Bonneville 2010, 182.411mph a New Record!

After 2009 BUB, we had some work to do. A new firewall made of steel and some modifications to the roll bar to improve my visibility were the first things. We moved the ballast on the chassis and built a new seat.
 Talking with people can sure help get the idea factory going and I talked to lots of people who know more than I do about going really fast. I got hold of one of Nate Jones's great tires for the rear of the liner for better traction. A stiffer rear spring was installed to stop the rear end from squatting, we added a fender to better protect the shock. I also added wheel discs to each wheel, I hoped to stop the pumping effect of the three spoke cast wheels. We changed the gearing, but I'm not telling exactly what we are running just yet. After many conversations with people that know Suzuki 1000's, I decided to build a new engine. I chose a 05 GSXR from a crashed bike and got to work. I reached out to my fellow SDRC member and all around Fast Guy, John Noonan, and I followed every tip he gave me to build a solid and fast motor. It's a shame that I didn't take a picture of the beautiful Rods and Pistons from Wossner, they are that nice!
 We were heading to Bonneville with my wife, her brother Larry Judd and Danny Wheeler. Both of whom spent allot of time in the shop with me, helping get the bike ready. We were meeting up with my sister Felicia and her husband Alan, they were planning to ride their Ducati Monster in "run what you brung" to see what the fun was all about. We also had a group of sidecar folks that were going to pit with. Bob Bakker, Larry Coleman and Warren Ryan, they run "Shockwave" a turbo Hyabusa outfit. Bob has raced sidecars in Europe and the US and has been on the salt since the fifties, he knows everyone, and has built many fast solos and outfits including Shockwave. Larry also has raced all over the world on three wheels and is a multiple national title holder and driver of Shockwave. Ryan is Larry's passenger, a lifelong rider and passenger, yup he likes to go fast too!  Rick and Nyda Murry were out, bringing their LCR/Suzuki roadrace outfit for the second year on the salt, Rick has been the national champ 4 times I think. Obviously they are a huge help to our team and are a fantastic source of help, ideas and support.
 We had some small things to fix after our outfit was inspected and once our AMA technical team signed us off we were ready to race! We soon found a few more things that while not safety problems were not part of our game plan. The most difficult was the dash board did not work, therefore no tachometer, shift light, oil pressure..... well you get the idea. I found the source of the problem eventually and unfortunately could not repair the problem. I would have to run without the dash panel and shift by ear.
 We got in line at the start to run and waited, waiting is a part of racing, but at Bonneville it is an art form. My first run felt  pretty good, but once in the measured mile I could feel the engine begin to miss and the power seemed to fade. I got through the mile and off the track. Once I stopped I could smell steam and I figured I boiled the water out of the engine. We returned to the pit and started looking for the new problem, a hose had come off! We refitted the hose checked the others and then refilled the cooling system. Tomorrow would be a better day, or so we thought. Rain overnight and into the morning softened the salt and I sat waiting, unsure if it would be safe to run. After Larry returned from a run I knew it would not be a good day for us to run, just too slippery. I was encouraged when the skies cleared and the wind began to blow, drying the salt on the track. We looked forward to the next day being better, we hoped anyway.
 We were on the salt early the next morning and along with a hundred or so cars and trucks wheel packed the track to improve the surface. At last we were ready to run again, but the wind was gusting and very unpredictable. Not safe for streamliners, so we sat, third in line, for the remainder of the day. Having only one more day of racing, things were getting a bit tight. The good news was we would be allowed to run first in the morning, well 2nd actually but I was OK with that. Plus we had time for Warrens son Craig to build a push bar for Bob Backers van that would then push me to the start keeping the engine cool until I was ready to run.
 The next morning we were at the start and ready. Sitting behind Max Lambky's "Black Lightning" streamliner. They launched and we got busy. I was all set and running I pulled in the clutch and "Ping" the cable end parts from the cable and I got no clutch! Arrggg! I shut it down and raise the canopy, a quick discussion of our options and my friends said they would push start me and I could then drop it in gear, problem solved! The run felt pretty good until I got to the traps and again I could feel that the engine was loosing power. I ran it through the mile and shut it down wondering what was next, did I go fast enough to qualify for a return run? Did I have another mechanical problem?
 I got word from the track workers that I'd in fact run fast enough and should go to impound to discuss my situation with the guys at Tech. Bob came along and pushed me back to the pits and impound with his "Boogie Van", what a god send that push bar turned out to be. I spoke with Tech and was cleared to "replenish consumables", i.e. water. I waited as long as I felt we could and then requested my return run. I was cleared to push out to the start along with Max's liner and see if we could keep it together long enough to set a record, I was sure the outfit was fast enough, but would it take another run and overheating cycle? We would just have to cross our fingers and let it rip.
 We got lined up and were ready before Max and his team and they were nice enough to allow us to run ahead of them. I took it easy for a while slowly building speed and once in 5th I pinned it and hoped, I shifted into 6th with a little less than a mile to the traps and held it wide open. A small gust of wind caught me and pushed me to the edge of the course, I caught it just in time and got back to the middle at the start of the measured mile. The whole overheating cycle started again about half way through the mile and I just hung on and prayed. I saw the finish line flash past and eased out of the throttle, I pulled the chute and got slowed down and off the course. I rolled up to the course workers tent and one of them came running out to greet me with the news I'd qualified for a new record it was time to go to impound for inspection. WoooHoooo the engine survived it and now it was just the paperwork. The whole crew drove out to meet me, along with our new friend Murph (Google;wherethehellismurph) rode up to take some photos of some very happy people and one very fast streamlined sidecar!
 Once at impound we waited our turn to be measured and I went to get the all important timing slip, one that read 182.411 mph, 14mph on the old record!
 Oh, my Sister and Brother in law ran the Ducati through the traps, while we waited in the wind, and crossed that line in the salt, once were riders, are now racers! The Salt bug had bit again, He-He, I warned them.
ą
Craig Anderson,
Nov 6, 2010, 9:42 PM
ą
Craig Anderson,
Nov 6, 2010, 9:42 PM
Comments