Track Test - Bringing Back a Taste of Old Skool Karting!
I have waited years for the Easy Kart to get to
the UK. And I was like an over-excited sugar high kid when
I exclusively revealed the first sighting of the
EasyKart in the UK. And now we've got a video test!
I’ve always considered the EasyKart as a viable
alternative to Rotax MAX. The engine is a proper air-cooled
2-stroke engine, looks the part, and sounds great! Like
a kart should!
The EasyKart is a joint project
between Birel, and IAME. The idea is to create a kart formula that
is cheap, easy, controlled, and emphasises driver’s ability,
rather than emphasising the size of their wallet! The result is
a Birel kart that is well built, but not as freely adjustable as
a standard kart, and a Parilla 125cc TaG air-cooled engine that
is simple to run and fast.
Here's EasyKart Video Test
The rules that accompany the UK
EasyKart series dictate that no tuning is allowed, and that there
will be fixed jetting, and fixed gearing which ensure a long engine
life (about 15-20 hours depending on usage). Basically it’s
as much a level playing field as possible, at the lowest cost possible.
Check the EasyKart UK website for more details. Oh, a certain
Juan Pablo Montoya is heavily involved in the EasyKart project.
I just had to get my hands
on it, and see what it was like to drive, and Andy Cox Racing in
partnership with Club100 set me a date at Rye
House for a test. Unfortunately the weather was against me.
The kart track was like a lake in some places,
and bone dry in others. It was very challenging navigating between
the puddles! But that was not going to stop me having a go and having
some fun! So we put on the slicks and hoped for the best!
The first thing that got
me was the noise. Its been a while since I had a go in
an air-cooled 2 stroke, and oh god how I have missed the sound.
It sounds great, like a kart should! You will not be able to rev
it as high as a 100cc as this isn’t how you get the best out
of a 125cc engine, but there are enough revs at the top end to keep
that grin on your face! Nothing can compete with the sound of an
air-cooled 2 stroke!
No one can deny that the smell
of a 2 stroke should be bottled, and sold as men’s perfume
- ‘2-Stroke for Men’ by Calvin Klein!
The Parilla engine that’s on the kart smells proper good.
I always go into a silly mood when I smell that smoke. It's
just karting encapsulated in a smell.
Being air-cooled the whole engine
unit is much lighter than a water-cooled one. This means
the kart is a little more fun to drive. As you can see
on the video I like to get the kart sideways, especially through
the water…on slicks!!! I genuinely enjoyed this kart. I was
thinking about going out and being Mr Smooth professional style,
but this kart is born from the old skool, and that is what
I drove it like…old skool styley! I was able to do
what I wanted in the kart, and actually have fun. It is such a fun
kart to drive!
The guys at club100
who were letting me test the kart were running it a little rich,
probably to keep the engine from exploding. I would’ve preferred
to run it a bit leaner to get a bit more drive out of the corners,
but overall the engine is fantastic. It picks up out of the corners,
and accelerates nice, fast, and cleanly. It really is a
proper 2-stroke karting experience.
The Birel chassis that comes with
the package was fine. It was very hard to get an impression of how
it handled when the circuit was so inconsistent because of the standing
water. But the chassis handled fine in the conditions, and I was
very happy with it. The brakes were especially good.
I like to get the rear end working, and the brakes were perfect
for someone like me! One thing I would be concerned about
regarding the chassis is whether it can happily withstand a season
of racing compared to a higher grade chassis.
There isn’t much more I
can say. It’s a really fun kart. It’s fast,
sounds good, smells fantastic, and is very affordable!
Overall the package is superb. It costs around the £2000.
That is so much kart for the money its unbelievable. It would be
an even better kart if they remove the dodgy leather steering wheel
and fit a proper flat top one. (I am going to have a word with Andy
Cox about that)
This class is ideal for the current
market in the UK, and I can see it gradually gaining success over
the next few years! It’s an interesting project, and I would
like to see it do well.