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The Best Kart Engine You’ve Never Heard Of – Iame Parilla Sudam 125cc Tested!

By Karting1 ~ March 31st, 2011. Filed under: Kart Racing News.

In association with
iame kart logojm racing logo

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 KartingIAME 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’.

IAME Parilla Sudam 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.

IAME Parilla Sudam 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 Parilla Sudam 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.

IAME Parilla Sudam 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.

IAME Parilla Sudam 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


Related posts:

  1. IAME Parilla Gazelle is new (un-sealed) British Cadet class engine!
  2. IAME Parilla Reedster KF3 Kart Engine Debuts in UK at PFi
  3. IAME to Unveil New 125cc KZ Kart Engine To The Market
  4. Could Australia be the first country to dump KF kart class for Sudam?
  5. IAME X30 – The kart engine to break Rotax’s stranglehold in the UK? ALAN DOVE ON KARTS

12 Responses to The Best Kart Engine You’ve Never Heard Of – Iame Parilla Sudam 125cc Tested!

  1. Dave Bates

    Hi Alan, Terence, Loved your article on the Iame sudam ! You probably don,t remember me but we met at some track on a very cold and damp day on the borders of Wales somewhere, around 3-4 yrs ago. I was trying out the Aixro wankel from Steve. I did buy a chassis and engine complete to ship out to Brazil, however the customs are still holding my baggage after 3 yrs of paperwork, so i havn,t seen it , and was just soooo desperate to give it a go on my local circuit here in Presidente Prudente SP. A guy who shares my garage at the track has one of these Iame 125,s on a Brazilian `Kart Mini Chassis` & as you say this thing puts a smurk on my face, It is water cooled and has electric start, and on our 785 metre long cicuit will do 37,s , the Yamaha 125cc gearbox engine that i use will .. `on a good day` do 38-39secs. Cost is a huge factor here and sadly there is only 1 in our club, i would love one, but i am still waiting unpatiently for my Aixro to be released …. if ever ! I will keep you informed `if you wish ` as to any issues with this IAME, but to date i think the Afano shows 6hrs and has had no problems to date. Think i must have one since i feel my Eglem Aixro will never be released ?? My best wishes to you both, & ps love your articles great stuff ! Regards Dave Bates Ps I think there is a water cooled barrel & head available in Sao Paulo to convert the air cooled Parrila to simular specs, soz but i don,t have the details at present.

  2. news

    Thanks Dave, we remember meeting. Still waiting for the Aixro? WOW! Hope you enjoy what you can in the mean time.

  3. Steven

    Seen the out-takes, looks like it needs front breaks from the video, too powerfull not to!

  4. news

    I wouldn’t say it’s too powerful not to. Just up against guys who have them installed passing can be very very tricky. :)

  5. Dave Bates

    Thanks I,m flattered you remember me and hope life is good for you both ? The conversion from air cooled Parilla to water cooled 125cc is called the PPK Raptor and is available from PPK pro karts in Sao Paulo, ppk.com.br Think the kit works out at around 5-6 hundred quid, and the complete engine for around 1k pounds
    I,m not quite sure on this Sudam now, cos my friends IAME engine is 125cc but has electric start ? and rechecking on your article am i to understand the Sudam is a lift and run start? Regards Dave Bates

  6. Karting1

    I think IAME have released a recreational TaG version of the Sudam, so it’s probably that :)

  7. Sean

    what chassis is it on???

  8. Karting1

    It’s a Wright Kart

  9. Robert Betcke

    Hi Terence,

    just read this mail and I congratulate you with this nice 1st. of April joke

  10. Karting1

    @Robert – this was published on the 31st and is 100% not an April Fool joke. It’s the real deal! :) Here is the Sudam on the IAME website – http://www.iame.it/iame/en/products/kart-engines.html?section=motor&id=28&pass=si

  11. Laury

    Nice review, and proper engine. Want one and somewhere to race it.

  12. christos_swc

    I’ve been trying to get my hands on one of these for 3 years now with no luck.
    It’s like I wrote this article 3 years ago.
    I first raced an Iame 100cc air cooled engine back in 1990 and upon returning to karting and seeing all the clutches and batteries and extra weight etc I immediately recognized this engine as pure driving heaven.
    Exactly what I would have made.
    An old style 100cc engine with extra 25 cc.
    Water cooling doesn’t hurt either.
    Hard on the brakes, sideways, 4 wheel drift, steer the kart only with the throttle, maximum sound, maximum fun.
    I even sent an e-mail to IAME to protest their choice not to sell it in Europe and of course they didn’t bother to answer.
    I’d rather stay home than drive a Rotax even if it’s free.

    Too bad it comes with a clutch and battery and all the problems that accompany it.
    This one though has the power to go with.
    It’s the only way I’m getting back into a kart.

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