Triumph has confirmed that motorcycle racer Guy Martin will pilot its Rocket III
Streamliner in a new land speed record attempt at the Bonneville salt flats in
late August. The Triumph team has to beat the current record of 376.363 mph
(605.697 km/h) if it wants to bring the coveted title back to the UK after an absence
of 45 years.
It takes a certain kind of person to take on Land Speed Record (LSR) racing. When you’re doing 300 mph (482 km/h), or more, things can go real wrong, real fast. Now imagine doing that on a motorcycle. Now imagine going over 400 mph (644 km/h) and you can see just how daunting, if not down right crazy, the task is.
The recent discovery that a motorcycle made by a gun manufacturer has held the outright world record for the most expensive motorcycle ever sold at auction for the last 12 months raises some interesting contrasts between the different genres in the collectibles market. The bike has an instantly recognizable name, but it’s a name that even the most learned of motorcycle historians would struggle to associate with a motorcycle. As reported in the The Star
newspaper of DaKalb County, Indiana, on Saturday evening, August 31, 2013, a 1910 Winchester motorcycle sold at Worldwide Auctions for US$580,000. Though the story has been in plain view for more than 12 months, the world has remained oblivious until now.
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.
The Bullet Buckeye team from Ohio State University has set a world record average two-way speed of 307.7mph (495km/h) with its battery electric Venturi Buckeye Bullet 2.5. The lithium ion battery powered car eclipsed the previous 245mph (394km/h) world land speed record for battery electric vehicles set in 1999 by White Lightning. The new record was set by the Bullet at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah this week, is pending certification by the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), the worldwide motor sports governing body.
Looking more like a long, blurred, red flash than a motorcycle, the BUB 7 Streamliner is now the fastest motorcycle on earth (pending FIM verification) after Chris Carr set a new FIM world record and AMA national record at 367.382mph (591.244kmh) through the mile - and an exit speed of 372.534mph (599.534kmh) - at the Cook Private Meet at the Bonneville Salt Flats Utah. It probably also makes Carr one of the bravest men on the planet. BUB 7 beat the previous record of 360.913mph (580.833kmh), set by Team Ack Attack last year. We originally covered the BUB 7 when it broke through the 350mph
(563km) barrier back in 2006.
Electric motorcycles, while economical, technologically fascinating and environmentally friendly, are unlikely to light a fire under the average petrolhead until they start tickling our inner hooligans... Which is why we're hanging out to throw a leg over the Mission One electric superbike
. Fresh from its first run at the Isle of Man TTXGP, this battery-powered beast pulls power wheelies from faster than freeway speeds, handles like a dream and can top 150 miles on a battery charge. And the latest feather in the Mission One team's cap is a national AMA land-speed record for electric motorcycles. Product Manager and test rider Jeremy Cleland pushed a production prototype - with the same powertrain that customers will get off the shelf in late 2010 - to a top speed of 161mph (259kph) and a two-way land speed record of 150.059mph (241.5kph) in poor conditions and high winds at Utah's Bonneville salt flats. Excellent.