Jamie Chalker likes motorcycles, but then, he likes cars, too. What better way to combine both passions than to create a motorcycle powered street racer like this? Starting in October of 2003 with parts and pieces donated from an '02 Kawasaki ZX9R and an idea in his head, Jamie worked steadily until the car rolled out in June of 2006.
So there would be no mistake about the genetic origins of the car, Jamie wanted to use as many Kawasaki parts as possible. He built a tube chassis to hang everything together and hand laid the fiberglass body. It has a 2:1 quick steer with rack and pinion, and 4 wheel disc brakes. He did all of the bodywork and painting, too.
Parts from the Kawasaki include engine, exhaust, headlight, taillights, blinkers, mirrors, gas lid, grab handles, and hand controls. He even used the factory stickers. He used 4 ZX9R shocks in the rear and for a little added cool factor, he mounted the sidestand.
Motorcycle powered cars do have one issue during construction, what do you do for a reverse gear? Jamie came up with a very slick solution which takes advantage of the fact that this car has a driveshaft instead of a chain. He mounted a small block Chevy flywheel back at the rear end and added a high torque electric starter motor. Simple, functional, elegant.
Of course, building a street car like this is one thing, getting it registered so you can mount a license plate is something else. That process alone took 8 months. As Jamie says:
I had to fill out an application for vin, have a hand written letter from the sheriff department stating it's road worthy, have it inspected again after the vin number was applied, they issued me a title, had to have insurance ( finally got it through progressive) before I could get it licensed. Oh yeah, they figured out how to tax it, I had to show my receipts and pay taxes on everything I had not paid tax on when purchased.
It might have been a long process but I believe it was very well worth it, just think about being able to cruise around in this. He doesn't have any hard performance figures yet but he mounted a g-tech which should yield the numbers very soon. Almost all of the weight is below the centerline of the wheels, making it very stable. He says it corners so hard it's almost scary, he can't get the front wheels to push but the back end can slide a bit.
With all of the conversions out there, dropping motorcycle engines into cars, I really like the idea of starting from scratch to take maximum advantage of the engine without all of the compromise of a car originally designed for something else. I think this is a sweet looking ride and I bet it's a real hoot to drive. Jamie said he would send along performance figures when he gets them. I'll be looking forward to those, but overall, this is definitely one of the best motorcycle powered car projects I've seen. Very nice work! I like it, ... a lot!
Many more photos below: