Tag Archives: tkm karting

The X Factor – Parilla X30

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Current MSA regulations prevent any national championships for the Parilla X30 classes being run until 2017. Despite this restriction, however, X30 sales have been healthy, with over 350 motors sold in 2014.

The history of this Company dates back to 1946 when Giovanni Parrilla started building 250cc motorcycles. Cesare Bossaglia joined him in 1956 and four years later he designed the Parilla V11 rotary valve engine specifically for karts. Bruno Grana was Giovanni’s sales manager and he arranged for these motors to be exported under the name Saetta. Giovanni sold his Parilla factory in 1961 but retained the Saetta brand name. By this stage both Grana and Bossaglia had left to set up the new GBC Company along with Vito Consiglio. GBC received backing from Aspes and produced Komet engines. In 1968, with Grana now firmly in control, the Company, renamed itself IAME (Italian American Motor Engineering) and promptly added Parilla to its investment portfolio. Former bobsleigh racer called Nino Rovelli began producing Sirio karts and engines shortly after his son Felice won the 1974 Junior World Cup at Rye House. Felice used them to good effect by being crowned the 1976 World Karting Champion and repeated his success 12 months later. He retired from racing and Nino sold out his karting interests to Grana’s IAME Company.

A lengthy legal battle finally resulted in Nino winning $560million compensation from IMI Bank for liquidating his Chemical Company, leading to allegations that the judges were bribed. Nino’s sons Felice and Oscar both proved to be successful businessmen too. After Bruno Grana died in 2005 Oscar bought IAME outright. He also acquired Vega tyres and added the “Komet” label. Thus the story has moved almost a full circle.The first CIK world championships were held in 1964 and Guido Sala won on a Parilla powered Tecnokart. Since then IAME engines have won no less than 28 world titles. Today 55 IAME employees produce more than 6,000 engines. The X30 concept took off nine years ago. It was derived from the 125cc Parilla Leopard engine as used over here in Formula Blue. Junior and Senior X30 classes are currently being run in 16 different countries including America, France, Spain, Germany, Belgium, Portugal, Switzerland and Japan.

Earlier this year it was introduced into Britain and the importer, JM Racing, claims that support is growing every month.In contrast to the KF classes that tried to operate from the top downwards, IAME has adopted a policy of establishing strong support at grass roots level before organising international style competitions. Last year, though, the X30 International took place in Lyon and attracted 300 competitors. In May this year a Europa Cup event was held at Mariembourg supported by more than 200 drivers. The 2014 International is being held at Le Mans in October and, just two days after entries opened, the ceiling of 300 was reached. This figure includes 25 British drivers who, of course, are denied the opportunity to compete in X30 championships back at home. At last month’s final S1 round for MSA categories, Junior and Senior X30 classes appeared on the programme. Although there was no championship at stake here, eighteen juniors and sixteen seniors turned out.

In KGP, where there was actually an ABkC title up for grabs, just eight drivers bothered to show. Not far away at Wombwell that weekend fifteen X30 competitors were taking part in a club race. At Little Green Man rounds supporting races have been held for both X30 classes. Typically these have attracted up to twenty senior drivers and almost thirty juniors. These figures are hardly earth shattering, but they do reflect growing support for a category of racing that is still in its infancy over here.Paul Fletcher is an enthusiastic supporter. “I liked the concept of KGP, but realistically it won’’t attract sufficient entries in 2015 and, for those of us who prefer this type of racing that only leaves X30 as a viable option,” Paul insists. “The Parilla motor is very strong and quite simple to use. There’s also a big saving on tyre wear. We’ve had two hours running with the Komet tyres and then changed to a new set. Neither Mark (Litchfield) nor Oliver (Hodgson) was able to improve their lap times on new tyres by more than hundredths of a second. I think that will have massive appeal to the club racer operating on a relatively low budget.”

At PF Litchfield successfully defended his 2013 KGP title and also managed to win the X30 support race. “I wouldn’t say that the racing in X30 is more enjoyable than KGP, but it’s definitely attracting greater numbers,” he claimed. “Around this circuit KGP is almost a full second per lap quicker, but at least half of that differential can be attributed to the tyres.” Speed was something that occupied Oliver Hodgson’s mind, also. “If there’s improvement I’d like to see being made in X30 it’s more engine power,” Oliver suggested. “Currently the X30 achieves 16,000 rpm whereas a KGP motor gives you an additional 1,000 revs and you can certainly feel the difference. Other than that, it’s a good class and I’m enjoying the racing.”Jim Mills, for JM Racing, insists that the lower revving motor offers greater reliability, and therefore reduced maintenance costs. “I honestly believe that sealed engine classes have had their day in the sun,” he says emphatically. “Instead of making things more equal and keeping costs down, the reverse has actually applied. Admittedly most of our customers employ the services of an engine builder, but they still like to whip off the head occasionally and take a peep. IAME has kept things nice and simple for those who want to carry out their own maintenance. The carburettor is easy to set and, above all else, the motor keeps on going, just as you’d expect from a firm with IAME’s reputation.

Competitors can get in their karts with full confidence that the X30 is going to fire up immediately. The durability of Komet tyres is another very significant cost saving factor.”Paul Carr became involved in karting at almost the same time as Bruno Grana established IAME. He broadly agrees with Jim’s assessment. “I think the X30 has arrived at a very appropriate moment and it will become increasingly popular as time goes on,” he acknowledges. “The only thing that might spoil it is if we see one or two individuals start to dominate the class at national level. That would be bad for all concerned.” Another karting veteran, Dave Boyce, doesn’t think that such a scenario is likely. “IAME has been around for an awfully long time and know how to build quality racing engines that are generally equal,” he maintains. “You can see that we’ve got very close racing as a result. It would be unusual for any group of drivers to establish a significant advantage”.“It’s a proper class with proper racing and proper engines,” enthuses Dave Litchfield who has been running a team of drivers for more than 20 years. For most of this period he has concentrated on TKM and acknowledges that X30 does pose a threat to the Tal-ko concern. “Right now it’s mainly former KGP and TKM drivers who are moving over, but I’m sure that X30 will attract an increasing number of Rotax runners in future,” says Dave. “We’ve found that the motors tend to be quicker on their 2nd piston once everything has been freed up. After that, you could take a dozen engines without finding as much as one tenth of a second between them all.

The winner for me is that there’s nothing you can really do to make them go quicker, apart from altering the jet settings and exhaust length. It means that, with a bit of mechanical nous, any lad and dad outfit should be competitive. Maybe that’s bad news for a team owner like me, but it’s good for the sport as a whole and might encourage more people to come in.”Right now it’s difficult to find anyone who has a bad word to say about X30s. In 2015, we’ll discover whether warm words can be converted into large grids that might truly give this class the X factor.

 

 

 

 

 

TKM Insight – illegal engines

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By Grahame Butterworth

Tal-Ko have found the source of an illegal engine modification having uncovered a batch of illegal engines. Grahame Butterworth explains.

An engine builder has openly confessed to me building illegally modified TKM engines. Yet ironically he claims to have done nothing wrong because he was just satisfying a demand from customers! What cheek. The confession came after three intense weeks of investigation by us at Tal-Ko to get to the bottom of a sudden discovery of illegally modified engines first found at the TKM Festival and then at the next S1 round.

Tal-Ko discovered a couple of engines with illegally modified pistons. Then as Tal-Ko boss Alan Turney dug deeper, what emerged is the work of one engine builder illegally modifying the cylinder liner in the barrel. But swift and decisive action by us and MSA eligibility scrutineers has seen a number of engines taken out of use.

The good news is that no more dodgy illegal pistons have been found and with full details being sent to every driver and every scrutineer we are confident that the lid has been firmly placed on that one. In looking at more engines and using new equipment, Tal-Ko discovered another totally illegal tweak had been going on. This time it involves deliberate modifying of the exhaust port and in some instances even the illegal removal of the cylinder liner to carry out this cheat. The rules make it totally clear that you’re not allowed to machine or alter the ports and other components in any way. What has been done is an illegal modification, and a new complete barrel is the only rectification which will cost many hundreds of pounds for each engine. Ironically these illegal engines weren’t very quick anyway.

The sad fact is that a number of probably innocent drivers/parents have found themselves in for a nasty shock when they brought their engines for a check on the piston. The piston was OK but what most certainly were not right were the illegal barrels. Several owners were devastated to find engines they had been told were perfectly legal are in fact illegally modified. And a number of engines with the agreement of the owners were sealed and taken to Tal-Ko for forensic type checking and advice on what needs to be done to make them legal. At this stage it would be wrong to go into too much detail about the source of the work, other than to say the person responsible has admitted the work. His account with Tal-Ko has been suspended. What action owners take will be down to them. Some want compensation, but that is not an area we can go into here. What we can do is set everyone’s mind at rest. What has been done to these engines is a cheat. Nothing more or less! And it is a cheat that will not be taken lightly with a great deal of investigation going on to unearth all those involved.

Says Tal-Ko’s Alan Turney: “We are absolutely resolute in stamping out this trend. This is not a class where engines can be fine-tuned to blueprint dimensions. The BT82 engine is already manufactured to fine tolerances ensuring very close performance so you race what you buy. While there are one or two minor areas in which you can modify certain specific items, there is no doubt over the rest. This is out and out cheating and I am pleased at the very positive feedback we have received from drivers and engine builders who use totally legal equipment. Everyone is looking to find that last fraction. But this is not trying to find an advantage – it is pure cheating. We are confident it only affects quite a small number of engines. For the good of every competitor we want to make sure we keep it that way and get rid of those illegal units.”

Have you been offered an illegal tweak? Please email us at alan. turney@tal-ko.com to let us know your story. Discretion assured.!

TKM Festival – August

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9th & 10th of August, 2014

Hurricane Bertha was the big news at the 17th running of the Maxxis TKM Festival, almost stopping the event but British grit and sturdy brooms kept the water away. Mostly.

Juniors

Lewis Taylor should have been on pole by but was underweight and sent to the back. Bradley White, Ryan Edwards, Alex Forward, Dino Lee and Chris Whitton were all up front – the latter only just into the class. The six dry heats were great races with White, Forward, Lee and Whitton always battling and each taking a win. The Elite Pre-final in very wet conditions saw Alex Forward take a secure victory from a chasing Bradley White. Whitton struggled in the wet to finish 8th.

Come the final Forward pulled a clear lead while those behind battled, but then tripped over a backmarker leaving the door open for Lee. He made no mistakes heading to the flag. Arran Mills came through to 2nd, while Bradley White was excluded for being underweight and lost third spot to Saul Robinson who had passed 23 karts on his way through the field. In the Festival Final pole man Sam Fowler got taken out leaving Joe Taylor to take victory from Harrison Smith. But with Smith excluded for an illegal engine it was Lewis Wadley who took 2nd from Neil Burgess – who also got the novice award.

Senior Extreme

Joe Porter, having not raced for a year, was back to see if he could make it three wins at the Festival. He was second fastest to Arran Maile in quali. TKM scholarship winner Matt England failed to make the track after a mechanical problem. Porter took three heat wins. Vercoe had a win taken away for overtaking over the white lines, with James Ogden, Jack Partridge and Joe Stockford taking the other wins. England drove superbly from the back in each heat getting as high as 7th. The very wet Elite Pre final saw Porter take the win. Paul Monks was second with Zach Jones up 10 places to 3rd.

The final was a cracker. Porter on pole managed to drown himself and kart in a pool just off track; out before the start. England’s chain guard came adrift; also out. The track was dry apart from two splashes.

James Ogden took the lead and powered ahead running on wet tyres ahead of Kyle Sproat also on wets. Josh Waring took the gamble on slicks. Delayed by a spinner, Waring was on a charge and took Sproat for 2nd before giving it everything to catch Ogden. Catching a second a lap he was right on his bumper at the finish and just one more corner would have given him victory. As it was a well judged win to Ogden ahead of Waring. For his brave drive Waring also got the Bernie Turney Memorial Trophy for an outstanding performance.

In Festival, Joe Forsdyke and Daniel Baybutt were both up front after disastrous heats. When Baybutt spun out of the lead in the pre final, Forsdyke was effectively gifted the final and had an easy win from Brendan Speight and Joe Barrow – the latter up 20 places.

Clubman

Jade Sheppard made it all look easy with pole position and then two good heat wins followed by a second. But in the monsoon like pre final she got taken out on the first lap leaving Tom Longfield to win.

In the final Longfield make the best of his pole position to take the win chased by a recovering Jack Macauley and Ricky Johnson. Jade recovered to finish 8th.

TKM Festival

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9th & 10th of August, 2014

Hurricane Bertha was the big news at the 17th running of the Maxxis TKM Festival, almost stopping the event but British grit and sturdy brooms kept the water away. Mostly.

Juniors

Lewis Taylor should have been on pole by but was underweight and sent to the back. Bradley White, Ryan Edwards, Alex Forward, Dino Lee and Chris Whitton were all up front – the latter only just into the class. The six dry heats were great races with White, Forward, Lee and Whitton always battling and each taking a win. The Elite Pre-final in very wet conditions saw Alex Forward take a secure victory from a chasing Bradley White. Whitton struggled in the wet to finish 8th.

Come the final Forward pulled a clear lead while those behind battled, but then tripped over a backmarker leaving the door open for Lee. He made no mistakes heading to the flag. Arran Mills came through to 2nd, while Bradley White was excluded for being underweight and lost third spot to Saul Robinson who had passed 23 karts on his way through the field. In the Festival Final pole man Sam Fowler got taken out leaving Joe Taylor to take victory from Harrison Smith. But with Smith excluded for an illegal engine it was Lewis Wadley who took 2nd from Neil Burgess – who also got the novice award.

Senior Extreme

Joe Porter, having not raced for a year, was back to see if he could make it three wins at the Festival. He was second fastest to Arran Maile in quali. TKM scholarship winner Matt England failed to make the track after a mechanical problem. Porter took three heat wins. Vercoe had a win taken away for overtaking over the white lines, with James Ogden, Jack Partridge and Joe Stockford taking the other wins. England drove superbly from the back in each heat getting as high as 7th. The very wet Elite Pre final saw Porter take the win. Paul Monks was second with Zach Jones up 10 places to 3rd.

The final was a cracker. Porter on pole managed to drown himself and kart in a pool just off track; out before the start. England’s chain guard came adrift; also out. The track was dry apart from two splashes.

James Ogden took the lead and powered ahead running on wet tyres ahead of Kyle Sproat also on wets. Josh Waring took the gamble on slicks. Delayed by a spinner, Waring was on a charge and took Sproat for 2nd before giving it everything to catch Ogden. Catching a second a lap he was right on his bumper at the finish and just one more corner would have given him victory. As it was a well judged win to Ogden ahead of Waring. For his brave drive Waring also got the Bernie Turney Memorial Trophy for an outstanding performance.

In Festival, Joe Forsdyke and Daniel Baybutt were both up front after disastrous heats. When Baybutt spun out of the lead in the pre final, Forsdyke was effectively gifted the final and had an easy win from Brendan Speight and Joe Barrow – the latter up 20 places.

Clubman

Jade Sheppard made it all look easy with pole position and then two good heat wins followed by a second. But in the monsoon like pre final she got taken out on the first lap leaving Tom Longfield to win.

In the final Longfield make the best of his pole position to take the win chased by a recovering Jack Macauley and Ricky Johnson. Jade recovered to finish 8th.

Results

 

 

 

Junior Festival

1 Joe Taylor Tony

2 Lewis Wadley Tal-Ko

3 Daniel Burgess Jade

Junior Elite

1 Dino Lee Tony

2 Arran Mills Jade

3 Saul Robinson MS

Extreme Festival

1 Joe Forsdyke Tal-Ko

2 Brendan Speight Jade

3 Joe Barrow Tony

Extreme Elite

1 James Ogden Tony

2 Josh Waring Tal-Ko

3 Kyle Sproat Tony

Clubman

1 Tom Longfield Jade

2 Jack Macauley Intrepid

3 Ricky Johnson ARC

TKM Insight

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stock-tkmTal-Ko have found the source of an illegal engine modification having uncovered a batch of illegal engines. Grahame Butterworth explains.

An engine builder has openly confessed to me building illegally modified TKM engines. Yet ironically he claims to have done nothing wrong because he was just satisfying a demand from customers! What cheek. The confession came after three intense weeks of investigation by us at Tal-Ko to get to the bottom of a sudden discovery of illegally modified engines first found at the TKM Festival and then at the next S1 round.

Tal-Ko discovered a couple of engines with illegally modified pistons. Then as Tal-Ko boss Alan Turney dug deeper, what emerged is the work of one engine builder illegally modifying the cylinder liner in the barrel. But swift and decisive action by us and MSA eligibility scrutineers has seen a number of engines taken out of use.

The good news is that no more dodgy illegal pistons have been found and with full details being sent to every driver and every scrutineer we are confident that the lid has been firmly placed on that one. In looking at more engines and using new equipment, Tal-Ko discovered another totally illegal tweak had been going on. This time it involves deliberate modifying of the exhaust port and in some instances even the illegal removal of the cylinder liner to carry out this cheat. The rules make it totally clear that you’re not allowed to machine or alter the ports and other components in any way. What has been done is an illegal modification, and a new complete barrel is the only rectification which will cost many hundreds of pounds for each engine. Ironically these illegal engines weren’t very quick anyway. The sad fact is that a number of probably innocent drivers/parents have found themselves in for a nasty shock when they brought their engines for a check on the piston. The piston was OK but what most certainly were not right were the illegal barrels. Several owners were devastated to find engines they had been told were perfectly legal are in fact illegally modified. And a number of engines with the agreement of the owners were sealed and taken to Tal-Ko for forensic type checking and advice on what needs to be done to make them legal. At this stage it would be wrong to go into too much detail about the source of the work, other than to say the person responsible has admitted the work. His account with Tal-Ko has been suspended. What action owners take will be down to them. Some want compensation, but that is not an area we can go into here. What we can do is set everyone’s mind at rest. What has been done to these engines is a cheat. Nothing more or less! And it is a cheat that will not be taken lightly with a great deal of investigation going on to unearth all those involved.

Says Tal-Ko’s Alan Turney: “We are absolutely resolute in stamping out this trend. This is not a class where engines can be fine-tuned to blueprint dimensions. The BT82 engine is already manufactured to fine tolerances ensuring very close performance so you race what you buy. While there are one or two minor areas in which you can modify certain specific items, there is no doubt over the rest. This is out and out cheating and I am pleased at the very positive feedback we have received from drivers and engine builders who use totally legal equipment. Everyone is looking to find that last fraction. But this is not trying to find an advantage – it is pure cheating. We are confident it only affects quite a small number of engines. For the good of every competitor we want to make sure we keep it that way and get rid of those illegal units.”

Have you been offered an illegal tweak? Please email us at alan. turney@tal-ko.com to let us know your story. Discretion assured.!

TKM Club Champs September

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Sept 21st, Hooton Park and Sept 28th, Whilton Mill

TKM’s trend-setting club championships came to a close with everything to race for in all but one category in the final rounds at Whilton Mill in the Midlands and Hooton Park in the North.

Midlands
The Midlands series had 70 drivers spread evenly across the three classes – with Clubman a new addition for 2014. It brought some excellent racing. The last round at Whilton Mill was run as a double header with everyone doing three heats and a final, and then just the championship drivers doing a second final.

Juniors
Matthew Taylor played a canny game having come to the final round with a two point advantage over Bradley White and then Sam Fowler. After a 2nd place in the first final he knew he just had to keep it clean in the second final where an easy 6th place was enough to give him the title by three points. Joseph Reeves- Smith was on great form with two wins and overall 5th place in the series. If he had raced in the first event the title could have been his! Meanwhile front-runner Chris Whitton was forced to watch from the pits having broken his wrist at the last round after being collected by another driver. Bradley White and Sam Fowler maintained their usual good performance to take 2nd and 3rd in the championship.

Clubman
This was run for the first time in the series in 2014 and gave the Clubman guys their first chance to race at a variety of circuits within a championship since they are usually based at Shenington. They did it with great gusto and lots of fun. Jack Macaulay and Daniel Mense were the top contenders, both of them with one poor round to date likely to be dropped. It was Macaulay who managed to be consistently at his peak with two wins just edging out Mense by two points. Max Goldsmith finished third just two points back after a 3rd and 4th on the day.

Extreme
Very close on points but going into the last final Matthew Allnut seemed to have it all under control after wins in two previous rounds. But it all went wrong at the first corner where his nosecone got knocked off, followed rapidly by the black flag. He dived into the pits and got a new nose on to rejoin at the back with everything to do. Meanwhile up front there was a great scrap between the first group all the while being chased by Josh Waring and Jason Wilson who had started further down. In the end it was the consistency of Michael Hitchcock that won him the title despite missing the first round and never having won a race. Just one point behind was Matthew Allnut, on exactly the same points at Josh Waring but gaining the place on countback. Jamie Tyler and Arran Maile shared the race wins on the day after some ultra close racing with three points between the top four in the championship.

Northern
The first year for the Northern TKM Club Championship in a format using four circuits and a total of six events finishing at Hooton Park where it all started. And good to see a number of TKM drivers encouraged out of retirement.

Juniors
George Sutton had knocked up the perfect score with a win at every round to date and so was able to sit out the day watching everyone else go racing, safe in the knowledge that the title was his. But behind it was very close with three drivers all in with a chance to take home the runners up spot. As it was a first corner first lap coming together saw a shake up of the field. Lee Whittingham got away quickly from the melee thanks to using a clutch and managed to storm through to 3rd in the race, setting a new lap record along the way, but it put him back to 4th in the championship. Tom Evans took the race win and with it moved from 4th to 2nd in the series with Ocean Bach also catching up from that incident to take 3rd place overall.

Extreme
The top three in the championship were the top three in the race with all at stake. It was a great scrap only finally settled on the last lap with Scott Rixon gaining 2nd place on the track which was enough to give him the title by just one point. Matthew Harris took the race win with a somewhat frustrated Rob Wallace in 3rd for both race and title.

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TKM Insight – Illegally modified engines

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stock-tkmTal-Ko have foiled an engine builder’s plan to sneak in. Grahame Butterworth tells the story.

If there’s one thing we pride ourselves on, it’s close attention to regulations and ensuring that as far as possible everyone is racing on a level playing field. It’s the only way that is fair.

And 99 per cent of the time the system works well, catching nothing more sinister than the occasional accidental under-weight or perhaps gummed up piston ring.

But very recently we have had two pistons come into our possession which show clear signs of being modified. One to the crown and the other to the skirt. In both cases modifications to gain an advantage on port timing.

These were true cheats. Even the piston size had been re-stamped to make it look OK. But actually it was not very well done and soon picked up by ourselves. We are on the trail of the culprits and will not hesitate to apply full litigation against them.

The class regulations and fiche make it very clear that the piston must be neither modified or machined. There is no grey area here and no excuse for doing anything to a piston other than removing carbon without damaging or modifying the surface. What has been done to these pistons is simply cheating – and that is something we will not tolerate.

So over the past week or two we have issued drawings which set out very clearly the way to identify the cheat pistons. And we have had the Scrutineers at all TKM events throughout the country to carry out careful checks on pistons so we can ensure a rapid closure to the potential problem. And of course a special effort at the TKM Festival at Kimbolton.

The check method which anyone can use is:

Remove the four nuts and two cap head bolts holding on the cylinder head which should then be removed.

Next lift off the cylinder barrel carefully holding the con-rod and piston steady to avoid damage to the piston assembly.

With the piston now fully exposed, wipe the top of the piston with a rag to remove any oil mixture.

First look at the top surface (piston crown) of the piston close to the edge next to the top ring. It should go from a shallow approx 10 degree angle into a small 45 degree bevel on the edge. If it is square edged then the crown has been machined making it illegal.

Run your finger (or straight edge) over the edge of the piston to the top piston ring. If the ring is level with or above the edge of the piston crown, it is illegal.

If the top ring is below the top of the piston crown edge then check the thickness of the top piston ring. It should be 2mm on 100cc Junior and 2.2mm on the bigger 115cc Extreme pistons. If it is thinner, then it has been modified and is illegal.

As a final test if you have a new piston then simply insert a gudgeon between the two and place on a flat surface. Both pistons should have the same height at top and bottom – though bear in mind the carbon on the top of the piston might make it seem slightly higher.

So if you think you might have an illegal engine then contact us now on info@tal-ko.com. We will keep your identity secure.