This is an engine that has been developed from scratch, tell us about the process for its development.
The direction given from the AKA at that point of time to engine manufacturers was to take the principles of the Yamaha engine and improve on the pitfalls of the engine, make it an electric start and have it fitted with a clutch.
After that we started testing cylinders, heads and different configurations of an engine until we came up with an engine package that I believe with my 33 years of experience is more enjoyable to drive than the Clubman engine before it, which is what Australian karting has been built on over many decades.
During the past four years, there has been a lot of data going back to Italy to the IAME factory to develop this engine to fine tune it and ensure that it is perfect before we put it up to be considered. This included all aspects of the engine. Every single element in the engine has specifically designed with the karter in mind.
We made sure that we covered off on all areas – even making sure that the engine would restart easily while it is hot.
In testing we would go to a track on 40ºC days, do 20 laps non-stop, spin the kart off on purpose, turn it off and restart the engine. It took a fair bit of work to get it right but we felt that it was vital to have the engine refire in all situations.
Why is Australia the only country using the engine?
It’s a very simple engine to use, there’s no radiator, water pumps, simple electrics, it’s all back to basics - keep it simple, particularly for the newcomer to our sport.
It’s a concept and a specification that will have universal appeal and will eventually cross borders.
There’s nothing to say we can’t be world leaders, we wanted to bring back the pure karting style of engine with the modern touches.
When is the first batch of engines scheduled for completion and delivery?
For those who want to receive the engines during December 2014, we will subsidise the cost of air freight reducing the shipping cost by half to $150.00 to the consumer.
How many engines are in the first order?
What will be the cost of the engines?
In 2016 it will revert back to the original pricing of $3,150.00.
What is included in the engine package?
Included in the package is the engine, carburetor, exhaust, airbox, wiring loom, battery etc. There are no additional engine accessories needed to be purchased to complete the engine before it can be used.
The engine runs around 90ºC cooler than a Yamaha, how is this achieved?
Low revs and temperature yields better piston life and cylinder wear.
Importantly the driver will not have to become an expert “carburetor choker” as is the case with the current Yamaha engines. There is also no need to alter the tuning whilst driving in a race.
What is the difference between the engine used in the Clubman and National specification?
In Clubman format the exhaust manifold is 39mm internal diameter and in National J format it is 19mm internal diameter. Otherwise both engines are identical – there is one carburetor, one pipe, one head etc; which allows you to use the KA100 in National Classes, you just change the exhaust manifold and it becomes a Clubman engine.
What can you tell us about the technology being used in the new engine?
The KA100 engine is currently being manufactured to the highest specification level as per the current IAME X30 engine.
Here are some examples...
The same crank pin and big end cage designed for and used in the current 2014 IAME KZ engine which delivers around 48hp is used in the KA100. It delivers around 22hp in the ‘unrestricted’ specification, so it is well under stressed, leading to much long bottom end life.
The crankcase, crankshaft, clutch and electric starter system has been derived from a 125cc engine, with more power and higher rpm. This ensures that the KA100 has a very stable crankcase in relation to displacement. Being a 100cc engine, it produces much less vibration than a 125cc and no balance shaft is needed.
In three years of on-track testing in Australia we never broke a starter motor brush. Reliability of the engine and its components has been the highest of priorities right through the development process.
I’ll compare it to some other IAME engines that Australian drivers would be familiar with.
The “RL” Leopard has an 18mm crankpin and the KA100 uses a 20mm crankpin.
The KA100 is more similar to the X30 engine and utilises X30 parts including the complete clutch assembly.
Other features of the KA100 engine include:
- Simple Analogue ignition plant.
- No microprocessor, no programmable unit.
- Simple cable harness, just for engine starting (starter motor only).
- Engine start possible even without battery, by an external starter.
- Air cooling simplicity No radiator hoses, no water pumps, no belts makes it easier for the beginner for removing and replacing the engine.
Air cooled engines have been successful for many years.
Its very simplicity and reliability makes it easy to use, desirable to race and a fantastic engine that will serve the Australian karting community very well for many years to come:
- Extended fins: controlled engine temperature even at very hot climatic conditions.
- Less components, less maintenance.
- High quality, accurate machining:
- Precise cast iron liner with 5-Axis CNC machined ports.
- Very precise conrod inter-axle and stroke.
- High hardness aluminum alloy for cylinder barrel, cylinder head and crankcase.
- Casehardened and grinded steel for crankshaft and conrod, allowing to be disassembled and re-assembled hundreds of times.
- No multiple parts purchasing for performance selection, money saving.
A new machining process has been used in the manufacturing process for the Tillotson carburetor fitted to the KA100 engine.
The tolerances are individually checked during production.. The most important aspect of the performance of the carburetor is the venturi. The venturi is fully machined and has a very tight manufacturing tolerances so as to minimise variations between carburetor units.
Is there a need to blueprint the KA100 engine?
Why is an analogue ignition being fitted instead of a digital ignition?
What oil ratio do I use, and which oil is recommended?
IAME Recommends WLADOIL which is a caster synthetic oil, but any good quality oil such as Shell M etc; will be fine.
HOW TO GET THE BEST OUT OF YOUR KA100 ENGINE
"Helping to prevent fouling of SPARK PLUGS"
As your KA100 engine runs so efficiently in cylinder head temperature on your roll down laps, there is a good possibility that you have unburnt fuel in your combustion chamber. So when you go to restart your engine prior to your next session, it may be possible that you will foul your spark plug when starting up your engine. To help prevent this unburnt fuel on your roll down lap, simply hold your throttle pedal on the cracked open position (around 4000rpm) and then apply slight brake pedal pressure (this is called riding the brake) this will put the engine under load, and burn all excess fuel.
ANOTHER TIP is to depress the kill switch button on the way into the in-grid and just roll into your stop position. Also a hotter Spark Plug will help this. Your engine comes with a 10 heat range plug. This is a conservative plug and may run too cold. I suggest to move to a NGK B9EGV-9.5 Plug.
ANOTHER TIP: Also when restarting your engine heading out for your next session, just have your throttle pedal cracked open and simply press the 'on button' and drive straight out, do not sit there idling for a long period of time as this can also foul the plug.
ANOTHER TIP: During your first formation lap, give your KA100 engine a short burst of full throttle, this will also help clear the plug from fouling.
ANOTHER TIP: During your formation lap prior to getting a start, it is also advisable to have your throttle pedal at a cracked open position at a constant speed and apply pressure to the brake pedal, which puts the engine under load and burns excess fuel which will prevent fouling the plug as well. By following my formation lap procedure the engine will accelerate cleanly off the line and you will get an excellent start.