The last time I took the good ol' CBR to the track was somewhere around eight years ago. A group of friends were going to Autoclub Speedway and they had space available in the trailer, so I decided I needed to shake off the rust and get back on track. However, before hitting up the track, a couple upgrades were required.
The car industry is back! The last decade has been a little like wheelspin at the line but we're finally getting some traction. The Las Vegas Convention Center was jam-packed with 60,000 weary enthusiasts drooling over the latest trends, crazy builds, and hottest products. Previously empty halls inviting a siesta were congested with manufacturers, cars that barely resemble their stock look, and the occasional fatigued booth model while attendees battled to swim upstream. Join MotoIQ for some autoerotica action!
If you’re already planning to skip this article because it includes the word “Doodlebug” in the title, then I implore you to read on. What we stumbled onto is no kid’s toy: some deranged individual took a cheap, Walmart bike and then strapped an actual go-kart racing engine to it, lost interest, and put it on Craigslist. And then we picked it up because if it’s one thing a man needs in his life, it’s an interesting story to have told at his funeral.
The interesting thing about a massive (re)wiring project is that a really, really large portion of the project does not even involve touching wires. Think about it for a moment. Once the car is completely gutted, and you’ve made your electronic components selection, and you’ve plunked down your hard-earned pennies to get the electronics into your hands, you now have to figure out where to place everything. And, if you want to do it right, that means fabrication. Double stick tape only goes so far.
A proper race car is nothing without control and control comes in the form of a number of components that help one another work to their maximum efficiency. Tires of course are a huge part of control but just putting sticky tires on an otherwise stock car wont do you as much good as you think. You need a proper suspension setup to match.
A few years ago we got to test a sample of KW Suspensions' electronically adjustable DDC coilovers while visiting them at their German global headquarters. We sampled a 3 series BMW coupe on twisty German back roads and on the Autobahn and came away favorably impressed. We were able to easily, and quickly, adjust the suspension from comfortable to firm to match our current driving modd and/or road conditions.
Many of us out there, new or otherwise to our beloved car culture, don’t realize the difference between a track car and a race car and it has nothing to do with lap time. What makes a proper race car is not horsepower or giant tires it’s all about optimization of a given platform the only limitations being budget and a rule book. A proper race car has thousands of man hours into it on things that you’ll never see unless pointed out. A proper race car is re-built and re-imagined from the ground up.
We're back to check out Level Motorsport's great work on this little BMW racer, and this time we conclude with the brakes and engine components. How much power is this car (which is fully built with used or in-house fabricated components) putting down, you ask? We've got the dyno chart, too.
If you are a Honda fan or a follower of Time Attack then you are probably familiar with the Spoon Sports USA Civic, the little Honda that could. Last year the Spoon Civic with Formula Drift Champion Dai Yoshihara at the wheel, set the Time Attack world on its ear by surpassing the previously thought unbeatable FWD Unlimited lap record for Buttonwillow 13 CW.
Take a look at this crazy E30 BMW, and learn the story of how it went from a street-driven rust bucket of a 325i to the time attack and hill climb racer it is today. And it was all built by one guy with second-hand parts!
Our Project Mustang came stock with pretty decent brakes. From the factory our Ford features 4 piston Brembo calipers with 355x32mm one piece rotors. However, we still wanted to upgrade our brakes as our much wider tires, 20" wheels, upgraded suspension and engine would stress the brakes a lot more. Our Mustang also weighs a punishing 3700lbs with really cooks the brakes. The Ford factory has put larger brakes on some of the higher end SN197 Mustangs so we figured we should follow suit as well.
What many fail to realize is that there is an incredible amount of passion and fun to be had in the competitive realm. Fun and competitive/pro drifting are not mutually exclusive. It’s not a decision between keeping drifting fun and competitive driving. There is not more passion in the grassroots world. The two are just very different. The point of this editorial series is not intended to further divide professional and grassroots drifting, but rather to bring the two together and showcase that there are many similarities in the passion, commitment, and enjoyment levels for those involved in either.