We ran the story in October issue of Dirt Bike. At that time F2 Racing and Steve Hengeveld were attempting to set the World Speed Record in the 500cc MPS-P-G class (where the engine requirements are stock cases, cylinder, head and carb body). We talked with Dave Simon (F2’s Honcho) about their ordeal and how everything turned out.
dave and steve
According to Dave ‘All went well for us for a first Bonneville attempt. We did set the record and after passing teardown, are in the books. Being able to set it, with one pass up and back, was an answer to prayer for 3 reasons.
One, it either worked or it didn’t. There was no idea of how these tires would work in the salt, since the thinking seemed to be opposite of everyone else out there. Also, it had to work, because there was nothing else to try if it didn’t.
Two, the salt conditions for speed and setting records haven’t been that bad for years. This year it was so bad that the streamliners couldn’t even run. One tried, but crashed at about 300 mph.
Three, the rider, Steve, had to be back in Anaheim Wednesday morning for the big Honda intro, and had to drive. So he was gone Monday night regardless of whether we could even get through all the waiting to even try.
In the end though, it was a real satisfying first attempt. The bike was built, using a passage from the bible as guidance. The passage goes, ‘trying to cut wood with a dull axe, takes great strength, be wise and sharpen the axe’.
So we made it easier to cut through the wind, instead of trying to just make more power to push through it. We found the right wheels to maintain hookup in the rough salt, while at the same time decreasing rolling resistance. We threw brains at our project instead of money.
In the end, we got all the way up to 127 MPH, with a stock bore and stroke 450 using stock exhaust, carb and running on just gas. Headwinds and slushy salt in the timing mile, pulled us down to 121.5 and 123.5 mph, but it didn’t matter, we were the world’s fastest sort’ of Indian.
So what about next year? Well, we go off to a wind tunnel in North Carolina in January to redesign the front to cut through the wind easier. We are trying for 140 MPH with Steve. Malcolm Smith may be joining the team, to set a record and Monika Sperke will attempt one on a CRF 150.
There is also a documentary in the works about next year’s effort, which will air on one of the larger channels. Let’s hope it all works out.’