HomeTechnical ReviewsThe Tiger is ready for Bear

The Tiger is ready for Bear

The “Tiger” is ready for Bear
Written by: Guy Caputo

Well another great year has come and gone in our never ending quest to be the Fastest Nitrous Bike on the planet. Over the last couple of years I have tried to keep all of our readers up to date on the happenings of the “Tiger”, a 1397cc Nitrous Injected Suzuki Hayabusa Land Speed Racer. For the 2004 season, Tiger Racing dominated the nitrous only classes at Maxton again for the second straight year. Tiger Racing now has 10 Land speed records and all of them over 200 MPH where the bar has been elevated to over 221.7mph for a Nitrous only bike at the Maxton Monster Mile.

We started the season well and found that you can build a Pro-Mod style high compression motor and still inject a monstrous amount of the “Go Juice” to go faster. Of course we have had our set backs while learning how to tune a 350+HP motor to survive the rigors of a 1 mile run. With the guiding hand of AMA/Prostar Pro-Modified Builder/Tuner/Rider Mike Caputo at Maximum Performance Cycles in Toledo, Ohio and the knowledge he has with Nitrous Oxide, we have been able to continually boost our speeds and keep the Suzuki motor together for the most part. The October event at Maxton gave Tiger Racing two more record breaking passes and allowed us to “Go or Blow” to see where the limits of our Nitrous tune-up would take us. I personally made the call to push the motor past any known boundaries and safety concerns for staying together and against my motor builders wishes and concerns. While on the fifth pass down the track, the motor had finally had enough and let go with an agonizing poof of smoke at about 219mph (GPS), just 200 yards before the finish line. We literally torched cylinders 2 & 3 on the exhaust valve side, melting the spark plugs into the head as if using a plasma cutter and we were forced to call it a season. The “Tiger” was wounded and bloodied but not out for the count. Even though it looked incredibly bad for the rebuild, we learned some very valuable lessons by flaming this motor like we did. The first lesson was “Listen to your motor builder”, but there are some things that just can’t be foreseen, imagined or measured on a dyno or on the workbench when the motor is being built. Sometimes you just have to “boldly go where no man has gone before” and when you’re pushing the extreme outer limits of Nitrous Oxide, these things happen. What we learned from this experience was worth exploding the motor and now we know even more about injecting massive amounts of Nitrous into a high compression Busa motor.

The Tiger on the surgical table

Theories abound in the motor building world about how this or how that should be built, but until you actually run it and test it on the 1 mile course; you really can’t know everything about what you’re doing. There are fewer than a handful of 350+hp Hayabusa nitrous motors out there in the world and only 2 that I know of that have ever gone over 210mph at Maxton. As a matter of point, only 2 bikes have achieved over 217mph on Nitrous Oxide at Maxton’s Monster Mile and 1 of those was Jim Owens of Norway, MI on his ZX12R Nitrous powered Kawasaki and the other is yours truly.

Just to give you a quick sense of the Maxton Monster Mile, you begin your trek at the starting line and then speed like hell for about 600 feet. Then you make a 10 degree right hand turn onto the main track (runway) where you barrel down the old concrete runway course at break neck speeds until you cross thru the two orange cones marking the finish line. At this point I have traveled for about 24 seconds while on the nitrous for about 18 of those seconds. Having a Nitrous motor hold up under quarter mile drag race conditions for about 6-8 seconds is difficult enough and can’t be compared to building a motor to withstand the heat and pressures of being on the juice for 18 seconds. It is literally a concrete 1 mile drag race without the 60 foot times to contend with. The traction is just killer and then you have to attain full warp speed in just 1 mile, that’s 5,280 feet, 1,609 meters, 1,760 yards or 63,360 inches. If you think that’s crazy, how would you like to build a motor that withstood being on the juice for at least 3-4 miles of a 5 mile salt bed track? The Bonneville Salt Flats track allows you 2 miles to get up to speed and then 3 one mile timed miles on the treacherous salt bed. That’s right, you read me correctly, for over 3 miles Joe Amo traveled on a 1000cc Nitrous motor holding the world record for the flying mile at the mighty Bonneville Salt Flats at over 225mph in the MPS-F-1000 class. Now that’s what I call a motor builder.

Look at the size of that Nitrous bottle!

Suffice to say that the tune-up for Maxton’s tortuous 1 mile of concrete is all together different than Bonneville’s brutal salt flat or even a quarter mile drag track for that matter so it’s like comparing apples to orangutans. The records are also very different in comparison because they are for different venues under totally different circumstances and conditions that cannot be compared. At the Bonneville Salt Flats, you are measured over 3 one mile timed miles, at Maxton; you are measured twice in the last 132 feet of a mile. Even if I surpass the mph of the Bonneville record, I can only say I am the fastest in the “1 mile” and that’s good enough for me.

The “Tigers” motor has been repaired and some internal changes were made to withstand the extreme amounts of Nitrous Oxide and fuel we were injecting. First things first, the motor cases, block and head were drilled out and prepared to use the new one half inch (1/2”) Head Bolts capable of being torqued to 90 foot pounds now available from Maximum Performance Cycles. One of the curious items of interest that we learned was that the special high dome JE nitrous pistons that Mike has specially made for his motors, withstood the hammering of the nitrous detonation admirably. We were able to use them again even though the exhaust valve seats and combustion chambers of 2 & 3 were completely destroyed. Simply incredible! Mike also installed a modified oil pressure relief valve and modified the case oiling passage system for better con rod oiling and crankshaft bearing oiling. The transmission was rebuilt at R&D Transmissions and the shift drum modified by Paul Gast at Fast by Gast for shifting properly under very heavy loads of 350+HP. We installed the new Brock Davidson Racing intake cams and had Mike at Maximum Performance Cycles perform a throttle body bore on the EFI rail. The stock size of the throttle bodies are 46mm from the factory, so Mike opens them up to 48mm and installs new stainless steel 48mm throttle plates. We gained 6hp from the throttle bore alone and another 4hp from the cams by Brock Davidson Racing.

Those are some HUGE Bores

One more feature that the “Tiger” now enjoys is a complete set of ceramic bearings from the boys at Worldwide Bearings in New Jersey. I have completely changed out the engine and wheel bearings with these effortless spinning, carefree and smooth running bearings. I just couldn’t see why I should fritter away precious hard earned horsepower trying to overcome the resistance that standard steel ball bearings produce when turning over at high rpm. I have spent waaaay too much $$$ on my motor to squander any energy what so ever on such a commonly overlooked item like your bearings.

These babies are the smoothest Bearings in town!

This is one less set of parts that I’ll have to contend with while attempting to break every Land Speed Record on the books for a Nitrous Injected bike at the Monster Maxton Mile. Worldwide Bearings… don’t leave home without them.

Another essential improvement that I made was changing the Nitrous delivery system solenoids to a new style system called “Pulsoids”, available only from The Wizard of NOS in Great Britain. No more deterioration of the plunger seat, no more having to use the Teflon seats, no more contaminants in the nozzles and what’s even better than that, the more you use them, the better they seal.

This is a completely new and unique system for the delivery of fuel and nitrous using a pulsed progressive controller system. This system is nothing like you’ve ever seen and is a monster jump forward in the performance of Nitrous solenoids. I predict that you will start seeing these systems replacing the older style plunger solenoids very quickly. Just beware; the British pound to American dollar exchange rate is hefty. A pair of these babies will set you back a few coins.

With everything installed and back in the bike, it was time to put the “Tiger” on the dyno and have Mike tune the EFI map with the Power Commander for the best possible HP on motor first.

I can’t begin to tell you how impressed I am with my new 24volt starting system from Tiger Racing, how easy the motor turned over at the faster rate. When building a high compression motor, one of the challenges is getting that bad lad to turn over with the standard 12volt starting system. So many starter gears have grenaded when the battery voltage goes low and allows the starter gear to back spin. With the new 24volt starting system, your higher compression motor starts with ease. The extra battery is stored in your sub frame with a custom battery box designed by Tiger Racing and can be charged from your bike while riding. I’m in heaven, no more grunting (from the bike, not me) from the higher compression load on the starter.

With all the dyno tuning completed and maximum horse power achieved, the nitrous bottles were filled and we’re ready for another attempt to break the 230MPH barrier at Maxton’s Monster Mile Land Speed Venue. The first event is April 2-3 at the historic airfield in Maxton, NC and you can find all the information you need at www.ECTA-lsr.com.

One last note of interest, Tiger Racing is sponsoring the Nitrous only classes at Maxton and giving away a $500.00 reward for the fastest Nitrous only bike at the end of the season. To sweeten the pot even more, Tiger Racing is offering $100.00 at each event for the bike that comes within 5 MPH of the then current record. Of course we are hoping to push that record even higher this year, so get your Bikes ready and come join us for some of the fastest racing you will ever see on 2 wheels. You’ll see everything from a 100MPH Briggs & Stratton powered go cart to 250+MPH Turbo Hayabusas traveling down the 1 mile high traction course. There are also many cars, lakesters and partial streamliners for you to enjoy because Maxton just isn’t for motorcycles, in fact, just a few years ago cars were about all there was when the event started some years back. But with the advent of high powered fuel injected motorcycles capable of going near 200mph right off the showroom floor, the membership has changed dramatically.

I hope to meet, greet and see many of our readers at these events where you will find the “Tiger” at the starting line ready for action. You can also visit us at most every AMA/Prostar race event this year on the Racers Midway where Tiger Racing is a contingency sponsor offering almost $7500 in purse winnings.

Until next time, safe racing to all.


Guy Caputo can be reached at TigerRacing@buckeye-express.com or by visiting www.TigerRacingProducts.com


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