The Great Debate: KA100 vs VLR


(David Gallaher) #1

Fast. Basic. Affordable (?)

With the IAME KA100 being introduce during the 2016 holiday season, it was only a matter of time that Vortex would soon follow suit with a similiar product. The VLR came into the American market spring of 2018 and with it, a challenge against its rival announced just recently. RoK invited its competitor out to Vegas for a showdown unseen in the 100cc community for years.

With a date set, here’s a few questions I’m sure we’re all asking:

-Who will be the dominate performer at RoK the Rio?
-Will KA100 owners participate?
-If an IAME product sweeps the podium spots, what would it mean for Vortex?
-Why should IAME bring the sale price down after they’ve been on sale for months?
-Will there be an open invite next year?
-How will the current prices affect RoK the Rio entries?
-Are the rumors true about Vortex reliability and electronics?

There’s a strong history with drivers and the 100cc category. Now we have the resources, knowledge, and a small bit of our future laid ahead for us. Let’s hear from you, your voice and let’s see where this all takes us into 2019!

(TJ Koyen) #2

Very interesting move by Rok for sure.

My thought is that it will be hard to beat the KA’s reliability. We have had four KA karts under the tent this season and the only engine-related issue we’ve had so far was the killswitch going bad on the one at the last event.

(Charles Skowron) #3

I’m surprised like everyone else is on the announcement. I’d like to think that Vortex/Rok is extending an olive branch to the IAME group, realizing that competing against each other for racers does no one any good in the big picture.

The cynic in me suggests this is an attempt to show their VLR engine being superior in performance over the KA100. Which would mean they learned nothing from the days of TaG 125, when each engine manufacturer were constantly updating their motors in an attempt to gain an advantage over the other and ultimately lead to the fractious mess we have in karting now.

Although the VLR is still being retailed around $1600, correct? Maybe their strategy is to show both engines having parity on track. But then they could say: “Our VLR engine is equal in performance to the KA100, but for $800 dollars less.” A typical marketing strategy, and maybe a political victory in their book.

-C. Skowron

(Liam Sergeant) #4

What is the max output of the new motor? Do you race open style TaG categories in America as opposed to engine specific?

(Bryan Williams ) #6

So has the VLR been out long enough to get a general idea of rebuild times? I’ve talked to a few builders that have told me if you start with a fresh KA do a mid season rebuild you should be more than good. Since the motors are so close on the specs I am curious to know if the rebuild schedule would be as close. This is also assuming you’re motor doesn’t have any issues that would be not motor related, like starter or clutch hiccups.

(Ted Hamilton) #7

Has anyone driven both? I loved the KA, and want to jump back in to 100cc a/c TaG…this is a better pricepoint at RoK, but not if there’s nowhere to race it (comparatively…) How does it feel compared to KA?

(James McMahon) #8

It’s not really an answer to your question, but I can say this.

There’s some momentum gathering for combined 100cc TaG classes. At least combining the VLR and KA.

Starting in SoCal, then of course RoK cup and next year TAGUSA sanctioned tracks will have an option for a 100cc TaG class.

Next year the NW Gold Cup will have a multi make 100cc class, I suspect others will follow suit. Hopefully we won’t repeat our mistakes and see a war of arms between manufacturers like we did in 125cc TaG…

Time will tell.

(Bryan Williams ) #9

I have also heard that Vortex is looking into re doing their spec/rules to help make it more competitive against the KA. I think out of box the are dead on but builders are getting a bit more from KA on dyno and all top classes were won by KA at rok the rio.

(James McMahon) #10

…and so it begins (unfortunately)
I hope I’m terribly wrong.

Where did you hear that BTW?

(Bryan Williams ) #11

A local guy. He his a Tony kart dealer. Decided to buy a couple VLR motors and was going to give them to an engine builder he knows to “prep” them. The engine builder said that there really isn’t any adjustment variables in the VLR like there is with the KA. So he called back to Florida and they said yes they know it’s an issue and are working on it. They got back with him after the rio and said they are making some changes to the squish and timing allowances. Not sure when anything official will come out.

(Kevin Manning ) #12

Funny thing is, VLR and KA are the exact same engines. Same bore and stroke, same ignition system. Same size carb (just different serial number) both wire harnesses inner change. Pipe lengths are different. I’d like to test both pipes on each motor someday.

(James McMahon) #13

Reed cage size and port timing are different between the VLR and KA.

Definitely a lot of similarities. But not quite the same engine.

(James McMahon) #14

A post was merged into an existing topic: Starting Out in Karting Seattle WA Area

(David Gallaher) #15

For more technical updates on RoK products, there’s an exclusive group for RoK owners only on Facebook for those interested.

(Don Westlie) #16

Road America just announced adding the VLR into the mix with the KA for 2019. At roughly $1k less, it seems like a deal. But with 66 as the regional and KA firmly part of the structure, I wonder how many will buy into the VLR.

Unless 66 opens the KA(100cc) class to both…

(Bryan Williams ) #17

What’s the recommended or what are others use with best results spark plug? For the VLR.

(Bryan Williams ) #18

Also something I’ve noticed since last night and today. Trying to find parts seems to be a bit tougher for the VLR vs the KA. I can’t find from any of the popular or larger online stores replacement parts like clutches, drivers, reeds or much else. Unless I just haven’t found the right online store yet.

(James McMahon) #19

Took some digging, eventually found it via sitemap, but here’s Vortex’s USA dealer map.