|Track & Race Car
Motorsport have earned themselves the reputation as one of the leaders
in Vauxhall and Duratec tuning. Si Jones makes the short trip down the
A3 to see what SBD are all about.
by Steve Broughton in 1992, SBD initially catered for the Vauxhall side
of the market, before broadening their catalogue to include Duratec
& Hayabusa kits. Prior to SBD, Steve was working for British Aerospace,
with Rallying one of his hobbies. As he got more involved, he soon made
the move from working on rally car engines in his spare time, to working
on them to make a living. Since SBD's inception 15 years ago, they have
become one of leading specialists in club Motorsport and track tuning
circles. At first it was a struggle for Steve, but it wasn't too long
before 'word of mouth' had weaved its magic and people began to utilise
his skills more and more.
a team effort down at SBD though, and Steve is joined by long-term
friend Dick Hulbert. It was Dick that provided the Rally car for
Steve to tinker with at the very beginning, and Dick now races the
SBD Duratec Westfield to 'apparently' keep Steve on his toes (The
Westy is also a development tool for SBD). Carole Torkington and
Kim Kingham buck the stereotypical view of women in places like
SBD by handling all the tricky technical queries that customers
throw at them, and they both race. Kim recently had a major shunt
at Cadwell in the OMS, breaking both ankles, and when TRC pitched
up to their premises she was showing us around on crutches. She'll
be back in the forthcoming season through, racing alongside Steve.
The OMS car utilises a popular outlet for SBD's kits in the shape
of the Hayabusa bike engine. The same level of development of testing
goes into the bike engine kits from SBD and invariably, the finished
engines find their way into single seater sprint and hillclimb cars.
made a name for itself in the world of Vauxhall tuning, and still
cater for the wide range of people using XE and Ecotec lumps. The
Vauxhall engine has a reputation for being in small number of production
engines with a large built-in tolerance to tuning. The majority of
the components are good for 250bhp, nice forged pistons come as standard,
and the bottom end is nigh on indestructible.
of the Duratec engine was spotted early by SBD, and the wheels were
soon set in motion so that the same level of expertise found in the
XE kits, was available for the Duratec too. The plus points of the Duratec
are there for all to see in terms of availability and price, but tuning
is where it has made a name for itself, and SBD have been at the forefront.
The Duratec kits (like the Vauxhall) are available in stages to suit
both budget and power requirements. The first stage is the basic taper
throttle kit that was developed around a standard Duratec engine, aside
from rod bolts and new injectors. The end result was 203bhp and 173lbft,
available for a touch over £2000. The subsequent stages deliver
more power with the additions like new cams, Omega forged pistons and
head works. The 2.0 kit can be seen in the SBD red Westy, that should
be nudging 300bhp in the very near future, with the kit available soon
behind the kits is the MBE management, of which SBD are the main distributors.
Whether you choose an ECU, for a car or bike engine, the ECUs come with
software already programmed, but can be adjusted later by the user.
The MBE units are incredibly powerful units, something that often gets
overlooked with other easy to map systems at the moment. These systems
don't offer the features of MBE, but are often sold on the back of being
easy to understand and map, but that's where the features stop. SBD
have been heavily involved with the development of the ECUs, and Steve
often finds himself out around the world mapping for race clients. The
kit is reasonably priced and the SBD OMS car uses the 992 system from
MBE, designed for the high rev demands of bike engines. As well as controlling
fuel and ignition settings, new software has been developed for clutch-less
changes and clever blipping, allowing you to concentrate on working
support for the MBE management from SBD is readily available,
and on our visit Steve was guiding a customer over the phone.
It's typical of the customer support you get from SBD, and it's
refreshing to see guys like this around. Their website is another
example of the up-front nature with the information they give out
on tuning 'do's and don'ts'. They certainly won't be giving you
hard sell, preferring to let the kits do the talking. There are
also fitting guides for products and software available for downloading
should you require it.
that SBD specialise in a limited number of engines, their work
can be seen in a wide range of cars and disciplines. Caterfields
are an always-popular segment for SBD, along with everything from
Hot Rods to Rally cars. All the necessary parts to fit the kits
into different applications be it front or rear wheel drive, is
available from stock, meaning that lead times are kept to a minimum.
SBD has a large following in the Retro Ford and Vauxhall scene
too, given the popularity of the XE, and the torque happy Duratec
(perfect for the Mk2 Escorts).
heavily involved in club racing pays dividends in a number of
different ways. All of their development work is testing in race
conditions. If something doesn't work one round, it gets refined
for the next round & so on. The knock on effect is that week
in week out testing filters down into every kit SBD sell, meaning
that the customer can be sure they're getting race tested kits,
suitable for racing or the often harsher demands of regular track
days. Another benefit of club racing involvement is that all of
their claims are on show for people to see, along with the results.
The downside is that 'egg on face' potential is high, so SBD kits
simply have to be good. Of course, getting to race frequently
is a bonus that the whole team enjoy.
guys are SBD have a great reputation in both club racing and road
tuning and a visit to their premises shows why. The development
work and testing sets them apart from the others, as does the
support you get when buying into SBD's product range. Their ethos
is refreshing in the this day and age, and with that mind, we
can't recommend them enough.
Taper Throttle Kits | Duratec
Taper Throttle Kits | Hayabusa
Taper Throttle Kits | MBE
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Motorsport Ltd, Unit 15, Red Lion Business Park, Red Lion Road, Surbiton,
Surrey. KT6 7QD. Tel: 0208 391 0121.
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