Mr. Turbo Goes Racing Again
Words & Photos: John Gunnell
Superbike fans are jumping with joy over Terry Kizer’s return to Top Fuel Motorcycle drag racing. Some people thought that Top Fuel bike racing was going to vanish after the economy tanked in 2008. But, now the sport is seeing renewed interest from riders, sponsors and race bike builders.
Kizer and his Texas-based speed shop-called “Mr. Turbo” were icons on Superbike racing. Kizer had a reputation for winning time after time. He is one of the winningest Funny Bike racers off all-time. His Orient Express-backed competition bike dominated the winner’s circle at Funny Bike races during most of the late 1980s and early 1990s.
Kizer was the 1987 and 1998 IDBA Funny Bike National Champion. His Orient Express held the quarter-mile record of 6.88 seconds at 197.60 mph and the one-eighth-mile record of 4.48 seconds at 177. 17 mph. Today, the powerful Suzuki that Kizer rode resides in the Historic Auto Attractions Museum in Roscoe, Illinois. Kizer was also winning rider in many other classes, He competed in the National Hot Rod Association Pro Stock Motorcycle tour in the 2000s.
Sam Wills, who recently earned his first 5-second time slip on a nitro bike, will be building the chassis for Kizer. “Spiderman” McBride—another highly liked Top Fuel racer—will be supplying many special parts. McBride has already sourced a clutch, clutch cannon and cylinder head.
McBride described Kizer as an “awesome competitor.” He said that he can’t wait to get him out on the drag strip. He predicted that the new bike will be under test by the end of 2015. A Texas motorcycle dealer will be associated with Kiser’s latest ride.