The first every stock liter bike to cross the 200mph barrier in land speed record racing? It’s not a 193bhp BMW S1000RR or 197bhp 2011 Kawasaki ZX-10R, it’s a humble 175bhp Honda CBR1000RR, ridden by a girl.
On Monday, Leslie Porterfield reached a two-way average of 200.137mph on a Honda CBR1000RR in the FIM 1000 P-P class. That’s a stock motorcycle with a stock engine. Like all such records, it’ll be a little while before the run is ratified as an official world record.
Rules for the production class read:
A “production motorcycle class” is as “produced by a recognized
manufacturer”, and the public must be able to purchase a minimum
of 500 frames through retail dealers. Production class motorcycles
shall not be modified from Original Equipment at time of
manufacture. i.e., frame, forks, gas and oil tanks, seat, front and
rear lighting, fenders, wheels, brakes, air intake box and
(unmodified) exhaust system. They shall also contain the engine
that they where originally produced with.
All production class motorcycles shall have manufacturer
documentation specific to that entry. Production class records are
subject to review and will only be certified after comparison with
the manufacturer‟s documentation to support the production design
of the motorcycle.
The following modifications will be acceptable:
4. A. ACCEPTABLE REMOVALS
Acceptable removals are the license plate frame and bracket, air
cleaner element, and toolbox.
4. B. CHAIN GUARD*
A chain guard is mandatory on all exposed chains.
4. C. FOOT PEGS
Foot pegs must be original equipment. Remove rear foot pegs.
4. D. HANDLEBARS
Handlebars are restricted to 15-inches above, 4-inches in front of
original mount or 4-inches lower. All handlebars that mount to the
original mount and meet the criteria in this section are acceptable.
4. E. LIGHTING AND INSTRUMENTS*
Headlamps, turn signal lenses, and tail lamp lenses shall be
completely taped. If desired, remove non-integrated lamps and
signals. See Chapter 2, paragraph 2.H.
4. F. WHEEL AND TIRE
If necessary to meet tire speed recommendations, use optional
wheels. See Chapter 2, paragraphs 2.Q and 2.S.
4. G. SIDE AND CENTER STANDS
Prior to making run, secure side and center stands in the UP
position with “Zip Ties” or Safety wire.
4. H. WINDSHIELD, FAIRINGS, SIDE COVERS, AND
Motorcycles originally factory equipped with a fairing and
windshield, seat and side covers shall participate with original
equipment. The fairings and windshield shall remain in original
appearance (height, width and contour).
Rules for the production engine read:
12. A. PRODUCTION (P)
Use the same engines (gasoline only) originally installed in the
specific motorcycle frame at the time of production and ensure it
meets the definition set in the „P‟ frame class (See Chapter 4).
Original equipment (OEM) shall include cylinders, cases
(crankcases), heads, and carburation or throttle body (stock venture
size), kick-starter or electric starter. GASOLINE ONLY. Fuel not
permitted in this class. See Chapter 2, paragraph 2.F.
P engine class shall not run in A, APS or S frame classes
Effective 2012: Displacement determines the class. OEM
displacement specifications must remain stock.
So yeah, that’s a completely stock motorcycle, as you could buy from a showroom right now. How’d Leslie and her team reach such a speed on a bike with an on-paper performance deficit? With so little modifications possible, they had to do it with tiny aerodynamic mods like taping over fairing gaps, while performance gains likely came from trial and error with sprocket sizes and tire pressures as well as taping up seams in the riders leathers (as evidenced by these photos) and minor alterations in rider position. In land speed record racing, where a hundredth of a mile per hour matters and the performance variables lay wholly with the machine’s engine performance and aerodynamics and not its rider’s ability, the fine tuning of such tiny variables as seams in leathers can make all the difference.
This news is made more relevant by the recent whoopsie with the 2012 Honda CBR1000RR. Apparently equipped with no significant performance upgrades, it has a fairly massive on-paper performance deficit to pretty much every other liter bike on the market. Will that matter for sales? Probably. Should it matter to you if you’re in the market? Well, it may be the least powerful liter bike, but it is now the fastest. The previous record was held by a BMW S1000RR. Its top speed at Bonneville last summer? A positively paltry 196.117mph.
We’ll find out more and report back.
via Land Racing