Significant changes are taking place on the petrol that we buy from the pumps which will potentially require a change in fuel used for Formula TKM 2-stroke racers and other classes.

 Now Tal-Ko, the UK’s only manufacturer of kart racing engines, is giving important guidance to offset possible dangers in high performance engines.

 With effect from September and often already in place, ordinary Premium Unleaded fuel will be required to contain 10% ethanol content. This is because the ethanol works to clean combustion and clean emissions which is fine for cars built after around 2012 but a problem for others including 2-strokes.

 It is easy to identify the ethanol upgraded fuel by simply looking for the mandatory marking on the fuel pump which will now show as E10. It used to be E5.

 Because the ethanol cleans it will also reduce the effectiveness of the oil in the 2-stroke fuel mix which is essential to engine life and may cause a variety of problems. It is also likely to cause problems with the diaphragm etc in the carburettor. So with immediate effect we advise a complete halt to the use of Premium Unleaded fuel in any TKM 2-stroke engine. There are two simple alternatives:

 Super unleaded is the most convenient choice, costing only a little more and with a much lower ethanol content, at 5% and often lower. Widely available and will be marked as E5 on the pump.

 British Kart Championship fuel is guaranteed as free from the ethanol upgrade and may be used at any race meeting.

 You can also ‘clean’ the ethanol from petrol but we cannot as a responsible manufacturer suggest this as a practical solution given the inherent dangers involved.

 The change in fuel also has massive ramifications across any engine running on petrol and that includes generators, lawn mowers, power tools etc which may suffer from failure of seals and fittings as a result of this fuel change. So it is a widespread problem.

 This change also coincides with the cessation of availability of Shell M oil which we have recommended for TKM engines for many years. There are many alternatives many of which are approved for use with the CIK. We are continuing to assess performance of various oils but would stress the importance of several factors when changing oil:

 It is very important to use the oil/fuel mix we recommend at (320ml to five litres)

 We advise the use of only top quality 2-stroke racing castor-based oils which are in our experience best suited to high revving kart 2-stroke engines.