UPDATED SEPTEMBER 30: Bad weather has forced the postponement of a land speed record bid to 2015.
Triumph was determined to make 2014 the year they reclaimed the world motorcycle land speed record they held from 1955 to 1970 for all but 33 days. However, heavy rain caused a postponement earlier this month and now cancellation of the bid until 2015.
The weapon they hope to reclaim the world record is the Triumph Rocket III Streamliner with not one, but two, Rocket III 2.3-litre triple-cylinder engines strapped into the svelte missile-shaped machine.
The Triumph Rocket was tested last year at Bonneville in bad weather, and was due to make its official bid on Otcober 5-10 to break the record held by Rocky Robinson in the Ack Attack streamliner at 376.156mph (605.364km/h). More than that, they hoped it would become the first motorcycle to break the 400mph (643.737km/h) barrier.
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 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 imagien 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.
The Triumph Rocket III streamliner was to be ridden – should we say “piloted” – at Bonneville by Daytona 200 winner Jason DiSalvo who rode a Rocket III to a speed of 175mph (281km/h) on the famed salt flats in 2012. It is unclear if he will be the pilot next year.