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Discussion Starter #1
Zero to Hero ...
... in a quarter mile. Going fast is sometimes a matter of taking things slowly and it's been one hell of a year for Tim Blakemore and the team developing the Kawasaki ZX-12R funny bike.



Much thought has been dedicated to delving into areas of the unknown in terms of performance, engineering and machine set-up, which were inevitable when dealing with the fantastic power the engine is producing. A greater part of this stratospheric performance is due to the customised Blakemore turbo unit (made and developed at Tim Blakemore Racing) and the methanol injected fuel system.

A newly developed heavy duty Weissman transmission copes well with the significant power gain over standard but lubrication soon became the team's greatest concern. An experimental 'dry sump' caused several failures before being dispensed with, not before it destroyed several expensive cranks and crankcase sets though!

The team has now designed and manufactured a new low profile wet sump to eliminate this, but the lubrication related woes didn't end there. Loss of oil pressure from the massive deceleration in the shut down area after the quarter mile track continued to affect the crankshaft main bearings until an adequate answer could be found.

The clever addition of an 'Accusump' accumulator, restriction of oil to non vital components and a 'trap door' baffle in the sump keeping the oil where it was most needed, has resulted in good oil pressure to the end of the strip and allowed the team to finally fully exploit the machine's alleged 550 bhp potential and accelerating from 0 to 70 mph in 0.9 of a second!

Trying to actually harness all the power available at the beginning of the track is easier said than done. Crucially, the intricate clutch set up and controlling the launch rpm to avoid producing too much initial boost are paramount when trying to literally glue the rear wheel to the ground for the perfect getaway.

Earlier in the season, trying to find an initial clutch setting saw the bike launch so violently it 'kangaroo hopped' to almost half track distance recording almost 3Gs on the data logger with daylight being clearly visible under the rear wheel - spectacular to see but not record breaking stuff.

Testing at Avon Park in July saw the bike making progress, running a 7.37 at 168 mph although a minor set back occurred when it "spat" the head gasket at 3/4 track. Further testing at the annual Bulldog Bash produced a 7.17 at 185mph, a personal best recorded top speed for Tim. Even so, there was still enough tyre spin to leave a black stripe the entire length of the track.

With the best still to come, the team competed at the all-star nationals at Avon Park raceway on the August Bank holiday. Two days of qualifying saw the team getting close, although the monster turbocharger was producing too much initial boost, even with the waste gate and everything else backed off. A fine balance still had to be found until a boost control unit was perfected and installed.

Taking the bike onto the track for the final qualifier on Sunday afternoon, Tim gunned a spectacular 6.86 smashing the track record and becoming the first British built funny bike in the sixes and probably establishing the bike as the quickest ZX-12R in the world.

All this was achieved with Tim missing the shift to fourth gear and a fuel leanout solenoid not engaging properly. Tim went on to back it up with a 6.99 and to win the meeting with a respectable 7.1 second pass.

Both Tim and his crew believe there is still more to come form the bike and are now researching ways of making probably the fastest ZX-12R in the World faster still.

Source: Kawasaki Motors UK
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Anyone that rides that sort of bike has my :respect
In fact anything below nines must be a white knuckle ride, though I guess they can't have much time to worry about it :scared

Don't know much about the drag racing scene in the USA, do they have a similar class?

What sort of times are they running with that sort of kit over there?
 
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