After years of R&D and track time, Stotz Racing has earned the title of World’s Fastest Pro Street Bike with their Honda CBR1000RR. See how they did it here.
Eking out the last drop of performance from an already powerful machine is no easy feat. When you’re down on displacement compared to most of the class you’re competing against, the challenge is greater still. However, for the Stotz Racing team, challenges like this have always been more of an invitation than an obstacle. If you take a look at how the 2018 NHDRO Pro Street season wrapped up, the proof of this fact is more evident than ever. Stotz Racing didn’t just win the championship – they broke the Pro Street quarter-mile record.
At the helm of the Stotz Racing team’s turbocharged Honda CBR1000RR superbike is seasoned racer Frank Stotz. Frank, with his father Kent and the rest of the team, have been developing their wild 998cc Honda motorcycle for over a decade now. You see, harnessing the speed and performance to win a championship isn’t something that just happens overnight. No, it’s an accomplishment that comes through years of hard work while encountering the occasional setbacks and roaring successes.
Last year, during the 2017 NHDRO Pro Street season, the Stotz Racing team felt they had the performance to win with their Honda. However, a vulnerability in the bike’s mechanicals kept the team from having a shot at the championship. The troubles centered around the heart of the engine – the crankshaft. This rotating mass, which undergoes a tremendous amount of abuse during a drag race, simply couldn’t handle the bike’s enormous 450+ force-inducted horsepower.
“The performance of the bike last year was very good, we knew it, but we broke five crankshafts last year. Right when we were about to win a race, a crankshaft would let loose,” says 4-time Pro Street champion and team founder Kent Stotz.
Knowing the crankshaft was a liability in an otherwise strong engine, the Stotz Racing team decided to do something different for the 2018 season. “We got billet crankshafts and it fixed the reliability issue. The performance that we had last year was able to shine through,” says Kent.
Even when making a large change such as a new crankshaft, the team found they could leave much of the rest of the engine as it was before. The decision to continue using parts like pistons from JE Pistons and knife-edge connecting rods from Falicon was a no-brainer for the team. They knew they could rely on these components just as they had in previous seasons. These highly-engineered parts are built to thrive in the harsh environment of a turbocharged Pro Street drag racing engine.
Combined with the new crankshaft, Falicon Knife Rods and a set of custom JE pistons complete the stout rotating assembly capable of handling Stotz’s big power. (Shelf-stock CBR1000RR JE piston shown here.)
With the engine completely sorted for 2018, the Stotz Racing team was able to focus on just racing the bike. They capitalized on this by having some of the most consistent runs ever witnessed in the Pro Street class. Paired to that consistency was the bike’s shear quickness – a point proven when Frank broke the Pro Street quarter-mile record in the final round of the season.
“We’d run 6.70s last year. Well, now with being able to keep [the engine] together, we’re able to break into the 6.60s, and at the end of the year, break the record,” says Kent. That’s right, Frank ran a blistering 6.601-second quarter-mile. The revised and rockin’ CBR1000RR broke the standing record by nine thousandths of a second. This single pass down the drag strip granted the Stotz Racing team the rights to calling their Honda the quickest Pro Street bike in the world.
Even with all the triumphs over the 2018 season, it wasn’t met without difficulty. The stock transmission simply couldn’t handle the power of the bike, which led to a full-on transmission failure. “We found the next weak link [in the bike] which was the stock transmission. It was holding up perfectly for 450 horsepower, but this year we broke five transmissions,” Says Kent.
In the final round of the season, the team switched to a billet transmission, and suddenly the balance between reliability and speed was discovered once again. As Kent recalls while reflecting on the team’s record-breaking weekend, “Robinson Industries built us a billet transmission that lasted all weekend long, performed flawlessly, and the bike was just amazing.”
Looking forward to the 2019 season, the Stotz Racing team is primed to continue the wave of success it experienced from 2018. Come the first round in April, they’ll be eyeing that championship once again with the hopes to break another record or two. A new season will bring fierce competition – no doubt about it. The challenges will be great, and the speeds of the larger bikes will be ever increasing. However, that’s not an obstacle – that’s an invitation. It’s just the Stotz Racing way.