*Aug 2013: call for latest recommendations...and check the facebook page which has more recent stuff on it
*7/11: see the update on the Suzuki motors below
*9/11: see an email response to a racers who's rules limit them to 600cc max. Here....
Yamaha R6? or Honda 600RR?, Kaw
636? Which engine is best for which class??
Just as with life, clarity with these motor choices comes
It’s funny how history keeps repeating itself. This previous page below is several seasons old now and there has
been lots of new models and lots of new gadgets, but all this below still rings true even if it now pertains to
different models. It is the same deal- bike motors aren't built for our racecars. Hp and torque demands are totally
different in these applications. A stock out-of-the-bike motor is not a built-for-racing motor and never will be.
That is why they won't pull you off the corner hard. That is why they often don't hold up to the punishment. Buy
the time you buy 2 or 3 of them, you could have built a good motor and maybe you could have been winning instead
of getting beaten up back in the pack the whole time.
And the newer models are worse than before because that is the direction they seek to go- more top end, less on
It is clear to me that some guys get real itchy to just buy something new- some of my own top racers included.
And we are always keeping an eye out for the next “best new motor”. But let me tell you this- It has been a long
term FTZ policy to offer only what has been proven to win and hold up. We will not experiment or take chances with
YOUR race program. Most good racers know that when the big race comes up- you go with what you know- don't experiment
with something new and unproven. Same thing here, guys. When something does prove to be clearly superior- it will
be offered to all.
DON'T BE THAT GUY THAT GETS TALKED INTO THE LATEST "NEW" THING! Only to find out it doesn't make you
faster, it only makes things more complicated.
So to simplify a complicated subject this is our latest advice:
Don't even thing twice- forget the local guy who's blowing smoke at you. Get a '99-’02 Model R6 from us, or somewhere.
Put our carbs, filters, and exhaust on it, read the directions, and go race. Do this and your kid will not be pulled
or beaten because of power. Period. This has been the superior restrictor package since Eric Edwards won the Nationals
and 30 other features back in 2005- and still winning it up to the 2008 and 2009 I-30 Nationals. We have our stock
carbs developed to the point that they will run with full open filters- not only no tape restricting tape on the
airbox, but no airbox!
“A” class and wingless stock motor classes: My first choice on this one would be a 2006-2007 or possibly later R6 with
our Carburetors, Filters and our special 2006 up R6 exhausts on it and also our wiring harness mods to cut
away all the clutter and electronic throttle crap. The only thing is these motors are put together not all that
well from the factory- to let us go in the bottom end and blueprint it would fix that. And be sure to run our oil
cooler set up.
This is good power for not much money spent.
Outlaw or Open class:
This one is a bit more complicated. But I will try to narrow things down here best I can.
Our first choice has and still is the ’02 or ’05 type Yamaha FTZ Level2 R6’s with our modified stock carbs or with
Flatslide carbs, and our Hotbox ignition- Proven, developed, great torque band but still capable of 16000 rpms,
and the longest stroke of them all.
We build this motor in three flavors, 599cc, 618cc, 636cc. The standard bore 599cc version is a helluva good bang
for the buck. Don’t let it’s size fool you, it has proven time and again able to win the biggest races on the fastest
racetracks. Joe B. Miller used one of these to tie for 2nd place in the Powri series last year, and just recently
won the prestigious 2010 I-30 Nationals show against most of the nations fast guys and their big motors. Travis
Senter had used this same type 600cc motor to win the first I-30 Nationals a few years back, again amongst a whole
field of 636cc motors. It was capable of turning consistent times of about 13 seconds flat on that fast race track-
not many can claim that. The video is still on our home page. (Link here) To compare, the winners back in March
of last year as well as the July '11 race were turning lo to mid 14s, due to lousy track conditions, with horsepower
obviously not the an issue.
The 618cc version has been our "winningest" motor: The same as above plus the big bore work and parts.
It is a great all round motor, fits anybody's rules and it the clear choice for our Aussie friends down under.
The recent prestigious “Australian Title” race was won by this motor and carburetor package and has been used to
win two of the last three big “Oval Express” series there by a visiting Travis Senter.
The 636cc is the big bad torque king. Our guys are able to take bunches of teeth off the rear sprocket and just
let the motor dig. Warning this thing is a brute and you can easily blow the tires off if you don’t have your set
up together. The R6’s have an advantage of having a lot of cheap used parts available if needed. We consider the
oil cooler and our oil recommendations a must as well as rebuild within reason of say 12-15 races.
Nearly tied with our top choice R6s above is the 2007up Honda 600RR. You can’t say this package hasn’t worked great
for Dereck King, blistering the Powri Championship year before last. The Honda is not the king of the dyno but
Dereck loves it and says that in the car it pulls harder than anything he has been in. Smooth, easy to drive, and
rugged as a truck engine, this is also a very good choice. This motor like most newer motors won’t make a gob of
power until it is big-bored. Dereck won a boat load of races last year with a 618cc version then later switched
to the 636cc version and kept rockin’. Aside from the original expense of the big bore these motors have proven
to be very economical to race and own- seems like they never need extra maintenance, can go long periods between
rebuilds. This makes it a top choice for the “working man” racer who needs a motor that can win any race, but has
to watch what he spends, and wants a good motor to run this year, next year and beyond. I will also have to add
that I think this is something for these guys that seem to have bad luck constantly with blowing motors.. If you
can tear this thing up- then you can break an anvil with a rubber hammer!
Someone will be asking, yeah what about the 636 Kaw? The new Suzuki GSXR? and so on?:
We have recently looked the Suzuki and really wasn't impressed with it as a stocker but that turned around after
doing one with our full porting and cylinding head work. The bottom end appears robust and we are looking forwad
to building more of these. It also looks like a good candidate to make a big motor like for the current Powri rules.
As for the Kawasaki, I know they run pretty good for a stock motor, which explains their popularity back East where
the rules prevent mods like out extensive head work. But it seems like for the longest time that everyone that
calls in with one is like on their 3rd one since the beginning of the year. So the idea that they are cheap horsepower
might be not so true in the long run. They have some design quirks that is typical Kawasaki, shrouded pistons,
odd shaped rods, etc. But we do have people wanting us to build them and work our magic on them. That's fine, I'll
just say there is better motors out there that are happier at high rpms. But they are cheaper to build as you don't
have to buy pistons or big bore and Nikisil it. I also have to add that if you don't put our FTZ oil cooler on
them then you better just stay home. The Kawreally heat the oil.
Okay on this subject, sometimes we hear: “such & such motor
is all that wins around here!” and that always leads me to think to myself, "Uh huh…I see. But is there anything
else there that's worth a damn?". And then sometimes: "Oh there is some R6’s built by Billy Bob down
the road but they don't win.". Uh huh... again....It is not what you do but HOW you do it. Our R6's are not
like anyone elses, period. Come on guys lets put things in perspective. If 18 Kamaguchi’s start the feature at
your track of course one is likely to win. And of course the best motor in unskilled hands will seldom win.
And I also have to say this: If you are one of those guys that thinks that spending $5k on your motor program is
way overboard, but yet you have a big new truck or hauler, a big expensive trailer, $1500 paint job, etc. well
then I think you need to pull your head out-----Uh, lets just say perhaps you need to re-evaluate your racing priorities
and realize you may wish someday when you are older, that you did more to win, and to enhance your driver's reputation
while you had the chance to. You won't belive how much more fun racing is when your driver can easily catch and
pass the car in front of him!
On the subject of Induction: Carbs and Injection of
I will say this for now: We are involved with testing different induction systems on different motors including
the latest electronic fuel injection. Testing is inconclusive at his time but so far we haven't seen anything proven
better that our existing carburetor choices- especially for the money spent. This injection packages being offered
are very expensive, and are more complicated than even I thought, and have not proven out to be any faster on the
racetrack. So they are not our first choice for most racers. People should realize it is the MOTOR that makes the
power . And we can send you a set of carbs that will make- right out of the box- within a few hp of the best that
motor will ever make.
Our advise is to put your money where it gets you the most power-like the cylinder head and motor build- and also
keep it simple: You will be able to focus on things like your chassis set-ups trackside and you will do better
overall without to having to fuss with a complicated fuel system.
This is some much older stuff- but most of it still pertains:
*A note from Jon Fitzpatrick: Every year, for as long as I can remember, there has been some new model engine coming
out that is supposed to "change everything". 1995 it was the "D" model Kawasaki (every one
I saw-lost, then blew up), then the Gsxr Suzuki, then the F4 (another disappointment), and then all the fuel injected
stuff started showing up- and a lot of guys went backwards-fast. There is always a lot of talk going around about
this new bike model or that. When are people going to figure out that the Japanese OEM's don't make motors for
us? and you won't find the best micro sprint motor in a motorcycle- or in some salvage yard. Take a stock motor,
and hang the best fuel system and pipes on it- (both of which you do need), but you still have a stock street bike motor. In any serious form of
racing, a true race motor is BUILT, period. Put the best new Corvette motor in a sprint car- and you will get smoked! It was
just not built for that application. It is the same with the motorcycle manufacturers. They are mainly interested
in making more top-end, peak power with the trend towards shorter strokes, etc. But we have to have gobs of torque
to pull our race cars off the dirt track's corner. Top-end with no low-end is kind of like a ladder. What good
are extra rungs on the top, if it is missing rungs on the bottom?
This is why we prefer building the '99 to '05 Yamaha R6 motors for the Outlaw/Open classes. These models have a
longer stroke that any of the other 600's and is yet is fully capable of turning 16,000 rpm. The longer stroke
motors have more piston speed which helps combustion, especially with alcohol, allowing a wider powerband which
is essential for a micro sprint racing. We have made the most we've power seen with these modified motors and they
have an impressive reliability record.
Please read on,
*We have recently been dyno testing the 2006/2007 R6, and did runs
with our best alcohol carbs and exhaust combinations. While the power is quite good for a stock street bike motor,
it was still down from our Level-2 built R6 engines by several horsepower. But this motor is a valid choice for
the stock classes as well as a good alternative for the Pennsylvania area tracks. Particularly with the new rules
coming into effect. There is still quite a bit that can be done to improve power under the new rules. Contact us
for details on motor work, our alky carbs and exhaust systems and ignition options for these.
"AA Multi & Outlaw Classes:"
Yamaha R6: We have had great success with our built
'99-'05 Yamaha R6's for the Multi and Outlaw classes. This is our choice for the best option for this class. After
10 years of success building Hondas, it was going to take a lot to get us to consider something else, but after
we started building the R6's we knew we had gone in the right direction. They just needed some more low and midrange
power to pull them off the corners. As with our Hondas, we start with applying our "airflow magic" to
the head, (and even taken that a step further with the Level2 mods). We have designed special valve train parts
for them also. This allows this motor to rev past 16,000 rpm. (This is 7% more rpm than a stock 636 Kaw.) This
is a clear rpm advantage over other motors, and lets you gear low- and still not "hit the box". Combine
this with our carburetor setup and exhaust system that are all designed to get the most usable power and torque
available. See the R6 Multi/Outlaw
Class page or call in for details and pricing.
*New for 2006:Ask about our Level-2 Portwork and head mods (another
10% more airflow). The Level-2 R6 made over ten hp over our previous best dyno tests. Used by Travis Senter and
Eric Wright to finish 1st & 3rd at the 2006 I-30 Nationals!
We try to have ported, big valve R6 heads and motors in stock....You
need one of these on your motor- regardless of whether you have carbs or injection, or who is doing your motor
2006/07 Yamaha R6, Honda CBR600RR, Kaw 636, GSXR, etc.
We keep an open mind, and will build you whatever you want,
Along with applying our "airflow magic" to the head, we have designed special valve train parts for many
of these as well as other goodies including carburetor conversions and sump modifications. We have built all these
motors with good success. I will add that some of these newer motors have not proven themselves as far as reliability,
or performance for that matter, for near as long as the R6 or F3 and there is some risk factor involved with anything
new, especially when our other, "proven" motors are more than capable of winning. But, of course, it
call. We have dyno'ed and tuned most all these motors and know "Whatzup". Call us for specific recommendations
on the best motor for your track.
Which ever motor you decide to go with, you can trust FTZ to build you the fastest, most reliable motor
possible and at a reasonable cost. These recommendations are proven packages. Don't be a victim to other builder's
desperate attempts to make power and keep up. (Often experimenting at the customers expense.) Remember that the
pursuit of perfection is never cheap. Value comes with performance, reliability, and resale value.
Stock Motor Classes:
Yamaha R6 + FTZ = A winning combination! Remember we have developed our 600 exhaust system and alcohol carburetor mods
for this model, easily surpassing all others that we tested. The FTZ carbs and the current pipe make awesome, smooth
power from bottom to top.
600 "A" Class & "Wingless"(stock
See the note about the 2006/07 R6 above- One of the secrets to a winning "stock" class motor is to have
a perfect "rebuild". We can minimize compression losses through the rings and valve seats with our special
procedures used during a rebuild. **With so many different tracks running their own set of rules, we often will
have you fax or email us a copy of the engine rules so we can make the most out of them when rebuilding your motor.
You need to get both the pipes and the carb work to get the full power.
See the "600 "A"
class & Restrictor class motor work" page.
600 "Restrictor" Class- We recommend the '99-'02 Yamaha R6 for any Restrictor class car. This well
proven package has very good power and a nice flat power band-meaning good smooth power from low-end to, with no
sudden "hit" to upset the car or driver. Use our new FTZ exhaust as others will upset the carbs and limit
torque and rpms. Eric Edwards used this setup to dominate the 2005 NMMA Championship and the NMMA Nationals in
Oklahoma winning 30 features.
Also see the "600 "A"
class & Restrictor class motor work" page.
"Pennsylvania Area" 600 Racers- We are now recommending the 2006/07 Yamaha R6 for the Northeastern tracks,
as an alternative to the expensive and fragile 636 Kawasaki's. This motor will rev farther and hold up better than
the Kawasaki's. Following the new PA rules, we have several legal power and reliability modifications allowed as
well as installing a race clutch and some other useful mods. We have a killer Flatslide carburetor conversion for
them as well and ignition mods as well.
And if you choose to go with the Kawasaki 636, be sure to run our exhaust system and keep in mind we offer a awesome
carburetor conversion for those are tired of chasing the electronic fuel injection around in circles. Give us a
call for the latest.
Call for the latest details or see the "600cc
Pennsylvania area motor work" page.
Winter '06: Jimmy Brookens won a dozen or so features last year
using our exhaust, and our alcohol modified R6 carburetors on his previously injected Kawasaki 636. Please call
in for what we can offer you to get the most out of your motor per your track's rules.
*Carbs or Injection?? Which is Best?
All of the big races won by our guys, last year and this, were with our carburetors. Don't spend more for less.
There is better places to put the money. For more on this see the "Carbs or Fuel Injection" page.
If you are not using a FTZ motor- You
are not as fast as you could be!!
We can arrange a truck line to pick up a motor at
your place, for "no hassle" shipping to us.
FTZ Performance, Inc. 573-334-5439 9:00
to 6:00 Central time