In recent columns I have been featuring the merits of buying used equipment and highlighting the need to be sure that you the customer knows what you are getting.
This is not to say that there is nothing but sharks out there. There are indeed many a good bargain to be had, but with the long life expectancy of the Rotax Max range of engines, it is quite possible that the glossy looking advertisement is in fact hiding a less than desirable purchase!
A bit like buying a used sports car from “one careful owner”, the other three gave a right ragging! The Max engines are extremely reliable as a rule and we as a service centre are constantly amazed by the age and or hours that have been put on some units without any maintenance whatsoever.
Bare and Short Engines
BRP Rotax have introduced the sale of “short engines” as a factory option. We need to be very clear what you are getting. Basically when buying a new engine complete it arrives in two boxes, one containing the engine unit and ignition coil, the other carton contains all the other accessories including carburettor, airbox, exhaust, battery, electrical wiring loom, switches, battery mounting kit etc. The complete engine is a very comprehensive package, all you are lacking is engine mount, chain and exhaust mounts.
The short engine from Rotax is the complete engine unit with clutch assembly, reed assembly, starter motor, exhaust knuckle, balance gears complete and in the case of the senior engine the exhaust valve assembly. In the box as well is the ignition coil as stated above, Identity Card, instruction book, registration document and a pack of stickers.
Some of the larger retailers have been offering these short engines for some time now, be sure that you receive all the above on purchase. This should not be confused with a bare engine. Brand new bare engines have recently been offered bare for sale on Ebay. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this and it does make a new engine available at a reasonable price. This is the sort of deal that helped a customer of ours recently who had a perfectly good engine that ingested some cement dust. The result of this was a total write off of all the moving parts in the engine plus the cylinder. A very hefty rebuild was on the cards. A bare engine without all the parts listed above was his preferred option.
The downside of this is when the customer is not aware of the difference between “short” and “bare” and really through his own lack of knowledge is disappointed when his super bargain proves not be what he expected.
The secret is to buy from a reputable company where you will have recourse if things do not work out as planned. Incidentally the firm offering bare engines on Ebay are reputable, they are VAT registered and have been trading for some years.
BRP Rotax have recently introduced a new piston ring. The new ring is a direct replacement and is not designed to improve performance or alter in any way that the engine may run. The new ring will feed into the market as production comes on stream and existing stock diminishes. There is no advantage to going out to have the new ring fitted the moment they become available. The new part will be installed when you have your next service as the current piston ring will no longer be available.
On the racing front there is some very good competition at all levels the Super One series have retained a high number of entries late into the season. All classes are still anyone’s guess as to who will be standing on the podium at the dinner scheduled for the Saturday night of the Autosport Show in January.
The Autosport Show will see an improved Karting presence this time with a bespoke Karting pavilion neat to Super 1 and Formula Kart Stars. Both of these Championships will feature their prize presentations. The Karting pavilion is planned to host 16 exhibitors and is being managed by the BKIA with John Hoyle. JAG Engineering will definitely be there so please come along and say hello.
Kartmania, karting’s stand-alone show is scheduled for the first weekend in December, this has become a regular feature of the calendar and continues to improve year on year. One again at the Ricoh Centre in Coventry a very good and centrally located venue. See you all there. Rotax Seminars will be on my timetable, so please come along and ask those awkward questions!