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Old 26 Aug 2012, 10:37 (Ref:3124961)   #1
Scoobysnacks
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Honda Pro Kart V TKM 4 Stroke

Morning all, I'm after some advice please? I'm looking to buy my first kart, I've been racing rental karts for about 2 years now and I'm not too bad, but would like one of my own now, I'm looking at 4 strokes, purely because of keeping running costs down and until recently I'd been sold on getting a Honda twin engine pro kart as I believe the engines are very good and reliable and not to hard too maintain yourself. But as I've looked more into it I've noticed that TKM do a 4 stroke kart also, but I don't know a lot about them.

I'm heading towards 40, so I'm not going for a career in racing, but certainly looking for a lot of fun! I'm going to go for my ARKs licence next year as I believe this will open up more races for me, but when I buy my 1st kart I want to make sure I've got the right one so 3 months down the line I'm not trying to sell it to get another one....

Could anyone give me an idea of the difference between the 2 please? I.e. engine life between rebuilds, which would be quicker etc?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 26 Aug 2012, 11:33 (Ref:3125002)   #2
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Originally Posted by Scoobysnacks View Post
Morning all, I'm after some advice please? I'm looking to buy my first kart, I've been racing rental karts for about 2 years now and I'm not too bad, but would like one of my own now, I'm looking at 4 strokes, purely because of keeping running costs down and until recently I'd been sold on getting a Honda twin engine pro kart as I believe the engines are very good and reliable and not to hard too maintain yourself. But as I've looked more into it I've noticed that TKM do a 4 stroke kart also, but I don't know a lot about them.

I'm heading towards 40, so I'm not going for a career in racing, but certainly looking for a lot of fun! I'm going to go for my ARKs licence next year as I believe this will open up more races for me, but when I buy my 1st kart I want to make sure I've got the right one so 3 months down the line I'm not trying to sell it to get another one....

Could anyone give me an idea of the difference between the 2 please? I.e. engine life between rebuilds, which would be quicker etc?

Thanks in advance.
I've driven both.

The Tkm 4/ is a lot faster than the prokart, however speed isn't everything. Its pros and cons. The rebuild times are pretty much the same on the prokarts and Tkm of you want to stay fairly competitive. The cost to rebuild a Tkm engine is around 350 quid, it's about 200 for a Honda engine but there are 2 of them. The biggest difference is engines is in prokarts you get selected parts engines and standard engines. The selected parts engines are quicker than standards ones but also cost more to buy in the first place.

In terms of costs to buy it depends what you want! You can get a nackered old prokarts for a few hundred quid, or something semi competitive for 2000-2500, the Tkm 4/ is a bit cheaper at 1500 or so. With a Tkm 4/ it is an external starter of course, so you would need help to start it, or build a little trolley for the starter so you can sit in the kart and reach around to the starter to start and then pull it away.

The bottom line is both are great kart, the Tkm is cheeper to buy than the prokarts if you want something semi competative and it is faster than the prokart, the prokart is easier to maintain than the Tkm, you can rebuild the engines easily yourself and if your not worried about being too competative you can get them very cheep.

I suppose you need to look at what runs at your local track. If you just want to do track days, id go for the Tkm, you won't get bored of being overtaken all the time by faster karts, as it's almost the same speed as 2/ karts, but if you want to race then take a look at your local tracks to see what races there.
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Old 26 Aug 2012, 11:48 (Ref:3125017)   #3
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Hi,

Thanks for your reply, very helpful indeed, just what I was after.

To start with I'll be doing loads of track days just to get a feel for it then maybe moving to races, I'm looking at Rissington as thats where my nephew goes. But thats when I get my licence, which I'll be going for next year.

Any idea of the hours between rebuilds on each please?

Thanks again.
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Old 26 Aug 2012, 12:02 (Ref:3125025)   #4
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Hi,

Thanks for your reply, very helpful indeed, just what I was after.

To start with I'll be doing loads of track days just to get a feel for it then maybe moving to races, I'm looking at Rissington as thats where my nephew goes. But thats when I get my licence, which I'll be going for next year.

Any idea of the hours between rebuilds on each please?

Thanks again.
No problem. I can't say what hours the Tkm is, the Honda I raced did an entire season of 4 hour enduros without a rebuild, around 50 hours. I've heard the same for Tkm 4/, but it depends on the revs you do and how wet you run the engine. You don't run as fast if you run the engine rich or keep the engine revs down by altering the gearing, but it increases the engine life considerably. Check out the forum on karting.co.uk as there is a lot of knowledgable people on there!
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Old 26 Aug 2012, 17:30 (Ref:3125407)   #5
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If you want to race at Rissy then can't be a prokart as they don't have a grid. However tkm4 is dieing on its backside, so you may have to look elsewhere. Where do you live?
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Old 26 Aug 2012, 17:39 (Ref:3125408)   #6
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No problem. I can't say what hours the Tkm is, the Honda I raced did an entire season of 4 hour enduros without a rebuild, around 50 hours. I've heard the same for Tkm 4/, but it depends on the revs you do and how wet you run the engine. You don't run as fast if you run the engine rich or keep the engine revs down by altering the gearing, but it increases the engine life considerably. Check out the forum on karting.co.uk as there is a lot of knowledgable people on there!
Thanks, I'll go on there and have a look, been nosing through the market place there for the last month or so.

Thanks for the help again.
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Old 26 Aug 2012, 17:41 (Ref:3125410)   #7
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If you want to race at Rissy then can't be a prokart as they don't have a grid. However tkm4 is dieing on its backside, so you may have to look elsewhere. Where do you live?
Rissington was just an idea, my brother in law thought he'd seen pro karts there, but wasn't certain. I'm open to go where they do 4 stroke racing, I'm in near Wolverhampton in the Midlands.
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Old 27 Aug 2012, 12:02 (Ref:3125775)   #8
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Rissington was just an idea, my brother in law thought he'd seen pro karts there, but wasn't certain. I'm open to go where they do 4 stroke racing, I'm in near Wolverhampton in the Midlands.
Sadly there are very few club Prokart championships in relation to 2 stroke like Rotax and TKM. Always makes me wonder why because Prokart is much cheaper to start with. If you want to go Non-MSA for instance then a budget of £400-700 would get you a raceable kart. Just going back to the prices, you may well get a TKM 4 stroke for £1500 but then if the engine needs a rebuild Talko will charge you the best part of a grand to do that. Add in the fact there are very few of these karts at regional level, only mainly at National and as I mentioned earlier its becoem very poorly supported, due in the main because Talko have lost focus and moved on to other things. F6 run a championship, rounds around the south and midlands and there is a TKM 4 stroke grid on the Kartmania national championship, but again both these grids are under 10 karts and really struggling.

Prokarts are more universal in endurance racing, there is also a non-MSA grid up at PFI that I have heard good things about, but probably need to spend a few quid to be competitive there. If you were a little more south then I would definately say F6 for Prokarts because you dont have to spend silly money and theres a weight class to suit all. Im a big lad and I run in the Heavyweight class where the driver has to be 15 stone. Theres also a 186kg and 172kg class, very good racing, nice atmosphere between drivers too. Heres this years calender, all races on a Saturday http://www.f6karting.com/Pages/F6%20Extra.html

I would also say that between Rotax and 4 stroke there isnt that much difference at Club level in the amount of work you will do, not all 2 strokes are rocket science.

I would also say that being in the middle of the country you could race your Prokart in the Kartmania national championship also, but again you would have to spend a few bob on tyres and stuff. I do it and its a really good championship, just being down south means I have 7 hr drives to Rowrah and the like...
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Old 27 Aug 2012, 12:10 (Ref:3125778)   #9
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I can't say what hours the Tkm is, the Honda I raced did an entire season of 4 hour enduros without a rebuild, around 50 hours.

I've heard the same for Tkm 4/, but it depends on the revs you do and how wet you run the engine. You don't run as fast if you run the engine rich or keep the engine revs down by altering the gearing, but it increases the engine life considerably.
I wouldnt let my Hondas go 50 hours between rebuilds!! I think the TKM can go a long way, but then it can go pop in a big way and as previously stated the rebuilds aint cheap.

I think running them rich is more of a 2 stroke aid to longevitiy to be honest.
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Old 27 Aug 2012, 13:32 (Ref:3125817)   #10
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I have to preface this by declaring that I don't like 4 stroke karting, however that opinion's coloured by the fact that I've been racing [proper] 2 stroke machines for 30 years.

Steve [Ghinzani] is bang on the mark about the TKM 4 stroke. From the day it was launched it was a failure and it's on its last legs at the moment. Steer well clear of it as there aren't many places you can race it, and it's an expensive piece of kit to have rebuilt.

My recommendation to get started would be to buy an old Formula TKM [BT82] 2 kart. They're nice to drive, very reliable and cheap as chips. You could pick up a reasonable rig for testing for under £300.00. If it let's go, I wouldn't bother rebuilding it, just buy another motor on eBay for £100.00 - £150.00. During your time testing, visit your local kart track [Rissy or wherever else in/around the Midlands you'd like to go] and speak to the people racing in the different classes there to get their opinions. Personally I would recommend Rotax Max as even though it's more expensive than TKM two stroke, there are more options on where and how to race it [i.e. location, driver weight, driver age etc...]. It's by far and away the most popular racing class in the UK for good reason.

If you're insistent on sticking with 4 stroke, then it has to be Honda as Steve says... but do a bit more digging into 2 stroke karting before you make up your mind. You'll spend quite a lot of effort getting licences and signature and given that [like me] your racing career won't be that long, it's best to get maximum bang for your effort.
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Old 28 Aug 2012, 17:44 (Ref:3126441)   #11
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Thanks for all the help and advice to all. Think I'm sticking to Pro Kart as I like the idea of the length of times between rebuilds. I would love to go 2 stoke racing, but as I have a young family I think think it may be out of my reach for now, but in a few years who knows, its certainly where I'd love to be.

I love endurance racing and I think this is where I'll be doing most of my racing in a kart that I buy, that and track days so a bullet proof engine is what I need and I think the Honda will do me well.
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Old 29 Aug 2012, 18:07 (Ref:3127029)   #12
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Great stuff Jim, look forward to meeting you on the track next year with any luck..
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Old 29 Aug 2012, 21:22 (Ref:3127111)   #13
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Thanks for all the help and advice Steve, really appreciate it, the decision has been made, now the hard part, finding a kart that's exactly what I want..... I'm a fussy so and so too....
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