• A 1980 Yamaha at 113 mph running on VODKA

A land speed record by a Distillery owner, albeit for 72 hours

A few months back, we brought you a piece of a motorcycle powered by Patron Tequila. It was John Paul DeJoria’s "special" one-off 2008-2009 Arlen Ness and Victory motorcycle that runs on…wait for it… Tequila.

Another distillery owner has gone ahead and broken a world record with his alcohol powered motorcycle, this time, it with the Russian favorites, Vodka. The bike running on this elixir - a custom 1980 Yamaha XS850 and it an impressive 113 mph at Utah’s Bonneville Salt Flats Motorcycle Speed Trials on August 26.

A 1980 Yamaha at 113 mph running on VODKA Exterior
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Ryan Montgomery, the founder of Montgomery Distillery situated on the Montana landscape, took his custom built 1980 Yamaha XS850 to the Speed Week at Bonneville Salt Flats, where speed junkies from all over the world will land on this 10 mile stretch in the pursuit of holding the title for the fastest man and machine.

Nicknamed after the distillery’s rye whiskey “Sudden Wisdom”, the bike has been modded to run on ethanol distilled right in Missoula, made from wheat grown on the Montgomery farm. “It’s almost voodoo magic that it actually works” explains the folk who made it. The bike has been completely hand-built for six months by Ryan Montgomery himself after finding it abandoned in a field.

A 1980 Yamaha at 113 mph running on VODKA Exterior
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On the record day, the bike ran at an average of 113mph and beat the 98 mph record that was held in the MPS-CF 750 class, one specific to the 650cc to 750cc motorcycles running on alternative fuel. The fuel used was the vodka ’heads’, vodka too impure to drink and usually thrown out after the distilling process. It does, however, prove to be a good source of clean-burning ethanol. The team produced around 10 gallons of the vodka to be used as fuel.

Unfortunately, this record was beaten within 72 hours by Dennis Weinhold, a rider who managed to reach 140mph on his 1974 Honda CB750. We are not sure which alternative fuel was used by him. ’I had figured that might happen,’ Montgomery told the Montana Standard. ’I got to be the record holder for about 72 hours, and that’s good enough for me.’

A 1980 Yamaha at 113 mph running on VODKA Exterior
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Nonetheless, 113 mph on a machine running on Vodka is certainly something I would go around yapping about. Tequila and now Vodka. What next?

Sagar Patil
Sagar Patil
Motorcycle industry expert since 1997! - sagar@topspeed.com
Over the years, a deeper conscience of machines moving body and soul has given him a crisp grasp over the concepts of motorcycling. A sucker for details and common sense, he loves getting his hands dirty every once in a while. His love affair with motorcycles ushers in the specialist skillset making Sagar our go-to expert for everything on two-wheels.  Read full bio
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