By Karting1 ~ March 31st, 2011. Filed under: Kart Racing News.
To be perfectly frank, before we got our hands on a Sudam from IAME we knew we’d absolutely love it. If you don’t live in South America the chances are you have no idea what the hell a Sudam is. The truth is that you really should know about it because it’s simply one of the finest kart engines still in production and raced today. It’s karting’s best kept secret. It has this mythical nature about it. There are even stories about them being tuned to produce over 50hp, which is just mental!
IAME Parilla Sudam – We always knew we’d love it!
So what’s the deal with this Sudam? Well, it’s a 125cc 2-stroke direct drive engine created for the South American market with no fancy gimmicks on it, hitting out something like 38+hp stock. It’s basically an ICA with an extra 25cc. It’s not just IAME who build engines for the class either. If you delve deep enough you’ll find the class in the CIK Technical Regulations and other manufacturers have their own versions. The aim is to keep costs to a minimum.
Thanks to IAME and John Mills Racing we rocked up to PFi Kart Circuit with a brand spanking new IAME Sudam ready to rock’n’roll. The engine looks pretty much exactly like the IAME X30 or the Reedjet that won the 2005 World Karting Championship with Oli Oakes & PDB. It’s pretty and simple. The very latest generation of Sudam engines are water-cooled. Other than that there’s not much to describe. It has a piston, conrod, some other internal stuff and that’s that. It’s a simple engine, no fuss. Think the Parilla X30 without the ‘TaGness’.
She’s a very pretty engine
It’s often the case that the latest generation of kart engines will lure you in with their fancy clutches, starter motors and rev limiter systems. Certainly their mass-market appeal can not be argued against. Sometimes you really can’t be bothered to bump start, but then something like the Sudam turns up and smacks you square in the face. It’s now become a cliché to get all romantic about these style of engines, but really you should have an engine like the Sudam in your life. Really, you should!
There’s something about direct-drive engines that makes your fingers tingle when you drive them. As I write this I can still feel the sensation of driving the ultra-responsive & light Sudam kart in my hands. This is the real deal. This is what every driver, even if it’s just once, should feel in their life. It’s not nerves or even excitement, it’s something that gets to the core of your very being. It’s perfect balance.
There is nothing better in the world than experiencing a perfect driving machine
When a kart is right, it’s beyond description. Everything feels right. Bottom-end power – right. Mid-range power – right. Top-end power – right. You plug yourself in and drive.
For the test we had the fantastic Bridgestone YLB tyres bolted on and the kart loved it. The way the kart dances about and reacts to every input is just sublime. Very much like a 100cc, the kart and driver are one. Nothing to interfere. Being such a rare engine in Europe we had to guess a bit on gearing and jetting. Even so we were achieving low 46s without too much trouble on a long 20 lap run. With more set-up time to get a better understanding of how the kart & engine works, and in the right hands, this engine could easily achieve 44s putting it around KF2 pace. Maybe even better than that on a good day!
IAME Sudam – The heart of a kart
Compared to a traditional 100cc the Sudam doesn’t quite achieve the weird twilight zone you get when you hit 20,000+rpm. I am sure time and space is stretched when an engine achieves those sort of revs. With the Sudam being 125cc you can cut the revs a bit to get the same performance. It’s a perfectly fair compromise as 17,500-18,000 is more than enough to put a giant smile on your face. The trade-off is worth it.
Being romantic about ‘old style’ engines has become a bit of a cliché! But when it’s this good, who cares?
How this rev reduction affects piston life we are not sure. The engine must be very cost-effective to be popular in South America. Our engine did not skip a beat all day. I am sure we could have got many hours out of it before a rebuild. It just felt so solid even at 18,000rpm. We were probably pushing our luck a bit with revs. But this engine just took it! The Sudam has DNA from the Parilla Reedjet and X30 TaG which are famed for their reliability, so it’s durability is not surprising.
In association with JM Racing and IAME
To say we love this engine is an understatement. From the mould of 100cc but with a bit of reliability chucked in for good measure. Times have changed in Europe so the market demands are different than they were 20 years ago. I doubt we’ll see a drive for the sale of Sudam engines here, but for the South American followers of Karting1 – we salute you!
IAME Parilla Sudam Test Gallery
Video Filmed Using
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