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Nissan GT-R vs Pedstop Zip

May 22nd, 2012

Two wheels versus four: 94cc Piaggio Zip takes on a 480hp Nissan GT-R in a fight for straight line speed. Let the games begin!

The Nissan GT-R is world renowned for being one of the fastest cars on the block with a staggering 0-60 acceleration time along with a scary top speed. It’s been in numerous comparisons against equally big hp cars and motorcycles. As for scooters, well speed freaks Adrenalin Pedstop in Barnsley, South Yorkshire thought they’d try their luck against Godzilla. Their chosen steed – a race tuned 25.5hp 94cc Piaggio Zip. Yep you heard me correctly, a 25.5hp Piaggio Zip. No longer a humble commuter scoot, the engine in this one is tuned to the edge of its life (nearly) and with some basic maths its power-to-weight ratio is almost 650hp compared to the GT-R’s stock 480hp. This should be an interesting battle…

Pedstop’s 94cc ‘race scooter’ (as it’s been known) has never actually seen a real race but it has been used and abused on a number of track days. Given that track days are the intended purpose then this allows for performance on tap and the potential for a longer life, theoretically. In comparison to the original hp that this scooter was blessed with 25.5hp (the latest reading on the Pedstop dyno) is still a lot given the power-to-weight ratio. Combine this with automatic transmission and you’ve got a sit and squirt pocket rocket. ‘Godzilla’ is the nickname that echoes around the GT-R mainly due to its David and Goliath style hammerings that it has subjected to many of the big names sporting four wheels. With 480hp and lots of clever computing gizmos the GT-R 35 can launch itself to 62mph in 3.5 seconds, can a 94cc two-stroke auto really get that close?

Taking it to the max…

So the ‘versus’ was on and everything depended on Pedstop rider Sam Schofield getting a good launch “no computers involved here”. Due to the legality of the Zip, the sprint took place in a private car park outside Pedstop HQ which limited the distance of the run to 83 metres. This was helpful for the Zip and almost brought the sprint to a 0-70mph and stop kind of shootout. Several runs up Pedstop’s car park-cum-drag strip ensued and even with the GT-R’s famous launch control set to ‘max’ the Zip blitzed it off the line every time with Sam trying his best to keep the front wheel as low to the ground as feasibly possible. Watching the video footage in slow motion you can see that every race was a close finish, very close.

In true David and Goliath fashion Sam and the Zip put up a good fight against Godzilla, but the GT-R won, but only just! Terminal speed on the GT-R’s clock was 69mph over the line. At around £50K cars like the Nissan GT-R 35 may well be for the deep in pocket. But at an estimated £4.5K (including the cost of the scooter) a Piaggio Zip tuned to this spec is affordable and within reach if speed is your mission. This may be preaching to the converted to some but should hopefully serve as a wake up call to the uninitiated. At the end of the day Adrenalin have nailed the point across once again that tuned scooters are quick and not to be underestimated. And in this case they can give supercars a run for their money…

TECH SPEC / SHOPPING LIST:

Adrenalin Pedstop Piaggio Zip 50 SP

Engine capacity: 94cc
Max power: 25.5hp
Top speed: 98mph

Engine:
Original Piaggio LC short casing with machined internals to accept crankshaft and cylinder AD/CM1273035 £209.36
Polini Big Evolution crankshaft with 44mm stroke AD/210.0021 £246.26
Polini Viton crankcase oil seals AD/285.0001 £11.85
Polini Evolution C4 main bearings x 2 AD/280.0042 £22.38 per bearing
Polini aluminium water pump kit AD/280.0008 £33.19
Polini Big Evolution 94cc cylinder kit AD/140.0208 £260.58
Custom radiator with silicone hoses to suit

Carburetion:
Genuine Keihin PWK 33mm carburettor (from a Yamaha Banshee 350cc quad)
Polini Big Evolution reed valve AD/213.00053 £79.61
Polini 360⁰ inlet manifold with 35mm union AD/215.0424 £40.85
PedMoto 58mm race air filter AD/PMP-58R £14.85

Exhaust:
Polini Big Evolution exhaust system AD/200.0287 £256.97

Transmission:
Polini 9 Roller Evolution variator (predecessor of the latest Evolution Hi-speed 3 kit) AD/241.681 £76.00
Polini Evolution 3 2G clutch AD/249.045 £68.00
Polini Evolution Speed drive pulley AD/244.510 £231.59
Polini Evolution 2 clutch bell AD/250.025 £62.40
Polini Evolution compression spring with Evo slider which is a slightly stronger version of: AD/243.092 £10.18
Polini Evolution Kevlar drive belt AD/248.031.3 £35.02
Polini Primary gear-up kit (16/37 ratio) AD/202.1392 £46.40
Polini secondary gear-up kit (14/48 ratio) AD/202.1404 £60.87

Ignition:
Polini digital ignition system (with 94cc custom map selected) AD/171.0537 £252.25

Braking:
Polini floating brake disc AD/175.0007 £75.13
Carbone Lorraine sintered brake disc pads

Suspension / handling:
Gubellini front and rear adjustable shock absorbers with custom internals and springs. Supplied, modified and fitted by Gardner Racing
Polini Torsen WD swing arm AD/172.0011 £76.78

Tyres:
Dunlop TT 92 GP tyres: 90/90 x 10 (front) / Rear 3.50 x 10 (rear)

Dashboard / handlebars:
Mychron 4 digital display unit
Polini Big Evolution black & blue grips AD/341.0027 £22.22

Bodywork: Paintwork by Pokies Paintshop

TOTAL COST (including cost of scooter): £4,500

N.B. The prices listed above are correct at the time of writing (May 2012).

2009 Nissan GT-R SpecV R35

Engine capacity: 3.9 litre 3799cc
Max Power: 480hp
Top speed: 193mph

TOTAL COST (2009 list price): Around £50,000

Words, Photos & Video: Paul Robinson