For The Record Books

A wonder down under

The Thunder 400 drag race in Australia is a series of races Down Under that takes place on three different tracks. It is an International Hot Rod Association (IHRA) sanctioned series.
As drag series go, it generally offers all the lights, sounds and excitement fans expect. In late February, it offered something completely different, a push race.
Maurice Allen and Ryan Learmonth lined up. Their bikes thundered. They had the obligatory burnouts. The Christmas Tree lit up. Clutches popped, throttles ripped and both bikes pretty much stopped.
The announcers went ballistic as Allen rolled out to a 40-45 yard lead. That's when he leapt off the saddle. Learmonth’s ride died almost at the start.
The two riders pushed their $150,000 bikes all the way down the track. Learmonth tightened the gap, but it wasn’t enough to cover Allen’s lead off the line.
It may be the slowest time ever recorded in a drag race at over 10 seconds each.
Allen crossed the line and knelt by his ride. When his crew rolled it away, he leaned over the retaining wall for a few moments.
Check out the video here.

Stretch bikes and handstands

Most of the time cops take a dim view of people doing stunts on public roads on motorcycles.
In Pakistan that’s not the case for one rider. Ali Jigro is both a police officer and a rider. He’s also a mechanic and has built a 16-foot motorcycle.
He’s now set his sights on a new world record, longest time standing on the saddle while driving the bike.
“I have made this motorbike from scratch and I’ve worked really hard for it,” he told Caters News. “I made this motorbike for the world record.”
Check out his bike and some of the stunts so far here.

Haulin’

So what’s the fastest anyone has ever ridden a two-wheeler? As of this writing, it’s Rocky Robinson, a two-time record holder. He hit 376.363 miles an hour on the Bonneville Salt Flats out west.
He was running Top Oil-Ack Attack streamliner with 2,600 cc and twin Suzuki engines. That’s same make and model he used to set the record in 2008, doing 360.913 MPH. Chris Carr on a BUB Seven streamliner took the record away for a year and a day. His speed was 367.382 and was a BUB/Sierra Design V4.
The first official record was set in 1903 in Yonkers, NY, by Glenn Curtiss on Curtiss V-2. He hit 103 MPH, impressive at the time, but nothing unusual today. The bike was 1K cc.
Every record since 1956 was set in Bonneville. The flats are the world’s best location for land speed trials. Check out all the land speed records here.

Pushin’ the horses

For the biggest motorcycle engine out there, look at power plants made specifically for bikes. Cross breeds, dropping a car motor into the frame, shouldn’t count. Custom motors also shouldn’t count. Stock, commercially available motors is the criteria.
So the record-setter here is the Triumph Rocket III. At 2,294 cc, the Rocket III turns out 163 foot-pounds of thrust. Some cars come with engines less powerful than this. It comes with a six-gallon tank and highway mileage of around 25 miles per gallon.
Check out the Rocket II family line here.

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