Mr. Turbo Kawasaki ZX-11 Turbo
'Just plain evil'
Source: Sport Rider, October 1995
A quarter-mile sprint on Mr. Turbo's ZX-11 pumps a lifetime of adrenaline
through a rider's body. First gear is practically useless, second no much
better and third will flash through 120 mph without ever touching the front
tire to tarmac. Punch fourth gear and hang on as the bike slams past 150 mph
in a slow weave as the rear tire searches for traction in a headlong dash
that would culminate in speeds far above 200 mph if you had enough road and
|Wiseco 1109 piston kit prepped by Orient Express, 9:1 compression|
|390 cfm turbo unit|
|Orient Express Lock-up clutch|
|Steve Rice Racing 0.8 sixth-gear set|
|Mr. Turbo EFI, intercooled turbo kit, oil bypass kit|
|Schultz Race Products data acquistion system|
|NOS nitrous-injection kit|
|Kosman rear sprocket and rear wheel modification|
|White Brothers fork modification and WP shock|
|Metzeler MEZ1 tires|
|AirTech body panels|
This Kawasaki is evil. It can putt around off boost like the world's heaviest
pussycat, but when the IHI turbo spools up, the power won't go soft until the
tach bangs the rev limiter. For three years in a row, the Mr. Turbo ZX-11 has
shown the SR staff what horsepower really means.
The Mr. Turbo ZX-11 has also shown the SR staff what too much weight and too
little stopping power can do to the panic sensors. Whoa! Terry Kizer, owner
of Mr. Turbo, knows engines but shrugs his shoulders when it comes to street
bike chassis. For this year's UFO, he sent the forks to White Brothers and
installed a WP shock, two large steps in the right direction and two big
reasons why we actually enjoyed the big Kawi during the street riding day and
while circling HPCC's road course. In years past, Mr. Turbo ZX had little
enthusiasm for corners, but the suspension updates handled the bike's weight
and speed very well. More than one tester noted the bike's eagerness to run
hard into a corner with impressive traction feedback, good cornering
clearance and a well-controlled chassis... maybe next year Kizer could
install some real brakes!
Mr. Turbo designs its turbochargers and fuel-injection systems to work on the
street, but we noticed the low-rpm roughness that Rick Marsh, Kizer's
injection guru, claims he's tuned out of every ZX-11 except this one. Above
3000 rpm, throttle response and engine attitude are beautiful, with the boost
gauge twitching at 5000 rpm and the world rushing past in serious fashion 2000
rpm later. Six pounds of boost will scare the holy bejesus out of anyone-we
rode it with twenty. You may need a staple gun to hold your helmet on.
Mr. Turbo's surprising showing on the street and road course was all but
forgotten when it threw down an incredible 9.55-second, 159.6-mph dragstrip
dash. These numbers came on a stock wheelbase, street-tired ZX-11 with a
scared editor flailing behind the handlebars. It wouldn't take much to put
this bike in the eights. The power is there, as Kizer will prove when he gets
his ZX-11-based Funny Bike up and running.
Strapped to AMI's Dynojet dynamometer, this very machine won the Brute
Horsepower Shootout at Bike Week '95 with a head-spinning 459 horsepower.
But those big numbers may have been the reason we only saw 215 mph on HPCC's
backstraight. We say only because two years ago this bike ran 230 mph, but
this year we had trouble keeping the bike going straight with the hammer down
in sixth gear. The loose chassis made it difficult to keep the bike in its
12-foot-wide lane once we climbed above 200 mph. All those dyno runs (Kizer
estimates over 400 pulls on this combination) have loosened or even tweaked
the chassis enough to affect top-speed, WFO running. Quite honestly, we
expected to go 240 or 245. Kizer needs a chassis man because he's got the
engine and drivetrain down to a science.
Say good-bye to Mr. Turbo's ZX-11 entry: It's for sale. Next year's Mr. Turbo
entry will see a more balanced package based on something a bit more
sporty... perhaps a ZX-9R or GSX-R1100.
We'll miss this big, heavy, bad-ass turbo bike. It's given Sport Rider's UFO
the biggest numbers and scariest thrills we've ever recorded.
|More horse power than a Dodge Viper|
|Acceleration levels previously reserved for Armed Forces pilots|
|Well-engineered turbo kit with clean installation that keeps most stock street equipment intact|
|Stock brakes can't cope with three times the stock horsepower and its 577-pound mass|
|Chassis feels loose and/or tweaked after over 400 dyno runs|