Easykart is the name given to an international project spearheaded by a long term collaboration between Birel and IAME. The two companies are no strangers to working together, having married the mixed brands of IAME engines to Birel chassis for many, many years in order to win a vast number of World, European and national championships since Birel first began production of racing karts at the start of the 1960s. Easykart is not however aimed at the pinnacle of competitive racing, in fact quite the opposite. Easykart is designed to be the exciting alternative at the base of the kart racing pyramid. It is an interesting concept, clever in that it does not go head to head with any particular rivals. The chassis is a classic decanter design frame mounted with Freeline components.
It has a specific grade 40mm axle, etched with the word ‘Easykart’ and must be retained. There is no provision for castor/camber adjusters. In fact, the kart must be used with all performance components remaining original. There is enough set-up alteration allowed to keep the tinkerers happy, a removable front torsion bar, adjustable ride height and the option to run the right hand inboard axle bearing loose. Fasteners may be replaced as required but titanium or alloy is strictly forbidden. Seats may be replaced with a more comfortable option, however carbon fibre or Kevlar are not allowed on cost saving grounds. An alternative steering wheel is also allowed, so the lovely Birel Motorsport suede number would look a treat in place of the standard plastic rimmed example that I found a bit too slippery. Tyres are sourced from Bridgestone and both wet and dry tyres are likely to be branded Easykart and will be the only ones allowed. On our test kart we had a compound unheard of here in the UK.
The grip level was of good SL type, probably a bit better than the YEQ that many of us will know well. The wet will not be a very high grip type either, sacrificing speed for durability. The idea is that the structure of the Easykart project worldwide will be just that, easy! The brake is a simple hydraulic type as used on Birel race karts with success until the new generation brakes took over a couple of years ago. The brake performed faultlessly throughout the test that must have amounted to over 100 laps in all. The engine is a Parilla TaG 125 air-cooled unit. Typical of IAME, they have produced a range of TaG engines from 60 to 125cc that use the same basic design of starter, bendix, and clutch assembly. The engines are all constructed with the usual IAME attention to detail and the quality is immediately obvious. Air-cooling does make life a good bit simpler, there is no water pump or cooling system to worry about. Easy life! The engines have a cast iron liner with a regular dykes ring piston. Because the engine does not rev too highly the piston life is expected to exceed 20 hours and noise levels are also down due to the restricted rev range. The carburettor is a fixed main jet Tillotson HL384B. This is a type we have not seen in the UK before and comes with a choice of four main jets. The low jet remains adjustable but not while driving in competition because there is a cover that must be fitted that prevents manual adjustment on the move.
These measures will very much reduce the risk of a piston seizure by mistake. These engines thrive on plenty of fuel and do not need to run lean in order to reach high revs. The track test was planned at Whilton Mill a couple of weeks before Christmas. Although the circuit was damp from overnight dew the day was dry and a bit of lappery soon had some condition into the circuit and tyres. The Easykart proved to be just that, very easy and forgiving to drive, very much like a 100cc kart in terms of power delivery and a nice smooth acceleration curve. As with all karts the harder you try to go, the harder it becomes. I did find the seat and steering wheel were a bit of a challenge, I was having to hang on too much round the faster corners and was quite sure that with a better position or better fitting seat the times could have been further improved. In spite of that and also trying a variety of set-up changes I was pleased to be achieving laps that would not have disgraced the grid at the previous race meeting. Andy Cox is not making comparisons with other classes, be they 100cc or TaG. The Easykart is to be a completely stand alone series that will be closed to clubs and administered by ACR. Club 100 will be the promoters of the race meetings and will have a list of test days available at the Autosport International show. Alternatively visit Andy Cox Racing at www.andycoxracing.co.uk or Club 100 at www.club100.co.uk. Easykart racing is due to get under way towards the end of 2006 but there will be plenty of opportunity to try before you buy at a Club 100 test day before then. The series is planned for owner drivers, although there may well be an option to purchase a fully managed set of races. In other words, you buy your Easykart but you won’t have to transport it or prepare it for each race meeting. I know John Vigor of Club 100 is working on such a scheme right now and no one can be better qualified to do so in view of the logistics involved with producing a serviced fleet of Club 100 karts week in week out throughout the year.
I believe it was a brainwave of Andy Cox’s to involve Club 100 in this exciting new concept, their experience will guarantee its success. At the present time ACR are only promoting the 125 Easykart for Seniors. There are other models that will be assessed as to their viability in the UK market for 50cc Cadets from 6 years of age, 60cc Cadets from 8 years of age and 100cc for Juniors from the age of 12. The Senior Easykart 125 comes almost fully assembled, all you have to do is fit the bodywork and put the petrol in. £1850 + VAT buys an Easykart and all you have to do is drive it and have hours of fun. The Easykart concept is already very successful in the USA, Italy, South America and Poland. Birel and IAME have set up a separate organisation, Easykart International, to take care of the development. In this way the concept can grow without impinging on their core businesses. In the modern world of karting where more and more people want to participate without the hours burning the midnight oil preparing equipment, the Easykart concept has all the attributes to be a global success. George Robinson Photos: Chris Walker FEBRUARY 2006 www.kartingmagazine.com 69 Club 100 will promote a race series and have a calendar of test days for 2006 Birel chassis, IAME TAG engine, Freeline components and Easykart branded Bridgestones 2000 FA