Shifter Chassis downgrade to LO206

Hi guys, I know this might sound crazy but I was wondering if you have a Shifter Kart with a Stock Honda 125 and would be interested in racing in a LO206 league, would it be possible to convert the kart into a LO206 (keeping the same chassis) ? That would entail removing the front brakes, removing the gear shifting stick, the clutch, etc. Would it be race legal? Then after a while jumping back to the stock Honda 125. Just for the fun of competing with more people that are currently at the LO206, I figure it might be cheaper to just buy a used 4 stroke engine and mount it on rather than buying a whole new kart.
Also, do you believe the Stock Honda 125 is going out of date? Is it in danger of extinction? I heard it could go away soon…
anyway, hoping to start a great thread here!

I am pretty sure it would be legal. I have seen several shifter chassis converted for LO206. I think your only issue may be the chassis itself. I have heard 32mm frames are harder to get to work with the lower hp motor. i.e. not enough flex under the reduced forces. Have also seen several shifter chassis with 30mm tubes, so just depends on what you have and how you set it up. Shifter axle is already set up with inboard sprocket key so that is one less thing you have to buy.

As for Stock Honda, I spoke with a Honda Performance Division Rep several years ago during the SCCA Runoffs at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He said that the 125 engine had been out of production for some time and that what ever parts were available was it. Additionally, he said there would not be enough inventory to support National Programs, but Local and Regional ones could survive for many years to come. I noticed last year that SKUSA has already started the transition away from the stock Honda to the IAME product. There is also the ROK Shifter engine being run on the National level. I believe there are a few more, but they haven’t taken off here like they have in Europe with bigger KZ programs. You may find the price of pistons and cylinders going up over time as the inventory goes down. If nothing else, you could use the down time in LO206 to decide which package you wanted to go with when you go back to shifter.

My 206 kart started life as a shifter… Then it hit a tyre wall at about 85-90 at the road course at Autobahn North road course. Fixed it up and made a 206 out of it. It still has front brake spindles on it.

One advantage of using a shifter kart is that you already have an axle with an inboard drive key. You may find yourself moving the seat forward a bit to free up the rear, but at the outset run it as-is and send it.

One thing to consider is how the brake system is setup at the master cylinder for the front and rear. You have have to make some modifications for it to operate as rear only.

Talk with your track as they may allow you to run the kart with the front brakes bolted on but (safely) disabled. This has been done with TAG (125cc non shifter) and 80cc shifter classes in the past.

Things like the CR125 dying can be a self-fulfilling prophecy if we let it be. SKUSA replaced it with the 175 in their premier series, but really that impacts only 200 (ish) drivers out of (guessing) 1000+ across the US. The problem with this is that, naturally, the happenings at those higher profile events and series are covered in media more often, so it can seem like it’s going away when it’s not.

I think it will have value in karting for some time at the local\regional level. Also road racing (full sized road courses) are seeing a lot of CR125 activity, an increase in fact.

This is information is incredible guys. Thank you so much for the support and guidance. I will keep you posted in regards my kart!
Best wishes to all

When talking to the HPD rep and he stated “not enough supply for a national program”, I think he was eluding to the fact that at the Highest Levels, it is very common to replace the piston before each event and/or during an event weekend. Really just depleting the supply faster. On the other hand, local and regional programs may see several events or even a full season between rebuilds. Just some food for thought.