fastest motorcycle

Discussion in 'General Discussion / News / Information' started by Blister, Sep 26, 2009.

  1. Blister

    Blister Ol'Timer

    367 MILES per HOUR

    Powered by Manning's own design engine -- a 3-liter, V-4 turbocharged 16-valve dual overhead cam engine, the "Seven" Streamliner produces over 500 horsepower to the rear wheel and over 400 lb/ft of torque. Constructed out of mostly carbon-fiber, the machine measures 21 feet in length, is only 22 inches wide, and weighs a mere 1600 pounds ... attle.aspx
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  3. SilverhawkUSA

    SilverhawkUSA Ol'Timer

    Thanks for that Blister-

    I think you knew I would be interested. I hadn't seen that story.

    As you know, this was the World's Fastest Motorcycle in 1966-1970.


    So in 40 years, they have increased the speed by about 100mph. I know well how difficult it is to make any gains at the salt flats, but I am not sure I find that too impressive.

    The main problems are the altitude of the location, difficulty in getting traction, and the fact that top speed must be held for a full mile. A lot of engines turn into hand grenades. Considering the gains in other forms of racing, I guess it shows how difficult it really is. :?
  4. tonykiwi

    tonykiwi Ol'Timer

    Do they have a land speed record for a Motor bike that actully looks like a motor bike?
  5. SilverhawkUSA

    SilverhawkUSA Ol'Timer

    A good friend of mine on his MV. 195mph, AND he is 70 years old in this photo. :p

    There are many classes for different types and c.c. of bikes. But, just like the cars, the overall land speed record holder doesn't look anything like what one would call a normal race car.
  6. tonykiwi

    tonykiwi Ol'Timer

    Nice picture Dave and thanks for the explanation of the various classes.

    I am not trying to be pedantic either, I am trying to work out what it is that makes such a machine a motorcycle. Does he sit astride? Does it have handlebars? Does the fact that it is a machine with only two wheels make it a motor bike? Reading the guff on the 3 litre job, very little points to it being a motor bike in the sense I am used to.

  7. Pikey

    Pikey Ol'Timer

  8. SilverhawkUSA

    SilverhawkUSA Ol'Timer

    No problem Tony. But you may regret getting me going on this topic. :lol:

    Basically it is as simple as it looks. Two wheels = motorcycle. There was a debate back in the 1960's when Craig Breedlove set the World Land Speed Record with the Spirit of America. It looked like a jet fighter, jet powered, without wings. It had three wheels and some argued it should be classed as a motorcycle (trike).

    The motorcycles are classified by; Engine= size and type (stock or altered), Fuel= gas or other. Frame= stock or altered. Open bike, partial-streamlined or streamlined. Now, computate the number of combinations that can be had and you see that there is a plethora of classes.

    Looking at the motorcycles at the link in Blister's post you can see that, as in all forms of racing, technology and big dollars have taken over.

    Back in my day (I never thought I would be saying that, where did the 40 years go?) the Triumph-Detroit Gyronaut X1 was genius in it's simplicity. Triumph-Detroit was the largest Triumph dealer in the U.S. The owner, Bob Leppan, was a drag racer and had a twin engine powered cycle called The Cannibal. Revolutionary for it's time. The Triumph engine, pre-1963, used a seperate engine and gearbox, ala HD. Bob linked the two engines by a chain drive and then drove them through a seperate gearbox (also connected by chain), all in line. This was the package the Gyronaut was built around.

    Originally Ford Motor Company designer Alex Tremulus helped design the streamlined shell and some of the mechanics, including the use of a gyro stabilizer, planned around using a small block Ford V8. This all became too complicated and was a bastard as far as hoped for sponsorship. Was it a two wheel car or a motorcycle? So the Triumph engines prevailed. A gyro was never developed.

    The frame was built of tubular steel by a Detroit company, Logghe Stamping, who at that time were well known in the construction of automotive dragster frames.

    The wheels were spoked Triumph wheels with drum brakes. No discs at that time. The biggest advantage the Gyronaut had was the fact Goodyear was obtained as a sponsor and produced special slick hard rubber (tubed) land speed tires. One of the problems today for all high end vehicles in LSR attempts is obtaining tires that can withstand the high speeds.


    An air tank was mounted in the nose, connected to two pneumatic cylinders which raised and lowered a small leg/skid on each side at the rear to stop it from falling over.

    The rider sat in a position similar to a F1 car, except for the fact the knees were slightly raised and the handlebars passed UNDER the legs, to get a lower center of gravity. It used a twist throttle and a clutch lever. Bob said one of the most difficult parts of driving was getting accustomed to the steering. As you could not really lean you had to remember which way to turn the bars, and it varied at different speeds. What??? (always stirs up a discussion). At speed on a motorcycle, slowly push or pull with one hand on the bars. Pull with your right hand, you will turn left. Push with your right hand you will turn right, and vise versa. We do this without thinking usually. Try it.


    In 1969 the engine package was replaced with a single Triumph Trident 3 cylinder 750cc to attempt a record in that class. It never seriously attempted that record. In 1970 HD took the record away and Bob Leppan tried to get it back with a modified version of the twin engines. A crack in the frame caused the front suspension to fail and after the nose hit the ground the Gyronaut piroutted into the air at 270mph. Leppan severed his right arm, almost losing the arm, but it was saved by numerous surgeries. The Gyronaut was mostly destroyed and never ran again.

    All Triumph motorcycles produced during this time period had a sticker on the frame; "World's Fastest Motorcycle" :)


    Thanks Jeff, you and I must have hit the "submit" button at the same time. Good information. :lol:

    It again shows that obtaining record speeds is not as easy as it looks. Many guys claim their "showroom" bikes can go as fast on the highway. Doing it in an actual event for a 1 mile distance is a little more difficult. :roll:
  9. cdrw

    cdrw Ol'Timer

    As SilverhawkUSA suggested, maybe technology hasn't produced comparatively vast leaps in motorcycle land speed records.

    Riding an Indian motorcycle which was over 80-years old and modified in his garage, Burt Monro, at the age of 67, set a class record of 183.586 mph in 1967.
    To qualify he made a one-way run of 190.07 mph!

    The very watchable movie "The World's Fastest Indian" portrays Munro's life and accomplishments. ... /munro.htm

    OTOH, the land speed record for a mere pedaled bicycle is 152mph!
    The bicycle company I use to work with was one of the sponsor's of John Howard's land speed attempt at Bonnevile Salt Flats.
    At the time, we exclusively sponsored John and also made some signature road bikes bearing his name.
  10. KZ

    KZ Ol'Timer

    Yep, one of my favorite movies, "The World's Fastest Indian" with Anthony Hopkins, a very charming as well as exciting movie, must see!

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