Ever heard that old saying: Fast, inexpensive or great quality — pick two, because you can't have all three at the same time?
Or all you hardcore racers out there, how about this list you just wish you could choose from? Five-speed transmission, state-of-the-art 4-stroke technology, electronic fuel injection, runs on pump fuel, completely assembled engine and complete kart specific bolt-on kits, durability that requires substantially less maintenance resulting in huge cost savings.
Guess what, you CAN have all three, fast, inexpensive series and great quality, PLUS those additional six mind-bending benefits and PGP is going to make it easy for you with a new beginner to end racer format that is built with this new and exciting package as the flagship of all competition.
This new PGP series itself begins Saturday, Oct. 13, but for this story let's focus on the engine PGP is helping to bring to the forefront and that will power the top class: the CRF250 offered by Honda Performance Development (HPD) — the same folks who produce engines for the IndyCar Series.
"HPD is proud to work with PGP Motorsports Park to bring new technology to the karting market," said HPD's Troy McCall. "HPD has put countless hours on the CRF250 package to ensure durability and driveability. Racers will be able to enjoy the broad torque curve to eliminate excessive gear changes as well as letting the PGM-FI do all the jetting work for you. Now you can sit back and concentrate on driver and chassis setup."
The CRF250 is a 4-stroke engine with Electronic Fuel Ignition (EFI) that comes completely assembled and ready to drop into a kart chassis. No more hiring an expert or trying to muddle through assembling the motor yourself. Everything — and we mean everything — relating to the drivetrain is included in the package: motor, motor mount, electronic fuel pump, clutch and throttle cables, and custom-made Yoshimura exhaust with air filter.
Every component of the CRF250 is engineered and assembled with the precision and quality you'd expect from a company that has produced racing motors used in the Indianapolis 500 for more than ten years.
"It's plug-and-play! You supply the kart and HPD supplies everything else!" said longtime PGP racer Derek Hanson after getting a look at the CRF250 and taking it for a test run. "It just doesn't get any easier, people!"
Sean Naslund, another PGP veteran karter, agrees with Derek's assessment.
"HPD, as usual, left no rock unturned when designing this package for karting applications," he reported after taking the CRF250 for a test drive. "From the perfectly-tuned fuel injection (requiring zero jetting – EVER!), the reinforced machined bearing carrier for the extended drive shaft, to the custom fabricated Yoshimura exhaust, this is a motor that is built for reliability, speed and beauty."
And the sound? Oh so incredible, and just sings of the future of the sport.
Derek was especially pleased that the engine was 4-stroke with EFI: "No more $17 dollar a gallon race fuel, no more pre-mix, and no more fiddling with jetting. It runs on 92 octane gas from your corner gas station of choice and the ECU (electronic control unit) handles the rest perfectly. No more blue smoke out the exhaust, no more oily residue blown all over your kart. From the moment we started it, till the time we loaded it on the trailer at the end of the day, this thing burned clean and ran perfect."
So the CRF250 is of comparable value to other top platforms and is of impeccable quality, but is it fast? "Stupidly" so, says Derek.
The HPD engine is silky smooth at idle or on the gas, and the perfectly mapped EFI means no delays in power delivery — on the start line or anywhere else on the track. Mash the gas, hit the rev limiter and drop the clutch and you're going: FAST and without lag. Want to drive the entire track in 5th gear? No problem according to Derek, who did and said the motor "never flinched."
"The Uni-Cam and titanium valves work together with the EFI to produce enough torque to possibly alter the rotation of the Earth," said Derek. "No joke! This thing might even be able to pull wheelies."
"Anybody can jump in this thing and go fast. It's that easy," added Sean. "The CRF250 will close the gap in race action. Everybody will be able to battle for the lead."
The CRF250-R is the complete package: fast with gobs of torque and at $5,999 it is comparable in cost to the current standard – a race-prepped “modified” CR125 and it is, of course, the finest quality that anyone would expect from Honda. PGP will use this package in a new karting series designed to make it easy and affordable for anyone to get into kart racing by providing a clear and concise program that is already in place. But for now we'll let Derek wrap up our look at the CRF250.
"To be honest, I was fully prepared not to like the 4-stroke. I mean really, how could it be better than the proven, high revving, high strung, stock Honda CR 125? Well ... I am now struggling to think of why I would drive any other kart engine. IT'S JUST THAT GOOD! It produces straight, uninterrupted power and lots of it," the PGP veteran said. "I could go on and on about this new Honda 4-stroke motor by HPD but you really need to try it for yourself to truly understand how advanced it really is."
The kits are now available. A handful have been purchased, deposits have been made on a few others and a decent number of folks are sitting on the fence ready to get on board (or in the seat) once they see these awesome karts in action on the track. Call PGP directly at (253) 639-7223 for additional details.
PGP Motorsports Park and the new Honda CRF250 from HPD: The Northwest’s premiere track teams up with a premiere partner to bring you a truly beginner to end premiere series.