Rotax Engines??

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    I’m completely new to karting, i’ve been lurking on these boards and watching at the track for a few months now, but my knowledge is definitely limited. One thing i’m struggling with is that there seems to be plenty of used rolling chassis’ available for $2500-$4000 but the rotax FR125 engines all seem to be “blueprinted, carried someone to victory recently” type engines. Is there a way to get a decent chassis and a ‘run of the mill’ rotax engine combined for $3000? I’ve been saving for a while now and I’ve got some cash saved up, but i’m finding that my expectations were probably a bit unrealistic. Is it best to wait for a few months, buy one of these excellent engines and spend $4000-$5000 on the pacakge, or does anyone have any tips on finding a package that I won’t ‘outgrow’ in short order for $3000?

    This group has been exceedingly helpful so far, all of you on this board have been great! I really appreciate all the help and hope I can get in a few more stupid questions before I make a purchase of a kart.

    Thanks again to all


    Doug Welch


    Everybody “embellishes” their engine package a bit and everyone is very proud of their accomplishments. Trust me when I tell you, your first race win will be a high lite for weeks and you will make sure every one of your close friends knows about it. You won’t find a guy who says, “This thing is a rust bucket and runs in the back of every race so please buy my kart.” Who wants to buy a loser?

    Contrary to popular belief, there is no such thing as a “blueprinted” Rotax engine. Usually what the guy is trying to say is that motor was recently serviced by ABC service center. That’s a good thing for you the purchaser. You know the engine was recently overhauled and should be in very good condition. As a buyer, you want a package with recent service over one that hasn’t be serviced in several years. No service means that it’s getting ready to give you a headache and buyers remorse.

    You may find an older package for $3,000. Also, money talks and a guy asking $3,500 for his kart may let it go for $3,000 if you’re standing in front of him/her waving hundred dollar bills. A newer package, say 2006 and up is a better package than one that is 2002 or older. With a new kart costing $6,500 to $7,500, $4,000 to $4,500 for a year or two old kart is a fair price. Particularly if it is a low race time package.

    Many of the packages you are seeing are newer packages being sold by the better racers. Most of the best racers replace their karts every year or so. These are winning karts so of course they are proud of their accomplishments. Also, these karts have better than average maintenance done to them and they often are in much better shape than older karts. So in the long run, they can be a better deal than an older well used kart.

    One last thing, don’t be afraid to make an offer. What’s the worst that can happen, the guy says no.

    Rick Schmidt

    As usual,

    Great advise Doug.

    You mean it’s not all about the motor? :bang

    I saw someone (very good driver) barrow an FR 125 off of Stacey’s rental kart up in Junction a few years back and put a pretty good whopping on the field.

    I guess if all things are equal, it could be said a very well balanced and free crank could make the difference, but some of the best running Rotax’s I’ve seen, had a lot of miles on them.


    If you do find a good deal on a pre-owned kart and have questions call one of the shops and see if they will give the kart the once over. If the seller is serious about selling their unit, I’m sure they wouldn’t mind someone looking at it. Just make sure the chassis is straight and not ground excessively in the waist. (bottom of the rails outboard of the fuel tank) You can go around and replace tie rod end, bearings, nuts and bolts for a reasonable amount of money and get to know your kart a little better in the process. That kind of stuff is kind of fun if you have a little mechanical ability, it’s a good chance to get a little more intimate with your machine, even if your just going out to have fun. Of course that’s what they all say till someone passes you!

    Keep shopping, you’ll get the right deal. As Doug mentioned, a lot of racers are reloading this time of year and you can buy a good machine for a decent price. Not sure if you’ll get a last year model chassis with a freshly rebuilt engine for 3k, but you might be able to get fairly close.

    You missed the kart auctioned at Bobs benefit, it was a good deal at $2500, but there is another deal out there for you.

    You’re much more patient than I am.

    Looking forward to seeing yo out there.



    I have a complete, race ready tag kart with a leopard motor. These run in the same class with the Rotax’s unless you are looking to run in the Mile High Challenge Series. This is a very fast kart and we are selling it for $3,000.
    Feel free to e-mail me at [email protected] or call me at 303-653-7276



    Thank you all so much for your help. I’m glad to hear a lot of guys are wrenching on their own karts, thats’ something I’ve enjoyed on motorcycles for years. Seems like karting will be even more about setup than the bikes were. That said, the more i learn, the more learn i’ve got a lot to learn. I’m very excited to finally get out and actually get some ‘butt in seat time’. Hopefully I’ll find a kart that i can work on and get out to the track here shortly. Thanks again for all the help from everyone!


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