We’ve started having a discussion in Australia (specifically our south-eastern states) for a replacement to the CR125 for our long circuit racing. Shall we say there are a range of views and there’s been some robust debate. A path forward has not been resolved.
I’m keen to hear from those users in both North America and Europe on the most recent experiences with the IAME 175 SS or SSE vs the KZ alternative (pros and cons).
North America first.
I’m well aware that SKUSA runs a mixed class with both the 175 SSE and KZ. And the AKRA for long circuits runs a mixed KZ and CR125 class over on the east coast. What I’d like to understand is if the market is moving one way or the other, and why. I’m aware of the early issues with the Tillotson carburettor (needle swap and resolved), but since then how has the 175 held up? Looking at the latest SKUSA media release, it seems to imply a further migration to KZ (notwithstanding the promotion endeavour for the SSE). Is that right or have I got that wrong? If a move away from the 175 SSE, why? Are bottom ends holding up? Is the relatively lower cost maintenance story for the SSE holding true (I hope it is)?
On the European side (and yes I know you guys run the base 175 SS with the electric start), how is support for the engine holding up against KZ? I believe in Belgium and France there seems to still be good support for the 175 SS. But elsewhere not so clear cut. In late 2019/early 2020, IAME spoke to the introduction of the combined KZ-I class - then nothing (presumably because of Covid). More recently, there is now the IAME Z-I Class (which seems to just be limited to KZ engines, particularly their Screamer, but not exclusively) - seriously confusing.
As a replacement for the CR125, the 175 SS and/or SSE story seemed to me to make a great deal of sense, particular if it meant a relatively lower maintenance regime, lower costs and less stressed engines (yes, I know, all very relative). However, is the market saying something else?
Keen to hear from users of both, pros and cons, reliability, and whether you’ve moved one way or the other, changed your mind and taken a different direction (say SS/SSE initially and then back to KZ, or the other way round) and why.