BLOWN WIDE OPEN
Conspiracy hung in the air as the lead mechanic at multi-line dealer S.G. Power in Victoria, BC strolled closer. “Pssst, Ollie, wanna see something cool?” he proffered.
Like the proverbial moth drawn to an open light I eagerly followed him down the flight of stairs leading to S.G.’s service department.
There, hoisted on a workbench, was customer Geoffrey Morris’s 2004 Kawasaki Z1000.
So, what’s so special about this? I wondered silently as I viewed the bike from the clutch side. The mechanic then gestured and led me to the throttle side of the bike revealing a wonderfully installed Rotex supercharger. A moment of silence followed as what appeared to be an evil grin formed on the face of the mechanic. He knew I’d find the performance conversion an irresistible lure.
Fast forward several weeks and through a barrage of persistent phone calls to the point where Morris finally granted permission to test his bike. He seems to be one of those guys who acts somewhat on impulse. While on a trip to the other side of the Atlantic he happened across a tricked-out Z1000. Upon his return home Morris decided to build his very own. Beginning with with a box stock Z1000, he searched for the unique Ixil undertail exhaust system, which he finally located somewhere in Europe.
The Rotex supercharger was next on his list and with it, the project began to come to life. Although Morris has, by his own admission, lost count of all the money spent on the bike, a short summary of the impressive modifications yields a modest price tag of under $11,000 in parts and labour (not including the bike itself). So, as you might imagine, he didn’t seem all that composed when I arrived to sample his baby.
Morris had spent the better part of a year amassing all the parts and having the package tailored and refined for the street. But, after a mere 30 seconds of riding the bike I knew why he’d seemed somewhat hesitant to hand over the keys. Within two kilometres, the bike (I had nothing to do with it) had broken almost every imaginable law for North American roads. I could literally feel my driver’s licence getting hotter in my jacket pocket as each second went by.
Not surprisingly, my initial field notes were brief, but to the point: “First gear, absolutely useless, only wants to wheelie. Second gear, same as first but faster. Third gear, still wheelie prone, but if you can manage to pin it your eyes water from the G-loading on acceleration. Fourth gear, eye watering thing still an issue, but with slightly more usable acceleration from just about any rpm. Fifth gear, can’t seem to muster the courage to hold it wide open; what common sense I have won’t let me. Sixth gear, I can’t imagine there’s another gear!”
That’s pretty much how it went folks. It wasn’t so much the total output that was awesome (my tried and true seat of the pants dynometer estimates 175-180 rear wheel horsepower), but more amazing yet was the torque the concoction produced even from the lower revs. To site a specific example, a dear friend went for a ride with me on his litre-class sportbike. Prey basically. Even leaving Morris’s bike in fifth gear during roll-ons it produced harder (faster) acceleration than my friend’s bike in second gear at the same time. No joke. Bodes well for the bike, not for your licence.
In the end we had to take the bike to the local track, Western Speedway to safely get the experience and shoot photographs. You’ll excuse the pun, but Geoff Morris’s bike blew us away.
At a Glance:
• Rotex Supercharger
• Braided brake lines
• High performance brake pads
• Pazzo Levers
• Ermax bellypan
• Hyperpro steering damper
• Carbon fibre windscreen
• Power commander
• Ignition modulator
• Barnett Clutch
• Ixil under tail exhaust
by Oliver Jervis Canadian Biker Issue #233