Some people just can't get enough of a good thing, and Richard Sims--not that we're complaining, mind you--is one of those people. You see, for Sims that good thing is horsepower, and we love sampling the results of his addiction. We've seen supercharged, nitro-burning, big-bore GSX-Rs from Sims' Los Molinos, California, shop in the past, and this nitrous-snorting Kawasaki ZX-9R is the latest creation to fall into our greedy paws. The only external clue to the Kawi's intentions is an extended swingarm. But under the Airtech bodywork and stretched seat lie go-fast goodies aimed at giving this green meanie some serious top-speed and quarter-mile potential. How does a Muzzys motor with 160 ponies--and nitrous oxide good for up to 80 more--sound to start? But the beauty of it all is that the ZX-9R serves duty as daily transportation for Sims a few times a week, and we're sure its Q-ship nature has left a few unwary squids with long faces.
Sims started with a box stock 1998 Kawasaki ZX-9R, and even logged 300 break-in miles before he started tinkering. The bike was stripped down to its last nut and bolt, and then Sims began what he estimates to be 1500 hours of labor as the bike took shape over the course of a year.
Lifting the seat off reveals where Sims spent the bulk of his time; electrical wiring, braided stainless steel hose, controllers, solenoids, bottles...all neatly packaged and yet easy to access. Sims' handiwork--artfully machined and welded bits of titanium and sculpted and purple-anodized aluminum brackets--is spotted easily. It's almost painful to consider the effort and attention to detail involved. Core to the bike's performance is its progressive nitrous oxide system, which works with a shift counter to soften the hit during quarter-mile runs. The system is automatically activated when the bike is shifted into third gear--second if the rider is ballsy--and the Schnitz controller gradually ramps up the amount of nitrous injected while the Dyna ignition module backs off the timing a tad. Use the horn button to shift, and it's all quite simple, really.
While Sims was busy mounting hardware to the chassis, the 9's engine was getting the Muzzys treatment. Muzzys 76mm pistons--mounted to polished and balanced connecting rods--replace the stockers and bump displacement to 924cc and compression to 13.5:1. Up top, a five-angle valve job and porting by Rob Muzzy himself speeds up the gas flow, and camshafts specifically for nitrous oxide applications were installed. Valve springs and adjustable cam sprockets are Muzzys parts, and gases exit the party through a Muzzys titanium pipe.
With the engine returned and mounted in the frame, Sims turned his attention to the details: power gets to the ground via Vortex sprockets, a super-long RK chain and Avon street-compound Azaro tires. Stopping duty up front is taken care of with 13-inch cast iron rotors and Nissin six-pot calipers, both from Ferodo Brake Tech, plumbed with Goodridge stainless steel hose. And a Corbin seat makes sure our man Kunitsugu stays in place when he twists the throttle.
We had a chance to try the bike at the dragstrip shortly after its completion, but before the nitrous and shifter systems were fully sorted and on-line. While the ZX-9R showed lots of potential in just a few passes, a full riding impression will have to wait.
8295 Marek Rd.
Los Molinos, CA 96055
(530) 384-1739 phone/fax