New to Karting. Please help me choose a motor! kindof long..

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  • #40095
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    I am going to buy a cart to race next year and I have a few questions I hope you all can help me with. I have decided to drive a TaG cart, but I am trying to determine which engine package I should go with.
    First of all, how much does a typical tag kart weigh without driver and any ballast? I have noticed that the Bandimere and the GJ tracks put the tag karts in the same class with different weight minimums. For instance the Italsistem minimum is 405 at Bandimere and 415 at GJ, while the Leopard motor is 380 at Bandimere and 390 at GJ. I weigh almost 200 pounds. Am I going to be overweight with the Leopard package? Or will I be better off with the higher weight limit and higher (I assume) power output of the Italsistem package?
    Will I be able to race at IMI and CRE with the Leopard package? I don’t see any tag classes listed besides Rotax at CRE, and none listed at IMI. I probably won’t make it to CRE very often, but I could go to IMI fairly often.
    As you can probably tell, I’m leaning toward the Parilla Leopard package, because I like the clutch and starter system, lack of exaust valve, and the general design. Also, though, I am scared of the time and cost of sending the Rotax motor to the factory approved guys for maintainance. I would like to put a new piston in the thing myself if I have to, and at least have the option of rebuilding it myself. Is this an issue? Are the motors all about the same in terms of cost, reliability, and frequency of maintainance? The prospect of never changing a jet (in the Leopard) thrills me, as opening up a carburetor and changing jets is one of my least favorite tasks. Am I going to regret it, from a tuneability standpoint? Will the Rotax be able to make more power with it’s “normal” carb?
    Finally, tell me what YOU think the best package is. I want baised and unbiased opinions (just please specify which!) I will be looking at the Rotax, Biland, Leopard, Vortex, Sonik, and Italsistem packages. I want to know why you like your Rotax, or why you think your buddy’s ______ is a piece of junk. If you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading, and thanks in advance for any responses. I’m sure I’ll be holding up traffic at a track near you soon!

    #45146
    Doug Welch
    Participant

    While my personal favorite is the Leopard, with your weight, you may want to give a hard look at the Biland or the Italsistem. Most likely you will not make weight with any of the packages, you are a bit on the heavy side. But so what, there are plenty more just like you. The Italsistem carries more weight because its a more powerful engine. So your weight will not much of a penality there. The Biland has more torque. Since you are going to be over weight, the increased torque of the Biland will help you come off the corners better than if you were on a Leopard or similar package.

    #45147
    Marc Elliott
    Participant

    Leopard or Biland, I heard from someone in RI this year that the Italistem is a POS, and they break and all that. As for the weight issue, the 380 at bandimere, that is for JR’s running the SR package, for you, 390 is the state requirement for SR leopard weight. The 415 Itaisistem is for SR’s probably also. A buddy of ours bought a leopard last summer, he was at 200 lbs body weight (with a Parolin Le-Mans chassis, its a heavier setup) he still added like 15lbs, so I think you would be ok, but its your choice.

    #45148
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    I highly recommend the Leopard. Great engine, low maintenance, good support from the dealer, easy to tune.

    You can race the kart anywhere on the front range. IMI allows the Leopard in their TaG Classes just like Bandimere and GJ.

    I don’t think you have to worry all that much about weight. I come in about 20# over minimum for TaG Sr leopard, but still run in the 41’s at Bandimere – a good, cometetive lap time. Getting closer to minimum wouldn’t hurt though and there’s always the gym and/or the atkins diet;-).

    I’d steer clear of any engine that doesn’t have local support. The Italsistem engine has a lot of appeal because of the higher hp and corresponding higher minimum weight, but unless your a really dope wrench and have a garage full of spares, you may find yourself in some trouble.

    Glad to hear you’ll be coming on board with a TaG for ’04 and if you think you’ll be the one holding up traffic, you’re wrong. In order to hold up traffic you’ll have to pass me first.

    And with your next post, sign it with your real name so we know who you are, and who’s beer cooler we should raid while you’re out on the track.

    PS: I’ll most likely be up at the Bandimere track just hanging out on Sunday around noon (weather permitting, Lord willing and the creek don’t rise), come on up, and hang out and we’ll talk. I’ll tell you all sorts of rotten things about Welch.

    #45149
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Now that we have heard from the 2 leopared drivers, here is my take on the situation.

    1) You can’t go wrong with either the Leopard or the Rotax – these are the 2 most prevelant motors for Tag in Colorado. I don’t like the Biland due to initial cost, but to the Biland’s defense it definetly has more bottom end torque than either of the other two packages listed above, but not good mid range or top end.

    2) The rotax won the Tag senior championship this year. The rotax finished 1,2,4,5,6 in the state series as well. I think that speaks for itself.

    3) In regards to Tag at CRE for the leopard – don’t count on it. It is a rotax track primarily and George doesn’t want to be part of the team in supporting the colorado series. IMI runs a tag class every race weekend and all motors are welcome – same at Bandimere and Grand Junction.

    4) As far as replacing your own cylinder, etc. You can change it and work on the top end on the rotax, but it makes the motor illegal for RMAX races only – not state or club level races. You are allowed to run in the tag series without the seal.

    5) The jets – it is very easy to change the jet and needle setting – it takes about 2 minutes to get it all changed. It does suck though that you can’t change them on the track, but there is a part that you can buy that allows for this to happen.

    6) Being a 200 pound guy doesn’t hurt you. It just doesn’t help you in adding weight where you want on the chassis for the rotax or any of the packages. Eric Vaughn weighs about 225 and he came to the scales between 395 and 400 each race. No weight and barely any fuel left, so you do the math.

    7) I agree with Chaz in regards to local support. Run what the other drivers run, if you don’t you are going to be sorry on race weekends. For example – at the final state series race in Steamboat there wasn’t a shop within 2 hours to buy extra parts. I went there without an 11 tooth clutch for my rotax and fortunatley there were plenty of rotax motors there with spare parts to buy, swap or borrow. With a 12 tooth I was 2 seconds off pole, with the 11 tooth I was .2 of pole qualifying 3rd. It is a big deal on race weekends to have the support from local shops, but more importantly from other racers.

    Finally – as I stated earlier you can’t go wrong with either the Leopard or the Rotax – they both are very competitive motors and they both will win races. Oh by the way, I’ve got 2 rotax packages for sale with mid range hours. They are both very strong – 3 Poles in the colorado state series and 2 wins in 7 races.

    #45150
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    In response to Dennis,

    The Rotax is a good race package, and the collective record does speak for itself. However, things are going to be a bit different come the ’04 season ;-).

    One thing Dennis ommited is the relative “Cool Factor” or “Kewlness” of the engines. Leopards are cool and Rotax isn’t. Dennis is a great guy, and a great racer, but the sad, sad truth is that his motor just isn’t very cool – at least not compared to the incomparable Parilla Leopard. It doesn’t sound like a racing engine – hell it doesn’t sound much at all. A good shop vac is actually a lot louder and racier-sounding. They puke out their silencer on the the track sometimes – kinds like a whimpy cannon. It makes them sound a lot tougher for the remainder of the race, but you’re left with a stigma like you crapped your own pants AND you have to walk out on the track, alone to retrieve it afterwards because the corner workers won’t touch it – definitely not cool. They have probably the most un-cool airbox ever concieved. And that exhaust valve hanging off the back, looking like some malignant zit – yucko – VERY square. The exhast pipe looks like something out of an H.R. Geiger nightmare on acid.

    I mean if somebody want’s to buy a Rotax, I’m totally down with that, but….

    If you wanna be too cool for school, if you wanna drip with hip, if you wanna be the envy all grown men, and totally attractive to slim-wasted, large breasted single women, as I am…………….

    The choice is clear. Leopard!

    @Dennis Garwood wrote:

    Now that we have heard from the 2 leopared drivers, here is my take on the situation.

    1) You can’t go wrong with either the Leopard or the Rotax – these are the 2 most prevelant motors for Tag in Colorado. I don’t like the Biland due to initial cost, but to the Biland’s defense it definetly has more bottom end torque than either of the other two packages listed above, but not good mid range or top end.

    2) The rotax won the Tag senior championship this year. The rotax finished 1,2,4,5,6 in the state series as well. I think that speaks for itself.

    3) In regards to Tag at CRE for the leopard – don’t count on it. It is a rotax track primarily and George doesn’t want to be part of the team in supporting the colorado series. IMI runs a tag class every race weekend and all motors are welcome – same at Bandimere and Grand Junction.

    4) As far as replacing your own cylinder, etc. You can change it and work on the top end on the rotax, but it makes the motor illegal for RMAX races only – not state or club level races. You are allowed to run in the tag series without the seal.

    5) The jets – it is very easy to change the jet and needle setting – it takes about 2 minutes to get it all changed. It does suck though that you can’t change them on the track, but there is a part that you can buy that allows for this to happen.

    6) Being a 200 pound guy doesn’t hurt you. It just doesn’t help you in adding weight where you want on the chassis for the rotax or any of the packages. Eric Vaughn weighs about 225 and he came to the scales between 395 and 400 each race. No weight and barely any fuel left, so you do the math.

    7) I agree with Chaz in regards to local support. Run what the other drivers run, if you don’t you are going to be sorry on race weekends. For example – at the final state series race in Steamboat there wasn’t a shop within 2 hours to buy extra parts. I went there without an 11 tooth clutch for my rotax and fortunatley there were plenty of rotax motors there with spare parts to buy, swap or borrow. With a 12 tooth I was 2 seconds off pole, with the 11 tooth I was .2 of pole qualifying 3rd. It is a big deal on race weekends to have the support from local shops, but more importantly from other racers.

    Finally – as I stated earlier you can’t go wrong with either the Leopard or the Rotax – they both are very competitive motors and they both will win races. Oh by the way, I’ve got 2 rotax packages for sale with mid range hours. They are both very strong – 3 Poles in the colorado state series and 2 wins in 7 races.

    #45151
    Mike Jansen
    Participant

    Okay Snapperheads here’s my take on this brewing controversy! 😀
    I too run a Rotax like Dennis

    Number one is that I agree with all responses pertaining to GET LOCAL SUPPORT! Rotax, Lepurd or Biland all have great support from the shops and from the racing fraternity.

    As for your weight put it this way, i weigh in at 205 to 210 (solid) and i can’ t lose any more weight without my wife taking me to the Doctor for an AIDS test. I too come off the scales at 398-401 in the senior class. What I do is make marks on my tank and fill fuel to that point. Trial and error and you’ll figure your “marks”.

    Mark Elliot with his lepurd @ Bandemere was .2 seconds better than I was and considering it’s his home track and that i am 20# over the weight limit i am happy with that. Now, put Mark @ IMI and both Dennis and I are faster. So the old saying it’s not what you drive but how you drive it rings true.

    Jets? a minor adjustment on the Rotax. Half the fun is running a leaner jet till you find out what is optimum! However, the lepurd has the advantage over the Rotax pertaining to the “pimple” on the back of the engine AKA exhaust valve. Make sure you keep this clean or you’ll have no response on the track and end up 1.3 seconds off the pace as I did in Steamboat.

    Would I buy another Rotax? Absolutely! It’s an easy engine to work on, low maintenance and cheap (ask me that after i send it in for a top end come January) and i like the response out of corners and top end.

    Besides, i finished 6th in class and am looking to a top 3 next year. (With my Rotax and stock fuel without slick 50, Dennis 😈 )

    What i am trying to say is get what YOU want and don’ t buy into the BS about X being better than Y or Z. It’s the driver with a well tuned engine, any engine…. See you at the track. By the way, the Biland sounds the best in my opinion. Now that is a true race engine sound!

    Mike Jansen
    Rotax #27D

    #45152
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    @Mike Jansen wrote:

    Okay Snapperheads

    That wasn’t very nice Mike! :-).

    Something else should be said, and I’ll say it, is that the Sonik is a worthwhile package to consider.

    AJ Noud ran one at S-Boat and was kicking some serious butt with it. That is, until he had his infamous “Carb Problem”, which wasn’t the engine maker’s fault anyway. I don’t know if Bill/AJ are continuing with that engine or not, but I’ve been rather impressed.

    #45153
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    It’s a four stroke! Oh man, I’ll bet that thing sounds awesome…
    Thanks for the helpful commentary, Keep it coming. I’ve got to help a friend with his Husqvarna, I’ll be back with more questions a little later. Thanks again for the response.

    #45154
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Thanks for the advise everyone. That Biland… Gawd, what a sexy motor. But I don’t think I can afford it. Besides, I rode a four-stroke dirt bike for the last two years; while it made wonderful noise and hooked up like nothing else, the weight/cost/maintainence issues made me return to the two-stroke. Even though I pray it won’t happen, eventually we are going to be forced to stop running our two-strokes. Until that happens, I’ll continue to mix my gas, thank you very much. I think the Rotax looks good, but as I said in my original post, I am more impressed with the design of the Leopard, which is what I’ll likely run. Now I just need to pick the chassis…
    Chaz, If the weather is O.K. I’m going to try to get down to the front range. If I do, I’ll look for you at Bandimere on Sunday.

    #45155
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Dennis; how far off pole where you @ Steamboat 😕

    #45156
    Marc Elliott
    Participant

    Hey David, we are loading up for Vegas on sunday afternoon, but i may run and hang for a few down there, look for me, will help you out. Plus you can rent a leopard @ Bandimere

    #45157
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Plus you can rent a leopard @ Bandimere

    Sweet! Hopefully I’ll see you there!
    Keeping my fingers crossed for dry weather…

    #45158
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    I’ve been looking at the biland website. Oh my, what a bad-ass motor. 😯

    #45159
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Jay,

    How far was I off pole? I thought it was .2 to .3 off, am I wrong? I’ve been known to be wrong in my lifetime.

    Is anybody interested in racing for $ at IMI this winter? I was thinking pea pod drawings and an 18 lap event for tags. Everybody pitch in $50 and the top 2-3 (depending on #of racers) get paid something.

    If we have 10 karts:
    Total entry fees: $500
    Winner: $350
    2nd Place: $100
    3rd Place: $50

    Open format – same weights as CSC – no spec fuel – and tire rule to be same as CSC – wouldn’t mind running B’s but I don’t see myself buying new tires just to take your money. 😉

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