When the idea for the Dragbike.com Project Formula Superbike was born, the intention was noble enough: collaborate with some of the top aftermarket manufactures in the country to build a state-of-the art machine to compete in the AMA/Prostar series. It would be done with a first-hand perspective documenting the trials and successes, hopefully adding some insight for those willing to follow a similar path.
Spearheading the project would be Del Flores, racer, promoter and performance shop owner.
We thought the Superbike class would be a perfect class for this project as it was intended to be an entry-level pro class. Basically the class defines a big-inch all-motor modern Sportbike morphed into a full-out drag bike with slicks and wheelie bar. The late-model engine is a much-desired platform for developing go-fast parts. From the concept it seemed to be a stepping stone into what could become a Junior Pro Stock eliminator. All the pieces were in place.
We would just love it if at this time we could announce that the Dragbike.com Project Formula Superbike kicked ass in 2003 and would be hunting for the championship in 2004. While the former is true the latter will not come to be as the Superbike class was eliminated from the AMA/Prostar schedule for this year.
As the bike was nearing competition toward the beginning of the season, the first (and probably most) critical decision
His choice of rider was narrowed down to Tommy Miceli, the infamous Brooklyn Ace (now Englishtown) or Brian Schultz, son of the late Dave Schultz, and an excellent rider in his own right. Two riders with very different philosophies and riding style both with the fire to succeed within. The initial choice came down to the fact that Miceli was more local to
With Miceli’s work schedule and his participation in a limited NHRA Pro Stock program accommodations needed to be made. As it worked out Miceli was forced to miss the
Tommy got back on the bike in
It wasn’t the quickest bike out there but for four races it was the last one standing. As the wins accumulated the rest of the class was forced to sit up and take notice.
A last minute scheduling problem meant that Tommy would arrive late to
While the ride may not have lasted long it was eventful though as Carroll clocked an 8.096 et in qualifying, eclipsing Miceli’s best run of 8.14 on the bike recorded at the Virginia Prostar race. Once Miceli arrived he knew he had his work cut out for him and he went right to it. In qualifying Miceli qualified in the number two position on the ladder running a stout 8.041, the quickest pass of the season for the bike. The season came to the crushing halt for the Dragbike.com Project Formula Superbike as Miceli had an oil filter fail just after his burnout in round one of eliminations, coating the burnout box with oil. And with a whimper his day, and the season, were over for him and the Dragbike.com Project Bike.
With the project over, and the Superbike class now non-existent,
The Dragbike.com Project Bike was no throw-together compilation of parts but rather a well thought-out amalgamation of components that were tested and re-tested to yield the best possible results. Some parts were a given and others needed to be proven before they were added to the machine for national participation. What follows is, in
Carburetors (supplied by Paul Gast – Fast by Gast www.fastbygast.com) – “We were testing on the MSP dyno last year at Atco. I was trying to get some info along with the help of Pizza John Mafaro. We attracted quite a crowd due to the noise of the dyno when Paul Gast pulled up and asked what was going on. Gast told PJ; ‘I have something in the car that will make that go faster, guaranteed’. Pizza said; ‘If it starts with an “L” I don’t want it!’”
“At the end of the race Fred Collis, who was riding for Gast that weekend came up to me with a box and said it was a present from Paul who wanted me to just try them as he guaranteed once again that it would work.”
“I didn’t try them until this season, we put them on the project bike and it instantly picked up both ET and mph. The Lectron’s should not have made more power than my EFI but they did. They didn’t make glorious horsepower on the dyno sheets but they made lots of horsepower out on the track. In fact I was having trouble with the EFI on my bike at Indy and I tore it off and put on a set of Lectrons we borrowed from Michael Phillips and instantly went quicker. All I can say is thanks to Paul Gast for his generosity and his hard work.”
Bearings (supplied by Dave Conforti – World Wide Bearings worldwidebearings.com) – “We worked closely with World Wide Bearings adding ceramic bearings to all the areas of the bike we could. We decreased our rolling resistance to the point where it showed up in horsepower gains, mph and elapsed time improvements. The biggest horsepower gain we picked up was when we added the transmission bearings. They were easily worth 5 horsepower. I have proven this over and over in other race bikes that I do work on. The ceramic bearings are awesome. I call it ‘Ghost Horsepower’. They are the one thing that is so easy to install and give us the most return for the effort.”
Fiberglass (supplied by Ben Beasley – Beasley Fiberglass www.beasleycomposites.com) – “The body parts are stout but also very flexible. It drills and mounts easily and resembles OEM bodywork perfectly. The body isn’t brittle at all, it’s the best there is out there.”
Gaskets (supplied by Matt – Cometic Gaskets www.cometic.com) – “Cometic Gaskets is a great company to deal with, they’ll make any gasket to any spec I ask for. I started using their HP Material gasket last year after Jeff Lenc had problems with his copper head gaskets. Because we don’t run a rotary cooling system and the bike gets scorching hot we were afraid that they might not work. But they have been great; we haven’t once blown a head gasket!”
Cams (supplied by Laurie – Web Cam www.webcamshafts.com) – “I was tired of buying off-the-shelf cams that did not meet my exact needs. I needed a company that could supply the specific profile and duration that my motors could use so I turned to Laurie at Web Cam. I spent a lot of time talking to Laurie and she really knows her stuff. I defy anybody to match her technical knowledge. She had the cams made to our specs and they are awesome. Laurie told me exactly where to put the cams and I haven’t moved them since, they work great.”
Lightweight Parts (supplied by Fred Renz – Yoyodyne www.yoyodyneti.com) – “The bike was a bit heavy when it was first built so I picked up the phone and asked Fred Renz what he recommended. He turned me on to the magnesium Marvic wheel. He also got me some titanium fasteners to shave a few ounces. On my bike I have a Sebimoto Carbon body and tank that Fred gave me to try. I can’t say enough about Fred’s products and support. Now both bikes weigh about 401-402 pounds ready to race.”
Tools (supplied by John Salvadore – Rimac Tools www.rimactools.com) – “I bought my first spring tester from John and he asked me what I was going to use it for. He was intrigued when I explained the concept of Formula Superbike to him and he wanted in. He sponsored us with the only tuning tool we used all year on the Dragbike.com Project Bike and we couldn’t be happier with the results.”
Clutch (supplied by Tony Lang – MTC Engineering www.mtceng.com) – “When I was on vacation in
Ignition (supplied by Don Plesser – PR Factory Store www.prfactorystore.com) – “I called Don looking for an MSD-MC4 Ignition and he offered me a killer deal on the parts. However, his time and input was worth more than any part he could have given me. His instruction on the proper way to tune the ignition was invaluable. After running an 8.40 on the first pass at
Bike Specs – Dragbike.com Project Formula Superbike
Engine – Dragbike.com Project Formula Superbike
Sponsors and Assistance
- Fast by Gast – Kevin Gilham, Paul Gast
- MTC Engineering – Tony Lang
- Yoyodyne – Fred Renz
- World Wide Bearings – Dave Conforti
- Rimac Tools – John Salvadore
- Cometic Gaskets – Matt
– Mike, Richie, Dave, Alex and Jimmy Napp for letting us use the greatest track in the country for testing Old Bridge Township Raceway Park
- VH Machine – Dennis Van Houton
- Brigette Flores
- Underground Riders – Robinson Torres
- Vince Rivera
- Brian Schultz
- Tom Miceli
- Phill Davis
“Sleeper 921” Windsor Davis Pat Leonard
- Eddie Krawiec
- Pizza John Mafaro for his constant humble pie