Logan Peterson’s 2007 ZX-14 Drag Racer
Published April 8, 2016
Gear Heads talk with Logan Peterson about his awesome 2007 Kawasaki ZX-14, and about his life and times at the drag strip. After receiving some beautiful photographs from Logan Peterson, we decided to investigate exactly what was going on underneath the fairings of his stunning ZX-14. Unlike a lot of builds that we see here at Gear Heads, Logan’s bike is a machine built for the drag strip, so any comments about stretched bikes and cornering ability will be fairly redundant – this is a machine built for straight line speed, and all out power.
“My dad got me hooked into drag bikes as we’re both avid motorcycle enthusiasts and we’re both very competitive. I started out with a 2001 Kawasaki ZRX1100. That lasted all but two months at the strip learning the basics. It wasn’t long until I needed more power. So, I decided to go big and get my hands on this 2007 Kawasaki ZX-14 with only 7000 miles on her.”
Keeping his budget in mind, Logan started rebuilding the ZX-14 into the machine you see before you, starting with a ten inch over stock swing arm extension, front end lowering straps, lowering links and most importantly, a regulation safety tether style kill switch. Luckily, the previous owner had been kind to the ZX-14 and had already given the bike a full Brock’s Performance exhaust and a racing tune. Since we see a lot of stretched bikes, the “what” he’s done isn’t particularly important, it’s the “why” that we want to know more about – and Logan managed to sum up the point of the lowered and stretched look in one simple statement:“What I love about the bike is, quite simply, the power she puts out. Since I’ve stretched and lowered it, it has really kept the front end down and allows that power to really stay planted on the ground.” So, next time you see the “Why have you stretched it?” question in comments, there’s your answer.
And why do these drag racers spend their money lowering their bikes and stretching them – in pursuit of a better time. “With 2 months left in the 2015 season, I spent the time attempting to get used to the launch and working up the cojones to go wide open throttle: getting a best overall ET of 10.12. This year, the first pass was a 10.003 and all I wanted to do was finally get into the 9’s. After chatting with my dad and the other veterans there I got pumped up and made a second pass. I launched at a little higher RPM and it felt better! Then I was flying down the track and feeling good, hurrying up to get my time slip…until I saw my dad at the booth. He made me head back to the trailer where he asked me how I thought I did. After about what seemed like 10 minutes, and him telling me what I screwed up on, he gave me the time slip – 9.95!” Typical dad humor, right?
We asked Logan if he had any advice about riding the strip or getting started, and his plans for the future: “I’ll be the first to tell ya, I’m not afraid to be humble and listen to the track veterans’ advice with every pass I make. I know you need to start somewhere and although I know the bike is capable of more, but it’s the small steps that gets you there. And I’m extremely excited so far. In the future, I hope to attend Ricky Gadson’s drag racing school but until then, I’m just excited to be learning one pass at a time.”
“I’d also like to thank my dad for motivating me and inspiring me to push myself, and for all of the fun we have on track, especially with my new found fellow track buddies, thanks to them for all their support and advice! Finally, I should thank my brother, Nathan Peterson, for taking these awesome photos!”