The sweet taste of salt, and victory.
The 2021 edition of Speed Week at Lake Gairdner in beautiful South Australia just wrapped, and a Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 named Sabre set a new land speed record there! The event, which is usually held annually, ran from March 8 through 12, 2021. The 2020 round was canceled due to the global pandemic, on what would have been the 30th anniversary of the event.
Regardless of that cancellation, the 2021 round is still officially called Lake Gairdner’s 31st Annual Speed Week. At this event, the Mid Life Cycles Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 Salt Racer, nicknamed “Sabre,” smashed its class record on all but one of its runs.
Class M-F 650 featured 650cc motorcycles with no streamlining, running commercially available unleaded fuel. The previous record in this class had been 119.961 mph, and had stood at Lake Gairdner since 2016. First-time speed record rider Charlie Hallam broke that record in his very first run, setting a 123.178.
Hallam followed that on day one with a slightly disappointing 115.991, followed by a 121.782, and rounding out that first day with a 123.601 mph to have pleasant dreams about for the next day. Clearly, Hallam and the Sabre were just getting started. On Day Two, he started with a 128.935, followed by a 130.204, and ending the day with a 130.307. That was better, for sure, but the best was still yet to come.
According to event rules, the bike was impounded overnight, so Hallam could do a back-up run the next morning. Skies were stormy, but on Wednesday, Hallam took the Sabre out one more time, and set his best time for the event: 133.779 mph. His total record was calculated at 132.050 mph.
Sabre was built in 2019, during Royal Enfield’s Busted Knuckles Build-Off. The build team was comprised of HRA Geelong (Andrew Hallam) and Hallam Cycle Works (Charlie Hallam). Originally, they planned to test its capabilities at the 2020 Lake Gairdner Speed Week, but instead had to wait a year. That said, they’re definitely pleased with these results, despite the delay in gratification.
Modifications include a full Öhlins suspension, lighter alloy wheels wrapped in Pirelli Diablo slicks, custom front and rear sprockets, and a custom swingarm lengthened by the maximum-allowed amount in its class, 130mm. You can read all the details of the build, including extensive engine modifications, on Royal Enfield Australia’s site.