Triumph Land Speed Record Attempt
Bonneville. For any motorsports enthusiast, it’s name is synonymous with speed, or at least the pursuit of it. And Triumph holds the Bonneville salt flats closer to its heart than most. This sentiment grew after Triumph Infor Rocket Streamliner became the world’s fastest Triumph with a speed of 274.2 mph. At the controls? Isle of Man TT legend Guy Martin.
Besides completing this new Triumph record earlier this month during Bonneville Speed Trials practice, the Hinckley brand will return in attempt to break the current motorcycle land speed record in mid-September.
Marting will once again try his hand at the current 376.8 mph speed record on the 11-mile long course. The most recent practice speed trial, though successful, was met with some limitations. Triumph’s team felt that the salt wasn’t stable enough to support a fully-unhinged streamliner run. But all is not lost, and after much discussion with FIM course manager Mike Cook, Triumph and co. will return to the hallowed grounds in September – they expect the course to be in optimal conditions.
On Tuesday, August 9, the Triumph Infor Rocket Streamliner achieved an astonishing 274.2 mph. Martin is certainly no stranger to speed, but nothing quite like this. That harsh truth rings ever so loud when we consider that during the practice week, his primary goal was to master the controls of the Streamliner that creates 1000 base horsepower from it’s twin Rocket II engines – a task that he managed to complete quite admirably. With confidence behind Triumph, Martin, with the support of Crew Chief and designer Matt Markstaller, as well as their team, all have now set their sights on mid-September for the next attempt.
Markstaller shared some about their feelings: “We achieved a great deal during our test week at Bonneville and feel we are in a great position to move ahead with our record attempt. Guy settled into the streamliner very quickly and impressed us with the speed in which he mastered both the motorcycle and riding on the salt.
“While conditions were some of the best I have seen over the last few years, we feel there is still some room for improvement. When chasing a record such as this on two wheels the conditions have to be the very best they can be, to give us the greatest chance of achieving the speeds we require to set a new record. We feel that waiting a few further weeks will provide us with even better conditions and put us in the ideal position to make our record attempt.”
The Triumph 2016 record attempt is supported by title partner global cloud applications provider Infor, with further support from iconic clothing brand Belstaff.
The Triumph Infor Rocket is a purpose built machine and while the speeds it can achieve are remarkable, the engineering is even more so. Featuring a carbon Kevlar monocoque construction, with two turbocharged Triumph Rocket III engines, capable of producing 1,000 bhp at 9,000 rpm sitting at its heart; the Triumph Infor Rocket Streamliner is something of a modern marvel. 25.5 feet in length, 2 feet wide and 3 feet tall, the methanol powered bike is competing in the Division C (streamlined motorcycle) category.
A pursuit of speed is in Triumph’s nature. The brand maintained the title of ‘World’s Fastest Motorcycle’ between 1955 and 1970, from reports. The record-breaking Triumph Streamliners included: Devil’s Arrow, Texas Cee-gar, Dudek Streamliner and Gyronaut X1, the former achieving a top speed of 245.667 mph (395.28 km/h). Today, the record is held by Rocky Robinson who rode his Top Oil-Ack Attack streamliner to a breathtaking 376.363 mph, back in 2010.
The iconic Bonneville name was conceived following Johnny Allen’s land-speed record runs at the Salt Flats in September 1956, when he reached the record-breaking speed of 193.72 mph. The first T120 Bonneville model was unveiled at the Earls Court Bike Show and went on sale in 1959.
As mentioned before, the Bonneville salt flats and Triumph are forever intertwined – their most iconic line has earned its namesake from the 11-mile long course, thanks to Johnny Allen and his 193.72 mph run. Shortly thereafter, the T120 Bonneville rolled out onto showroom floors, spear heading a movement in motorcycling that continues on to this day.
To follow the progress of the world land speed record attempt, please visit Triumph Motorcycles.