Take a blank sheet of paper, and design the quickest turbo bike you can imagine.
Back in the 1990s, Barry was running his turbo CBX Honda funnybike with Hilborn-style mechanical fuel injection. Mike had sold some of his unfinished compound turbo GPz750 project to Lorcan who ran it as a single turbo with a DTA electronic ECU. Impressed with the control and information gathering ability of the DTA, Mike and Barry fitted the same DTA ECU to the CBX. With the new ECU, they quickly found the limits of the old Honda engine, and a new project was born…
The new project would boast a Top Fuel engine, a strong chassis designed to allow easy access to the motor, a compound turbo system and cutting edge electronic control. Methanol was chosen as the fuel for it’s low cost and ability to resist detonation.
The heart of the bike is the compound turbo system. Nitro Top Fuel bikes can make 1000-1200hp from 1500cc, but conventional single turbo alcohol or petrol funnybikes can’t make enough boost efficiently to match nitro’s explosive power making ability. Our solution to this problem is to compound two turbos together – a large one to flow lots of air, and a smaller one to multiply the pressure the large one makes. Tractor pullers have been using this technique for years, with up to 4 turbos compounded, but this is the first time this technique has been applied to a dragbike, or any motorcycle. Here’s how it works:
On Storm both turbos are followed by an intercooler. A conventional water-cooled chargecooler after the low pressure turbo, and an 8 core Laminova cooler after the smaller high pressure turbo. The water in both coolers is, in turn, cooled by CO2. Both turbos can easily make 3:1 pressure ratio efficiently, so with 1 bar of atmospheric pressure going in the theoretical boost available is:
1 x 3 x 3 – 1 = 8 bar (120psi approx).
Or, to put it another way, the big turbo takes a large amount of air and compresses it into a third of the volume. The small turbo then compresses it again into a third of the volume. You then have air compressed to 9 times it’s original density. Which is where it enters the engine…
Storm uses a Top Fuel style Puma engine with a custom made 16 valve cylinder head. The head is made from a special alloy stronger than valve seat material, so needs no seat inserts or skulls. The gearbox and clutch are both Top Fuel items. Primary drive is by gear, preventing the drive belt breakages conventional fuel bikes suffer from, and also making the engine slimmer.
The 105″ wheelbase chassis is designed to transfer as much weight as possible to the rear wheel, without lifting the front off the ground. Remember, every pound of weight on the wheelie bar wheels is a pound off the driving wheel. Top Fuel cars run 300″ wheelbase and lots of weight up front to eliminate wheelies as far as possible and retain the ability to steer. In the future Storm may feature ground effect and a wing to generate downforce like a fuel car, and not ride on the wheelie bars like current top fuel bikes.
Power, they say, is nothing without control. Storm uses the same engine management technology Superstreet and ProStreet bikes have used to make giant strides in the past 10 years.