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How do Rotax Engines Work? [Video]
Last Updated on
When it comes to motorsports, Rotax manufactures one of the best known engines on the market.
Beyond Sea-Doos, you can find Rotax engines in many other vehicles.
Are you wondering what kind of engines Rotax makes and how these engines work?
If you want to learn about Rotax engines, this post is for you. We at JetDrift have gathered the basics on these popular power sources!
What is a Rotax Engine?
Rotax engines are high-perfomance powersport engines, manufactured in Austria. Rotax offers a wide range of engines from 8 HP, 1-cylinder, 2-stroke models to 310 HP, 3-cylinder, 4-stroke supercharged engines. You can find Rotax engines in aircraft, snowmobiles, karts, onroad and offroad vehicles and Sea-Doos.
For your convenience we’ve compiled a list of currently available Rotax engines. You can sort through the rows by clicking on the headline!
2020 Rotax Engine Chart
|125 Micro Max EVO||Kart||8||2||1|
|125 Mini Max EVO||Kart||14||2||1|
|125 Junior Max EVO||Kart||23||2||1|
|125 Max EVO||Kart||29||2||1|
|125 MAX DD2 EVO||Kart||33||2||1|
|Range Extender 25||Other||33||4||1|
|Range Extender 32||Other||43||4||3|
|900 HO ACE||Marine||89||4||3|
|912 IS/ISC Sport||Aircraft||99||4||4|
|600 HO W-TEC||Snow||114||2||2|
|915 IS A/ISC A||Aircraft||141||4||4|
|900 ACE Turbo||Snow||149||4||3|
|850 E-TEC Turbo||Snow||164||2||2|
|900 ACE Turbo||Offroad||171||4||3|
|1503 HO ACW||Marine||229||4||3|
How do Rotax Engines Work?
Rotax engines work in the same way as the engine in your car, as all Rotax power sources are internal combustion engines. The company offers 4-stroke and 2-stroke engines as well. The 2-stroke options offer better power-to-weight ratio, so they are still used in karts, snowmobiles, and aircraft.
Regarding cooling systems, Rotax engines are cooled with a closed-loop cooling system in every Sea-Doo model, which is unique in the PWC industry.
What is a Rotax 4-TEC engine?
Rotax 4-TEC engines are the 4-stroke, fuel-injected engine options manufactured by Rotax. Sea-Doo 4-TEC engines feature 1-4 cylinders, and produce around 33-300 horsepower depending on the model. You can find these 4-stroke power sources in Sea-Doos, aircraft, and BRP’s offroad and onroad vehicles.
If you would like to learn more about Rotax 4-TEC engines, we recommend this very informative video:
What is an E-TEC Engine?
Are Rotax engines 2-stroke?
Rotax still offers 2-stroke as well as 4-stroke engines. You can find Rotax 2-stroke engines in aircraft, karts and snowmobiles as these machines require lightweight engines with the best power-to-weight ratio available. Other onroad and offroad vehicles, as well as Sea-Doos are already powered with the 4-stroke engine option.
You can learn all about Rotax 2-stroke engines in this video:
What does E-TEC stand for?
The term E-TEC means the ROTAX engine’s 2-stroke direct fuel injection system. Simply put, vehicles labeled with E-TEC are powered with a 2-stroke ROTAX engine, which features a fuel injection system instead of a carburetor. Surprisingly, the term “E-TEC” isn’t an acronym, the manufacturer simply chose this name for this technology.
Is E-TEC fuel injected?
Yes, all E-TEC engines are fuel injected. The unique E-TEC fuel injection system offers industry-leading fuel and oil economy. The first E-TEC fuel-injected engine was introduced in 2003, which was an outboard Evinrude engine. And in 2008, BRP introduced the first snowmobile with an E-TEC engine.
FAQs About Rotax Engines
Who makes Sea-Doo Motors?
Sea-Doo motors are made by Rotax, an Austrian based company. Just like Sea-Doo, ROTAX is also owned by BPR (Bombardier Recreational Products), so it’s safe to say that the company uses its own engines in all Sea-Doo models.
Does BRP own Rotax?
Yes, BRP owns Rotax. The hundred-year-old company’s exact name is BRP-Rotax GmbH & Co KG, (formerly BRP-Powertrain GmbH & Co. KG).
Where are Rotax engines made?
Rotax engines are developed and manufactured in Gunskirchen, Austria (Central-Europe). The factory is located between Graz, Munich, Salzburg and Vienna.
Does Polaris use Rotax engines?
Contrary to popular belief, Polaris doesn’t use Rotax engines. Instead, the company develops and produces its own power sources for all product lines.
Does Rotax make KTM engines?
In the past, Rotax manufactured engines for KTM, BMW and Aprilia, but nowadays these companies are moving in a different direction. Therefore, KTM doesn’t use ROTAX engines anymore.
How fast is a Rotax Max Kart?
Powered with a Rotax 125cc, 2-stroke, 1-cylinder engine, a Rotax Max Kart can go as fast as 75 mph.
Is Rotax a rotary engine?
No, Rotax is not a rotary engine, but a traditional internal combustion engine featuring 1-4 pistons depending on the model.
How can I tell what year my Rotax engine is?
If you would like to know the age of your Rotax engine, the best practice is to contact the manufacturer or and authorized Rotax dealer. You will have to give the engine’s serial number for identification.
Are Rotax engines good?
Rotax engines are considered good products, which is why these power sources are used in many powersport vehicles, Sea-Doos, and aircraft. The company considers itself a world-leading manufacturer of recreational vehicle engines.
Are Rotax engines reliable?
In general, Rotax engines are considered reliable, but they are among the most expensive engines on the market. It also has to be mentioned that proper and regular maintenance is required for reliable operation, which is necessary for any engine!
How much does it cost to rebuild a Sea-Doo engine?
It costs $1000-$4000 to rebuild a Sea-Doo engine. The price varies widely depending on the model and the required repair. Some examples: if you do it by yourself, rebuilding a 2-stroke Sea-Doo engine will cost you around $1000-$2000. If you have a newer 4-stroke Sea-Doo and want to get the rebuild done by a mechanic, be prepared to pay around $3000-$4000!
As many Sea-Doo engines can’t be repaired, you can consider buying a remanufactured Sea-Doo engine. There are some reputable services like SBT who offer remanufactured engines with a warranty.
If you are looking for something off the shelf, you can purchase a brand new Sea-Doo engine, or even a new complete PWC!
Rotax 912 Engine Review
As Rotax 912 engines are very popular among buyers, let’s take a closer look at this power source.
The Rotax 912 engine is available in 3 different versions, the 912 IS/ISC SPORT, the 912 S/ULS, and the 912 A/F/UL. All models are 4-stroke, 4-cylinder aircraft engines.
How much is a Rotax 912 engine?
Prices for the Rotax 912 engine range from $16,000 to $22,000. The cheapest 912 Rotax engine is the 80 HP engine option with a price tag of $16,000, while the 100 HP Rotax 912 engine costs around $19,000-$22,000.
How much does a Rotax 912 weigh?
The Rotax 912 engine weighs around 122-141 pounds depending on the model. The Rotax 912 IS/ISC SPORT (100 HP) weighs 141 pounds, the Rotax 912 S/ULS (100 HP) weighs 125 pounds while the Rotax 912 A/F/UL (80 HP) weighs 122 pounds.
How much does it cost to rebuild a Rotax 912?
A typical Rotax 912 engine rebuild is around $10,000-$15,000 depending on many factors. In general, compared to other engine brands, overhauling a Rotax 912 is much less economical than purchasing a new engine.
What is the TBO on a Rotax 912?
According to the manufacturer, the TBO on a Rotax 912 iS Sport is 2,000 hours. The term TBO refers to the ‘time between overhauls’.
How Much Does a Rotax Engine Cost?
A Rotax engine costs around $3,000-$37,000 depending on the engine’s performance. The cheapest Rotax engine is the small 125cc kart engine, as they cost around $3,000-$4,000. The most expensive Rotax engine is arguably the power source for aircraft, as they can reach the $15,000-$37,000 price range!
Rotax is a reputable 100 year old company owned by BRP (Bombardier Recreational Products).
The Central-Europe based company manufactures engines for several recreational motorsport vehicles like Sea-Doos, snowmobiles, karts, Can-Ams and offroad vehicles.
Moreover, Rotax offers many different engine options for aircraft as well.
You can find 4-stroke as well as 2-stroke Rotax engines on the market, featuring 1-4 cylinders. The 2-stroke models are mainly used in aircraft, karts and snowmobiles.
The E-TEC term refers to the company’s 2-stroke fuel injection system, which can be found in many Rotax engines. This unique E-TEC fuel system offers the best fuel and oil fuel efficiency in the industry.
Regarding Rotax engine performance, they offer 8-300 HP depending on the model.
When it comes to Sea-Doos, these PWCs are also powered with Rotax engines.
Moreover, Sea-Doo’s Rotax engines feature closed-loop cooling while the competitor brands still use an open-loop cooling system.
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