Whats going to happen in the karting world

Colt sr

Member
I saw that briggs and stratton filed for bankruptcy on the news the other day. Does this mean that we will all be running clones in the near future?
 

alvin l nunley

Premium User
Don't accept this as fact, but my understanding is that chapter 11 bankruptcy allows a company to stay in business, with protection from creditors, until they can reorganize. It doesn't mean they're not going to go out of business, as far as I know, but we'll have to wait and see. You can't take is to the bank though, because I'm no expert on the subject. Not even close!
 

01ron

Member
Most of my flatheads started out as rototiller engines or pumps. It was not until they came out with the Raptor engines that I felt like I actually had a karting engine. Even then, I had some commercial use engines (steel bore dual bearing IC) that were always my go to engines.
 
Aren't the clones already dominating kart racing in most areas?
Back when Briggs & Stratton came in to dominate kart racing, they saw an opportunity (McCulloch was getting out). Briggs offered the WKA sponsorship in return for a rules rewrite that heavily favored its brand (several new classes of Briggs engines only).

Today we don't have a sanctioning body that is as dominant as WKA was, and the clone manufacturers are a loose group of foreign factories that only build engines on a contract basis (and those manufacturers come and go). So we don't have the same conditions as we did back in the Briggs / WKA days.

Racers will race whatever they can get their hands on, and tracks will adopt to whatever appears to be most popular with their racers. So it could be anything, but currently the mishmash of clones are favored. With a sour economy, and with kart racing being a very small percentage of the revenue that small engine manufacturers see, I doubt that any one manufacturer will pony up to the old Briggs / WKA level. If Briggs shuts down its Animal and LO206 efforts, kart racing will go back to its race-what-you-can-find roots... which is where it is already headed with the clones.
 

spincycle

Premium User
Don't accept this as fact, but my understanding is that chapter 11 bankruptcy allows a company to stay in business, with protection from creditors, until they can reorganize. It doesn't mean they're not going to go out of business, as far as I know, but we'll have to wait and see. You can't take is to the bank though, because I'm no expert on the subject. Not even close!
Yes, they get to reorganize while debts are pretty much in limbo....this gives MGMT time to decide where to trim fat and/or eliminate unprofitable facets of the business, I have no idea all of what things they have their hands in, but I would have to believe that karting is near the bottom of their priority list...🤔
 

mike97760

Premium User
Who was the guy from Briggs who used to post on Bobs from time to time? I always enjoyed reading his comments.
 

Ted Hamilton

Design Drafter / Racer
A key example in why orgs shouldn't get in bed with manufacturers....they should write a SPECIFICATION that any manufacturer can meet, and let the chips fall where they may. As far as I'm concerned, set the bore and stroke and intake / exhaust size and timing, and have at it...
 

kartracer_3

Member
I thought almost everyone was already running clones. Here in southern Indiana we have had a good bit of flathead racing going on basically for old time sake because most all of us started racing with FH's years ago but for the most part its clones. We currently have zero classes at any of the dirt tracks around here that run an engine that Briggs currently manufactures. So Briggs going out of business will not affect my karting world at all.
As much as I hate to see an American company bite the dust it sort of serves them right for trying to cram the Animals down our throats years ago. They should have NEVER done away with the flat head engine.
 
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Colt sr

Member
I thought almost everyone was already running clones. Here in southern Indiana we have had a good bit of flathead racing going on basically for old time sake because most all of us started racing with FH's years ago but for the most part its clones. We currently have zero classes at any of the dirt tracks around here that run an engine that Briggs currently manufactures. So Briggs going out of business will not affect my karting world at all.
As much as I hate to see an American company bite the dust it sort of serves them right for trying cram the Animals down our throats years ago. They should have NEVER done away with the flat head engine.
I am up in northeast indiana and currently in my stable is 6 flatheads, 2 animals, and 1 clone( collecting dust). In my opinion the briggs engine hold up better than these clones. The clone i have needs updated and if you want to be competitive you have to have clones built quite more frequently than the briggs engines. I have a flathead built in 1999 that would still keep you up front. It is disappointing that briggs may close its doors which will make replacement parts harder to get as years go by.
 
D

Deleted member 21174

Guest
LO206 is the most popular class where we race at all levels - cadet through masters (sprint). An LO206 is so much less than a mini swift and it's a lot simpler to maintain. I hope they keep the program going!
 

kartracer_3

Member
I am up in northeast indiana and currently in my stable is 6 flatheads, 2 animals, and 1 clone( collecting dust). In my opinion the briggs engine hold up better than these clones. The clone i have needs updated and if you want to be competitive you have to have clones built quite more frequently than the briggs engines. I have a flathead built in 1999 that would still keep you up front. It is disappointing that briggs may close its doors which will make replacement parts harder to get as years go by.
Parts for the flatheads are already hard to get , some are even impossible. Its the reason a lot of engine builders will not touch them any more. I agree that the Briggs engines seem to hold up better but they also still have the issues they have always had. The exhaust pipes and carbs coming loose more often, fuel tanks leaking , indexing the spark plugs, having to change the oil more often and I don't know what its like in your area but good fuel is hard to find in my neck of the woods which sometimes requires a trip to VP fuels in Terre Haute. . Plus a clone seems more racey to me which helps with the fun factor.
I had 10 flatheads, 5 mediocre ones 3 good ones and 2 really good ones. I bought a clone, raced it one time and then started selling all of my flathead stuff. My initial reason for changing over to clone is that I was tired of giving up 40 plus pounds because most tracks even if they run a flathead class have one weight, 360-365. Now I can go to any track that I want to and race at least two classes if I want and don't have to give up 40 plus pounds.
Something else to consider is that the clones main problem has been the valve springs but now I am hearing that issue has been corrected which for some folks will mean less trips to their engine builder.
Again I do not see much changing in the karting world around here as far as Briggs is concerned. In hind sight I guess its a good thing I never got a World Formula class together here, talk about a fun engine on dirt with a push button start to boot, I will never understand why interest in that engine never took off here.
The only thing I see changing is more and more Pred classes which to me makes no sense at all , we already have way too many damn classes.
KR3
 

Colt sr

Member
With the jr sportsman class the animal is the engine to have... Clones have their perks but i am not going to jump on a band wagon when a engine costs more than my whole kart... As far as engine builders i could name off quite a few engine builders that will rebuild the flathead for a reasonable price... And parts are not hard to find when these builders have stock piles of parts at their disposal... I am just saying that some classes use the briggs engines as their number one engine...
 

RacerTB

Member
You can blame EPA for the flathead. As far as the clone... how much are those $99 engines going for? How much has the animal went up? Don’t get me wrong the the clone has its place in karting. I’m just not a fan when a flywheel costs as much as the original engine does.
 

Don K

Member
As much as I hate to see an American company bite the dust it sort of serves them right for trying to cram the Animals down our throats years ago.

I didn't see them cramming anything. We raced everything including the peanut butter metal clones. It was a hundred bucks and worth only a hundred bucks. Compared to the Briggs they popped like popcorn. We quickly dropped clones and went back to the Animal which in the end turned out to be best motor in the garage given the number of times we raced and won with it. kartracer_3,,,, were they so expensive that Briggs did you wrong? Is a National, and I say National motor worth $2k? I think so.

It's ridiculous to think that the absolute cheapest piece of peanut butter metal clone (of Honda and built by slave labor from a communist country), is the only answer for a kart racing motor.

Personally, I believe it is, just reward, that the top line racing clones are now $2k. Fifteen hundred to make them last and $.5k to make them fast.

DK
 

kartracer_3

Member
You can blame EPA for the flathead. As far as the clone... how much are those $99 engines going for? How much has the animal went up? Don’t get me wrong the the clone has its place in karting. I’m just not a fan when a flywheel costs as much as the original engine does.
You can still get a decent fresh clone for around 6-700. Just for comparison it cost me almost 900 each for a couple of big name engine builders flatheads. about 200 each for the cost of the engine and 700 to have them rebuilt. Had 550-600 in another one.
As far as blaming the EPA , I don't think thats the whole story behind the demise of the flathead at Briggs.
Not sure about the Animals because we don't run them around here. We tried back in the day along with the World Formula but they never really caught on.
 

kartracer_3

Member
As much as I hate to see an American company bite the dust it sort of serves them right for trying to cram the Animals down our throats years ago.

I didn't see them cramming anything. We raced everything including the peanut butter metal clones. It was a hundred bucks and worth only a hundred bucks. Compared to the Briggs they popped like popcorn. We quickly dropped clones and went back to the Animal which in the end turned out to be best motor in the garage given the number of times we raced and won with it. kartracer_3,,,, were they so expensive that Briggs did you wrong? Is a National, and I say National motor worth $2k? I think so.

It's ridiculous to think that the absolute cheapest piece of peanut butter metal clone (of Honda and built by slave labor from a communist country), is the only answer for a kart racing motor.

Personally, I believe it is, just reward, that the top line racing clones are now $2k. Fifteen hundred to make them last and $.5k to make them fast.

DK
I can buy one fresh, not new , for around 700 shipped to my door and it will run with the big name engine builders. As far as them popping like popcorn I am not witnessing any of that. I have seen some engine failures in the past 2 years but not at a alarming rate.
Just to clarify I am not a fan of the made in China clones in fact I can not stand anything made in China that is why I resisted, so to speak, for so long and wanted to make the flathead class work for me but if you want to race dirt ovals and go to different tracks that's what you have to race.
 
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