Long before fat tires and stretched swingarms had any street cred they were being regularly used on the drag strip. While extended swingarms and huge meaty tires are now as common as chrome, not long ago they were more for function than form; they were created to keep the front-end down, the rear tire hooked and the dragbike out in front.
Since drag racing is all about putting the power to the pavement, the use of jackshaft chain setups was taboo and thus not commonly found at the races. The jackshaft was thought to be a necessity for extra wide tire bikes until recently, because when you widen the tire you must also space out the sprockets to keep the chain running in a straight line. A jackshaft, which uses two chains and three sprockets to help space the chain far enough to clear the rear wheel, saps a lot of power because of the extra drive components. The alternative is the outside drive technique that racers pioneered out of a necessity for more power. This setup moves the countershaft sprocket outward to match the rear sprocket's offset, thus only requiring one chain.
The problem with jackshafts is that they are like a heavy trailer being connected to the haul vehicle with a loose hitch. Every time you hit the gas it jars the whole system and makes on/off throttle response horrible. Also, the front chain doesn't allow for any suspension travel, which means there isn't any slack in the chain, forcing it to be tighter than it should be on a normal bike. This ends up creating a bind and quickly wears out sprockets and chains.
Bob Fisher at Roaring Toyz is known for mating function with fashion, and he took the old-school technology and developed a simple, more streetable design with this Kawasaki ZX-14. After months of CAD time and machining he was able to develop a straightforward, clean looking outside drive system while still maintaining performance.
Stunning goldleaf inlays and...
Stunning goldleaf inlays and intense metalflake add massive class to an otherwise garish scheme.
What appears to be a straight-through...
What appears to be a straight-through slash pipe is actually baffled and no louder than a traditional slip-on can.
Roaring Toyz estimates that its outside drive saves about 10-15 HP over a jackshaft which allows for more power delivery to the rear tire. The ridability is also claimed to be much better with more neutral steering. Another benefit of an OSD unit is its ability to tuck a wide tire without a lot of stretch, and that makes for a cool looking bike that can still handle.
After building, testing and finding the OSD system to his liking, Fisher raided the Roaring Toyz catalog to outfit the rest of the bike. This included spike and cap kits, gas cap, lowering links, mirrors, exhaust and Performance Machine wheels. Before it was allowed out of the shop it was given a majestic spray by Roaring Toyz' secret weapon-painter Ryan Hathaway.
Do you love the paint or absolutely...
The bike didn't hang around for long however. Just a few short weeks after completion it was shipped out to the annual SEMA car show in Las Vegas where a wealthy collector instantly fell in love with old Goldie and flashed an amount of cash that Fisher couldn't deny. But with all the hard work complete, the OSD production was already well underway so it was worth letting the bike go.
Fisher returned to his Florida-based shop with one less bike on the trailer and began designing OSD systems for other models. This is a feat we'd say is worth bragging about because he's single-handedly improved the ride quality of numerous customs by simply bucking the trends and not choosing the easiest route to complete a build.
2008 Kawasaki ZX-14
A CNC-machined billet aluminum...
A CNC-machined billet aluminum cover conceals the Outside Drive System that allows for a much more efficient final drive setup.
Performance Machine "Rival" Contrast Cut wheel, Roaring Toyz brake lines
Performance Machine "Rival" Contrast Cut wheel, Roaring Toyz 8-inch-over OSD swingarm, lowering links, brake lines, Vortex Cat-5 sprocket
Roaring Toyz stainless steel megaphone exhaust
Roaring Toyz gas cap, spike and cap kit, license plate bracket, mirrors, lowered kick stand
Roaring Toyz (www.roaringtoyz.com