Valerie Thompson set to beat the motorcycle land-speed record
To be referred to as “America’s Queen of Speed” is a feat that might require a lifetime of sweat and blood. But even after achieving a land-speed record for seven times in her lifetime already, Valerie Thompson doesn’t seem to pull back on the throttle anytime soon. She and her All American Team "7" Racing crew are traveling to Australia to break the all-time land-speed record of 376.363 mph.
The planet’s fastest female motorcycle racer will travel 8,500 miles from her hometown in Scottsdale, Arizona, all the way to Southern Australia with the BUB Seven Streamliner and her crew. They will attempt to break the land-speed record at the World Speed Trials at the 28th Annual Speed Week which is a new motorcycle-only event regulated by the Federation Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) and the AMA.
Ducati is planning a big bash for the 25th anniversary of their Monster
The history of Ducati is driven by a unique engineering talent that has always generated motorcycles of unmistakable design and most profound sporting spirit. The Monster is no different. Which is why Ducati has planned a big bash for its 25th anniversary inviting all monsteristi to a Sunday Ride Classic, 24 March at Le Castellet, France.
The busy program includes many other events celebrating Ducati’s naked machine apart from the special celebratory parade. It will include the original Monster 900 MY1993 displayed at the Ducati Museum, an exhibition of special and custom Monsters and various contests.
A Whiskey to honour the 50th anniversary of Burt Munro’s land-speed record on an Indian
This is good news for ardent fans of Whiskey, just like me. And if you are a motorcycle enthusiast also (why else would you be reading this here?), know that this is the best way you could spend your $184.71 on.
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of New Zealand’s Southland legend Burt Munro’s greatest production land-speed record, the New Zealand Whisky Collection, along with John Munro (Burt’s son) have created a batch of limited edition whiskey called the “Spirit of Munro”. (The name was given to Munro’s record-setting motorcycle.)
The ones that made motorcycle headlines in 2017
This is the last working day of 2017. And this is also the last article I will be penning down for the year. So I thought ’why not revisit all that has happened over the past twelve months which has a direct impact on the future of the motorcycle industry?’
Here is a list of every major news and launches that has coursed the path in the industry:
Honda India made a new record by selling 2 million Activas’ in just 7 months!
In 2001, Honda launched the Activa in India which became the country’s first ever four-stroke automatic scooter. Its simplistic design and engine reliability made it an overnight success, which it reaps even today, 17 years after its first launch.
Today, the brand has already rolled out its 17,000,000’th Activa from its plant in Gujarat, making it the first scooter in the country to reach such a milestone. Out of which, a whopping 2 million of them came in the last seven months alone.
Now that is some mind-boggling sales figures that are making Honda the most loved brand when it comes to automatic scooters.
Just how many people can you carry on a motorcycle? 58 says the Indian Army
Formed in 1982, team ’Tornadoes’ of the Indian Army Service Corps (ASC) already holds a total of 19 world and national records and has now added one more jewel to its crown.
Breaking a previous record of 56 men, Tornadoes carried 58 Indian Army personnel on a single 500cc Royal Enfield motorcycle for a total distance of 1200m (0.75 miles) which happened only after three attemps and two falls later.
Honda created history with 100 million Super Cubs out of its factory gates
Serving 100 million happy customers is a well-achieved milestone for any business, and no other manufacturer but Honda could have made it seem this easy. Being the first two-wheeler to cross such a mark is the Japanese Red Wing’s Super Cub that began its life way back in 1958.
Now, the moped is being made at 16 plants spread across 15 countries around the world that serves customers in more than 160 countries. That is some mind-boggling numbers considering the popularity and logistics involved with the Super Cub.
Facts About the Motorcycle Indian Will use to Break Records at Bonneville this Weekend.
There is no apprehension about the fact that Indian Motorcycle doesn’t just make luxury yachts on two wheels. This American dream production house also makes racers, trackers and land-speed record breakers.
Currently, the folks working at Indian are working "after hours" to build the Spirit of Munro 50th anniversary 2017 Indian Scout. A motorcycle that is celebrating the Golden Jubilee of Burt Munro’s 1000cc class record of 183.59mph on his Indian Scout Streamliner at the Bonneville Salt Flats.
Triumph is attempting to break the land speed record in a 1000 bhp rascal.
Motorcycle racing took shape the minute the second motorcycle was made. Then came the madness of setting speed records. Being the fastest man or building the fastest machine on the planet gave a new sense of high and want. It is intoxication indeed. Setting records for the whole world to know became a fascination and people spent all time and money into this pursuit of speed.
The oldest British manufacturer of motorcycles, Triumph, is no less. Following a successful practice session at the Bonneville Salt Flats previously, they achieved a speed of 275 mph to become the world’s fastest ever Triumph in a monstrous build and now they have confirmed the attempt to set a new outright motorcycle Land Speed World Record in 2017 at the same venue the coming weekend.
Can the LS-2?? R get back the mojo for Lightning?
Countering to the deals that lurk all around the use of combustion fuel and its effects on the environment, a greater deal of thought is gone into using alternative sources to power our vehicles, and one such company is Lightning Motorcycles. It has been involved in manufacturing electric motorcycles for almost a decade now and beams with superior efficiency, performance, and affordability than current gasoline alternatives.
Their first mass production model, the LS-218, was the fastest and most brutal machine running on electric power currently. It held three land speed records at the Bonneville salt flats including a 218 mph stint (hence the name) and many others until came the mighty Kawasaki Ninja H2R track only bike that did two mph more than the LS and snatched the throne.
Now, the company wants to get back its mojo with its second production bike, the LS-2?? R. Yes, there are two ‘question marks’ in the name but don’t worry, you’ll not have to call it so. At least not until it sets a new top speed figure at this year’s Bonneville Speed Week.
What made a record at the recently concluded El Mirage was history, repeating itself.
There is no apprehension about the fact that Indian Motorcycle doesn’t just make luxury yachts on two wheels. This American dream production house also makes racers, trackers and land-speed record breakers.
Home to Land Speed Racing (LSR) for more than half a century, it was race week at the El Mirage dry lake bed. Having speed trials there was one of the oldest American motorcycles manufacturer, Indian Motorcycle. With three of their thoroughbred machines, a 2015 Chief Classic, a 2015 Indian Scout and the 2017 Spirit of Munro Scout, the folks at Indian set out to go on trial runs and made not one but three land speed records instead.
The highlight of this event is the Spirit of Munro 50th anniversary 2017 Indian Scout. A motorcycle that is celebrating the Golden Jubilee of Burt Munro’s 1000cc class record of 183.59mph on his Indian Scout Streamliner at the Bonneville Salt Flats. And the jaw-opening part of this story is that the chaps that worked on this Spirit of Munro volunteered to be a part of this historic attempt, working on the project “after hours.”
OK so, it’s not the most important category in the world, nor is it likely to fuel demand for a new type of ride on the roads, but a world’s record is a world’s record. Kevin Scott built and rode his 200 cc motor-unicycle in an attempt to unseat American Kerry McClean as the holder of the record, and Scott’s 61.18 mph run was more than enough to leave McClean’s 57 mph effort back in ’01 in the dust.
Continue reading for more information on Scott’s ride.
Race-machine pilots of all sorts are shooting the flats in preparation for the upcoming Bonneville Speed Week, and on Monday, the 25th of July, the flats claimed another brave soul that dared to push the boundaries of possibility. Sam Wheeler spent a lifetime pursuing land-speed greatness, and is unique among the top motorcycle contenders in that he designed, built and piloted his own machines in the quest to break the 400 mph mark.
Continue reading for more information on Sam Wheeler.
British stunt rider Gary Rothwell has a new world record to call his own after setting the world wheelie speed record at the World Motorcycle Wheelie Championship at Elvington Airfield in England over the weekend. Rothwell was able to hit a top speed of 209.8 mph on just the back wheel of his bike over a distance of 1 kilometer (.62 miles), setting a new bar for aspiring wheelie riders to beat.
Setting world records has become kind of an old hat for Rothwell. Over the course of a career that has spanned two decades, Rothwell has set numerous records, including the famous “Fastest Man on Skis” stunt that saw him get pulled along on titanium skis fitted into his boots at 156.3 mph. His newest record is pretty incredible considering the degree of difficulty attached to it. Performing a wheelie isn’t that difficult for a short stretch, but when you factor in the speed and distance Rothwell did it in, it’s absolutely incredible.
Now that he’s etched his name in that proverbial stone, it should serve notice to everyone who may want to attempt to break it in the future. Gary Rothwell owns the world wheelie speed record. If you want to break, you’re going to have to do better than 209.8 mph.
Continue reading to learn more about Gary Rothwell’s new world wheelie speed record.
Daredevil Doug Danger has succeeded where his hero Evel Knievel failed to do, jumping over a record 22 cars at the Buffalo Chip in Sturgis, South Dakota.
Danger’s incredible leap to the record books was a long time coming but for what it’s worth, he made all that waiting worth it. Riding the same 1972 Harley-Davidson XR-750model that Knievel used back in his heyday, Danger made the record-setting jump look elementary, easily clearing all 22 cars with plenty of real estate for the landing.
Such was the ease of Danger’s attempt that he actually almost overshot the landing slope, hitting the part of the slope that was already close to the ground. If you think about it, the man could’ve probably cleared 25 cars and still had enough space to make a comfortable landing.
It’s undoubtedly an incredible achievement for a man who has planned this jump for years. The preparation and training to make the jump wasn’t easy and Danger is the first to tell that the road to the record didn’t come easy. But the man who has built a career from stunts like this will also tell you that this was a stunt he had to do, not just for himself but for the man he considered his mentor of sort.s
Its no accident that Danger also used a 1972 XR-750 for the jump, the same model Knievel used in his own attempt back in 1972. While it’s the same bike for all intents and purposes, Danger’s bike did have the advantage of weighing only 200 pounds, compared to Knievel’s 1972 bike that weighed 350 pounds.
People will likely point to that as the biggest reason why Danger succeeded where Knievel couldn’t. I’m here to say that’s a short-sighted way of looking at Danger’s incredible achievement. Jumping over 22 cars, no matter what you’re using, is an incredibly risky proposition.
There’s a reason why not everybody does it. Doug Danger did, and he beat the odds. That, by itself, is an achievement nobody’s going to take away from him.
Continue reading to read more about Doug Danger’s incredible leap to the record books.
The Southern California Timing Association’s (SCTA) cancellation of the Bonneville Speed Week was a legitimate blow to those aspiring to break some world records at the Salt Flats in Utah. But organizers of the Bonneville Motorcycle Speed Trials (BMST) have expressed confidence that their event will go on as scheduled from August 29 to September 3, 2015.
This is tremendous news for those vying for the glory of setting motorcycle records, including Triumph and Guy Martin’s bid to break the land speed motorcycle record. It’s great because the BMST is the official AMA-sanctioned Land Speed Grand Championship. Equally important is the fact that the event is also widely acknowledged as the place where riders can set AMA National Motorcycle and the FIM World Motorcycle speed records.
While nothing has been set in stone, members of the BMST have already made inspections of the flats and their findings seem to indicate that the affected areas look more like “salt-flats” than “mud-flats.”
That’s not exactly an automatic signal that BMST will go on as scheduled, but it is a strong vote of confidence. More tests and investigations are scheduled to take place in the coming days wherein organizers will try to lay out race courses that can serve as the staging grounds for all the record attempts that will take place at the BMST.
With the BMST confident of the event pushing through, the question begs: why exactly did the SCTA cancel Speed Week?
According to event manager Delvene Manning, every racing group (SCTA, BMST, and the Utah Salt Flats Racing Association (USFRA) abide by different requirements, including race setup and course location. Just because the SCTA cancelled its own event, that doesn’t mean the BMST will follow suit. So while Speed Week has been scratched for the second year in a row, the BMST could still hold its own event from August 29 to September 3, 2015 if the organizers find suitable locations in the vast expanse of the Bonneville Salt Flats.
A final decision is expected to arrive in the coming weeks. Cross your fingers that the BMST is green-lighted. Then we’ll get to see all the record-setting attempts that we’ve been waiting a long time for.
Continue reading to read more about the Bonneville Motorcycle Speed Trials’ chances of having an event this year.
Thomas Tomczyk has just set a new world record, becoming the first man to cover 7,856 miles in a single electric motorcycle ride.
According to Motorcycle.com, Tomczyk is right in the middle of his record attempt, having taken his 2012 Zero S electric motorcycle from Philadelphia in the US to Honda, Columbia when the record was set yesterday, August 4, 2015.That achievement is incredible enough on its own given how far Tomczyk has come on a bike that can be pretty high-maintenance when it comes to long-distance runs like this one. You would think that Tomczyk would have called it a day upon hitting the heart of Columbia, content with having his name enter the Guinness Book of World Records.
But like anybody who believes that they have a date with destiny, Tomczyk is pushing through on his goal to reach Patagonia, the southernmost tip of South America in his trusty Zero S electric bike. Achieving that goal only gets more difficult from here as Tomczyk will have to cover the remaining 3,730 miles on an electric bike that’s going to be need more nurturing as the miles rack up on its odometer.
The Zero S itself can only ride for 200 miles a day and a single charge covers just 90 miles. The trick from here on out is trying to run the bike as efficiently as possible while making stops in key locations where charging the batteries can be done with minimal complications. Apparently, Tomczyk hasn’t been picky with these charging locations, having done so in jails, schools, homes, museums, and coffeeshops. The only place he probably hasn’t charged his Zero S is a cemetery, but don’t sleep on that happening if it means continuing his record-extending joy ride.
Other than saying that the challenge will end in October, there’s no specific date on when Tomczyk will reach Patagonia so trying to keep up with his exploits could prove to be a challenge in its own right. Fortunately, Tomczyk plans to make a documentary of his record run once he completes the journey. He doesn’t have the support of a studio so he’s taken his documentary proposal to Kickstarter, asking for funds to get that project off the ground.
Right now, the page only has $950 in pledges, well short of the $15,000 Tomczyk is looking to produce the whole thing. The good news is that there are still 21 days left before the page is taken down. Let’s do our part and support the man. With what he’s trying to accomplish, Tomczyk deserves at least that.
Continue reading to read more about Thomas Tomczyk’s attempt to extend his longest electric motorcycle record run.
Part of being a successful daredevil is understanding the hazards that come with your trade and being prepared to face whatever perils that come with it. The best daredevils in the world like Evel Knievel were comfortable with that and far more often than not, that fearless attitude propelled them to successfully pull off the most death-defying stunts in history.
Daredevil Doug Danger is in that position now as he prepares for a jump that not even the legendary Knievel could pull off. At the 75th Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, Danger will attempt to clear a line of 22 cars in a single jump. It’s a stunt that’s as incomprehensible as it is dangerous. In other words, it’s the kind of showcase feat that a daredevil like Danger lives for. Should he be successful, it would be the “hello, world” moment for a stunt rider who has lived in the shadow of Knievel for so long.
Making things more interesting, or at least related to what Knievel tried and failed back in September 1972 is Danger’s decision to ride a 1972 Harley-Davidson XR-750, the very same bike Evel used in what turned out to be a failed attempt at the record.
The bike is over 40 years old so there are legitimate questions on how it’s going to handle the pressure of accomplishing something its first owner couldn’t do. For his part, Danger seems to be taking things in stride as he begins practicing for the big attempt on August 6, 2015 at the Sturgis Buffalo Chip ampitheater.
It’s hard to put into perspective the success of these practice jumps, but our concerns aren’t what’s important for Danger. It’s being able to clear all 22 cars before he lands Knievel’s XR-750 safely onto the ramp.
Make no mistake, though. There are so many things that could go wrong with this jump, no matter how prepared Danger is, as he claims. But it’s also nice to see the stunt rider exude the same level of confidence and enthusiasm into the attempt the way he did when the stunt was first announced in January 2015.
I’m rooting for Doug Danger to successfully accomplish what his long-time hero, Evel Knievel couldn’t. I’m not saying he will, but rest assured, he has our full and unwavering support.
Continue reading to read more about Doug Danger’s death-defying stunt at the 2015 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.
The Southern California Timing Association (SCTA) has opted to cancel the Bonneville Speed Week for the second year in a row, delaying Triumph and Guy Martin’s bid to reclaim the motorcycle land speed record.
The SCTA cited poor conditions of the salt bed as the reason for the cancellation. Oddly enough, it’s the same reason that forced the cancellation of the event last year. According to the SCTA, president and race director Bill Lattin and Bonneville Nationals Inc. (BNI) chairman Roy Creel event spent the entire day on the salt on July 20 to determine whether there was enough suitable surface for the race course only to find out that the longest strip of salt that could support speeding vehicles was only 2.25 miles long.
It’s a good stretch, but not enough to meet the required 3-mile limit imposed by the SCTA. Worse, the current conditions at the Bonneville Salt Flats only allowed one course to be set, far less than the minimum of three courses that have been used in past events.
Multiple reports coming out of Bonneville also said that most of the six-mile area used as one of the main courses are either covered in mud or doesn’t have enough salt to sustain the level of activity needed during the event.
All the issues puts a significant safety risk over drivers and riders looking to break records during the Speed Week, thus forcing the SCTA to once again put the clamps on the event entirely.
Among the disappointed will be Triumph and Guy Martin, who are currently in the middle of preparations to break the existing motorcycle land speed record currently held by Rocky Robinson
With the event’s cancellation, the British bike brand will now have to wait another year to have a crack at Robinson’s record, which he set back in 2010 after clocking a top speed of 376.363 mph while riding the Top Oil-Ack Attack streamliner.
Continue reading to read more about the Southern California Timing Association’s decision to cancel the Bonneville Speed Week.
Isle of Man TT legend and world-record poacher Guy Martin has finally met the Triumph Rocket Streamliner, the very machine he’s scheduled to ride as he attempts to break the motorcycle land speed record at the Bonneville Salt Flats.
The introduction between man and machine is an appropriate build-up to what promises to be one of the most eagerly anticipated world record attempts in quite some time. The motorcycle land speed record isn’t your regular run-of-the-mill record; this is the holy grail of motorcycle records that manufacturers trip over themselves to hold. UK manufacturer Triumph previously held the record but hasn’t done so in the past 45 years. If that isn’t incentive enough to take this attempt seriously, I don’t know what is.
In Martin, Triumph is putting its eggs in the basket of a man who already has numerous world records under his belt. Still, the company is making all the necessary preparations to ensure that the attempt is successful. That apparently involves arranging a meet-up between Martin and the motorcycle missile that will come packed with a pair of massive Rocket III turbo engines that can produce a total of 1,000 horsepower.
It’s nice to see Martin get acquainted with the Rocket Streamliner, if only because it’s probably the most important record he plans to break. He’s going to have to be in his A-game to break the current record of 376.363 mph that’s currently owned by Rocky Robinson. By the looks of it, Martin’s already focused on the task at hand, even getting inside the carbon fiber cockpit to get himself acquainted with the machine’s controls.
Give the Irishman credit for that. He knows how important the record is for Triumph and quite possibly for the entire UK motorcycle market. Falling short of the record would be deemed a massive disappointment for all parties concerned.
Continue reading to read more about Guy Martin’s record-setting attempt to break the motorcycle land speed record.