Motorcycle Land Speed Record pushed to 350 mph
By Mike Hanlon
December 4, 2006
December 5, 2006 Denis Manning’s motorcycles have been chasing world land speed records for over three decades and in September, the BUB 7 Streamliner he designed and built captured the ultimate goal when it set the new absolute motorcycle land speed record at Utah’s Bonneville Salt Flats. Rider Chris Carr piloted the BUB 7 streamliner to 354.832 mph on the down run and 346.939 mph on the return for an average speed of 350.885 mph, a new world record. Prior to the 2006 BUB Motorcycle Speed Trials the absolute motorcycle land speed record had not been broken since Dave Campos achieved his 322.149 mph world record run in 1990.
Of course, building the world's fastest motorcycle from the ground up is nothing new to Manning. In 1970 another Manning-built streamliner earned the title of world's fastest motorcycle. That machine was driven 265.492mph by legendary road racer Cal Rayborn.
In over 30 years of chasing land speed records Denis Manning, and his team, have overcome some unique challenges in order to reach success. In September 2007, they will once more return to the salt to defend their absolute motorcycle land speed title at the fourth annual gathering of the world’s fastest motorcycles, the BUB Motorcycle Speed Trials scheduled for September 2 – 6, 2007. Competitors from around the globe will again meet on the Utah’s legendary Bonneville Salt Flats. The FIM (Federation Internationale de Motocyclisme) and AMA (American Motorcyclist Association) sanctioned event is the only land speed racing meet solely dedicated to motorcycles, offering the world’s top builders and racers the opportunity to break world and national speed records.
Denis Manning, a 2006 inductee in the Motorcycle Hall of Fame, is the designer, builder, and owner of the BUB #7 streamliner – and no stranger to record-breaking speed. In 1970 another Manning-designed streamliner was the fastest motorcycle in the world. That year Cal Rayborn piloted Manning’s streamliner at the Bonneville Salt Flats to a two-way average of 265.492.
The current world-record setting BUB streamliner, the “#7” sponsored by Drag Specialties & Parts Unlimited, is so named because it is the seventh streamliner Denis Manning has designed and crafted. The streamliner features numerous engineering firsts, including a 3000cc, 425hp engine purpose-designed and built for land speed racing. Says Manning, “The goal is to continue developing and testing the #7 streamliner. We hope to retain the record at the next BUB Motorcycle Speed Trials. Our dedication and hard-work paid off this year. I have no doubt next year will be just as exciting.”