The kart racing industry has been asking, and Rotax has listened. Inside the head office of Rotax, months of research, development and refinement to the very process we know as ‘engine manufacturing’ has emerged with an improved manufacturing process of the Rotax cylinder. What does this denote for every (Junior) engine that rolls off the Rotax assembly line? It means that each engine will achieve the same level of performance as all existing Rotax Junior MAX engine family members. In fact, it performs just as strong as the best Rotax race engines on the market.
In the world of Rotax, we have finally reached a level of uniformity matched with performance and reliability, an accomplishment that no other engine manufacturer has been able to achieve. To prove the 2017 Rotax product consistency, MAXSpeed completed very structured and detailed analyses using the best testing procedures in the world. We tried 2017 engines in a variety of configurations and compared them against first-rate 2016 engines and earlier. A further comparison of the 2017 cylinder, installed on current & existing engine packages, proved that parity in the cylinders truly does exist. A competitor can install the cylinder on any Rotax MAX EVO / EVO-updated engine, and it will perform with the absolute certainty of a competitive race motor.
After completion of our findings, we can confidently announce that Rotax has surpassed all our expectations of performance and conformity. We have an engine that is ‘out of the box’, ready to compete with the best engines on the market. During September, we invited top industry leaders to observe these results for themselves and watch the engines perform on track. Check out the video below for full details from our demonstration day!
You’ve probably asked yourself a few questions by now. Is this an update? Is this mandatory? Is my EVO equipment obsolete? Let us clarify for you!
1. Who does this affect?
This only impacts Micro, Mini and Junior. If you’re a Senior+, just take a moment to sit back and relax - it doesn’t change anything for you, all your electrical and equipment stays the same. But please, keep reading along.
2. Are these parts mandatory for competition?
NO! This is not mandatory, in fact, you can continue to use your equipment and still be competitive.
3. Is this a Gen 3 EVO update?
This is NOT an update! Rotax has simply improved the manufacturing process to the cylinders, making them consistent with the best performing existing cylinders on the market. Imagine that now, you don't need to hunt for those ‘top’ shelf cylinders; they are on the shelf in front of you.
4. Has MAXSpeed tested these engines and cylinders?
Yes! We have - on the dyno and on the track in controlled conditions. We used a variety of configurations to accomplish this goal. It was very detailed, and gave us the confidence to offer the right product to our customer.
5. What about the electrical system? Is this another EVO electrical upgrade?
Let’s clear the air: this is not an upgrade. The starter buttons have been an on-off (no pun) issue since the EVO program was introduced. Rotax has now improved the buttons and moved the ECU to the battery location to reduce vibration. If you need to replace your harness, this is the system you have the option to buy, and it functions the exact same as your current equipment. It won’t be faster, and it wont be slower; and it’s not mandatory, just a nice improvement.
6. What about the ECU? Is it better? Is it quicker?
Throttle response and performance is identical to 2016 when using the 2017 ECU and the MAX RPM is the same as the previous version. Again, you do not need this - it is NOT an update.
7. I just want to know about the cylinder. How do I get one? Do I need it?
You can purchase the cylinder and install it on your motor and have the same similar power as the frontrunners who utilize the ‘outlier’ cylinders. This is not an upgrade - we repeat - this is not an UPDATE either. Keep your great equipment, keep your gear, and keep on racing.
8. How is the cylinder improved?
Digital printing and a CNC’d exhaust timing/port is ensuring parity across the most important part of the motor - the cylinder. We can’t release too many details about the manufacturing process, but what we do know is that it’s what we’ve been asking for; a cylinder that works out of the box.
9. I’m still confused - what engine configuration can I run?
Everything in 2016 EVO (and older) is legal. Your old harness works with 2017 components and 2017 components work with 2016 and older EVO too. We’re not outlawing/banning anything - Rotax has only improved the product consistency off their assembly line. MAXSpeed will release a simplified technical regulation very shortly.
10. How much will the 2017 cylinder cost?
Retail price of a JUN cylinder is $712.00 USD from your local dealer. ‘Outlier’ cylinders were black-marketed for $1500-2000.00 USD in the years past. To ensure a solid entry into the market, consumers can purchase 2017 JUN cylinder for a promotional price $500.00 USD. However, MAXSpeed wants to give a break to our loyal RMC 2016 Micro, Mini and Junior members. They can purchase the cylinder & ECU in a package deal for $449.95 USD.
11. When are these cylinders going to be available from my local dealer or service center?
Very shortly, we will announce the exact delivery date. In the mean time, current rules and regulations still apply.
12. I still have more questions. Who can I speak to?
Send an e-mail to our Sales Manager, Andrew@GoRotax.com, and get the conversation going. We’re happy to answer your questions M-F, 9-5pm.