As a longtime supporter of US shifter kart racing, Memo Gidley tried out the new Vortex Rok 125cc Shifter package today at Sonoma Raceway karting track.
The local Sanzura Championship karting series has taken the first step to start to phase out the long time Honda 125cc Stock Moto class with a relationship with the Vortex engine manufacture for the series. “I have been a big fan of the Stock Honda class for many years. I liked the low cost and low maintenance of the motors and how consistent the manufacturing of the motors were which meant equal horsepower for everybody,” said Gidley. “Unfortunately, that consistency has now gone away and in order to get a ‘good’ Honda motor, you either have to pay big money to motor builders that hand pick, or you have to buy numerous cylinders to find a ‘fast’ one. This is not good for the sport and a change must happen.”
Cameron Karting bolted on a new Vortex Rok shifter motor on to Gidley’s Aluminos chassis and Memo spent yesterday getting to know the new package. “As with all purpose built kart motors, the Vortex Rok shifter fits on a kart frame so much cleaner than the Honda,” said Gidley. “But the great thing about the Vortex is how great it felt right out of the box. Everything from power delivery to shifting, to ease of operating is all very nice!”
Vortex has in place on the east coast a rule that the motor is not sealed and only allows OEM manufactured replacement parts. This allows the competitors to maintain their own engines. They also have in place a claimer rule so that competitors know that no motor is out of reach.
“I like all the ideas that Vortex has put in place to make these motors accessible, cheap, fast, and reliable,” said Gidley. “I support and believe in their vision of what will be better for shifter karting.”