Triumph Breaks Own Record At Bonneville Salt Flats
Aims to set new land speed record for streamliners at the Bonneville Speed Weekby Ciprian Florea, on
Men have been fascinated by speed ever since the first automobile hit the streets in the 19th century and began competing for speed records as early as the late 1890s, when Gaston de Chasseloup-Laubat and Camille Jenatzy battled for supremacy in their electric vehicles. Ford became the first known automaker to set a record in 1904, while Benz, Fiat, and Sunbeam joined the battle by 1930. While the first records were set in rather conventional vehicles, contenders soon moved to drivetrains designed for aircraft and even jet engines. Triumph uses only motorcycle power for its Streamliner, but just smashed its personal record at the Bonneville Salt Flats.
Driven by Isle of Man TT legend Guy Martin, Triumph’s new Infor Rocket Streamliner hit a top speed of 274.2 mph at the Bonneville Salt Flats. Although this speed falls short of the current record for streamliners, held by Rocky Robinson at 376.3 since 2010, it’s enough to make the Infor Rocket the fastest Triumph ever built. It’s worth mentioning that the British firm’s new record was achieved during practice. Triumph aims to smash Robinson’s record during the Bonneville Speed Week that kicks off on August 13.
Triumph’s previous record stood at 245.6 mph, while an unofficial record was set at 264 mph. Both were achieved by Bob Leppan in the Gyronaut X-1.
In case you’re wondering what makes Triumph’s new streamliner fast, it features a lightweight, carbon and Kevlar monocoque construction and gets its juice from two turbocharged Rocket III engines working on methanol fuel. The mills produce a combined 1,000 horsepower at 9,000 rpm.
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Why it matters
Triumph return for a new record at the Bonneville Salt Flats was highly anticipated. The British firm has a long history of breaking the land speed record and has held the title for the world’s fastest motorcycle between 1955 to 1970 (this is why the company produces a road-going motorcycle bearing the Bonneville name). It looks as if Triumph wants to regain its former glory at this year’s Bonneville Speed Week with both Guy Martin and the Infor Rocket Streamliner apparently up for the challenge. And with the Speed Week set to return after a two-year hiatus, we’re in for quite a show at Bonneville later this month.