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PRD FIREBALL ENGINE
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jim silverheels



Joined: 15 Apr 2006
Posts: 74
Score: 751


PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2008 8:12 pm    Post subject: PRD FIREBALL ENGINE Reply with quote

Whats everyone's opinion on the new PRD FIREBALL tag motor please? Will it compete against a Leopard? thanks
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John Wehrheim
Senior 2 Cycle Director


Joined: 18 May 2006
Posts: 2505
Score: 33691
Location: Norcross

PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2008 9:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jim,
Local level yes. Regional maybe, National doubt it. Good motor, very well priced!! Parts are very available.
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amax20



Joined: 09 Dec 2006
Posts: 329
Score: 3643


PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2008 3:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

that is go-kart code talk for "its a slow motor". Very Happy
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Georgia Kart Sales



Joined: 18 Apr 2006
Posts: 242
Score: 2560
Location: LOGANVILLE GA

PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2008 11:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So far, the only people to go faster than Brad with his PRD Fireball/Mac Minarelli is Brent Harper and Steve Roberts. And they have WAY, WAY more experience than Brad.
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Jason Mauney



Joined: 02 Mar 2008
Posts: 19
Score: 271


PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2008 9:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

John, in your opinion, what is the best TaG motor out there?
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Daniel White



Joined: 05 Jun 2007
Posts: 504
Score: 6244
Location: Atlanta

PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2008 11:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jason,

Please excuse me for butting in--I know I should let John answer the question. He's had a great deal of exposure to many kart chassis and kart engines over the years, and knows whereof he speaks. I think he will say the Leopard because:

1) It's the overwhelming choice for all the seriously competitive drivers at the national level, and

2) It's not a sealed motor and John is not a sealed motor guy.

In reading the ekarting forums, many seem to think that because there are so many Leopards out there (and, therefore, so many Leopard dealers), that the governing body creates rules to favor the Leopard. For instance, the Rok TT became, arguably, a better motor, and they were then slapped with a 15 pound weight penalty. The governing bodies (and there's two or three of them--I don't keep up with them) try to even things out with weight adjustments but the conspiracy theorists had a field day with that one.

Other factors are necessary to consider, too. If a driver is heavy, the conventional wisdom is that the Sonik is the better choice.

There's also this new motor called the KF that is supposed to take off here in America. It generates mega power AND has long maintenance intervals; in other words, a improved version of the Rotax philosophy. A major stumbling block, however, is the price--something like $4500.

Yet another factor is the type of track. On some tracks the Rotax, which is perhaps the least powerful TAG motor around (probably because the max RPMs--14,000--are significantly less than a Leopard--17,000), can compete on an even level with a Leopard.

For the money, it is hard to beat the PRD. Power very similar to the Leopard, and almost half the cost. I'm not certain of these figures, but here are ballpark prices of new TAG motors I've mentioned here:

KF: $4500
Rotax: $3600
ROK TT: $3500 (?)
Leopard: $3000
PRD: $1600

That difference is just staggering to think about, especially when you consider that in the realm of kart engines, the PRD is not a popular motor. It may be because earlier versions of the motor had reliability and build-quality issues (built in China or Taiwan, I think), but the latest edition is supposed to be a significant improvement.

I think at the end of the day it depends on your goals and I think John will agree. If you are serious about regional and national level competition and have a substantial budget, go with the Leopard. He will also tell you to get it serviced by Adkins Speed Center in Ohio.

If you have only a modicum of mechanical skills, have no desire to compete nationally, but like to race against larger fields, then Rotax is the best choice here (you can also race in more classes). With the longer maintenance intervals, Rotax is an easy choice for me. I'd like to win, of course, but I'm mainly in it to have fun, learn something technical, and compete against myself.

If we had had several PRD guys at GKSA when I first started getting serious about buying a kart, I would've gone that route. Jeff Bacon deals them, and it looks like Rick has started to as well. But, alas, there's only one PRD currently at our track.

So, the best motor is probably a matter of context. You seem very serious, and have exhibited a lot of pace, especially considering you are a rookie. You are also willing and able to travel.

If you want to compete at the next level--Leopard.

If you are a club racer--race what the club races. In California and most of the west, it's Leopard or Rotax. In the midwest, it's Leopard. In Florida, it's Rotax and Easykart. In Georgia, it's Rotax.
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Alan Parris



Joined: 08 Apr 2006
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Location: ATL, GA / Columbia, SC

PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2008 5:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The KF is supposed to replace ICA and FA motors in Europe. The best advice I can give to someone is that unless you race nationally or internationally, for the time being forget you have ever heard of KF until about 5 years or so from now. All it will do is confuse you. They are not a typical TaG engine and the only thing they share with todays TaG engines are that they have an electronic starter and that is it, completely different motors.

-AP
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!!!!SODI!!!!!

AP Karting-Sodi Atlanta
Sodi / Itaka / BOXS/ KF/ Rotax/ TaG/ HPV
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John Wehrheim
Senior 2 Cycle Director


Joined: 18 May 2006
Posts: 2505
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Location: Norcross

PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2008 8:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Daniel did a great job outlining the motors. Here is what I would add.
If you own a Rotax today and want to run Tag, use your Rotax. Rotax is very competitive and can win at most other tracks with the right chassis setup and driver. The Florida Winter Tour proved it. Compare the times. I think Matt Tilton has been testing the Rotax for Tag at faster track.

Yes I am a fan of Leopard, but only because of the dominance and proven motor in the series, WKA, Stars, etc. However the RokTT is a better motor and is still faster even with the restrictions. Guys do have problems with the electrical and the carb on the RokTT.

If someone is on a limited budget and plans to race local and regional, the PRD is a good choice. I know from speaking with Art at RLV (importer for the PRD) that they are having very good success with the motor. In addition, they have started a PRD Spec series in California where they use a spec gear to limit the RPM's to help increase the longevity.

The only thing I would change that Daniel said is Rotax in Florida. Rotax is dominate down south and Ocala. However in Jacksonville it is Tag. In Monticello it is EasyKart.

Yep, not a fan of a sealed motor. This is just a personal preference. Why,
1. It doesn't stop cheating. You can still cheat on the clutch, carb and exhaust unless you have tech like you have at the Florida Winter Tour, Stars, etc.
2. Even a sealed motor will have performance differences
3. If I am at a National and if I hurt the motor and need to repair it, I can.

Get KF out of your mind. Just do not seeing this happening any time soon in the US. It is a long way off for us in the states.
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Jason Mauney



Joined: 02 Mar 2008
Posts: 19
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2008 3:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The reason I was asking is because I am thinking of building a TaG kart to have in additional to my Rotax Senior kart. Probably going to get another Arrow Chassis (got pretty fast on mine pretty quickly). Thanks for the advice...I guess the only question is whether I am going to stay at local and regional events (probably will in the short term) or want to compete nationally. I have the wherewithall to go to the higher levels...just need to get there from driving ability standpoint. Thanks again for the input.

-Jason
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Mark Libby



Joined: 16 Nov 2007
Posts: 12
Score: 128
Location: KNOXVILLE, TN

PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2008 4:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just wanted to add a thought to the excellent advice offered by John and Daniel. Where are you going to race it? TAG is very limited in this part of the country. You have Barnesville, Bakers Creek and Ocala to run your Rotax at on a regular schedule. GSKA runs TAG, but Bakers Creek doesn't. I started racing TAG back in Texas because Leopards out numbered Rotax 5 to 1 and TAG was raced at every track in the area. Now I have to drive a long way (Knoxville) to race my TAG. If I were starting over, I'd probably be looking at a Rotax, because of the strong following in the area. Now if more GSKA people want to race TAG, I'm all for it. If national events are what you need like WKA or Stars, then talk to John about racing a Leopard. With Rotax you alway have the FWT and Rotax Grands to aim for.

PS I really appreciate everybody I've met and raced with at GSKA/Barnesville. Nice bunch of people. It makes the drive a lot easier.


Last edited by Mark Libby on Thu Jul 03, 2008 2:52 am; edited 2 times in total
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