One of the most frequently asked questions is, "what part(cam, carb, head, etc.) do you recommend for my engine or class?" Or asking for other suggestions related to the engine build.
The calls and messages can be overwhelming, so we put together a quick reference builder's guide that helps our customers put together engines based on their goals. For each engine model, we give you recommended parts and links to those parts for easy purchasing—no more searching or navigating the website to find the parts you need.
Below we describe the typical goals of our customers and their expectations. If you have similar goals, choose your engine and look at the title of each recommended parts list for your build.
Recreational Performance -
Most beginners will start with jet kits or aftermarket stock carburetors like the Tillotson PK with aftermarket exhaust headers. However, with the introduction of the Ghost 212, expectations were raised, and more performance was desired. Our parts recommendation will exceed the performance of engines like the Ghost 212, LO206, Tillotson 212RS, and similar spec racing engines without compromising the durability or drivability of your engine. Usually, these engines race around 50-55mph. The engine will be easy to pull start with good idle and good performance. While we do not include a rev-limited coil if you decide to use one, we recommend the 6500 rpm coil.
Powerband - Ideal Powerband 3500-6500rpms. Peak power for this kit will be around 6000rpms, but we suggest turning at most 6700rpms for peak performance.
Clutch Engagement - Engagement can be as low as 2200rpms but optimized around 3200-3600rpms. A Torque Converter(CVT) works very well with this level of performance.
Hot Recreational Performance -
Customers sometimes want a hotter engine that can be used recreationally but want more power and top end, especially if using a centrifugal clutch and not a torque converter. Depending on the engine and displacement, you'll have power and torque similar to a Tillotson 225R/RS or Briggs World Formula. Usually, these engine race around 55-60mph. The parts list at this level is very close to the stage 2 kit we sell, but for most engines, we opt for a cast aluminum flywheel for easier pull starting and lower cost. If you want to dabble in cylinder head porting, this is a great level to start. If you don't want to build your own engine, the 228R would be a good option for this kind of performance.
Powerband - Ideal Powerband 4000-7000rpms. Peak power for this kit will be around 6500-6700rpms, but we suggest turning at most 7500rpms for peak performance.
Clutch Engagement - Engagement can be as low as 2600rpms but optimized around 3600-3900rpms.
What may be the most popular engine combination among those building mini bikes that want a high-performance cruiser that occasionally likes to race is a street/strip setup. We are moving away from recreational builds and are building mild racing engines. The closest engines in terms of power would be a limited modified OHV or 14.5ci Open flathead, which makes this combination a good starting point for those running unrestricted rules on small outlaw tracks. The engine may be harder to pull start with ignition timing added by the billet flywheel. If you want easier to start combination EC will have a PVL Ignition and Flywheel that will retard timing below 1200rpms to make pull-starting easier.
Powerband - Ideal Powerband 4200-7500rpms. Peak power for this kit will be around 6700-7000rpms, but we suggest turning at most 8000rpms for peak performance.
Clutch Engagement - Engagement can be as low as 3200rpms but optimized around 3800-4200rpms.
Stock Appearing -
One of the most popular karting classes is the stock appearing. These are considered full-out racing engines and not something we recommend for anything other than the racetrack(no mini bikes or hobby carts). Rules may vary, but if the engine looks stock from 5ft away, then it's legal. On the extreme end of displacement, using a 263R as the base, you can make similar power to a 14.5ci open modified engine. The competitive nature of this class can make it more challenging to choose a one-size-fits-all combination that falls within your budget. We have a couple of choices for carburetors depending on your class rules, competition level, and budget.
Powerband - Peak power and the powerband will vary on which carburetor you choose and the engine size. Typically power band 5200-8200 Typical clutch engagement
Clutch Engagement - Engagement can be as low as 4600rpms but optimized around 5200-5500rpms.
Open Modified -
Like the Stock Appearing, the Open Modified can vary in combination depending on your budget or level of competition. Most kart track series and national events run 14.5ci classes, but regional or local tracks may not have cubic inch limits or prohibit billet heads and blocks. We are putting together combinations that work with each engine using primarily cast blocks. We will add a billet block guide once the EC Billet Blocks are finished.
Powerband - Peak power and the powerband will vary on which carburetor you choose and the engine size. Typically power band 5500-8800 Typical clutch engagement
Clutch Engagement - Engagement can be as low as 5200rpms but optimized around 5700-6000rpms.
Each Recommendation is a starting point and what we like to call "when in doubt" combinations that have helped thousands of customers meet their goals and win races. Using our recommendations as a reference, you can dial in your combination for your goal where you may want more driveability or if you need to move the powerband around.
You need to be aware of factors that will influence the final output and performance of each engine and combination.
- Geographic Location - changes in humidity, barometric pressure, ambient temperature, elevation, etc
- Fuel - Pump Gas can vary in ethanol(and water byproduct) content geographically and seasonally. Octane and fuel chemistry(oxidizer, accelerates, etc.) can influence tuning and engine performance.
- Build Quality & Assembly - The engine can perform better or worse depending on machining, assembly method, and break-in procedure.
- Tuning - Carburetor tuning can be influenced by Geographic Location and Fuel. Ignition Timing is best to start with a straight-up key, but adding or reducing timing can impact performance. Exhaust Headers can influence performance by length and diameter. We recommend using .880-.960 ID headers for all builds and using mufflers when it is required or necessary. DO NOT USE STOCK EXHAUSTS, AFTERMARKET LAWNMOWER, OR WEENIE PIPE EXHAUST WITH ANY OF THESE KITS
- Vehicle and Weight - The weight of the driver and the type of machine may influence where the powerband needs to be to meet your expectations for on-track performance.
- Kart Setup - Racing karts can have high levels of grip even on dirt; if the chassis is bound-up and laying flat in the corners, it may increase the resistance or load on the engine. The engine appears to lack power, especially out of the corners. Gearing can also considerably impact track performance that isn't always accounted for on the dyno.
Below you will find the different engines we've made recommendations for, and clicking the link will bring you to the page that breaks the combination into parts.