Building a bike engined car has been a twinkle in my eye for a while now. I've done much lurking on this site following a couple different builds, notably Moti's work of art and Peter's MNR build. You could say mine started almost two years ago when I bought the donor ZX12. Last summer I bought a donor Miata and only this winter has design and construction started in earnest.
Why a kit? Honestly, I know the limits of my ability, and unlike others on this site, I am not a craftsman. I would like the project completed in a reasonable amount of time, and I want it to function properly and look good when it's done. I like MNR's frame - the round tubing allows them to have a stiff frame at a lower weight compared to others. I also liked the body style and other options like the lighting they offer.
Why a ZX12? I wanted something with a fair amount of power. It basically came down the the ZX12, ZX14 or obviously the Hayabusa. I looked around for a while looking for a good deal on a crashed bike and found one in a '12. Now that I'm as far into it as I am, and that I'm considering how to make more power (head work, bigger pistons, turbo etc) I would have probably been better off with a 'busa. But here I am.
The big news about my build is I'm mating the ZX12 engine to a Miata transmission. This may sound familiar as the folks at MotoIQ have been mating a 'busa to a miata trans for use in a miata, dubbed the Miatabusa
. I realize the merits of this have been hotly debated all around the internet. Here's my take:
Why use a bike motor with a car trans? The bike motor is lighter than the car motor, it makes a sweeter sound, you get a clutch that's easy to slip and you don't have to worry about frying, you get reverse.
Why not? It's quite expensive, the car transmission weighs way more than the bike's, there are other ways to get reverse, you lose the sequential trans.
For me, the sound of a high revving bike engine evokes an emotion unlike any other. I just don't have the words to describe it. It just has to be a bike engine. Why a car trans then? If I was building a track car I might have thought twice about ditching the bike's trans. But this is going to be a street / track car. I plan on driving it as much as possible and therefore I want it to drive like a road going car. Lastly, since building from a kit is a little bit of a cop-out, I wanted to do something that actually required a lot of work, thinking, ingenuity and originality. Hence the car trans.
What's the status you ask? The kit is ordered. I called MNR last week and they said it should ship in a couple weeks. So I'm hoping to have it by the end of April. I have all the custom parts made and fitted to the engine. That required splitting the case to pull out the bike's transmission and patching up various things. Next step is to mate the transmission and get the engine running again to make sure the rebuild went OK.
My complete photo album is located on picasa
. But I'll be posting excerpts here.
On to the pictures!