The real story behind TKM’s rise – TKM Column

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Wow – there could be as many as 51 TKM Extremes on the grid at Super One this year making it the biggest class. Grahame Butterworth tells the story behind this giant leap…

While it might look as though this unprecedented four-fold leap in entries has all happened very quickly, in fact its birth started many months ago and proves what sensibly applied driver power can do.

We knew from talking to drivers and simple logic that while many drivers would like to compete at Super One level in the ABkC National Champs for TKM, the cost and time away made it impossible.

The perceived need to be there on Thursday to set up for testing on Friday and then racing over the weekend made it costly in terms of time away from work or school and of course expensive. The extra costs of testing tyres, and the unnecessary control fuel in a low compression engine all added up.

Our TKM club championships were inspired by the need to reduce time and travel, and proved an instant success. The quality of racing in most areas just as high as Super One.

A couple of years ago we cut down on tyre usage at the championships  with some effect but then this autumn TKM boss Alan Turney embarked on a sh… or bust approach for 2016 having gained the thoughts and backing of a number of drivers.

So for TKM no Friday testing. Instead just Saturday morning. Again only use dry tyres from last round for this Saturday testing. No expensive control fuel – just that from a specified pump. Six rounds and with reduced entry costs still subsidised by Tal-Ko.

It gave John Hoyle and his team at Super One some headaches and no doubt a few oaths were muttered behind the scenes. But with additional bonuses from S1 over discounts for early registrations the result has been staggering.

Something like 45 registered in Extreme as I write with more expected. And a promise from S1 that they can accommodate up to 51 at a race meeting. Juniors also doing very well too.

On top of the various changes for TKM at S1 other factors have come into effect too. The reduction in Maxxis tyre prices saves some more money, and the availability of the new EeziStart decompressor valve helps too in making starting easier, especially on a direct drive engine.

And of course the TKM BT82 engine that is low cost to buy and keep competitive whether direct, clutched or TAG  – the only kart engine in the world which offers that choice.

TKM is set for a great year!   


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