BRITISH RIDER AIMS TO RETURN LAND SPEED TITLE TO MOTORCYCLE MARQUE
Sixty years after its first success, Triumph Motorcycles has returned to the famed salt flats of Bonneville, Utah, to challenge the motorcycle world land speed record.
The British motorcycle marque is aiming to better the Federation Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) world record that stands at 376.363mph (605.7km/h), using its purpose-built 1000bhp Triumph Infor Rocket Streamliner.
Last weekend, the Triumph team set up base on the salt flats to prepare for test runs and record attempts later this month.
Riding the purpose-built streamliner over the measured mile will be Isle of Man TT racer and multiple speed record-holder Guy Martin.
Title partner for Triumph’s 2016 record attempt will be global cloud applications provider Infor, with further support from clothing brand Belstaff.
The Triumph Infor Rocket features a carbon Kevlar monocoque construction and a pair of 1485cc turbocharged Triumph Rocket III engines, which develop a combined 1000bhp at 9000rpm.
The motorcycle is almost 11m long but just 600mm wide and stands only 900mm high. Powered by methanol, the bike is classified in the Division C (streamlined motorcycle) category.
“I can’t wait to take the Rocket Streamliner on to the salt at Bonneville for the first time this summer,” said Martin.
“The Triumph engineers have built an amazing machine, giving us the very best chance to beat the two-wheeled land speed record.”
Triumph has a history of breaking the land speed record on the Bonneville flats, holding the title of “world’s fastest motorcycle” from 1955 to 1970 (apart from 33 days in 1956 when German manufacturer NSU held the record).
The famed record-breaking Triumph streamliners of the 1950s and 1960s included: Devil’s Arrow, Texas Cee-gar, Dudek Streamliner and Gyronaut X1, the former achieving a world record speed of 245.667mph (395.36km/h) in 1966.
Land speed record success was the inspiration for the iconic Bonneville name used for some of Triumph’s best-known bikes. Following Johnny Allen’s record runs at the Salt Flats in September 1956, when he reached the record-breaking speed of 193.72 mph (311.76km/h), the first T120 Bonneville model was unveiled at the Earls Court Bike Show and went on sale in 1959.
Martin will be trying to better the record set in 2010 by American Rocky Robinson, riding the Top Oil-Ack Attack streamliner, powered by twin Suzuki 1300cc engines.