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How to build the “Worlds Fastest Nitrous Motorcycle”

Thursday, April 12, 2007


How to build the “Worlds Fastest Nitrous Motorcycle”
The re-birth of the Tiger Racing, chapter 2 The Crankshaft

When last we met, we had just finished talking about the Motor Cases and how they were prepared and readied to accept all her guts and insides. As promised, we will now tell you about what to do to ready and prepare the heart of your
motor…the Crankshaft.

We purchased a brand new crankshaft from Suzuki Motors and sent it to the world renowned crankshaft artist and builder, Jay at APE Race Parts otherwise known as American Performance Engineering.

Now who else would the “Worlds Fastest Nitrous Motorcycle” deal with other than the Worlds Fastest Motorcycle Racing Products Company, APE.

Our crank shaft showed up here at Maximum Performance Cycles packed in what looked like a cocoon of corrugated fiberboard (cardboard for you rookies).

It was packed very well so you know your crankshaft is well protected when it is returned to you. Of course, APE receives crankshafts packed in all sorts of ways and I would say you better protect your investment carefully and pack it well, actually pack it over protected with more than you would need. Better to be safe than sorry when shipping a crankshaft. Oh and don’t forget to put a note inside your box to tell the folks at APE why the heck they’re getting your crankshaft. I made that mistake and just sent my crankshaft without a note and my crank ended up in the “What the heck do we do with this?” pile. It took Jay a few days to find it, but all was well after that. MY fault, oh well.

My crankshaft is here somewhere…

Jay then used his crankshaft magic and balanced the crankshaft and removed the teeth from the balancer drive gear. Why? Well since we aren’t using the balancer shaft, there is no need for the drive teeth to drive what is already gone. Make sense? With an APE balanced crankshaft, there really is no need to use the balancer shaft anyways,at least for me.

Here is the crankshaft being cut and shaped and balanced along with the journal polishing. The advantage of a lightened crank... Much quicker throttle response, less power wasted trying to turn a heavy crank means more power to the rear wheel. The engine accelerates faster. Harder pull off the corners. Reshaped counterweights move through the oil mist with less drag. Lighter cranks have less gyro effect.

But unlike a big Nitrous motor, you want to retain the weight because it provides torque and Nitrous loves torque. It loves the weight and performs much better with a heavier crank. When you’re trying to pull a long winded gear ratio like we do at Maxton, you need the weight of the crank to transfer the power and torque to your rear wheel where it is needed the most when pulling an 18/37 combination of gears. Remember, we are building a Big Bore Nitrous Motor, not a road race weight conscious motor.

You can see from the pictures how the crankshaft was reworked to Jays exacting tolerances. APE completely machines the crank counter-weights to remove weight and narrow the profile (sometimes called "knife-edging".) The oil holes are fluted on certain models to keep more oil at the bearings. The crank is then balanced on a state-of-the-art computerized balancing machine to
extremely tight tolerances.

We wanted to maintain as much material as possible, again we need the weight and yet we need it balanced perfectly, now I’m not asking much, am I? Not for the boys at APE! Give me weight, yet make it lighter and perfectly balanced what more could I ask for?

At Maximum Performance Cycles here in Toledo, OH, it’s almost a “Where’s Waldo” to find my bike the “Tiger” where it is on the operating table getting ready for it’s new motor once completed. Some of you just picked up on the last statement…the “Tiger”; didn’t Guy just sell that bike? Why yes I did and now I’ve bought it back. When I started this project, the “Tiger” was on her way to California to meet with her new owner John Noonan of Huntington Beach, California, where you probably know him as “John from JE Pistons”. After much wailing and crying about the loss of my baby, John was kind enough to find it in his heart to let me have her back. With a new motor, a new 2-stage nitrous system, new pistons, new wheels, new exhaust system, new DynoJet controller, new…well, just about everything is new, we should be able to hit our goal of going 240mph at Maxton this year. There is no way for me to expect to go faster if I don’t change
something drastically.

Did I tell you we will be sporting a new front fender designed by an aeronautical engineer that should change our frontal air impact to allow the “Tiger” to slice thru the air like a knife? No? Well, we are. We’ll show you that
in upcoming chapters.

I thought I would include the Specifications document sent with my crankshaft
for your reading pleasure.

After all is said and done, if your crankshaft is not ready to handle the extreme pressures that a Big Bore Nitrous Motor will put upon it, then you have lost before you started. I can’t stress enough how important your crankshaft is to the overall performance of your motor and it’s connected parts. To read more about APE and their world renowned Race Machine Shop, click here. Once the H-Beam Carillo rods are installed and the cylinders have been bored and matched to the pistons, we will show the installation of the crankshaft with the Rod and Pistons at the same time.

In our next chapter, we will show you how to install the world’s greatest ceramic bearings from the world’s greatest ceramic bearing providers,

We would like to give a special thanks to Jay and the gang at APE for doing a super job with our crankshaft. APE can be reached at 661-256-7309 or at

Chapter 3