Community Land Speed Record Holder Ralph Hudson Dies From Crash Injuries

Land Speed Record Holder Ralph Hudson Dies From Crash Injuries

Ralph Hudson, FIM World Record Holder for the highest speed on a sit-on, non-streamliner motorcycle, has died from injuries sustained at the Bonneville Salt Flats. Hudson crashed his turbocharged modified Ironwood Racing Suzuki GSX-R1000 after a run on August 14 during the Southern California Timing Association’s Speed Week 2020. Unexpected wind set the motorcycle into a speed wobble, resulting in a crash at over 250 mph. Hudson spent over there weeks in ICU at the Intermountain Medical Center in Salt Lake City before dying on September 6.

Ralph Hudson Dies: Bonneville Salt Flats

The 69-year-old Hudson had been on a mission to break the 300 mph barrier for a two-way pass. In 2017, Hudson set a record of 284 mph at Bolivia’s Salar de Uyuni—the world’s largest salt flat. Set at 12,000 feet above sea level, the Salar de Uyuni course is longer than Bonneville and benefits from thinner air.

Hudson returned to Bolivia and came tantalizingly close to his 300 mph goal. Although his first run was recorded at 304 mph, his return run dropped the new record to 297 mph.

Ralph Hudson Dies: 2020 SCTA Speed Week

“It’s great to have gone 300 and to have it officially recognized, but I didn’t do two runs with an average over 300 and get an FIM World Record,” Hudson said afterward. “To know that I have a bike that was capable of doing that but not putting the two runs together is very disappointing. You know, you set your goals, and it’s disappointing if you don’t reach them.”

Hudson began his competitive motorcycle career as a road racer in the 1970s

Ralph Hudson Dies: Ironwood Racing FIM Record Holder

Hudson was the owner of Ironwood, a specialty fabrication shop in Glendale, Calif., that produced many strikingly creative works. A resident of Alhambra, Hudson is survived by his son, David, and his girlfriend, Leslie Murray. “We sincerely thank everyone for their kind words, prayers and support during this very difficult time,” Murray wrote on the SCTA Facebook page. “Ralph would want everyone to stay strong and keep going fast.”

Photography by FIM/Jean Turner

Don Williams
Don Williamshttp://www.ultimatemotorcycling.com
With 50 years of riding experience, Don Williams is a fan of all kinds of motorcycles. He enjoys sport bikes, cruisers, dirt bikes, touring bikes, adventure bikes, dual sport bikes, and rideable customs. Ask Don what his favorite bike is and he will tell you, "Whatever bike I'm on."

Honda, KTM, Piaggio, and Yamaha Sign E-Motorcycle Battery Agreement

Get ready for the Swappable Batteries Consortium for Motorcycles and Light Electric Vehicles made up of Honda, KTM, Piaggio, and Yamaha. The goal is...

Laurin & Klement Slavia B – The Birth of Škoda Motorsports 120 Years Ago

Czechs Václav Laurin and Václav Klement founded their bicycle manufacturing company in Mladá Boleslav, Bohemia, in 1895. The company, Laurin & Klement, started a...

2021 Daytona Fantasy Supercross Tips (16 Fast Facts)

The Daytona Supercross is the midway point in the 2021 Monster Energy Supercross Championship Series. There are eight rounds in the book, and there...

BMW Motorrad International GS Trophy Comes To Europe For 2022

For the first time since its 2008 debut, the BMW Motorrad International GS Trophy competition will be held in Europe. Located above the northeast...

Ultimate Motorcycling Editor’s Letter, March 2021: Vive l’automatique!

Testing the 2021 Honda Rebel 1100 DCT for this issue reminded me of something fundamental—motorcycles need to be accessible to new riders. Although we’ve...

Lieback’s Lounge: FTR—The Savior From Winter Misery?

When I found myself cleaning the tire treads on my Multistrada 1200, I knew the winter madness had returned.