We spied some real horsepower on display at Indy, too, in the form of Sabertooth's new WildCat. Initially dismissed as a wannabe to the monster motorcycle segment, Sabertooth has upped the ante in that class with this performance-oriented bad boy.
A look at the spec sheet convinced us-front and center is a way-out Ford Racing 302ci engine with GT heads. Sabertooth says this mill's narrower profile is better suited to rider comfort as well as more pleasing styling. It also has a better power-to-weight ratio than comparable V-8 engines, and Sabertooth claims the smaller mass is easier to cool.
Because of that V-8, Sabertooth had to develop a proprietary transmission-one that's said to deliver more horsepower to the rear wheel. The rear suspension's cantilevered shocks transfer weight to the rear more efficiently under acceleration, and for 2008 the WildCat has an 8-gallon gas tank and better ground clearance. Sabertooth optimized the seat for rider comfort, introduced a larger front brake rotor (now 13 inches in diameter) for better stopping power and added a new multifunction digital display.
The WildCat is available in two additional trim levels, the Midnight WildCat, with Performance Machine wheels and special paint, and the WildCat X, with an extensive chrome package and the option of an all-aluminum engine block. Base MSRP begins at $34,995. -ACsabertoothmotorcycles.com
Engine And Drivetrain
Type: Ford Racing 302ci V-8 engine; aluminum GT-40 cylinder heads
horsepower: 350 (claimed)
Torque: 340 lb-ft (claimed)
Fuel system: Edelbrock 600cfm 4-barrel carburetor
Transmission/Final Drive: 2-speed manual, hand-operated clutch, belt drive
Frame: Sabertooth cradle frame with removable spine
Wheelbase: 89 in.
Rake: 36-deg. frame, 3-deg. triple tree
Front Brake: Performance Machine 13-in. rotors/dual 6-piston calipers
Rear Brake: Performance Machine 11.5-in. rotor/4-piston calipers
Seat Height: 26 in.
Dry Weight: 1050 lb.
Fuel Tank: 8 gallons