If you want to be competitive in the sport of kart racing, your are going to need a competitive go kart racing engine. You can spend thousands of dollars on a top of the line racing chassis, but if the engine isn’t built to win, it may all be in vain. There are two “brands” of go kart engines used mainly in competitive racing in North America primarily and these include Honda and Briggs engines. This article focuses on the Honda 4 stroke racing engine.
If you purchase a go kart racing engine out of a box from a dealer, chances are it will not be competitively race ready. In order to have an engine brought up to par with your competitors, you will have to find an engine builder in your area to do so.
They will put your engine on a Dynamometer, which will measure the the torque and rotational speed (rpm) from which power produced by the engine can be calculated. The builder will then tweak the engine to produce the highest amount of torque and rpm within specifications to make your engine as fast as possible.
Sometimes you can find someone selling a winning engine on the secondary market. In this case you might be able to get your hands on a proven engine that an experienced builder has already tweeked.
A go kart racing engine can cost anywhere between $700 to $900 and the costs of having the engine built competitively by an engine builder can add to that cost. Overall it is a good investment for a racing engine however if you are planning on being competitive.
GO Kart Engine Components
Honda karting engines have too many components to list and it can get quite technical. The specifics include:
- The recoil or electric start system
- Fuel tank (takes automotive unleaded gasoline)
- Wet, multi-plate, centrifugal clutch system
- Spark Plugs
- Overhead valve single cylinder
- Forced air cooling system
How to Upkeep Your Go Kart Engine
To keep your engine running smoothly from race to race, there a few things you should do at the end of each race day before you pack away the kart for the week.
- Inspect your spark plug to ensure nothing has moved or been damaged during the day. It is advisable to replace your spark plug once a year to ensure optimized engine performance.
- Remove any used oil from the engine after race day before storing. You should change your oil generally every 20-30 minutes of track racing. This should usually last you one full race day depending on how many races you complete in a day.
- If you are going to be keeping the kart stationary for more than 30 days without racing you should remove all the gasoline from the engine as it can become deteriorated and cause hard starting and poor engine performance.
For more information on the Honda Go Kart Engine visit their website at www.honda-engines.com and download a product manual.