Final: Triumph Bonneville

Final: Triumph Bonneville
Cathcart

Finale: triumph and the speed record

50 years of Triumph Bonneville

It is true that the legendary speed records were 54 years ago, but it has only been 50 years that the English have been remembering the hot rides over the salt lake of the same name with the Bonneville model. So it’s time to hit the slopes, open the tap and see what’s going on.


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White and nothing but white. Salt as far as the eye can see.

There is still a lot to do. In total, four new records jumped out for the English at this year’s Speedweek, but more on that later. To understand how a basically well-behaved motorcycle with just 69 hp in series production can set speed records, you need a look at the American himself. And he has a tendency to superlatives, which is not only noticeable in the average clothing size.

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Final: Triumph Bonneville

Finale: triumph and the speed record
50 years of Triumph Bonneville

To give Bonneville in the US desert state of Utah the chance to set a record, the event works according to the principle of high-class society.

Final: Triumph Bonneville

Naked bike


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Triumph Bonneville SE


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Final: Triumph Bonneville

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Record runs on salt


The fastest place in the world


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So simple, so fast. Extend the fork, remove the mirror, remove the airbox, add the displacement, turn on the roaring bag. The record bike is ready. Provided the class is right.

The classification of the drives alone could fill books. The number of cylinders, their arrangement, working principle and the like are only the foundation of the set of rules. There are also further subdivisions such as number of valves, type of cooling, mixture preparation and supply and so on and so forth. In the sections chassis and power transmission, things go on like this and you already suspect, without wanting to detract from Triumph’s performance: A cleverly selected class is half the battle for a record.

For the anniversary event, the English bet on two horses prepared by the Californian Triumph dealer South Bay. With a Triumph Thruxton, Alan Cathcart achieved an average speed of 245.3 km / h (152.77 mph) over the flying kilometer and over the flying mile of 245.2 in the class of street-legal, uncovered two-cylinder internal combustion engines up to 1000 cm3 without charging km / h (152.68 mph) which each meant the record. With 69 hp that would hardly have been possible, and so the Thruxton is not quite standard-compliant.


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The three from the salt station. On the far right professional hosts and Bonneville connoisseur ALan Carthcart on both the bike and the slopes, in the middle mastermind and South Bay boss Matt Capri and on the left technician Jerry Augusto.

The displacement grew from 865 to 984 cm3 thanks to the new 360-degree crankshaft and larger cylinders, and the compression increased to 10.8: 1. The valves grew by six millimeters on the inlet side and five millimeters on the outlet side. Supplied by 39 Keihin flat slide carburettors and equipped with a high-flow exhaust, the twin pushes a whopping 110 hp to the rear wheel. And to get it on the ground, a lump of lead weighing almost 20 kilograms hangs in front of the rear wheel. Because traction is in short supply on the salt, which is why rain tires are often used despite the steel-blue sky and temperatures of 40 degrees.


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Looks like a winter camper meeting, but it’s the paddock. The temperatures are consistently over 30 degrees, and shade is only available in the self-made pavilion.

In the second Triumph, the effort was much higher, it started in the class of bare two-cylinder combustion engines up to 1000 cm3 with supercharging. At a boost pressure of 1.2 bar, the twin, which is pimped by an IHI turbocharger, presses 230 PS onto the test stand roller. That was enough for an average speed of 266.1 km / h (165.67 mph) over the flying kilometer and 265.6 km / h (165.41 mph) over the flying mile and thus for two further records. All around there were satisfied faces and a new challenge: next year the 200-mile mark (320 km / h) should fall.


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Victory pose for the photo as a reward for the effort. There are no trophies, a dismal printout in receipt format is used as proof.

Driving on salty underground has its own laws. In addition to knowledge of the route, you also need a soulful hand on the throttle to bring your strength to the ground. Yes, that’s right: route knowledge. As straight as the ten-mile-long track is, it is no longer really flat, especially towards the end of the race week. In addition to the tracks of the racing vehicles, small bumps are constantly forming due to the wind. In addition, the salt works and has different load capacities and grip levels depending on the humidity and temperature. This is usually somewhere between a wet meadow and cobblestone, which is why many aspirants start with rain tires. For the same reason, people like to do without the front brake. There’s more than enough space to roll out.

The fastest two-wheeler in the world


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Follow me if you can. Not an easy undertaking at almost 600 km / h.

The vehicles that only have the number of bikes in common with normal bikes are really fast: the Streamliner.

For advanced speed junkies like Chris Carr, the multiple American dirt track champion, speeds of 250 km / h are by no means enough to get your hands wet. Fortunately for him, there is the open Streamliner class, in which everything is allowed that has no more than two wheels. With his self-made streamliner, which is fired by a specially designed methanol-powered three-liter V4 turbo engine with around 500 hp and 540 Nm, he has been one of the top dogs in Bonneville for years. In 2006 he was able to snatch the blue ribbon of the fastest bike in the world at just under 565 km / h, but was unable to defend the title in the two following years. But he struck again mercilessly at this year’s speed trials: 591.244 km / h could not be topped this year. And since after the record is before the record, the team around Cris Carr has now set their sights on the new goal: next year the 600 km / h mark should fall. So that Chris breaks a sweat too.

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