Clones vs The Real Thing

Driver’s Meeting – Sunday, March 04, 2012

There is a new Honda 13 hp engine being released which can be modified to produce 20 hp for our trucks . The current horsepower we run is 18. The track is looking to implement the use of the new Honda engines this year. The track also is going to allow the use of clone engines this year.

In my opinion, I think to move forward with the new engine at this time of the season would end up creating a large amount of tension between race teams and the track in order to keep everyone on a level playing field.

To get ready for this season I have already had 5 engines done and sealed by Marshman’s Engines. This was done shortly after the end of last season and the work is not done for free. To bring the older engines up to 20 hp would cost me.

At the meeting it was suggested that parts on the old style engines could be changed to bring them up to the new engine output.  On Monday I called Keith to see what the cost would be to me – approx. $800 for our 5 engines. Keith suggested at the meeting of using the restrictor plate to bring the new engines down to 18 hp at a cost of approx. $20.00. Brad say they wanted to make racing cheaper for racer I can not see this cheaper.

I’ve been told that the trucks now are running on the edge at 18 hp and that adding another 2 hp I think is a mistake. My first years with Derik in racing with the trucks we had 16 hp engines and now they have increased to  18 hp engine and now we’re going for 20 hp. It’s my opinion that we should drop back to 16 hp engines. Yes, I can hear you! It’s just that dropping back to the 16 hp gives a driver just a bit more of a comfort zone when he/she hears their voice saying, “OOPS!”. Drivers love speed so I won’t push too hard on that one. Just don’t forget the cost of repairs for each “OOPS!” And they want you to go faster? – $$$$$$$$

The clone engines are considered a cheaper made engine. I have been led to believe they have plastic parts in them which means, of course, more repairs to the engines and the more engine failures may cause more wrecks. Honda has a proven record and are reliable even if a little more expensive to buy. In the long run the cheaper engine is the Honda.

Marshman has been doing my engines for over 10 years. Keith has been dedicated to the racers and the track. What will a Honda dealer do with clone engines – nothing if he wants to remain a Honda dealer. Clone engines would not only be a slap in the face, it would be a kick in the teeth.

Simple solution in my mind:

  • NO to clone engines;
  • Run 18 hp this year with the old engines only;
  • Announce that the new Honda engine will be used next year after appropriate testing.

It would seem that the clone engines are being pushed right now so there must be a windfall coming. Just not for the drivers. Is it worth it? At the drivers’ meeting it was said that only three drivers were against the Clone engine. To me it sounded like a lot more. Let me know where you stand below.


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