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Earliest shifter karts
#1
Any input on when motorcycle engines started to be put on karts?  I know the watercooled rotax gp engines started being used in the early 80's, but was wondering if the yamaha rd motorcycle engines saw use as kart power plants in the 70's? I'm sure there were some one offs, but curious when they started to get their own recognized classes.  

Long story but I ended up with an RD 125 engine and was thinking it would be cool to use it on a vintage enduro.
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#2
I remember Bil Spaude, Tod's father, had a primitive shifter at one of the Tampa, FL area tracks, back in maybe '76 or '77. Fun to watch, but nobody to race with. Can't remember the engine make. Ted
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#3
the early Yamaha YDS 250 Twin cyl engine from the early '60's was used on several karts in the very early days. At one point the RD and TZ engines were used but became so fast on the super karts on the Super Speedways they were soon abandoned and banned.
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#4
in early years two cylinder two strokes off m.c's were used and raced but transmissions weren't allowed so the were cut off and used as single gearing.
as steve said later on they were used briefly with trannies but were too fast.
d Cool
Dave L.
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#5
yeah..I remember back in the very early 60s there was a brothers team out of Cleveland that had Villers mounted on rear karts,,,no transmission ...fast down the straights but would no go around a corner...cool as heck,,but..............


gw
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#6
Here's Gary Brewster's lengthened GK 1200 with a 250 Yammie from 1962. We all worked on the carburetion, but never got it just right. Both Dick Wyatt's Rupp/twin S&S Oil (Dick Collier) 820's and my GK 1200/triple modified Macs would beat the Yammie. They gave up on it, and we never saw it again. They never bothered to repaint it after the frame lengthening. Ted


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#7
great pic Ted. the cranks weren't the best and they didn't make a lot of HP then or turn much more than 7500. No one understood what needed to be done. In today's world we would Use Suzuki rods and then 9 port and other porting on this engine and turn it 12,000. I can easily see 45 hp from this setup where in the day they probably were between 20 and 25.
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#8
Gary Brewster's dad was a major home builder during the boom days for NASA in the fifties. Gary had a purple custom Harley called "The woman" There was a hand giving the finger painted on the tank. Unheard of in our area in '62! Too bad they didn't put more time into the Yamaha. I was right at home on it, as my C Super kart was a 1200. Nowdays I can't even drive a single open 610! TJ
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#9
Looks like the Europeans were also early experimentors with shifter karts. From 1960

[Image: 5b02d575d4.jpg]

from the cikfia website
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