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Motorcycle drag-racing’s Clark Kent
March 31, 2005

 
Kent Stotz has re-written the book on motorcycle drag-racing. The four-time AMA Prostar champ and the first racer to set the 200mph record in Street Bike Shootout competition has taken the class to new heights on his Honda Rider’s Club of America-sponsored turbo-charged CBR1100XX.
 
In 2005, the forward-thinking Stotz will once again take motorcycle drag-racing into uncharted territory. He has collaborated with the NOPI (Number One Parts, Inc.) Drag Racing Association (NDRA) to launch the organization’s first foray into 500-horsepower street tire motorcycle drag racing.
 
“NOPI is known for its wildly popular sport-compact drag racing series,” said Stotz. NDRA events draw tens of thousands of fans not only for their incredible four-wheel drag racing action, but also for the added attractions of car and bike shows and big-name concerts. “With the announcement of the Honda Rider’s Club of America as sponsor for the Pro Street Tire Bike class in 2005, NOPI will become the newest venue to showcase the excitement of high-tech 500-plus horsepower motorcycles to drag racing to fans everywhere.”


 
Stotz is the perfect statesman for the new series. The affable businessman from Schaumburg, Illinois is known throughout the motorcycle drag-racing world as the best development rider in the paddock. His record speaks for itself. In AMA Prostar competition, Stotz earned his first championship in 1995 aboard a 1989 Suzuki GSX-R1100 - the first electronically-fuel injected turbocharged motorcycle to win the title. He repeated the feat in 1998 on a 1995 turbocharged, water-cooled GSX-R1100.  Both bikes were the product of Stotz’s ingenuity and endless hours of development time with his sponsors.
 
The homegrown racer and his outrageously-powerful motorcycles came to the attention of American Honda in 1999. With sponsor-support from the Honda Rider’s Club of America, Stotz put his magic to work on Honda’s CBR1100XX and soon the Blackbird was cranking out serious horsepower—and championships. Stotz dominated Street Bike Shootout competition and took home the title in 2001 and 2002, despite rules changes designed to minimize the advantage of his technical expertise. By the beginning of 2004, alcohol and intercoolers were not permitted, and turbo inlet diameter was restricted to 64mm. Stotz was undaunted; his mighty CRB cranked out 505 bhp on racing gasoline alone.
 
“Honda’s support was what we needed to get to the next level,” said Stotz. “They build a bulletproof engine. I still can’t believe that we are generating this kind of reliable horsepower on a virtually stock engine with 30 pounds of boost.”
 
The 2004 season saw Stotz set the quickest time or fastest speed in five of the eight Prostar races. Fierce competition with his former teammate Barry Henson saw the class ET record drop by nearly .4 of a second, from 7.64 to 7.25 seconds. At the finals in Gainesville, Stotz clocked the fastest quarter-mile ever at 200.49 mph in 7.256 seconds—just .002 seconds behind Henson, the eventual series winner. For 2005, Stotz will be competing in selected AMA Prostar events in the renamed Pro Street class.  
 
Stotz is optimistic about the NDRA’s new Honda Pro Street Tire-Bike class, where he will face stiff Suzuki and Kawasaki competition at four scheduled motorcycle drag racing events on the NDRA’s 12-city tour. “There are secrets to winning at this level,” confided Stotz. “Making reliable power is one, and we have that with Honda. Controlling all that power, both through tuning and from the seat of the bike, are two more. We’ll be ready.” He stopped talking and smiled; the glint in his eye was the only clue that he has developed another advantage.
 
One thing is certain. Racing fans are in for a treat when Stotz shows the four-wheeled world what two wheels and 505-plus horsepower can do in the hands of one of the best drag racers to ever straddle a motorcycle.

 

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