Triumph Crashes During Land Record Speed Attempt; Postpones Attempt Due To Course Conditions at Bonneville
Challenging world speed records can be tricky, especially when factors outside of your control step in to make things more complicated. That was the case during Triumph Motorcycles’ land speed record attempt at the Bonneville Salt Flats when tricky course conditions brought about by continuous rain in the location over the past few weeks resulted in an incident that led to the postponement of the record-setting attempt.
Although it didn’t specify the severity of the incident and the damages incurred by its Infor Rocket Streamliner, Triumph did say that the ride “lost traction on a damp section of the salt surface,” causing the machine’s rear end “to step out of line.” The streamliner is now expected to undergo a full inspection before it takes another crack at setting the world record.
Fortunately, rider Guy Martin wasn’t injured from the incident and is expected to take the wheel of the streamliner when it returns to the Salt Flats to attempt to set the land speed record. When that’s going to be is the tricky question. The team said that it plans to resume the record attempt once conditions allow it, but conditions at the Bonneville Salt Flats has become increasingly unpredictable in recent years as a handful of events have been called off, including the 2014 and 2015 editions of the Bonneville Speed Week event.
Absent of further details, all that’s left for is to sit and wait for updates from the team.
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Triumph Breaks Own Record At Bonneville Salt Flats
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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The Triumph TR7 was a sports car manufactured from September 1974 to October 1981 by the Triumph Motor Company, part of British Leyland, in the United Kingdom. It was initially made at the Speke, Liverpool factory, moving to Coventry in 1978 and finally to the Rover plant in Solihull in 1980. The car was launched in the United States in January 1975, with the UK home market debut not following until May 1976. The UK launch was delayed at least twice because of high demand for the vehicle in the US.
The Triumph TR8 was an eight-cylinder version of the "wedge-shaped" Triumph TR7 sports car, manufactured by BL Ltd., British Leyland, and then Jaguar/Rover/Triumph. The majority of TR8s were sold in the United States and very few genuine TR8s exist in other countries. The TR8 was often dubbed as an "English Corvette".