I pondering moving to Ka100 from Lo206, what are the pros and cons of this?
Well KA100 is a step above 206 just about everywhere. It’ll cost more money to get in, I think $2800 box stock, $3200 or so to have one prepared by an engine builder (setting the carb and timing mostly). You’ll go through tires faster, need to mix fuel and you’ll go through a lot more fuel. Usually you’ll run at least premium if not race gas, so up to $15/gallon or so for a 5 gallon jug of race gas. You’ll also want to replace chains more often with the KA to make sure they don’t break.
Mechanically, it’s actually pretty straightforward because you don’t need to mess with a ton. Biggest difference is going to be setting the chain tighter, you shouldn’t have the chain loose enough to hit the clutch guard on the motor as a general rule of thumb. Clutch maintenance is useful but not crazy critical, some people pull the drum off every weekend to clean it, some guys don’t really touch it. Carb’s are the same way, some guys replace the gaskets and stuff every weekend, some don’t touch them much at all.
Driving wise, there’s a higher skill ceiling in KA, not as much as an X30 or shifter but noticeably more than the 206. Braking, steering input, and throttle control have finer margins than the 206 but that’ll help you develop into a better driver overall. This means there’s a steeper learning curve than in 206, but better development as well.
The KA is also noticeably more fun to drive with the bottom end grunt and higher top speed. It’ll wear you out at first and probably be a bit frustrating but keep working at it and your efforts will pay off. It’s harder to be fast enough to be up front in KA, but once you’re there the racecraft is pretty similar to a 206.
So in recap:
- More expensive
- Slightly more mechanical knowledge needed
- Steeper learning curve
- More fun
- Better driving development
- Better (edit: tougher) competition to be up front typically
Aaron I think you got the move he was talking about backwards.
Or he did
It sounded right to me
I can’t read apparently lmao.
Just reverse everything I said then.
Two stroke. It’s just another thing. It’s more expensive but you’d love it.
The KA seems like an awesome engine package. Unfortunately for me the only class for them are juniors. I think Texas has a large KA 100 adult heavy class?
I’m kinda in the same boat. I’ve been holding onto a blue printed X30 engine for almost a year. Been meaning to put it on, but I’m still having a lot of fun in LO206.
Don’t mount it then. It’s a whole 'nother thing. When you put your foot down and the revs rise, it’s intoxicating. There’s no comparison. It’s not better it’s just “more” everything.
This makes it sound like I’m saying it’s better than 4-stroke. Put it this way, if it weren’t for money I’d be racing sticky tires and 30+ hp. They are both terrific, though. It’s just that 2-stroke is so compelling.
The “con” is that once you two stroke, you will want to do a lot of 2-stroke.
I always run more 206 than anything else, but I find it more fun and more competitive outside of national stuff.
I have a KA and KZ that mostly just sit because I find 206 way more fun.
It could be a case of “absence makes the heart grow fonder”. Any Kart is a Good Kart.
Interesting topic as I am looking to do just the opposite, switch from KA to 206. My issue, our local track has no 206 but I think they just need to be introduced.
Aarons’s summary is mostly spot-on, but would argue the point about the skill ceiling. I think each class has its characteristics and in some ways having less power requires a skill that more power doesn’t. Make a mistake in 206 and you stand to lose more pace than the same mistake with a TAG.
The other thing to consider and is partially why I am thinking about 206 is the rebuild timeline and cost. A complete rebuild on a KA is about $900 - 1000 that may have to be done every season, possibly every other season. At the very least a top-end is required every season for about $500. My understanding of 206 is you can go 2 seasons before replacing a short block which is half the cost.
If your end goal is to be in TAG125 then moving up makes sense, if you’re just looking to have fun I’m not as sure about recommending KA.
Robert I was in the same boat, my local did not have a 206 and nobody seemed real interested. Then CKNA came into town, and with the kart counts and just how well the series was run, all of a sudden I was getting approached by folks in other classes with 206 questions. Now slowly people are jumping into 206 just to see if they are as fast as they think they are, at something outside of the local level.
I don’t think my local would ever have gotten there on their own if it wasn’t for CKNA. Guys on much faster karts seeing crazy fast lap times on a 9 Hp had alot of them wondering if they could messure up.
Its funny how 206 is so dominant is certain places, but completely absent in others.
You don’t have to replace the short block ever if you stay on top of your oil changes halfway.
If you make sure the valves are closed after every run, you rarely have to touch up the head.
I have to disagree, its simply different.
There are different skills and also it changes at age level. Very few masters level drivers have the want to compete in X30 or even KA100.
In my experience, that isn’t the case. I spent 4 yesrs before I won a 100cc 2-stroke race at a club. It took me 2 races in a 206 to win, and I needed approximately 3 laps to learn how to drive the 206 coming from a KA/Yamaha. I’ve yet to see a driver spend 4 years running 206 come to KA and have that level of competence. Increased speed = increased skill ceiling.
The reality is there is no different skill in driving a 206 versus a KA/X30/Shifter. It’s still about smooth inputs, braking efficiency, and getting on the throttle as early as possible. The biggest differences, and my biggest gripes with 206 racing, is 1) everyone tries to overgrip the karts and 2) they run a high stall clutch.
What I mean by overgripping the karts is that everywhere I’ve been runs the karts on MG Reds, Vega Reds, or an equivalent tire. That is simply too much grip for the speeds of the karts, and it all but eliminates most braking on the track. 85% of the speed in driving is down to braking and entry, and when you make it so you barely have to slow down the kart to make a corner, you’re handicapping the driving development of the racers, giving the illusion that a driver is fast while really the engine/tire package is just easier to drive.
The high stall clutch, on the other hand, actually masks a lot of mistakes because it keeps the motor in the powerband during acceleration. I make a mistake in my KA, I drop 500 RPM and fall out of the powerband. I make a mistake in a 206, the high stall clutch still pulls me out of the corner, and the overgripped tires mean I can still come out of the corner without losing much time, if any.
In actuality, I think driving a 206 teaches bad driving habits that you can’t get away with in a KA or X30. 206 is a great inexpensive way to get into the sport, but I’ve seen so many 206 drivers try to run something else and struggle because of the bad habits they formed.
@Aaron_Hachmeister_13, these are excellent points, and they are especially valid coming from a high-level driver with experience in both classes.
I’m going to go make some popcorn and get ready for this debate to get rolling.
In my brief exposure to driving a 206 I can appreciate that sentiment. Just curious what width tires are normally used on the rear where you run? On a neighboring track where 206 / clone is fairly popular, they run 6" rears instead of 7"
The local tracks to Indy run 7.10 MG Reds for the rears. The 6.00 rears are actually faster in 206 and Yamaha, not sure about KA. The smaller contact patch from the 6.00’s means less rolling resistance on the corner exit, letting the kart accelerate faster and stay more free.
Personally, I’m a big fan of the MG Orange or MG Blue for 206 racing. A harder tire brings the difficulty back in the driving for a low speed class, much like the Hoosier spec tire for the Ignite classes.
Weird. I’m a masters driver and I have no desire to ever go back to 206
Interesting topic regarding the tires. I’ve always run on Vega Reds and I always assumed they were the hardest compound, didn’t realize they were not.
There is something starting to happen here in Florida where alot of locals are starting to move toward the CKNA Rulebook when they tech in locals, which calls for 6 inch Vega Reds. I think there is only one track (Orlando) that solely uses MG Tires. Have no idea if its true but people have always said that historically MG Reds are a better tire than the Vega’s. Something about tire compound changes?