Triumph and Guy Martin set for land speed attempt

By Marc Potter
marcpotter Tested every new bike since 1994, loves anything on two wheels, runs Potski Media, ex-BikeSocial boss. Recently discovered elbow-down riding - likely to end in tears.
Guy Martin

Not content with being one of the world’s most famous motorcyclists, Guy Martin is set to become the world’s fastest motorcyclist too - on a 1000bhp Triumph-powered Streamliner set to hit almost 400mph!

Triumph and Guy Martin have joined forces to attempt to break the motorcycle world land speed record which currently stands at 376.363mph. The run will take place later this month at Bonneville Salt Flats using a 1000bhp Streamliner powered by two turbocharged Triumph Rocket III engines and timed over a measured mile. And of course, it will be televised later this month as part of Guy’s TV series, Speed.

Insiders tell us that although Guy only has to hit 377mph to take the record, the team are confident the bike will hit more than 400mph+ if required.

Truck mechanic Martin said: “I can’t wait to take the Triumph Infor Rocket Streamliner onto the salt at Bonneville for the first time this summer. The Triumph engineers have built an amazing machine, giving us the very best chance to beat the two-wheeled land speed record.”

Using the term ‘motorcycle’ loosely the Triumph streamliner features a carbon Kevlar monocoque construction with the two engines making 1000bhp at 9000rpm and running on Methanol. The ‘motorcycle’ is 25.5 feet long, two-feet wide and three-feet tall. It will run in the streamlined motorcycle category known as Division C.

In a Channel four preview to the attempt which will be screened on TV, Matt Markstaller, chief engineer of the Triumph Streamliner from Hot Road Conspiracy (who are building the bike) said: “Aerodynamically this is as good as it can possibly be.”

The bike was previously tested on the salt with AMA racer Jason DiSalvo who crashed during testing in 2013 after one of the engines caught fire. Guy Martin is taking his place in the rebuilt Streamliner and was supposed to run last year but pulled-out because of his massive crash at the Ulster GP.

Guy Martin streamliner

The salt flats at Bonneville in Utah run over some 30,000 acres (46.8sq miles) and the area is so flat and vast you can actually see the curvature of the earth when stood on the salt. 

And a word of warning for Guy, It’s often so hot that the salt acts as a reflector, so much so it’s recommended to put sun tan cream on your genitals to stop them getting burnt if you’re wearing shorts.

Triumph are due to test with the bike this weekend. No date has been fixed for Guy’s record run, but we understand it will be run between August 21 and August 25.

As Bonneville is formed from a dry salt lake, bad weather means it has been too wet to run on for some time, but the latest from the SCTA (Southern California Timing Association suggests that by the time Guy gets to the salt, he should be good for a run.

A spokesman for the SCTA said last month: “We just finished up our second and final course preparation at Bonneville and the salt is improving daily. The long course has eight miles of nicely groomed salt and the nine-mile will be groomed by Speed Week. Speed Week should be a good time as long Mother Nature keeps this wonderful weather going.

Guy is already the fastest man in Britain on a bicycle when he drafted a truck to hit 112mph using pedal power alone. He also holds the record for the Wall of Death at 78.15mph.

In a shock announcement, the celebrity superstar quit racing at the Isle of Man TT this year, and has so far not raced on a motorcycle in 2016, other than a raked out Harley-Davidson chopper at Dirt Quake where he won his class!

Triumph has a history of breaking speed records too and is synonymous with Bonneville. The iconic Triumph Bonneville name was conceived after Johnny Allen hit 193.72mph at the salt flats in 1956 on a Triumph-powered motorcycle.

Triumph also held the fastest motorcycle record between 1955 to 1970 with streamliner bikes including Devil's Arrow, Texas Cee-gar, Dudek Streamliner and Gyronaut X1, the former achieving a top speed of 245.667mph.

Today's motorcycle land speed record, held by Rocky Robinson in 2010 sits at 376.363 mph, and bikes have always been a fundamental part of Bonneville. In 1910, future Salt Lake City Mayor Ab Jenkins was the first man ever to ride a motorcycle across the Bonneville Salt Flats.

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