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The Max Column

The Max Column

The strength of the Rotax Max engine has always been one of its greatest marketing tools.

As the Rotax classes became more and more competitive, so the Service Centres became more concerned with the life expectancy of internal components.

It is true to say that most Service Centres would rather change components and give a warranty on those parts, than take the risk of any failure that they might be held responsible for.

In reality there are many main bearings and connecting rods that are changed as a precautionary measure. The piston is easier to see and measure whether it is worn.

I am constantly amazed by the number of older engines that still bear the same seal fi􏰀ed when new that have done countless hours and remain reliable and fast. Last week we rebuilt a year 2000 engine that had never been serviced from new. Having run it in we were surprised to see that it had horsepower equivalent to a current delivery unit. It was just the power curve that was less user friendly and might require more accurate carburetion to be fast. However there is no doubt that this particular engine has not only stood the test of time but also remains capable of winning in the right hands.

The reason that I write this is as a sequel to last month’s column where I was extolling the virtues of upgrading your Rotax by trading it in. There is a real option to ask your friendly Rotax Service Centre to give you an options quote to rebuild your existing engine to a similar specification or performance to a new replacement and then compare the prices so that you may make the right and informed choice to suit yourself.

If your accessories include a favourite Carbure􏰀or or Exhaust, then the rebuild cost of your existing engine is very likely to be viable in spite of the generous trade in offer as detailed in last month’s column.

The Rotax EVO upgrades are very likely to be available for use in the UK next year pending the agreement of the MSA. The good news is that there is currently li􏰀le if any overall performance advantage to the EVO over the existing MAX.

Another rumour to dispel is that the EVO is a replacement for the MAX. This is definitely not the case, the Rotax MAX is still and will remain the same core engine, EVO is a range of changes to accessories to make the production item more consistent in terms of quality and performance ex works. The UK market is one of the most highly developed distribution zones in the world for Rotax MAX engines, it is therefore a tall order indeed for the EVO accessories to out- gun existing good engines.