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Injured Guy Martin hopes for 400mph tilt

Triumph Rocket III streamliner
Triumph Rocket III streamliner

Although Guy Martin signed himself out of hospital just days after breaking his back in an Irish road race, Triumph has postponed the Isle of Man TT racer’s tilt at a new land speed record on the salt flats of Bonneville, USA, until next year.

Guy broke his back in the Ulster 150 last week and signed himself out of hospital on Tuesday.

“I’m on the mend, a few upgrades to me hand and back but feel right enough. All part of the job boy,” the brave larrikin and speed junkie said on his Facebook page.

He was hoping to ride a Triumph streamliner motorcycle later this month or September at Bonneville, but Triumph Sports has now postponed the recprd attempt until 2016.

“We’re obviously concerned with the news that Guy has sustained injuries as a result of his crash in last week’s Dundrod 150 race,” Triumph says in a statement.

“While in true form, Guy has signed himself out of hospital this week, we all feel that given his injuries it won’t be possible to complete the required testing prior to attempting to take the record this year.

“Guy is a unique talent and having such a pilot for our Rocket motorcycle is absolutely central to our attempt. We wish him a full and speedy recovery and will confirm a new date for our 2016 bid as soon as we can.”

Guy Martin
Guy Martin

Guy was set to race on the famous salt flats this month, but a thin crust of salt and limited area for racing forced officials to abandon the annual Speed Week for the second year in a row.

Triumph then issued a statement saying they would try for later in August, but conditions were deemed too wet and muddy, so they pushed the date back to September 21.

But now they have postponed their bid until next year.

Guy was set to pilot a purpose-built, methanol-fuelled Triumph Rocket Streamliner in the Division C (streamlined motorcycle) category. Triumph Sport believes the machine can even break the 400mph (643.737km/h) barrier.

The current record, 376.363mph (605.697Km/h), was set in the Top Oil-Ack Attack streamliner in 2010.

Triumph Rocket III streamliner
Triumph Rocket III streamliner

The Streamliner has a carbon kevlar monocoque construction with not one, but two turbocharged 2.3-litre Triumph Rocket III engines that, together, put out about 750kW at 9000rpm.

Triumph has a long history of setting records at Bonneville and even named their most polar bike after the famous salt flats.

Triumph held the title of the World’s Fastest Motorcycle from 1955 to 1970 with the exception of a brief 33-day period. The record-breaking Triumph streamliners of that period were Devil’s Arrow, Texas Cee-gar, Dudek Streamliner and Gyronaut X1, the former achieving a top speed of 245.667mph (395.28km/h).

The Rocket III Streamliner was set for the record last year but it was cancelled by heavy rain.

Triumph Rocket III streamliner

The streamliner has been built by Hot Rod Conspiracy, in Portland, Oregon. Company owner and engineer/aerodynamicist Matt Markstaller used a wind tunnel to design the 7.6m streamliner whose body is made of lightweight carbon fibre and Kevlar and weighs only 907kg.

It is powered by the two Rocket III engines which have been shortened in the stroke to fit into the Streamliner-Blown Fuel class limit of 3 litres. However, they have been turbocharged and run on methanol to produce 500hp (372kW) each. That’s more than three times the 146hp (108kW) of the stock engine in the street-legal Rocket III.

The road machine nearly tears your arms off with its bulk power and 200Nm of torque, so you can imagine the sheer brute force of this monster. The suspension consists of front forks and a swing arm with two Ohlins TTX36 shocks in the front and three in the rear.