At the 2008 Bomber Weekend - the Finnish streetfighter and stuntrider festival - Isto Ikonen was asked to ride his friend's moped at drag race. The original rider had to cancel, since there was some domestic issues concerning safety of this particular contest. If that all sounds a bit lame, you need to know that the moped in question was a bit extraordinary… It was a small wheeled Solifer-Suzuki R50, fitted with a Yamaha 1000cc 4-cylinder engine. Isto had no nagging vixens at home, so off he went. His 1/8 mile time was a rather poor 14.43, with only a 89mph top speed, due to the extremely short gear ratio. But the idea of a better crazy-ass drag race moped was instantly set into Isto’s mind.
Isto sketched an idea of Suzuki PV50, equipped with one litre (or larger) engine and a massive rear tyre, since it was about to be mini-sized drag bike. He presented his idea to Ervan’s Metal Works, which took the order for producing the idea into reality. It's no coincidence that Ervan’s already had experience of building a couple of Suzuki PVs, fitted with oil-cooled GSX-R engines...
Leq Laurell, the owner of Prätkä Paja (a Finnish tuning company), promised to support the project with whatever necessary smaller items would be needed, but the major components such as the engine and stock frame, needed to be gathered first. Isto bought an oil-cooled 1100 Suzuki engine from his friend with the legendary sales phrase “running, but might need some service due to slight smoking”. Well, it was kind of true, since it had one melted piston… So a service was definitely needed, with the engine being checked and rebuilt completely. During this time, Isto once again visiting Prätkä Paja and loud-mouthed an idea about installing a turbo to his drag moped... Coincidentally, a local turbo importer and sales representative just happened be at Paja too and overheard this wicked idea. He wanted to support young man’s ambitious project and offered an turbocharger for it! Thanks to his vociferous claims, Isto couldn’t back down, and now he had turbo drag moped project! The engine rebuild was then finished with stock Hayabusa pistons, since they're better suited for boost abuse, thanks to lowering the compression ratio in an 1100 engine, whilst increasing capacity to 1216cc.
The frame from a PV50 is definitely not suitable for taking the 1100 lump without heavy modifications. Actually there really isn’t that much left from the original frame, which can only be a good thing! The building of the steroid-moped started by hanging the engine by a single bracket and then simply building everything around it, trying to keep the original PV’s designs, measurements and spirit in mind. It sounds easy, but it definitely isn’t. When you’re about to fit fullsize, big power parts into pocket bike, it certainly is going take a bit more than two packs of cigarettes.
The original idea was to use a wide rear tyre and, luckily, there was a pair of junior dragster wheels and tyres available in the neighborhood. Since there was already a fistful of Fiddy/Eleven PVs in Finland (thanks to the 'Killerbee' drag race series), Isto wanted some differences with his. Ervan’s proposed a single-sided swinging arm, and it seemed weird enough to keep Isto happy.
Creating the single sided (and short) swinging arm for an idiotically overpowered pit-bike with a bucket-sized rear tyre was the most challenging part of the project. Ervan’s ordered bent square tubes for a sturdy basis to the swinging arm. A local CNC company made a special axle slider with a fishtail insert to enable vertical, and stepless, adjustments. After struggling with some serious welding issues with unmatchable materials, and throwing the square tubes into a scrap bin, the slider was finally mounted solidly to the frame with some tubular tubing and extra bracing. This means that the bike is now fully rigid frame at the rear, but since the rear tyre's like a balloon and would suspense most of the hits, rigidness wasn’t seen as issue to be troubled from. Ervan’s was already quite fed up with the swinging arm, but since it was own idea, there was no backing up. There was still a massive amount of work involved in designing the unique rear axle construction, which would need to carry the wheel, all bearings, brake anchor, brake disc and rear sprocket. And all this had to be shoved, once again, into a ridiculously small space. But, as per all great battles, this one also ended and all the rear end problems we’re left behind.
The old front end from a wrecked GSX dragbike was found abandoned in Prätkä Paja’s attic so, naturally, a treasure like this was rescued and used for the project. The forks were radically shortened and a whole bunch of one-off parts were needed again to fit the front wheel and to assemble it to frame. A local CNC wizard, Tapsa, was found who, luckily, is a motorcycle-oriented fellow, so the machining of the parts happened without months of waiting.
Planning the turbo system was quite straightforward, since the necessary items needed to be at certain places. But through construction the main issue was once again space, or the lack of it. Ervan’s still got a bit carried away with the exhaust manifold and managed to pull some hairy primary tubes for it and add some more wtf –factor to the look!
When the mini-godzilla was finally standing on its own feet, it looked like the project would be finished in no time. But, as with 1:1 scale projects, the small and maybe not so visible things, like electricity, brakes, plumbing and other finishing took the whole winter, which in Finland lasts for half the year! But, eventually, it was time for paint work. The original looks of the ‘80s PV had been the main idea, and so the frame was sprayed silver and the fairings… well, errr… that means the fuel tank, was painted black. Isto wanted to add a slight touch of cuteness to the bike, mainly just to highlight the psychopathy of the whole idea. So he contacted airbrush artist Mr Pasi Paananen, from Kele Design, to make some special graphics for the PV’s tank. This resulted in the Hello Kitty theme, with a devilish design to one side and a rather gay fairy design to the other. As a cherry on the top, a Hello Kitty exhaust end was fitted to the turbo dump pipe.
The first runs were made in 2011 at the Helsinki Petrol Circus bike show, where the bike was also first shown to the public. The crowd really liked the bike, since it was easily recognized as PV, which was the most popular moped in Finland for almost thirty years, but it clearly had the soul of a pinless hand granade with it’s 220 horsepower 1100 Suzuki turbo engine. Comments like: “It’s a joke, right? You can’t possibly ride it? Right..!?!” are still flying from peoples mouths, but it definitely rideable. No, it’s not very comfortable in any measurable way and, yes, it’s scary as shit every time you take it for a spin. Unfortunately there hasn’t been a possibility to test the PVR over quarter mile yet, since Isto has been spending all the summer weekends occupied behind a camera, but the ultimate test is about to happen through 2014. Keep on looking at the WWB website and Facebook page for updates!
Owner: Isto Ikonen
Engine: Suzuki GSX-R1100 -91
Frame: Made by Ervan´s Metal Work´s
Front End: Shortened frontend from Suzuki racer, 10inch rim with slick, Frontbrake fourpiston caliper and GPT V4 steering damper Rear End:Singlesided non suspended swingarm and rear axle made and design by Erwans metal works. 10inch rim with 10x8 slick, Rearbrake two fourpiston calipers
Bodywork: Ervan´s Metal Work´s
Electrics: Heija Jani
Paintwork: Vuori Niko
Custom Paintwork: Kele Desing Paananen Pasi
Engineering: Ervan´s Metal Work´s
machining: Takmill Tapani Kemppainen
Thanks To: Ervan´s Metal Works (Eräpolku Teemu) - Prätkäpaja (Lequ) - Kele Desing (Paananen Pasi) - Turbotekniikka Oy - Motoring - Moposport - Hovi koneistaja Tapani Kemppainen - Salo Marko "Gakka" - Heija Jani - Rokka Antti - Vuori Niko