GUY GOES BALLISTIC
After a year’s delay, Triumph Streamliner record bid launches at Bonneville Salt Flats
Guy Martinõs assault on the motorcycle land speed record has blasted off on the Bonneville Salt Flats with a week of shakedown testing. Lincolnshireõs finest wriggled down into the cockpit of the 1000bhp Triumph Infor Rocket Streamliner to commence a series of tests ahead of the official speed record attempts scheduled to take place later this month.
Once the base camp had been set up, the team began surveying the 11-mile salt course, and reacquainting Guy with the Rocket Streamliner. Crew Chief and designer Matt Markstaller spent some time getting Guy up to speed with the controls and construction of the Streamliner, before Motec engineers joined in to talk through the digital dash display as well as discussing the Streamlinerõs throttle response and bespoke engine and steering controls.
Guy then met the rest of the team to discuss the …hlins suspension settings and to sort out his seating position within the cockpit. Once everything was sorted the team were able to let Guy start to get to grips with the Streamliner on the salt during lowspeed towing runs, giving Guy the opportunity to feel the Streamliner in motion, and practise his control inputs.
The next stage of the afternoon involved a series of braking and control exercises to help Guy get to grips with the Streamliner at lower speed Ð which didnõt appear to cause him any issues. ÒITÕS all going according to plan,ó said Guy after the first session.
By the close of day one preparations began to start the two 2294cc Triumph Rocket III engines that power the Streamliner Ð developing a combined 1000bhp @ 9000rpm. The sound of the engines echoed around the salt flats while the team ran a number of system checks. Unfortunately an undisclosed mechanical issue postponed the first powered run on the morning of day two, and the team had to tow the Streamliner back to the pits to fix the problem.
But on the dawn of day three sunrise signalled perfect conditions, and with the Rocket ready for action again the team towed Guy up the salt for an orientation run, before ripping the air asunder with the sound of the 1000bhp twin Rocket engines.
And, at just past the seven-mile marker, Guy gently eased the Rocket away under its own power for the first time, with an agreed target of hitting 80mph before slowing to a controlled stop back at the pits. After three miles Guy was travelling at a steady 95mph before throttling off at the two-mile marker and coming to a controlled stop at the base camp, with Guy apparently confirming that it felt Òspot on.ó
Guy and the team are on schedule with the test programme so far, although high winds put an end to action on day three of the test. But the weather improved on day four, and as MCN went to press testing was underway again, with the forecast for the rest of the week looking favourable.
Triumph have a strong history of breaking the land speed record, with previous record-breakers including: Devilõs Arrow, Texas Cee-gar, Dudek Streamliner and Gyronaut X1 Ðthe former achieving a top speed of 245.667mph (395.28kph). The current record has been held by Rocky Robinson since 2010 riding the Top Oil Ack Attack streamliner, at 376.363mph (605.667kph). The team is targeting the record for the Division C (streamlined motorcycle) category, and thereõs no doubt that theyõll want to set a significant new record when the bid takes place at the end of August.
The entire record bid is being filmed by Channel 4 as a continuation of the massively popular Speed with Guy Martin series, and will air shortly after the record bid.
Ôguy and the team are on schedule with the testing programme so farõ
The carbon-kevlar Streamliner is wheeled out of its transportation crate
Historic Utah venue has played host to countless landmark speed records Ôguy eased the Rocket away under its own power for the first timeõ Big power and huge speed requires meaty suspension units