Tales From Bonneville, The Quest For The World Speed Record

Photos and captions courtesy of F2 Racing’s Dave Simon


Welcome to one of the most beautiful places on earth in the morning. This is about 6:30 AM. Sometimes when you get there, and you see it and know you’re becoming a part of history by running for a record, you can’t help but get the goose bumps.

It looks like the moon, it looks like snow. The salts surface isn’t as smooth as you think and it usually robs power and speed over asphalt. You have to run top speed for a mile as your speed is determined by distance divided by time. So if you think you can get a 125 mph timing slip because you hit 125 on the asphalt for a second, you may be in for a surprise. There were two other dirtbikers that came out this time and that was great. 117 mph and 90 mph were their top speeds at the time I left to come home. Maybe they found some more afterwards.

Unfortunately, this is how most of your time is spent. Waiting. And it’s frustrating because you don’t see anything going on and your not sure what is taking so long. Come to find out, most of the entrants get there the first day and are gone by the third day, leaving the last 3 days moving along much quicker.

Finally, it’s go time. You do get excited again every time the starter waves the flag. And you can’t wait to get your timing slip. We ran a 132 down and a 129.5 back because of head winds. Last year we set the record with a 121.5 average and this year a 130.5 average. Not to bad of an increase. This was the ‘R’ model. We went 119.98 on the ‘X’ model we race in the desert. So even if someone came along after we left and beat us, we still have the worlds fastest 450 R and 450 X for the time being. It’s all about motor development for the customer.

To the victor goes the spoils, or at least the Red Bull. Steve, being a Red Bull athlete, wasn’t to happy when he found out he forgot to bring a case of the energy elixor. I think  paying for that one in his hand was killing him. Now, you get to tear down to make sure your not cheating and hope you keep it.

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