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
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 guts.
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