Triumph Motorcycles is gearing up to break the land speed record with a little help from Isle of Man TT racer and all-round cool guy, Guy Martin. The British manufacturer’s weapon of choice for this attempt is the Triumph Rocket III Streamliner, a speed machine a bit different to the Tyco BMW S1000RR that Guy pilots on his Isle of Man pursuits. The venue, of course, is the venerable Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, US. More specifically, it is the Speedway there. And the climactic run will be held between 23rd and 27th August 2015, whenever the conditions at the constantly-shifting salt flats are at their best.
You, of course, know everything there’s to know about Guy Martin. So let’s concentrate on the other variable in this equation: the bike, if you can call it that. If you thought Triumph’s Rocket III engine is already a monster, this one is a leviathan, made by clubbing two 2.3 liter engines, and turbocharged for good measure. Triumph, obviously, will not tell us just exactly how powerful this top-secret endeavour is. All they’re telling is that it makes “more than 1000 bhp at 9000 rpm.” Sounds reasonable.
The chassis is a carbon Kevlar monocoque construction, measuring 25.5′ long, 2′ wide and 3′ tall. The whole shebang runs on methanol, and it will be competing in the Division C (streamlined motorcycle) category.
To win this record, the Triumph Rocket III Streamliner has to breach 376.363 mph (605.697 km/h), set by Rocky Robinson in 2010 on a Top Oil-Ack Attack streamliner.
Triumph has a long history of creating and breaking speed records. It famously held the title of “World’s Fastest Motorcycle” from 1955 to 1970 (with the exception of a brief 33-day period) with its streamliners Devil’s Arrow, Texas Cee-gar, Dudek Streamliner and Gyronaut X1. The Devil’s Arrow had a top speed of 245.667 mph (395.28 km/h), an unprecedented speed in those times, even for a streamliner.
And just in case you were wondering, the Triumph Bonneville gets its name from Johnny Allen’s land-speed record runs at the Salt Flats in September 1955, when he reached a record breaking speed of 193.72 mph (311.762 km/h).