How to set a land speed record on a 700lbs cruiser

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Pictured is AMA Pro racer Jason DiSalvo setting a 174mph land speed record at the Bonneville Salt Flats aboard a 2,400cc Triumph Rocket III. That’s a new record in the Modified (normally) Aspirated Fuel class for motorcycles up to 3,000cc. What’s it take to coax a 700lbs cruiser beyond wobble-home-from-the-bar speeds?

Aside from motor mods, the Rocket III Jason rode was relatively stock. Suspension was lowered slightly for better aerodynamics and a Daytona 675 R fender was fitted for the same reason. Tires were upgraded to ones capable of handling the speed. Wheels, frame, handlebars, foot peg location, seat, even the headlights and Deco chrome horn cover remain stock.

As for that motor, it’s been upgraded from 140 to 240bhp courtesy of a $4,400 Carpenter racing kit. Even that’s fairly basic. Just new cams, a reprogrammed ECU and various head work to suit. Carpenter can take an otherwise stock Rocket III up to 269bhp and 192lb/ft while retaining the stock rink and pinion drive shaft, suspension and wheels.

Of course it helps, too, that at just 5’ 3”, DiSalvo has scarce influence on such a large bike’s aero footprint.

  • zero

    I know it’s a huge motor, but 240whp naturally aspirated for $4400 is no joke.

    • protomech

      You’re right, the 240 hp claims is wheel hp not brake hp.

      Kind of odd that the stock motor is that restricted.

  • NewOldSchool

    Wow, put fairings on that bad boy and run in another class. I bet the speeds would go way up.

  • tomwito

    Ring & Pinion* Sorry, couldn’t help myself.

  • http://rider49er.blogspot.com Mark D [EX500]

    Who else wants to put that motor in a tiny kit car?

    • NewOldSchool

      Always had a fantasy of putting that motor in a TR6 somehow.

    • filly-fuzz

      dude you read my mind!

      all of last week i have been dreaming of this motor in a Citroen mk1 DS

  • Dennis

    Because everyone knows weight is such a big factor in land speed records.

    …You know, the other annoying thing about land speed records is that there’s 5000 different classes, so everybody goes home with a trophy.

    “I’d like to a land speed record but my bike an obsolete 125.”

    “Just run it in the Obsolete Under 150cc Class! You’ll do great!”

    “It’s a really badly designed 125.”

    “They have that. Under 150cc Badly Designed Obsoletes.”

    “Also, blown head gasket.”

    “No problem. Badly Designed Obsolete 150s With Blown Head Gaskets. You’re a shoe-in.”

    • Dennis

      …Although there was that one year that Shinya Kimura spent hand hammering and buffing and polishing his one of a kind aluminum bikini fairing, yet somehow didn’t go fast. Go figure.

    • http://www.ClevelandCycleWerks.com scottydigital

      Dennis, how many land speed records do you hold?

      • Dennis

        Sorry, my bad. I didn’t know today was blowjob day.

        I meant to say, impressive record! The impressivest!

        • Coreyvwc

          Next year there will be an additional classification for record passes made whilst wearing a banana hammock and one shoe.

    • http://www.postpixel.com.au mugget

      ROFL.

      You win ten internets points!

  • Deltablues

    I think it is kinda impressive actually. 700lbs probably helps with traction on the salt. I would like to have this engine in my Scion iQ…but only briefly.

  • luxlamf

    “Is this a specific class that excludes Hyabusa’s or Kawi ZX-14R’s? I had the impression they could do that stock with restrictions removed. Maybe even without.?”

    • http://www.postpixel.com.au mugget

      Maybe ‘Busa & ZX-14 riders don’t even bother entering because they do those speeds on the highways. Hah!

  • john logan

    Go GO THE ROCKET RULES WHEN I HAVE A GARAGE !
    IT WILL BE MINE LOVE IT BECAUSE I HAPPEN TO BE A BIG GUY
    AND BIG GUYS LIKE BIG TOYS.AND THE TRIUMPH ROCKET IS
    THE BIGGEST TOY AROUND ON TWO WHEELS. GIMME!