamaha class, though some places combine them with weight differences to offset the engine performance differences to boost entries. KA is made by IAME.

Where are you located again? That might help inform your decision as to what is popular in your area.