This article was originally published in the October 1996 issue of Sport Rider.
Ever notice how Texans always do things a little differently? Take Mike and Tracy McIntyre, a.k.a. Team MR., of El Paso. In planning their ’95 Formula USA assault, they went with a Texas-size helping of horsepower; but rather than use conventional big-engine wisdom, they decided to turbocharge their roadracers.
The Team MR. turbo application utilizes a relatively small turbo unit and low boost for minimal turbo lag and usable horsepower levels. The McIntyres claim that if you lay one of their turbo bike’s dyno charts over that of a stock Honda CBR900RR, it never dips below stock, and builds in a linear manner in an ever-widening gap to its 215-horsepower peak—roughly twice that of a stocker. All these gains are achieved with mostly stock Honda internals, and the basic turbo kit goes for a relatively reasonable $3995 with a set of forged pistons for racing applications adding another $320. The Team MR. CBR’s off-boost power delivery is crisp, thanks to stock compression-ratio pistons, and it builds boost more smoothly than any turbo we can recall.
At first we didn’t know what to make of the Team MR. Honda’s stripped-down, insect-like appearance, but the first time we flicked it into a corner it felt instantly familiar. Despite the lack of wind protection and gauges (save a digital temp gauge, though we’d prefer full instruments), it pulled a close first-place ranking in the street section. It also astounded everyone by running a 9.03-second, 154.6-mph run that would have been a UFO record had the Hahn Racecraft GSX-R1117 turbo not bested it. The McIntyres lowered the bike and ran three inches over on the wheelbase for the run. Its 350-pound dry weight made it the lightest of the bunch and no doubt helped in every measure of performance.
At the road course, the Team MR. machine ran an impressive 1:50.7 lap time, topped only by Hyper-Cycle’s record-setting fast lap. It’s easily the most ridable turbo we’ve had on a road course, though, and its handling manners are nothing short of fabulous. It was the top-speed event that broke the CBR900RR turbo’s impressive string of top-two finishes when, we assume, aerodynamics won out over horsepower. Our testers had a hard time holding on against the windblast and would have liked a tachometer to gain valuable shift point and gearing information. Try as they might, their best was 187.110 mph; certainly fast, but somewhat of a disappointment considering the bike’s otherwise strong showing. On what was shaping up to be its fastest run, the Team MR. machine lost power in sixth gear with what was later diagnosed as a detonated piston, which in turn fouled a plug with piston material—a relatively understandable failure considering the abuse of more than 20 dragstrip runs and close to 10 punishing top-speed runs. Team MR. created one of the best all-around UFO bikes we’ve ever tested, and a few minor changes (bodywork and gauges) would have made its entry even stronger. Just how good is the Team MR. CBR900RR turbo? Good enough that the former anything-goes Formula USA-series decided to ban it from competition. And good enough that it’s forever welcome at UFO.
- DragonFab turbo system, including IHI Warner-ISHI 5T504, 265 cfm turbo unit and carburetors modified to accept blow-through boost pressure and aluminum plenum
- DragonFab forged-aluminum replicas of stock pistons (optional for high-boost situations)
- DragonFab clutch springs used with stock clutch plates
- Honda GN4 oil
- Howell 007 race fuel
- DragonFab products, including revalved fork with 1.0 kg/mm springs; zero-to-six-inch extended swingarm; custom aluminum rear brake; lightweight headlight; lightweight undersize aluminum fuel tank with fiberglass stock-shaped cover
- Indigo Sports triple clamps
- Rohm Performance Machine titanium fasteners
- Öhlins shock
- Brembo master cylinder, four-piston calipers and 320mm rotors; Goodridge lines
- Sprocket Specialist sprockets
- Sharkskinz bodywork with paint and graphics by Danny Bailey
- Marchesini wheels
Dunlop D364 radials
Replacement cost: $19,999
|Relatively affordable at (barely) under $20,000||Its 350-pound dry weight|
|Surprisingly smooth, usable power delivery for a 215-hp package||Lack of instrumentation|
|Naked bodywork results in poor aerodynamic|
|Team Mr. Honda CBR900RR Turbo|
|Test Track Lap Time||1:50.71|
|Quarter-mile Time (sec)||9.03|
|Quarter-mile Speed (mph)||154.6|
|Dry Weight||350 lbs|