Classic Bike (UK) - - Classic World - Ralph Hud­son

Amer­i­can Ralph Hud­son wasn’t the fastest man at Phillip Is­land, but back in Cal­i­for­nia he is a leg­end on El Mi­rage dry lake, where he took his par­tially-stream­lined 2005 tur­bocharged GSXR-1000 Suzuki to an as­ton­ish­ing 266mph last Novem­ber. This is the fastest speed that a mo­tor­cy­cle has achieved in 61 years of speed tri­als on El Mi­rage.

A very clever en­gi­neer, Ralph built up his XR69, pow­ered by an FJ Yamaha en­gine, es­pe­cially for the Is­land Clas­sic. It was the sec­ond year he has run it at Phillip Is­land as part of Team Amer­ica. “The frame is built by Cana­dian firm CMR Rac­ing Prod­ucts,” he said, “and the en­gine is bored out to 1250cc.” Ralph also had a TD3 Yamaha at the is­land, while back home he reg­u­larly races a TR500 Suzuki with a Steve Roberts frame as well as a tiny Honda 160.

It’s easy to see that mo­tor­cy­cles rule Ralph’s life.

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