A little background, I raced rotax max like 15 years ago and always wanted to try a shifter. I got out of racing for a while and now I’m getting back into it with my son who is 7. I’m not seriously thinking about getting a shifter, but I have seen a few used shifters equipped with cr125s and it got me thinking, is there anywhere in Ontario that still let’s the motocross based shifter karts race?
1999-2001 CR125s have been a standard shifter kart engine in the US for a while. There is a migration to the IAME 175cc shifter now that SKUSA has allowed them.
Elsewhere kart-specific shifter engines (KZ/KZ2 - FIA class) are common and made by multiple manufacturers. Find your local tracks and see what classes they run there. Most use national or international rulesets, or slightly modified versions thereof (FIA, SKUSA, WKA, etc) and you can read through to see what they use.
I was wondering that, I had a look at the Canadian regulations for open shifter and they list KZ, Rok, etc as the approved engines, no mention of Honda. I know the Ron Fellows karting championship is strictly Rok for their 2 stroke classes.
Hmm I don’t think “stock” Honda really took off up in Canada. But that’s not to say you couldn’t buy one for kicks.
Depending where you are in Ontario, the F-Series operated by @Marco_Oldhafer on the east coast US has some great competition for both Moto and KZ.
Another option, again depending on how far you are willing to travel would be Road Race series like www.championshipenduro.com
Road Racing (karts on full size-car courses) is anticipated to have a good moto contingent for a while.
Both of these series have folks that come down from Canada to race.
Considering that the CR is in the phasing out stage of its kart lifecycle, & you’re in Canada, it probably makes more sense to look at a KZ. The CR really helped build the shifter class in the US, but I was never a fan of the the Keihin carb because it wasn’t designed to work with the pulse pump & took a knowledgeable builder to set it up to work. Also, the high compression head meant proper jetting was crucial to avoid detonation.
The IAME SS comes in SKUSA & Euro flavors, primary difference being the carb (SKUSA spec uses a diaphragm style) & battery+starter on the Euro variant. 125 KZ seems to be the popular shifter engine up north, from what I gather.
I think the demise in the US is greatly exaggerated. Sure, it’s absent from SKUSA and (Naturally) RoK, but practically anywhere else that offers shifters in the US has a place for the moto. Newly built ones are even still coming to the market and many of them have found a new home in road racing.
It’ll be around for a while yet, we just won’t nessacarily see them all over the events that get covered in media.
I would love to get a real answer on parts availability from HPD though…
I’m from Ontario as well and once asked the same question about Honda Shifters.
They are not common. I was actually at a track a few weeks ago and there was one shifter out of 8 that was running a Honda and the speed difference was evident.
I want to get into shifters in the next 2 years so I’m doing some early research. Ron seems to be the new thing but there are many TM engines as well. I would love to see the Iame 175 Super Shifter make a run in Ontario but I doubt it as Shifter are not as big as they are in Quebec or the US.
Where in Ontario are you from?
Point taken, though I’ve kind of felt like the writing was on the wall with Honda introducing the CRF250 via HPD. I suspect SKUSA didn’t make the decision about the 175 KZ in a vacuum, either.
What track was that where you saw a Honda with the other shifters? How much slower was the Honda? My son is in the Waterloo Regional Kart Club, he’s just 7 in the cadet class and they are 4 stroke only so I will likely enter the Briggs Masters class next summer to shake off the rust, but after racing Rotax when I was younger i suspect I’ll be itching for something faster after a season of Briggs.
BMP Brechin Motosports Park
You’ll get a lot of opinions, usually not very objective.
From what I’ve observed, if we’re comparing same driver, tires, level of competition/tuning ability… It’s anything between .8 to 1.2 seconds on a sprint track.
Change any of those variables and of course it’s a different story.
Source: Supernats laptimes year over year. It’s the best example I can think of that shows comparable drivers, teams/tuning, conditions etc.
For some perspective on the slow-end of the spectrum:
I run a TM K9 KZ2 setup a few times a year - due to time constraints - and the CR125 Hondas are regularly faster than me.