HomeTechnical ReviewsGSX-R1000 Project: Part 5 Engine Upgrades

GSX-R1000 Project: Part 5 Engine Upgrades

Part1: UndertailPart2: Race ExhaustPart3: Brakes • Part4: Wheels


GSX-R1000 Project: Part 5 Engine Upgrades

By Don Smith

In the previous stage of this series on Dragbike.com the bike was equipped with some pretty cool bolt-ons including wheels, brakes, and exhaust but the engine was still stock.  After leaving the bike at KWS Motorsports, (www.kwsmotorsports.com) it has now been transformed to one of the most insane all motor streetbikes I have ever thrown a leg across. When I dropped off the bike with Kevin Hunt, owner of KWS, he asked me what I wanted to do with the bike. I told him that I wanted a monster street bike that maintained some reliability but first and foremost it had to be stupid fast on the street. This means it had to have power every where as opposed to an all out race bike that has it’s engine setup for mostly top end power at the expense of bottom end torque.

Kevin and Chip Spalding (KWS race team manager) both suggested that we proceed with an 1143cc engine upgrade among many other changes. So I left the bike and came back home wondering what they would do to impress me. If you have read about any of my past project bikes here on Dragbike you know I have owned and ridden a 1507cc nitrous Hayabusa, a Turbo ZX-12R and a turbo Hayabusa. So it’s not that easy to impress me when it comes to road going sportbikes.





As soon as the bike hit the shop floor at KWS the engine was yanked out. The cylinder was shipped to Millennium Technologies (www.mt-llc.com) for a 3mm over bore and replating. I can’t even remember how many times they have bored and plated cylinders for me and they have always performed well. Hunt tells me that he has had Millennium bore and plate hundreds and hundreds of blocks and uses them exclusively. To fill the new 3mm larger holes KWS has JE Pistons (www.jepistons.com) make up a set of custom pistons to his specifications. Though the compression ratio is raised over stock, it can be street ridden on 93 pump gas. For racing a steady diet of VP Racing MRX-01 (www.vpracingfuels.com) is required.

Next, a set of H-Beam con-rods from Carrillo (www.carrilloind.com) was used to connect the light weight pistons to the forth coming stroker crank. With a 4mm stroke and a 3mm over bore there is a lot more stress on the engine internal parts and KWS says that the stock rods will not hold up. Not only are the Carrillo rods super strong they are also lightweight. KWS then had their own custom 4mm stroker crank welded up and balanced. The 3mm bore and 4mm stroke has proven to be a reliable combination says Hunt. The bike will even start on the stock single battery. KWS has literally built over 100 of these engines for the Gixxer and they have shown that this package is not only fast but streetable as well.


Now that the power plant has this extra displacement, Kevin turns his attention to the top end of the engine. The stock cams are pulled and replaced with a set of custom grind bump sticks from Web Cam (www.webcamshafts.com). These are made to KWS specs for this application. KWS has several cam profiles available depending on your goals. For example, we wanted huge midrange torque for street use, but if you prefer a bigger top end, KWS can do that too. The valve springs are then replaced with Suzuki springs from a GSX-R750 to increase seat pressure. KWS also takes this opportunity to do a full “Pro-Port” job on the head. The head is ported on a CNC to ensure the most reliable and consistent work available. KWS also designs and produces their own oil pan as well. The custom pan is made from billet aluminum and features a pendulum style pick-up. The swinging/pendulum pick up prevents the engine from oil starvation as the bike is launched. With the stock pickup they were seeing signs of bearing damage and traced it back to this issue. While not likely to be a problem on a street going stock horsepower bike, the lubrication needs on an 1143cc monster like this are far from stock. KWS has been building these engines since 2001 when the GSX-R1000 came out so they know what works.

Next on the parts list is a Falicon (www.faliconcranks.com) billet clutch basket. With this much power there is just no way that the stock basket will hold up to the abuse an engine like this can dish out. Hunt says the Falicon basket is a durable piece and it allows the street rider to maintain the stock functionality of the Suzuki designed clutch. Next a new set of clutch plates and springs from MTC (www.mtceng.com) are bolted up. These springs offer the needed pressure to ensure a positive lock up, even in top gear at redline.

The electronics package on this bike is just as complex as the engine itself. The bike has a total of five separate but connected electronic modules all from Dynojet (www.dynojet.com). First is a dual set of Power Commanders (www.powercommander.com), one for each of the two sets of fuel injectors the Suzuki uses. The Power Commanders are used to map the fuel injection curves to maintain the optimum air-fuel ratio. Then a Dynojet Ignition module is used to make adjustments to the timing curve. To allow full throttle up-shifts a Dynojet Quick Shifter was also installed. This unit uses a shift linkage mounted switch that senses when the shift lever is loaded and then momentarily kills the fuel to the engine allowing the shift to be made. The kill time is adjustable as is the floor rpms to activate the system. With this adjustment the bikes operation is not affected when you are street riding and foot shifting.

Finally a Dynojet Wideband Commander (www.widebandcommander.com) was installed. The wideband uses an exhaust mounted sensor to read the air fuel ratio while riding the bike. An on-board gauge allows the rider to visually monitor the system or you can wire it with a 12v trigger that will enable the data logging circuit of the Wideband. This feature is great for track use as it will monitor the throttle position, engine rpms as well as one other channel and of course the air fuel ratio. The device can even be used to trigger a 12v device. For example it can be configured to turn off the nitrous spray of the air fuel ratio goes too lean. For anyone that spends a lot of money on an engine this is a great tool to ensure you don’t blow it up, plus it allows you to optimize the bike on the road.

After KWS finished with the engine, they turned their attention to the suspension. For the rear of the bike, the stock Suzuki shock was pulled and replaced with a Penske (www.pensekshocks.com) “double-clicker shock”. The spring was set up based on my weight and the adjustable preload, rebound and compression dampening adjustments make it ideal for anyone interested in a superior street or race setup. The ride height is also adjustable via a rotary control. The bike was also fitted with a set of height adjustable dogbones from Vortex (www.vortexracing.com). This allows the bike to go from street mode to full slammed drag mode. KWS also pulled the stock Suzuki steering damper and installed a top mounted rotary steering stabilizer from Pit-Bull (www.pit-bull.com). Not only is the unit a top performer it also is designed in a way that allows the tank to be lifted without completely removing the device. It makes living with the unit a dream both from a maintenance and functionality standpoint.

KWS also fitted the bike with a set of 20mm fork internals as well as a set of Penske fork springs. Between the fork and shock changes the bike feels completely different. With the suspension set up properly it now takes corners with any line you choose. No more instances of the bike wanting to stand up in corners or drifting wide due to lack of control. This is the first bike that I have ever ridden before and after the installation of a full suspension package like this and I now understand why racers spend so much time and money working on suspension.

 While the bike was at KWS we also took the opportunity to install a set of Vortex Clipons and rearsets. These items are normally used by roadracers to allow the bike to be fitted to the rider’s exact height and rider preferences, but just like with the suspension we found them to also be very practical on the street as well. The rear sets also feature a non folding peg that can serve as a frame/case protector in the event of a crash.

To prepare the bike for the land speed racing we wanted to do we also ordered a few more items from Schnitz Racing (www.schnitzracing.com). First was a set of caliper brackets for the front calipers and a lowering strap. This allows us to pull down the front to reduce the tendency of the bike to wheelie off the line, and it allows us to precisely adjust the front ride height for aerodynamic purposes. Then with a lowered front and rear we needed a new kickstand to account for the reduced stance of the bike. Schnitz sells a full adjustable aluminum stand that actually telescopes then locks with an Allen screw. Now we can set the bike at the desired ride height then adjust the kickstand to fir that height. Of course we also had to overcome the factory Suzuki speed limiter and for that we picked up a TRE. This disables the timing retard that goes into play in top gear near redline and prevents the bike from going over 186mph. The only drawback is that the digital gear position indicator will always show that the bike is in 5th gear. A minor inconvenience to crack the 200mph barrier we thought. And finally from the Schnitz catalog we added a billet brake fluid reservoir cap. No it doesn’t make us go any faster, but it just looked cool so we got it too.

And finally to complete the land speed racing legal package we fitted a full length aluminum chain guard from Tiger Racing. (www.tigerracingproducts.com). Not only does it look great it offers a level of safety not found in any other chain guard in the event of a chain failure. After looking around in the pits at a recent ECTA event I noted that nearly every bike there had a Tiger Racing chain guard on it.

As always the bike was filled up with the best engine oil that we could find. We picked the full ester based synthetic oil from Motul (www.motul.com) which is known as 300V Factory Line. We also used their DOT 4 brake fluid and Factory Line chain lube. As you can see this bike has a very impressive list of aftermarket goodies and an equally impressive price tag. We admit that not many people will want to spend this much money customizing their bike, but we tried to build the ultimate streetbike starting with a stocker and so far it has turned out really well.

Just for fun we loaded the bike up and took it to Maxton for the ECTA’s (www.ecta-lsr.com) land speed event that was held in March of 2007. After only 4 passes at the meet, rider Chad Millholland was able to coax an impressive 204.6mph out of the bike. The first pass straight off the trailer was over 201 mph. After years of professional drag racing, land speed racing, Chad really knows how to make a bike go fast.


KWS says ring the bell, school is in session !!

Once again KWS came through with another very impressive streetbike that is everything I wanted and a lot more. Sure, a purpose built land speed bike could have gone faster, and of course KWS could have tuned it to have a higher peak horsepower, but that wasn’t the point. We wanted a bad-ass streetbike and KWS delivered that and a whole lot more.

I wonder what they will be doing on the new 2008 Busa?

Part1: UndertailPart2: Race ExhaustPart3: Brakes • Part4: Wheels

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