Kerry-Bundaberg’s Kosman Kawasaki Drag Bike Now Offers Free Good News

Kerry Ellis went to her first drag meeting at 16 and immediately fell in love with the bikes and the atmosphere.

At 68, with over 40 years of racing behind him, Kerry still loves the feeling of acceleration over the 1/4 mile.

He shares his exciting take on racing a racing bike:

Q. Tell us a bit about your current dragster.

It’s a Kosman Kawasaki. It was first built in America, probably in the mid 80’s. I bought it from Jack O’Malley in America in 1991.

I built a motor for it because it was just a rolling chassis when it came. The engine is now 1640cc. It has a Falicon crankshaft, 3-speed gearbox, centrifugal clutch and progressive nitrous oxide.

The bike runs on a VP fuel called C-23. That, in conjunction with the nitrous oxide, produces a lot of power quickly, and that’s what we want.

It has wheel bars to prevent the bike from rolling over backwards.

The tire is 10.5 x 15. You need to have a tire of this size for the power you are producing. Sometimes I wish it was bigger depending on the track.

The bike is called Southern Intruder because I live in Bundaberg and if we go south I am a southern intruder.

If I go north, I come from the south, so I’m a southern trespasser. My first bike was the Southern Intruder I. This bike is the Southern Intruder II.

Q. How fast is the bike and what records have you set?

Our best time so far would be 7.38 seconds. It’s for the quarter mile. The best speed we’ve done is 181 mph.

I have held several records, and some still stand.

In 2015, I brought in Billy Vose from America, one of the most highly regarded nitrous oxide gurus. It was because I was kind of out of my league with the progressive scene set up.

With Billy’s help we got another Australian record for the AA modified bike which still stands.

Last year we went to Gladstone and it was a 1/8and thousand track. We did 4.63 seconds at 153 mph, and that was our best 1/8and mile run.

Q. What do you like about drag racing?

When you stop with the lights on for a run, there’s no better feeling.

All your focus is on the lights. I did a triple zero reaction time, i.e. get out of line as soon as the last light came on.

It’s a great feeling and it’s very hard to explain because not too many people will experience that kind of acceleration.

It only lasts five, six seconds, but it’s exhilarating. It makes you feel good long after.

I am still reasonably healthy. I’m 68 and I like it. I remember being at Heath Coat in Melbourne in the 90s and the Americans came. Jim McClure was there, and he was 70 and still running. So that inspires me.

I don’t do as many errands as I used to, but it’s still good to get out and mingle with the young people.

Last week’s vehicle: Wayne’s Holden HQ Monaro

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