Bonneville Salt Flats: AMA Land Speed Starts

Salt Flat Racing

Some of the fastest motorcyclists in the world take to the Bonneville Salt Flats today as the 2010 AMA Racing Land Speed Grand Championships kick into high gear near Salt Lake City.

The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) will certify numerous land-speed records expected to be set at the event, in classes featuring everything from 50cc mini-bikes to 2,000cc-plus purpose-built high-speed motorcycles.

Joe Bromley (AMA Director of Racing) says: "From the venue to the machinery, land-speed racing is one of the more unique types of motorcycle competition, and the AMA Racing Land Speed Grand Championships, promoted by BUB, is the sport’s premier event."

"There is a lot of thrilling action on the salt this week on many different levels. No question about it, land-speed racing is so engaging because each class has its own competitive landscape, with different personalities vying for the top of the box."

One battle that is capturing a lot of attention in 2010 is the race for the top time for a sit-down motorcycle. Richard Assen and 2008 AMA Female Rider of the Year Leslie Porterfield are two of the top competitors for this honor, which recognizes the fastest one-way run on a traditional-styled sportbike rather than a purpose-built, streamlined land-speed racer.

Last year, Porterfield achieved the feat with a pass of 240.382 mph in the 1350-APS-BF class. However, Assen claimed the class record, which is based on an average of two runs in opposing directions, with an official time of 236.01 mph.

Joe Bromley says: "Interest also is running high in our electric-powered classes. Several competitors are eager to establish records with this new, non-traditional technology, and it is an area that is ripe with innovation."

"That isn’t limited to the electric classes, though," he added. "You can spend an entire day just checking out amazing technology in the pits, all designed for one purpose: to simply go as fast as possible."

The current outright motorcycle land-speed record is held by seven-time AMA Grand National Champion Chris Carr, on the Denis Manning-built No. 7 streamliner.

Carr upped the record last year with a two-pass average of 367.382 mph in Bonneville’s measured mile. The previous record was 360.913, set by rider Rocky Robinson and builder Mike Akatiff in 2008.

Current records for all classes can be downloaded here.

The AMA Racing Land Speed Grand Championships run through Thursday, Sept. 2. Results will be available at and following the event.