The current two-wheel land speed record stands at 376.36mph (605.69kmph), and it is this record that Triumph intended to break at the Bonneville Salt Flats earlier this month. The weapon of choice was the Triumph Streamliner, and the daredevil at whose hands the record attempt was to be made, was motorcycle road racer, Guy Martin, of Isle of Man fame. Triumph planned on reaching a speed of 400mph (640kmph) in the Matt Markstaller designed Streamliner.
However, the record attempt wasn’t to be. Weather at the Speedway played foul, with the salt wet, which meant that it was unsafe to motor on. After two days though, the salt was dry enough for trial runs to be attempted. However, since the crosswinds on the third day proved too strong, Martin wasn’t able to ride.
Day 4 was when Martin would finally get his first run – a run to check that the steering and other systems worked, while the Streamliner was towed down the salt by a pick-up. This was to be followed by the first powered run. However, as the salt was still damp, Martin caught a rut and the shakedown ended with the Streamliner on its side. Fortunately there was no major damage, no injuries either. Which meant that Martin was ready to do the trial or qualifying run of 300mph (480kmph), an FIM requirement, before they would be allowed to try the 400mph run.
During this qualifying run, unfortunately, Martin came across a damp patch, and the Streamliner stepped out and fell once again. While Martin wasn’t injured, Triumph decided that a full inspection was required before another record attempt could be made – the dates of which they are still working out. We’ll keep you posted about when that record attempt will be made. Watch this space.