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Why KT100 is Still Relevant and Growing

Published By Texas Lone Star Grand Prix, Inc.     June 17, 2014    


The Yamaha KT 100 engine has been in kart racing for decades. Motor packages come and go. Fads emerge and fade. Racers, by their very nature, immediately begin to push and tweak whatever new engine they take up to grab every last little bit of performance.


This inevitably results in increased costs.  Examples of this are everywhere from the Modified Moto Shifter Engines of a few years ago to the current clone or “Chonda” engines of today. The very high costs of the modified Moto engines resulted in a complete retooling of shifter kart racing resulting in the currently very popular “Stock Honda”.  At the budget racer end of the spectrum the same thing happened with the clone.  A $90 engine purchased from Harbor Freight has now become a $600+ blue printed motor with aluminum billet flywheel.


This is not intended as criticism. It is not.

Racers seek maximum performance or they would not be racers.

Performance costs money.


The renaissance of the KT 100 is probably due in large part to a couple major factors: 1) it provides a great deal of horsepower for the money spent and 2) tuning is relatively simple using the 4 hole can.  Some organizations continue to use various pipes with the KT 100 but the momentum is toward the 4 hole can because it is easier on clutches and tuning and increases engine longevity.


Mark Dismore


The American Mid-West is, perhaps, seeing the most growth with the Yamaha.  Junior and Senior classes at New Castle Motorsports Park are regularly seeing entries between 20 & 25 with the number gradually increasing.


We were able to spend a little time with Mark Dismore at New Castle.  Mark raced in the Indy 500 8 times coming close to winning it on a couple of occasions.  He won an IRL race at Texas and won the 24 Hours of Daytona driving with Dan Gurney.  Mark also competed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans race and has been a life-long kart racer.


Watch this interview with Mark where he talks about his passion for kart racing, why he built a world class kart racing facility and the beginnings of Comet Kart Racing.



After spending the morning with Mark Dismore at New Castle Motorsports Park we traveled to Comet Kart Sales where we toured the showroom and shop.


The Dismore family philosophy and that of Comet Kart Sales is affordable family karting.  Racers can purchase a number of brands of new chassis from Comet as well a large inventory of used chassis and race ready karts.


The shop is well stocked with racing suits, helmets and all of the support items that racers need to go racing.


It was when we entered the engine shop that we became immersed in the Comet passion for the Yamaha KT 100 engine package.  Full blue printing and machining are part of the day to day operations of the shop. KT 100 motors in various stages of assembly are everywhere.


Mark Harrison, foreman of the Comet motor shop, gave us a tour and then an interview wherein he discusses the virtues of the KT 100 motor package and why the KT 100 classes are growing:



The take away from these visits and interviews is that in American kart racing while the shifter and TaG classes are doing well and growing both regionally and nationally, the more affordable KT 100 is filling a gap between them and the more budget minded racers who race clones and LO206s.  The affordability, dependability and horse power of the Yamaha KT 100 continues to inspire a loyal following and attract new devotes.

By, Rob Miller

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