Well let’s start this month with something totally non technical but which will be of interest to hopefully everyone in the TKM 2 and 4 stroke classes – the Maxxis Formula TKM Festival.
The exciting news is that the event is returning to Kimbolton following the club’s resolution of a planning problem which effectively put a stop to Friday testing.
When that problem first arose it was Whilton Mill who very ably stepped in to offer this major event a home for the past three years. Not only did they give the event a good home but also managed to chart out some revised formatting which worked to benefit the event.
But with Kimbolton now back on full song it seems only right to return the event to the circuit that worked with Tal-Ko to create the event 14 years ago. They have put many years of hard work into making this a must event to attend, not just for the racing but for the good spirit too.
And even better news is that Kimbolton themselves are just starting on some major work which will see the creation of a new toilet/shower block, new catering area, spectator viewing and a substantially revised dummy grid and park ferme.
So put the date of August 12-14 in your diary now because Kimbolton are determined to mark their return with a bang!
Next some more good news for all of you who have to buy TKM engine parts – and let’s face it that must be pretty much every single one of you reading this!
Mr TKM, Alan Turney, has created some engine parts exploded diagrams that quite literally show every last little item on the BT82 2-stroke and K4S 4-stroke. What’s more every individual item down to the last washer is illustrated and has a clearly shown part number making it incredibly easy to sort out what you need.
So absolutely great for ordering and identifying parts – and also very handy if you take something apart and then can’t remember how it goes back together. Even little things like the order of gaskets etc on a carburettor are shown.
And better still, the whole set of technical exploded drawings for both engines can be rapidly downloaded onto your PC and printed out – all free of charge. Or of course you can tap into the illustrations from the circuit using your iphone or equivalent. What is more, you can also download a full parts price list from the same website so you can know exactly what your bill will be. Just go to www.tal-ko.com and get downloading.
Personally I think it is a fabulous move and really makes a big difference to understanding your engine and all its parts.
I recall when I first started in the class in the days of its inception you didn’t even get a bit of paper to recommend carb settings let alone anything else. Tal-Ko, more than any other engine manufacturer, have made great strides forwards in this respect so give them a pat on the back.
Now to Shenington, a club which has a strong entry of TKM 2-strokes. The club there have just been given the OK to proceed next year with a ‘Clubmans’ version of the Extreme class in addition to the normal Extreme class.
Karts competing in this class will still meet the latest TKM regs but are bolted down to some cost cutting criteria which should very successfully keep costs as low as possible.
The karts themselves must be of a design never intended to house a torsion bar, They are not allowed data logging and must run with a fixed sprocket size regardless of weather etc. Rear axle must be 30mm and no front hubs allowed.
Interestingly on tyres they must compete with used ex S1 championship tyres which will be sold to them at £30 a set. Bargain!! Oh and special test and race entry packages.
It will be interesting to see how it goes. Initially they will run with the Extreme normal grid but if there is sufficient take-up then they will be given a separate grid.
The club are hoping for costs to work out at about £100 for a race meeting. I remember working on the same amount about 20 years ago so that sounds like excellent value. I am sure the Shenington club will be pleased to provide more information.
And finally we are coming to that point in the year where many fair weather karters very sensibly decide to park their machine for the winter. Looking out of the window who can blame them! But before you do, a few easy things to do that will save you time.
The insides of the carb don’t like being left either full of petrol or conversely dry with just old deposits left in them which turn into a sticky goo. Do that and almost certainly you’ll have trouble first time out next year unless you thoroughly strip and rebuild the carb.
So just prep your carbs for the winter by squirting a little WD40 through them. It will leave them in much better condition for when you want to use them again.
And while you are at it then it is a good idea to drain off everything from the fuel tank and leave that dry. When you go to use it next year give it a good blow through with an airline, replace all the pipework with new inside and outside the tank and make sure you have good tight seals on all connections.
To complete the fuel jobs get rid of any mixed fuel you have in cans. It goes off with time so best to slip it into your car fuel tank if a small quantity. Or, you can put it into a suitable container which you then use to rinse and clean your chains. Mixed 2-stroke does that job very effectively.
A small tip on fuel to finish. It is all too easy to have fuel cans that are mixed and others that are not. Clearly if you put pure fuel in your tank you will end up with a seized engine. To be avoided at all costs.
To avoid that, as soon as you have mixed a can of fuel and oil put a cable tie through its handle. Just remember to cut off the tie as soon as you have used the last of the contents and you’ll never be muddled again.