Bonneville may be in jeopardy, but that hasn't stopped the pursuit of record-setting land speed racing.
Who's the Fastest Rider You know?
Last month, my friend Ralph Hudson asked me if I could put together a short video for him to display along with his land speed race bike at the 67th Annual O'Reilly Grand National Roadster Show. Over the last few years, I had been documenting Ralph and his crew, Ironwood Racing's Land Speed Racing, in the hope of chronicling their run at the Bonneville record for the fastest internal combustion, "sit-on" motorcycle—263 mph. Conditions at the Bonneville Salt Flats have cancelled the Speed Week event two years in a row, but that hasn't stopped Ralph and his team from prepping his bikes and participating in land speed racing events.
This short video, which was compiled from multiple racing meets, gives a taste of what it's like to prep and race a record-making, land speed motorcycle.
The data graph in the video is from the MoteC telemetry aboard Ralph's highly modified Suzuki GSX-R1000 Turbocharged (Blown) motorcycle. On this run, Ralph set a record for the day on the El Mirage lake bed, with a speed of over 232 mph. At 2:35 into the video, take a look at the light blue line (fourth from the top), which measures lateral G Forces. As Ralph accelerated through 200 mph, he and the bike experienced a high-speed wobble on the unpredictable lake bed surface that lasts for about eight seconds.
Here's the list of Ralph's records aboard #3535:
Owner/rider: Ralph Hudson
Crew Chief: Ted Silver
Built in 2009 – based on 2003 Suzuki GSX-R1000
Mojave Magnum record:
LSM – 262.6 mph – 2015 Fastest vehicle of the meet
APS-G 1000 210.622 mph - 2009
APS-G 1000 220.874 mph - 2010
APS-G 1000 225.596 mph – 2011
APS-G 1000 239.976 mph – 2012
APS-BG 1000 crashed 217.9 – 2013
El Mirage records:
APS-G 1000 194.882 mph – 2009
APS-G 1000 203.744 mph - 2010
APS-G 1000 214.360 mph – 2011
APS-BG 1000 241.126 mph – 2013
APS-BF 1000 237.529 mph – 2015
For more info about Ralph, you can follow him on Facebook. for updates on all his racing.