The Bonneville Salt Flats need no introduction. The first land speed record was set there in 1914. The Pontiac Bonneville and Triumph Bonneville are both named for the flats. It’s a place of legend. So it’s always nice when we see friends of bikerMetric posting about their success there. Like this Facebook post from Alp at Alp Racing & Design back in June:
First race of the season and first record of 2015 with our stock 1950 Triumph frame!!
We broke the 145.9mph A/PF “Tatro Machine Special” fuel record from 1995 with a speed of 149.279mph. Now we are also the worlds fastest 650cc Fuel bike with a pushrod engine!
Thank you Amal Carburetors, Klotz Racing Lube, Morris Magneto and LowBrow Customs.
Here’s a pic of the bike from when it was a work in progress:
From an excellent interview on The Vintagent:
Alp’s Vintage-class iron-head 1950 Triumph Thunderbird uses the original Triumph engine cases, barrels, and that single-carb iron cylinder head, and runs on gasoline. After recording 132mph with that motor, he began work on a new engine with an all-alloy top end and twin carbs, to compete in the Special Construction “A” class. The twin-carb alloy head is post-1956 (it’s a ’64 head), so is ineligible for the Vintage class, but runs in the 650 A-PG/F class. Aftermarket cases are allowed in this class, and Alp is sponsored by Thunder Engineering, who supplied beefed-up cases and rods. The engine was designed to run on Nitromethane, which gives tremendous power – a supercharger in liquid form – but is known to reveal any lubrication or heat dissipation issues in a spectacular fashion. “The Nitro gave me clutch problems initially, but the good thing is I didn’t blow up the engine. My Vintage Triumph, running on gasoline, puts out 58-60hp and will hit 140+mph. But many tell me with the Nitro, my later engine probably produces more than 140hp at 160+mph.”
Alp, Jelika (his crew chief and girlfriend), the bike, and (presumably) his dog.
Finally, here’s one last post from Facebook:
Crew Chief Jalika picking up #756 after run. 1950 Pre/Unit Triumph 149.279mph El Mirage 650cc A/PF Record Holder.
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