It doesn't matter to me what country the K9 is made in, or what company has a similar looking version. Alls I know is that this thing hauls the mail in double-time. I've run RBs for 13 years, and after 3 gallons on my K9 I see no reduction in quality or workmanship on this mill. It still sticks on top, has exceptional compression, horsepower, idle, and run-time.
RB may have saved the consumer $100 by using less expensive labor and/or bearings, but who cares. The internal turbulence that todays over-the-top-output mills create will destroy any main bearing in about 5 gallons or less, if you are competing at a high level. Therefore, as I would do with any mill, I plan to replace with TKO ceramics before next season gets into full swing.
It seems like the people who have negative things to say about the K9, don't even have one.
Anyone having trouble keeping a K9 running is definitely a noob, but I would be glad to help them. I haven't had to re-tune mine in 4 races, at 3 different venues. I TQ'd three and won two of those races, against OS Speeds, GRPs, and Plus4s. The K9 totally removes engine trouble from the successful-race equation for me. Now I can focus on the chassis and driving.
plugs: RB5T or 4T when cold out, or OD97T
pipes: 053, JP3, rb2045 w/ round header