It was almost a year ago when Triumph Motorcycles announced that they were attempting to set a new land speed record at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, USA with Isle of Man TT legend Guy Martin at the helm. And a specially built streamlined motorcycle producing 1,000hp was to be the weapon of choice. But as fate would have it, Martin suffered a massive motorcycle crash while racing and the record attempt was indefinitely postponed. Triumph has recently announced that they’re back at Bonneville this month with a recovered and fit Martin to finally finish what they had originally planned – to break the standing record of 605.69kph!
Triumph has had a long history with setting top speed records and barring a brief 33-day period, have held the title of 'World’s Fastest Motorcycle' between 1955 and 1970, with such exotically named streamlines like Devil's Arrow, Texas Cee-gar, Dudek Streamliner and Gyronaut X1. In fact, the iconic Bonneville name (for the company’s motorcycle range) 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 311.76kph.
Their latest creation to take on the current top speed record, rather unimaginatively called the Rocket Streamliner, is powered by two 2.3-litre motors borrowed from the Triumph Rocket III and tubocharged for good measure. With a combined 1,000hp on tap coming in at 9,000rpm and a massive torque figure of almost 680Nm, this 25.5-foot long carbon aerodynamic Kevlar monocoque machine certainly seems to have the grunt to get into the record books.
Triumph original attempt with the Rocket Streamliner was planned in 2014, but technical problems during testing forced them to withdraw from the Bonneville Speed Week at the last minute. So far though, things are looking good for the 2016 attempt. Maybe third time’s the charm?