Schaef's Turbo Big King
Having previously owned a turbocharged GSX-R 1100, and a turbocharged Hayabusa, Darren Schaefer knew that forced induction motorcycles gave a bigger adrenalin hit than mainlining crack cocaine while bungee jumping out of a helicopter above a shark-infested volcano. But he also liked the idea of owning one of Suzuki's biggest and baddest back street brawlers, the B-King.
The answer was obvious. Build a bike, based on the production version of Suzuki's vision, but with an exhaust-driven turbocharger, as opposed to the original, supercharger-equipped, concept bike. Of course, Schaef could've gone with a supercharger, as they are available as aftermarket parts, but he had experience with, and was partial to, the massive power gains possible with a turbo, and there were already a number of people who'd built replicas of the concept bike using superchargers, and what's the point in repeating what someone else has already achieved?
The primary thought was to make a 'cartoon' version of the concept bike, complete with fat back wheel, kicked-up tail unit and tucked in front end. Although, aside from the turbocharger - which would deliver a level of brake horsepower adequate for even a power junkie like Shaefer – there would be a number of other gestures towards performance, namely in the reduction of weight through use of carbon fibre and titanium fasteners.
But first, the power! There's been a significant amount of development put into turbocharging the big Suzuki engine - as fitted to the Hayabusa, as well as the B-King – over the last decade or so, and the components needed to make in excess of 600bhp are easily available. However, Shaef wanted his B-King to be a road-going bike, so he selected the second level of Big CC Racing's modular turbo kits in order to be able to dial in a healthy 300bhp on the road. The kit includes not only the Garrett ball bearing turbo and stainless steel exhaust headers, but also the high quality Tial wastegate, billet aluminium plenum chamber and KMS control unit. Naturally, with a fat turbo and big injectors blowing a huge amount of air and fuel into the combustion chambers, the engine is going to need a certain amount of beefing up to cope. But the Busa-based 1340cc engine is already a strong unit, and the B-King was treated to little more than a set of strong cylinder head studs and a barrel spacer, and four low compression pistons from JE.
With the engine sorted, the rolling chassis was uprated with a set of RC Components wheels, the rear being a huge rim big enough to take a colossal 360-section tyre! Of course, stuffing such large rubber in your rear needs more than just a smear of Vaseline, and Schaef had to invest in a one-off swinging arm, with a jack-shaft chain drive set-up, from Custom Sportsbike Concepts in the States. Once the bike was finished off with what remained of the original bodywork, plus some selected carbon fibre panels, being painted in a beautiful pearl white, along with numerous titanium nuts and bolts, Schaef could start using it. And use it he did! Despite the reputation that many people give to bikes with fat back tyres as being “Nothing but show bikes, and unrideable to boot”, the B-King was ridden up and down the country, to bike meets and shows here there, and every-fucking-where.
However, when Schaef decided to take the big Suzuki drag racing, as he had done with his previous turbo builds, he discovered that the wide rubber at the rear wasn't especially good at delivering the copious levels of power to terra firma.
With additional plans to also try his hand at some top speed stuff, Schaef decided that the trick swinging arm, and the wide back wheel, had to go, and be replaced by something a touch more conventional. Naturally, he was going to retain a lengthy swinging arm, as wheelies aren't really his bag, man, so an underbraced 'arm was ordered from American drag racing specialists, Velocity Racing. The new arm not only held a 6” wide Hayabusa rear wheel, that meant that properly sticky tyres could be fitted, but it also gave a home for the nitrous bottle. Now, with a turbo that can give a massive amount of power, nitrous oxide isn't really needed, but it does make for a ready supplied of pressurised gas that can be used to operate the MPS air shifter, and it doesn't need pumping up after every ten gear shifts or so, like a conventional air shift tank.
With a standard Suzuki rim at the rear, the front RC wheel was swapped out and replaced with another Busa rim to match, and the bike was as it appears here.
Give that he was keen to do a bit more competitive riding, Schaef also fitted an AMS1000 boost controller, and dyno'd the bike up with some race fuel, resulting in a tasty 460bhp at the rear. The boost controller means that boost can be kept relatively low in the lower gears, thus preventing wheelies and/or wheelspin, and piled in through the higher gears. As he was hoping to run quarter mile drag races and top speed meeting with the Straightliners series, there would also be the need to make the bike a bit quieter as, with the straight-through slash-cut dump pipe that was originally fitted, it was far too loud to be able to run at the noise-limited venues at which many of the Straightliners events are held. So, a swift visit to Wolfy's Workshop saw a big bore intermediary pipe and silencer made up, with the end can tucking neatly beneath the tail unit.
With this set-up, Schaef and the B-King headed north, to Elvington airfield and the World Wheelie and Top Speed event, with the aim of getting the big Suzuki to run past 200mph... Before I tell you the result, you have to bear in mind the fact that the B-King is a big, broad and, most importantly, unfaired bike, and Schaef isn't of the smallest stature... Consequently, although he ran numerous runs in excess of 190mph over the flying kilometre, he didn't quite manage to clock the double-ton, with a best of 199.4mph!
Since the bike was finished, there have been a fair few trips up the quarter mile too, with times generally sitting around the mid-nine second area, albeit with some tweaking and fine-tuning required to the boost controller, rear shock and clutch set-ups.
B-King, low compression JE pistons, Big CC stage two modular turbo kit with Garrett GT30/71R turbo, 50mm blow-off valve, 46mm wastegate, billet plenum chamber & KMS fuel controller, APE heavy duty studs & spacer plate, aftermarket valves & springs, Orient Express adjustable cam sprockets, camchain adjuster & billet covers, Big CC billet valve covers, Power Commander 3, MTC lock-up clutch, larger fuel injectors, Aeromotive fuel pressure regulator, Mocal oil-to-water cooler, Goodridge & Samco hoses, BMC air filter, MPS gear shifter, Big CC Racing turbo oil drain pump, Wolfy's exhaust system (07767 743715, www.wolfysworkshop.co.uk).
306bhp on the street, 460bhp at the rear at the track.
B-King, modified shock mounts, modified subframe, Gilles rearsets, custom sidestand (intended for Hayabusa), titanium nuts & bolts used throughout.
B-King forks & yokes, Hayabusa wheel, Galfer wavy disc, ISR six pistonm caliper, fully adjustable ISR brake & clutch master cylinders, Goodridge carbon brake lines, billet top yoke cover, Renthal drag bars, carbon bar ends.
Velocity Racing swinging arm & chainguard, Nitron shock, adjustable shock linkages, Hayabusa wheel & disc, GSX-R brake caliper, one-off torque arm, Goodridge brake line & breather lines to catch tank.
Suzuki B-King tank, front mudguard & tail unit, powerbronze carbon tank pods, Magic Racing carbon top fairing.
Modified B-King loom, KMS engine management, AMS1000 boost controller, B-King headlight, mini tail light & indicators.
Paint & finish:
Nissan white with blue pearl by Tony Melcer, swinging arm in satin black.
Engine tuning etc by Big CC Racing, frame & cahssis modifications by owner & friends.
“Darrol Ellis; Yuri Malek; Berado; Paul; Clive; Tony Melcer; Big CC Racing; suzukibking.org; Wolfy's Workshop for the exhaust; and the wife, Helene.”