Have you ever been standing real close, say 10 meters or so, to a Super Twin drag racing bike when it launches from the start pad? It is truly an awesome experience. The sound from the bike makes your entire body vibrate. The fume from the Nitromethane fuel brings tears to your eyes. (By the way, Nitromethane – that’s liquid dynamite with a splash of methanol to keep it from exploding, just.) The bike launches with such ferocity that you can hardly believe it. 0-100 kmh goes in under 1 second, 0-200 kmh in 2,70s and 0-300 kmh in under 5 seconds!!! At the end of the quarter mile long drag strip the Karling Racing Super Twin crosses the finishing line doing more than 350 kmh! Motorcycle racing doesn’t get much more insane than this.
As one of the founders of the Super Twin class Charley Karling has been living with these monster motorcycles since 1989. Before that he was dragracing in other classes, starting his dragracing career back in –85. Prior to taking up racing he’s been riding, modifying and building bikes basically all his life. He comes out as a very cool, calm and collected guy. Maybe that’s why he has had so much success with his Super Twin. If the bike is something of a mentally unstable cruise missile, feeding on liquid dynamite, chances of survival is much higher if the pilot is one cool dude.
However, as the saying goes; “a wolf in sheep’s clothing”, is probably not far from the truth. Charley is on a constant quest to find more power and to go faster. Back in –93 he realised that the “standard” Harley Davidson engines couldn’t cope with his expectations. What should one do? Naturally, he started to build his own engine – that is extreme-DIY for you.
As a trained mechanical engineer Charley’s got the skill to turn ideas into computerized drawings and then the knowledge to get those drawings programmed into various machines. Karling Racing Team can today offer various go-real-fast-products for your twin bike. The quest for more power has resulted in a mind blowing 800 horsepower in his latest version of the Super Twin race bike.
It’s got a supercharged(!), with a Opcon/Autorotor screw type blower, 45 degree V-twin engine. Fuel consumption is a whooping 0,8 litres per second. It’s got, naturally, a special chrome molly tubular frame, made by Karling and UCC. The on-board computer registers everything from clutch slip, engine rpm, rear wheel rpm, fuel pressure to G-forces generated during the run.
The bodywork is made out of carbon fibre, still the bike weighs in at a respectable 350 kg – race ready excluding the rider. Mind you, it does put out some 800 hp when conditions are good… That’s e-i-g-h-t
h-u-n-d-r-e-d! No wonder you’ll need a decent set of brakes to stop the nitro train once it’s crosses the finishing line. Charley’s bike has got a pair of 320 mm ISR discs with our biggest 6-pot calipers up front and at the back there’s a 250 mm disc with an ISR 4-pot caliper.
Charley Karling has been both National and European champion several times around. He is the European record holder and he’s closing in on the world record for every run he makes. His best ET (¼ mile) so far is an astounding 6.361 sec. Best speed (¼ mile) is 356,435 kmh.
We at ISR keep our fingers crossed for Karling Racing Team and hope you’ll get the best of seasons during 2004. Charley, you’ve got balls of steel to be riding that crazy bike of yours!