Bill Whisenant, a great competitor on the strip or the salt and an even greater friend, died on May 21, 2020, after a nine-year battle with prostate cancer. Despite that diagnosis, Bill lived his life full throttle—literally.He was the founder and owner of Motorcycle Performance in Madison, Wisc., and a very successful businessman. As good as he was in building that business, which he launched in 1976, it was building, tuning, and competing on machines built for speed that was his passion.In 2017, he and his team from Motorcycle Performance went to the Bonneville Motorcycle Speed Trials and came back with two AMA National Land Speed Records. Nick Moore rode the team’s 750cc A-AF class W3 Ducati to a record speed of 169.426 mph and Bill rode the team’s 1000cc APS-BG class W3 Ducati to a record speed of 177.987 mph. Both of those records still stand.
Bill’s shop also boasts the quickest Ducati on the drag strip (7.99 sec. at 178.42 mph, the first to do a sub-eight second run) and the fastest Ducati on the salt in North America with a top speed of 212.959 mph.His brilliance in building speed machines was matched by his generosity in sharing his time, talent and expertise. It was his help and encouragement together with that of our mutual friend and racer, Jim Haraughty, that made my long-held dream of going to the Bonneville Salt Flats and competing in motorcycle land speed racing come true in 2009.That experience set the stage for three more trips to Bonneville and for me to set the AMA National Land Speed Record in the 350cc P/PC class in 2014. Bill and his team helped prepare the 1974 Honda CB350F that set that record, which also still stands.In the course of his treatment, Bill participated in clinical studies that will aid in the development of ever-more effective treatment for others.There will be a gathering at the Motorcycle Performance shop in Madison later in the Fall (once it is safe to do so), to share stories and memories. More details will be posted on www.motorcycleperf.com/ and the shop Facebook page as pandemic recommendations continue to evolve.His subtle sense of humor, his ability to teach, innovate, and share his experience made Bill a friend and respected mentor to a great many people.The staff of Ultimate Motorcycling magazine online sends its condolences to the family of Bill Whisenant.
Aprilia Tuono 660 Factory + Steve ’Stavros’ Parrish
byMotos and Friends by Ultimate Motorcycle
Hello everyone and welcome once again to Ultimate Motorcycling’s weekly podcast—Motos and Friends. My name is Arthur Coldwells.
Our first segment features the new Aprilia Tuono 660 Factory. Senior Editor Nic de Sena brings us his report on the flagship version of Aprilia’s upright middleweight machine. He gives us insight into whether it’s worth spending the extra money on the Factory version, and also of course, whether this sporting Aprilia is really the motorcycle for you.
The next guest segment of Motos and Friends is brought to you by the faster and most technologically advanced, 2023 Suzuki Hayabusa—one of the most iconic sportbikes ever. Check it out in person at your local Suzuki dealer now, or visit suzukicycles.com to learn more.
In this segment, Associate Editor Teejay Adams chats with (arguably) one of the most interesting Suzuki race riders of all time. the iconic RG500 alongside teammate double World Champion Barry Sheene. The two were almost as famous for their exploits off-track, as for their success on it. Those were the days! Steve also raced the Isle of Man TT for about ten years where he won 13 Silver Replicas, and got a podium finish. His insight into that particular brand of mayhem are fascinating.
But there’s waaay more to Steve Parrish than his motorcycle racing. He is also the most successful Semi-Truck racer ever, and, little known piece of useless trivia—he’s my birthday twin: 24th February. He is a natural entertainer and you can’t miss his recounting of the world’s most entertaining—and arguably terrifying—double-decker bus ride ever. If any of you were actually on that hell-ride then we’d love to hear from you!