Larrikin TT racer and TV presenter Guy Martin is finally getting a crack at setting a new land speed record in a Triumph streamliner motorcycle on the salt flats of Bonneville, USA.
In testing this week for his tilt at breaking the record of 376.363mph (605.697Km/h), set in 2010, the TT Legend has piloted the Triumph Infor Rocket Streamliner to 274.2mph (441.2km/h).
That makes it the fastest Triumph yet! The previous official Triumph record stood at 245.667mph while the unofficial Triumph record was 264mph, both set by Bob Leppan, in the Gyronaut X-1.
Just a few weeks ago, officials were considering axing the annual Speed Week for the third year in a row because of the poor layer of salt, but it now seems that all systems are go for Guy for a tilt at the outright record.
Guy is piloting a purpose-built, methanol-fuelled Triumph Rocket Streamliner in the Division C (streamlined motorcycle) category. Triumph Sport believes the machine can even break the 400mph (643.737km/h) barrier.
The Streamliner has a carbon kevlar monocoque construction with not one, but two turbocharged 2.3-litre Triumph Rocket III engines that put out a combined 750kW at 9000rpm.
Triumph has a long history of setting records at Bonneville and even named their most popular bike after the famous salt flats.
Triumph held the title of the World’s Fastest Motorcycle from 1955 to 1970 with the exception of a brief 33-day period. The record-breaking Triumph streamliners of that period were Devil’s Arrow, Texas Cee-gar, Dudek Streamliner and Gyronaut X1, the former achieving a top speed of 245.667mph (395.28km/h).
The Rocket III Streamliner was set for the record run in 2014 but it was cancelled by heavy rain.
The streamliner has been built by Hot Rod Conspiracy, in Portland, Oregon. Company owner and engineer/aerodynamicist Matt Markstaller used a wind tunnel to design the 7.6m streamliner whose body is made of lightweight carbon fibre and Kevlar and weighs only 907kg.
It is powered by the two Rocket III engines which have been shortened in the stroke to fit into the Streamliner-Blown Fuel class limit of 3 litres. However, they have been turbocharged and run on methanol to produce 500hp (372kW) each. That’s more than three times the 146hp (108kW) of the stock engine in the street-legal Rocket III.
The road machine nearly tears your arms off with its bulk power and 200Nm of torque, so you can imagine the sheer brute force of this monster. The suspension consists of front forks and a swing arm with two Ohlins TTX36 shocks in the front and three in the rear.