Reliable and affordable 2 strokes?

I picked up a kart a few weeks ago with a predator 212 on it, and may want to switch over to a two stroke some time in the future. Problem is, I’ve never had a two stroke and only have a basic idea of how they work, I’m just wondering if there are any two strokes out there that are reliable and affordable. Thanks

I have never driven a 2 stroke myself, but I know that all 2 stroke engines are reliable. It’s just whether they are affordable or not. Since 2 stroke engines run on higher rpms, they need to be maintained and have engine rebuilds on a regular basis. KA100 is probably of the more affordable 2 strokes, @tjkoyen was able to run a full season of USPKS KA100 without any rebuilds.

Other engines like X30 need top end rebuilds midseason and then full rebuilds at the end of the season. That’s really if you want to be competitive at a high level. If you’re just running laps for practice or club, you can probably push the engine a bit more before rebuilds.

Others will be able to give you a bit more information, but you can definitely run 2 stroke without going broke, just depends what level you want to compete at. The higher level you go, the more money it’s gonna cost. Tires, fuel, parts, are going to need to be replaced more.

Honestly we need to know what “affordable and reliable” means to you. Also is this something you plan to race or play with.

In general, the most common two stroke in karting that also goes for long periods between services is the Rotax Max. Senior max is around 28HP.

I forgot about that one, it’s kind of died down in my area (Florida), but still strong in others

It would be also important to note that your kart may not accept a modern 2-stroke engine easily and readily if you are planning on running that vintage chassis you have. Would be worth looking into that as well.


Define reliable and affordable?
Balance those 2 things against the competitiveness of your expectations when you go racing! What class Will you be running?

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I’m still in the beginning stages of getting into karting and stuff, and I’m really just looking for something to mess around with and take to a track a few times a year. Generally I want something that has a cheaper rebuild platform, but also doesn’t need to be rebuilt half way through a season.

I’m still trying to find out what chassis I have so I honestly don’t know if a two stroke would fit on it. You could probably judge how it would fit off of some of these pictures, but there are some parts I need to end up replacing before it’s actually race ready.

+1 on what TJ said. The chassis you have probably isnt a great candidate for jumping to a two stroke just yet. Don’t forget building the predator 212 can be fun too, and there’s lots of info and parts out there for it.

If you’re on facebook you could post some pics of your kart in one of the vintage groups to see if they can identify it.

Looks to me as if somebody has gone to a lot of trouble to fit an industrial 4 stroke engine on to a typical 1980s two stroke chassis.
Can’t see why there would be any problem going back ? to ,for example, a Yamaha kt100 or any air cooled 100.

That looks like a perfect chassis for a Rotax Max Junior, if the brakes are good enough.