May 1 2007 - Initial ConceptI've come up with the idea of building a kit car. I can't remember why, perhaps I dreamt it. We love bikes, so the concept is a bike engined car - very lightweight, very stripped out, extreme performance. Having chatted to our friends at the motorcycle centre We've decided that nothing less than a Suzuki GSX1300R Hayabusa Engine will do. As standard it has 175bhp and plenty of torque. Its legendary on the drag strips with a vast array of tuning potential including Turbos and Superchargers up to 700bhp+.
May 15 2007 - Turbos & SuperchargersSlowly our ideas of Turbocharging and Supercharging have been smashed. Its easy to imagine that you can do it cheaply, but... no. Engine strenthening for a hayabusa is essential, needing at very least new pistons and con-rods. That's £3000 before you've even done any tuning! Turbos and Superchargers are then around £3500 to £4500 for a basic kit with the more powerful ones going to £15,000 plus. Absolutely crazy. So, we've decided to go with a standard car. Looking in Evo magazine, the fastest car around their track is a Radical SR3 which uses a normal Hayabusa. Its faster than a Ferarri Enzo, so i think it might be fast enough for us! Obviously the Radical will be faster because of its aerodynamics, but engine wise its the same.
June 2 2007 - Total Kit Car Live! Brands HatchWe rode along to Brands Hatch to get some information and have some rides. I managed to go around in 2 cars:
Dax Rush MC Turbo. Oh my god this is fast, running around 300bhp, it took off leaving the pit lane, went sideways on every corner, and bottomed out on the long straight! The speedo didn't work, so I have no idea how fast we went, but i was shaking. All other cars literally disappeared so fast it was funny.
MK Sports Cars Indy. This was a fireblade engine producing around 100bhp. Once on the track it was fun, albeit a little slow. Pulling away it was gutless and really strained. I think we need more engine than this. Great value for a build of £7500 though!
June 10 2007 - Final Decision of CarLots of research and phone calls over the last few weeks and i've finally made up my mind. Summary of the contenders:
DAX These are great cars, but very expensive. As one guy told us "They're Westfield money". A major downside here is the suspension - They don't offer proper wishbone independent rear suspension, only a De-Dion unit. Front suspension is either standard or "camber compensated" (i.e. anti-roll). I talked to one owner with standard front suspension who was about to get a new car with camber comp, and then i talked to a driver with camber comp who said its a bit weird and almost unbalances the rear... so nobody's happy. One other owner complained about parts supply... so i'm not feeling too happy here, especially for the money.
MK These are low-cost cars, in other words you have to do more yourself, with a less comprehensive kit. Whilst the basic kit is around £3000, by the time we've added all the stuff we need, we're up into fairly significant money. Instructions total 12 pages, and are very poor! Our aspirations are to have a car that is awesome, right up there on the track leader board - so i just don't think MK are up to the job.
Tiger They really don't seem committed to Bike Engine cars - which is odd because they have the Guiness record for 2 bike engines doing 0-60. He advised me to go for the standard car. I'm a bit disappointed by standard spec, including drum brakes, and struggle to get the right answers from them.
Westfield I wrote to them with 10 questions, including 'why westfield' and he answered everything perfectly, including "because you want the best" (Comically arrogant!). This is an awesome car and i believe offers the best build quality, most polished finish, most comprehensive kit, and best spec for handling and suspension. Very professional documentation, build manual, factory, parts availability. Its all there, so choice pretty much made. Just to sleep on it for a few days and decide which extras to buy!
Click here to see their catalog
June 20 2007 - Where to Build It?We decided that a very large garage is essential, a normal one just doesn't give enough space around the car to work. We reckon we'll have it built well within 6 months. After much negotiation we've secured the Garage of James' dad in Cuckfield, Sussex.
June 20 2007 - Placing The OrderAfter much sweating I placed the order with Westfield Sports Cars. The specification is as follows:
Its due to be delivered on the 30th July. Best get buying engine and wheels then!
June 24 2007 - Engine HuntingAfter much discussion about whether to break a running bike or buy an engine, we have decided to buy an engine. Whilst this represents some risk that we'll plumb it in and it just won't start, it is much more cost effective, less hassle, and allows us to buy a 2005/2006 engine with low mileage. Yorkshire Engines have one coming in next week - a 2006 with 4000 miles for £2650. This comes with all sensors, loom, etc. The very helpful Malcolm Curnin has been advising me - contact him at email@example.com.
June 26 2007 - Which Wheels?Wheels are important - we don't fancy the dated looking 'minilite' style, and can't afford split rims... so we've decided on Compomotive CXR wheels. They're specifically designed for motorsport (rather than boy racers!) and are very light weight. These are 13" x 7" wide which is tiny by modern standards - but on a car like this will be perfect and less unsprung weight means better cornering. These will be wearing Toyo R888 Road-Legal Track Tyres in 205mm wide by 60% profile. All ordered from performancealloys.co.uk.
June 27 2007 - Other Bits & PiecesI've ordered a few more bits from Ebay... Not much else to do for the next month!
July 11 2007 - Progress Update
July 21 2007 - How fast will it go?People keep asking how fast it will go, and it seems the answer is 134.47 as it hits the rev limiter in 6th. This spreadsheet works it all out. I'm sure that's plenty for the track, but if we should feel we need more speed, longer 5th and 6th gears can be fitted to the engine.
|james ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) |
That garage is missing a naughty calender on the wall!! Good luck with the build chaps!! Jimbo