My local club (Utah karting championship) might be adding a new KA100 class next year. I’ve never raced before and I’m planning on starting next year. I was wondering what kind of chassis do people normally run with a KA100? It would be on evinco blues. Also what’s the maintenance like and how much does it cost? I’ve got around $4,000 I can spend on the kart so I have left over for tires, maintenance, and gear. Is that enough to get started?
The KA100 is a very good engine for new people.
So you have 4,000 to spend on a chassis?
The common chassis that are used with that engine.
Popular and works with very little tweaks-OTK(Tonykart,Kosmic,FA,Exprit, Redspeed)-All same but frame color and graphics.
Compkart-18R, Merlin, Crg, and many more.(The ones listed are probably the best options)
You should be able to get a slightly used chassis for 3500 easily.
Engine maintenance depends on your builder.
The top end starts to give out around the 8 hour mark
and the bottom end another 8 or so after that.
This engine is friendly on gears so you can be a couple off and till be fast.
Usually you want to gear the engine to hit 15,000 at the end of the longest straight away.
This is also dependent on the track that you are on.
Evinco Blues last a long time so you should be good there. It would be good to get extra kingpin bolts, tie rods, Snipers to align your front end, and etc.
This is a vague preview of what you will need.
Thanks for the info. How many hours would someone usually put on an engine in one race weekend? And usually how expensive are the rebuilds?
Depends on laps, but anywhere from an hour to 3 hours. Every engine is different too. You really have to rebuild it and drive it to know for sure.
Rebuilds are based off your builder.
Another thing is that you will have to get your engine blue printed.
You are from Utah? P1 engines in California is the best rebuilder for KA100. His engines just won the streets of land caster out in Cali. Jesus(main rebuilder) does some killer engines. Otherwise I would suggest Comet Racing Engines in Indiana.
Blueprinting is usually 500 bucks(around there)
Rebuilding can vary from 400-1200 bucks(depends on what needs to be replaced)
You can always send the engine in and have it inspected and they can tell you what it needs if it needs anything.
I would have them blueprint it and have them do your carb as well as these engines have picky carbs.
Otherwise Mark Dismore Jr. and Gary Lawson over at Comet do some great engines for relatively cheap and they sell OTK karts. If you chose them, tell them that I sent you, they will hook you up.
Yes I’m in Utah. What is engine blueprinting? Is it a one time thing or multiple times a year?
It is where a builder tares down the engine and extracts every ounce of extra performance without out going over the set parameters. Blueprinting is only done once. They also reset the timing of the engine and carb settings.
Since this might be your first season, the first thing I will ask is…
Have you considered running a #briggs206 for your first year or two? They are slower than a KA of course, but the technical learning curve for both tuning and maintenance is much less, allowing you more time to focus on driving and setup. They are a little cheaper to run too, leaving more of your budget available for coaching, travel to other races etc etc.
Something to consider as an option. If you have previous experience working with two stroke motors jetting and so on, then the KA might be a better candiate.
$4000 is plenty for a chassis for your first year, perhaps even your second. You can find good used chassis as low as $2500, sometimes lower. The main thing to consider with a used kart is not so much the age, but the miles it’s driven and the overall condition of it.
In terms of brands/makes/models of chassis, it’s generally prudent to go with something that’s got support (either via other racers, or a shop) at the events/races you plan running. There’s very few (If any) “bad” chassis out there.
There are some chassis out there that are marketing as KA specific, but generally the difference between those and the others is they don’t have as many adjustments to come in at a lower price point. It’s not so much from a performance standpoint.
If you are going KA for sure, skip blueprinting for now. Blueprinting is worth maybe tenths. Coaching however, is worth seconds when you are starting out.
How prevalent is #iame_ka100 blueprinting at this point? I was under the impression that it’s a mixed bag between the fast guys in say Rt66 and USPKS. Some running blueprinted motors and some just bolting them on.
Blueprinting is a waste of time on the KA. Don’t throw money at a builder until it needs to be rebuilt.
We’ve been working with 5 KA drivers for the past season in our tent and have had one engine-related failure so far. Killswitch failed on the one engine after about a season and it started shorting out the engine while on-track. No big deal, you can just pull it off and it’ll run fine then. Otherwise they are bulletproof. Simplest engine I’ve worked with. Ran mine almost a season and a half without rebuilding it when I first got it. No drop-off in performance. And that was out-of-the-box, literally took it out and set it on the kart and ran it for a year.
4k is plenty for a good setup. Not sure what shops are in Utah, but try and find someone local who can offer spare parts and setup help and use that to choose what kart you’ll be on. Whatever is supported locally is your best bet. Don’t worry about getting a brand new kart to start off. There’s plenty of nice stuff out there with a few seasons on it. As long as it’s straight you’ll be fine. A local shop can point you toward some used gear. You would be better off spending a fair bit less than your 4k budget on something used in good shape, and picking up some spare axles and things so you have crash parts and the ability to make some tuning adjustments when you get to that point.
I would also take James’ advice and consider 206 if this is your first season. Starting in something slower is going to help you develop much better as a driver. The KA is a great package, but 206 is also good for learning.
A 206 is also quite a bit cheaper than KA100. $900-$1100 vs $2400
In terms of blueprinting of KA100. It depends on the person that you ask, but if you want to save some money. Then don’t rebuild it. That is your choice.
I did forget to check out your local shops(if you have any). If they sell a certain chassis. That is something to look into.
With used chassis you also have to look at the bottom of the frame. The front bar and waist in particular are important as they are where your flex is generated and twist. Chassis that have had chassis protectors usually have a lot less wear there. Also check used frames for cracks along the welded areas.
Coaching is huge in your first year or so. I wish I would have had that starting out.
Just some more things to consider.
Yeah, if you ask an engine builder, they’ll say “it definitely needs to be blueprinted”.
Oh sure they will. More money in their pocket. True that. Probably tell you that you need to rebuild it every other weekend too for good measure
Let’s not tar builders (or any segment of the sport) with a single brush
Only joking, obviously not every builder is dishonest, and most aren’t.
My experience after 2 seasons on the engine is that a stock KA engine can compete nationally for wins and finish 4th and 2nd in national points.
I understand, but the many people that visit and lurk here might not…
Gotta think of those too
Definitely interested to follow your story coming up to and during the supernats.
Only joking as well. I’m sure we would love to see some more onboard from @tjkoyen👊
I’ve looked into LO206 quite a bit and then I heard about the new KA100 class. The main reason I was going to go with LO206 instead of tag was because of tire costs but because they’ll be running a harder compound with the KA100 so tire costs wouldn’t be too bad. Also, if I did do LO206 I was going to move up to a higher hp class within a few years anyway and I don’t want to lose too much money to depreciation so wouldn’t it just be cheaper to jump right into Ka100? I have experience working on 4 stroke dirt bike carbs but not too much experience with two stroke engines. Also, there’s not a ton of info online but how much faster are Ka100s than LO206? Thanks.
If you’ve got the money and you’re comfortable jumping into KA, that’s cool too, it’s your choice. Just from a driving skill standpoint, starting in a slower class always helps learn good habits and how to be smooth.
Most tracks, the KA is going to be several seconds faster than the LO206. 206 is for sure the entry-level baseline for junior/senior racing.
Not necessarily if you consider the total cost of ownership. The initial purchase cost of the KA is at least double that of the 206.
For ongoing costs:
KA: Probably at least a top end during the season.
206, likely none.
KA Racing fuel mixed with oil. Figure say $40-50 for a weekend
206: Pump gas. $10 bucks would be stretch. If you want to change the oil each race, add $12.
The KA will be a little harder on chains with the higher RPMs it turns and the power it makes.
I can’t say with 100% certainty where the market will be for used 206s in a couple of years, but historically they have not seen much in depreciation, I wouldn’t worry too much about it.
My main reservation on the KA for you though, again, is that you have an exponential learning curve with the motor that existing racers often overlook. Mixing fuel\oil, diaphragm carb jetting, pop off and maintenance,
exhaust length, reading the piston and plug.
All of these things are more critical with a two stroke vs the “pull the cord and go” 206.
Don’t get me wrong, the KA is a great package, but I think you will get more value out of a 206 for now.
Ok, I guess I didn’t take in to account the extra prices. If I were to move up to KA in a few years would it be able to go onto the LO206 chassis? Msquared karting here in Utah do used LO206 packages with shifter chassis that they ran for 2-3 national races. Would a KA work for that?