Four-Stroke vs. Two-Stroke (probable controversy)

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    As I look to get into karting, it seems engine preference drives the class choice. And there are a lot of engine options out there.

    Two-strokes seem to have gobs of power, narrow powerband, require more frequent maintenance. I’m having trouble getting numbers as far as how frequent and at what cost.

    Four-strokes seem more rare. Why is that? They cost more upfront but run lots longer – right? Wider power band, less overall power (even comparing 250cc 4s to 125cc 2s) and more expensive to rebuild although they last much much longer – right?

    Are there four-stroke shifter karts?
    What is the four-stroke scene in Colorado (primarily IMI and Bandimere)?
    I’ve heard “Rotax is rare” and “Rotax is dominant.” Comments?

    I invite differing opinions here from people who know lots. But let’s try to keep this fact-based and quantifiable. I’m confused enough without hearing “my motor choice is the greatest and fastest” and no supporting info.

    Is there a place that explains different classes running at IMI, Bandimere and other local tracks?
    If I knew what class was what, I could see the entry fields.
    What about cost information for the different chassis and motor combos? Both purchase and running costs…

    This is a big question and likely to stir controversy. Hopefully, it will all be good.



    Didn’t seem to whip up too much controversy

    Curt Kistler

    Best place to gather local data is right here in the race results section. The National scene information is found on and in the national rags like SuperKart, and Kart Sport.

    What’s most important is what you want to do, and have fun doing it.

    4 Stroke shifters are not going to happen in mass. It’s going to take a national ban on 2 stroke engines and emmisions to promote a solid effort in 4 stroke shifter racing. Unless someone decides to build a road track that can allow these motors to unwind, it probably won’t happen. IMO.

    As far as 2 stroke cost. We raced 7 times at IMI and all 7 CSC races in PRO ICC and went thru 6 top ends at $145.00 each + tires at each event.
    If the truth were known, we only needed 3 top ends for the year. And we did have a fun year running mid pack.


    Boulder Guy,

    New rotax at season start:

    Put 29 hrs on it
    IMI (12 races) + CSC (7 races) + CRE (3 races) = 22 races this year

    motor costs: one piston ring and re-sealing costs = ~$130 during the yr

    motor costs: send in for end of season re-fresh= ~$250

    not bad!


    Boulder Guy,
    Looks like you would fit in Romans Rotax, if you would like to try it. We could meet you at Imi on a weekend. Tag is a large class and if you are interested in running the State Championship, The Tag classes have a good turn out. If you intend running the Imi track series, the four stroke looks fun. Most of the Tag packages are relatively inexpensive to run. I think in all of the classes the biggest expense is going to be tires. With prior racing experince you may lean towards a shifter. Even if that is what your thinking a Tag or 4 stroke will be a god starting place. You will learn to be smooth and the dynaics of Kart handling and set up.

    There are a bunch of great people in the karting scene here who would be glad to help you. You can refer to the “results” link ( located here in the website to see the entry numbers.

    PM me if you have any other questions.


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