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Castrol Rocket prepares for motorcycle land speed record bid


September 9, 2013

The Castrol Rocket in testing in Utah

The Castrol Rocket in testing in Utah

Image Gallery (15 images)

All of the two-wheeled machines that have held the motorcycle land speed record over the past few decades have one thing in common – they don't look like motorcycles. The latest speedster to step up to the plate is no exception. The Castrol Rocket is a 1,000-hp jet without wings that's been undergoing testing at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah in preparation for a shot at the title of world's fastest motorcycle.

Going under the full name of the Hot Rod Conspiracy/Carpenter Racing Castrol Rocket (let's just call it the Castrol Rocket), the methanol burning streamliner motorcycle is powered by two turbocharged Triumph Rocket III engines that produce more than 1,000 hp (745 kW) at 9,000 rpm and 500 lb-ft (678 Nm) of torque. The bike's aerodynamic outer skin is wrapped around a Carbon Kevlar monocoque construction and at over 25-feet long, we suspect it's not particularly easy to park.

The Castrol Rocket is the result of a collaboration between engineer Matt Markstaller, high-performance engine specialist Bob Carpenter and Daytona 200 winner Jason DiSalvo. DiSavlo will pilot the bike in its bid to break the existing official land speed record of 376.156 mph (605.697 km/h) held by Rocky Robinson in the Ack Attack streamliner.

Chris Carr was the first to break 350 mph in his BUB Seven streamliner back in 2006 and the record has been creeping north ever since: Robinson hit 360 mph in 2008, Carr took back the title with a 367 mph run in 2009 and Robinson set the current mark in 2010.

How times have changed – Glenn Curtiss set the first unofficial motorcycle land speed record in 1903 at 64 mph

But 400 mph has a nice ring to it, and it's this mark that the Castrol Rocket team eventually hopes to go beyond, though no timeframe for the attempt has yet been revealed.

If successful, the team's efforts would once again put a Triumph-powered motorcycle on the podium as the world fastest, a title which the British company held for almost a quarter of a century prior to 1970.

Source: Castrol Rocket

About the Author
Noel McKeegan After a misspent youth at law school, Noel began to dabble in tech research, writing and things with wheels that go fast. This bus dropped him at the door of a freshly sprouted Gizmag.com in 2002. He has been Gizmag's Editor-in-Chief since 2007. All articles by Noel McKeegan

Ok, its doesn't look like a dirt bike, but given its mission, it certainly looks like a motorcycle that is designed and shaped to do one thing, and that is to go fast. LSR cars don't look like cars either. Bring back the rule that says they have to be wheel-driven !

Martin Hone

I'm pretty sure this vehicle IS wheel driven.


So when does a twin ICE, engined vehicle ( two de-tuned Triumph rocket three motorcycle engines) become a gas turbine or a ROCKET ?? most rockets are chemical or gas thrust...


the triumph streamliner is wheel driven not rocket powered. the bike was at speedweek and made some shake down runs but thay had an engine fire and they where done. there is a meet at the great white dyno this week called the cooks topspeed meet where the fastest motorcycle streamliners will be trying to break the ack attack record of 367 mph it is possable that 2 or 3 of the contenders might break 400 mph. if you want to follow along the website landracing.com will be broadcasting audio from the meet starting thursday the 12th. the website will also be posting daily results. the triumph was going to be at the topspeed meet but because of there problems at speedweek they will not be there.

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