BUB Seven Streamliner - Two-Wheels, No Wings - Flyin' To A New Record!
This week, Thursday, September 24, 2009 to be correct, a new World Land Speed Record (WLSR) for motorcycles was recorded on the late summer white pan of the Bonneville Salt Flats. The average speed attained over the 12-mile course was 367 miles per hour. Chris Carr piloted the Grass Valley-based bike for the BUB Racing team and this attempt bested the previous motorcycle land speed record of 360 mph set September 26, 2008, by Grass Valley driver Rocky Robinson aboard the Top 1 Oil supported Ack Attack.
In the back and forth world of record holding competitions ... the one to hold the WLSR for two-wheeled craft, loosely called motorcycles, is probably the most heated. First off, both teams herald from a small California town of Grass Valley (about a little more than half way between Sacramento and Lake Tahoe off of I-80 and CA-49). The two teams have been pursuing and trading the record on and off since about 2006.
The main connection to this saga has to be Denis Manning. Manning is a world renowned land speed racer who has designed and built some of the world’s fastest motorcycles. Amongst all of this Denis has continued to expand his own company, BUB Enterprises, to become a manufacturer of high quality performance exhaust systems for cruisers, sport bikes and ATV’s.
The name of the company has its own history - Manning has worked in the motorcycle industry for over 40 years and in his early years, he worked in a shop owned by motorcycle racer Dutch Mueller, who was also known as ‘The Flying Dutchman’. Denis was soon nicknamed BUB (‘Big Ugly Bastard’) and thus became the name behind the legend.
Image Credit: BUB Enterprises
In 1968 he built his first streamliner. In 1970, at the tender age of 24, Denis built the world record breaking Harley-Davidson streamliner that was ridden by the late Cal Rayborn at 265MPH. His racing career expanded from there, to building streamliners for Harley, Triumph, and Norton to name a few. In his career so far, Denis has designed and owned 6 of the 11 fastest motorcycles in history.
Enter Top 1 Oil and its association with Mike Akatiff, President of ACK Technologies, a downtown San Jose, manufacturer of general aviation avionics and sub-contracting services.
Akatiff has always had his hand in the motorcycle industry. He began his racing career with some success racing for the American Motorcycle Association in the 1960s. In 1971 he founded Ack Products Inc., where he designed and manufactured racing and custom motorcycle parts.
The Top 1 Ack Attack Streamliner bested the world record by 10 mph with a 360.913 mph run, which took place during the first annual TOP 1 Oil World Land Speed Shootout at the Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah. The event was witnessed by an FIM official, but the record still awaits official FIM ratification. /// Just like the World's Fastest Indian, the Ack Attack Streamliner is essentially a motorcycle encased in an aerodynamic shell, with retractable "landing gear" wheels that fold up when it's in motion. The carbon fiber shell and a roll cage hide a chrome-moly frame, within which rests two heavily modified Hayabusa engines, displacing a combined 2.6 liters. Seven inch thick front and nine inch thick rear Mickey Thompson automotive tires lay the power to the ground. Image Credit: Top 1 Oil
Akatiff used about $100,000 of his own money and two years in the design and construction of the bullet-shaped Ack Attack motorcycle. The goal, After a campfire discussion with Bonneville veteran Sam Wheeler regarding his, then, 14-year pursuit in breaking the world land speed record, was to best a record that had stood since 1991 that had been set by ... Denis Manning.
So, on September 26, 2008, after five days of pushing their motorcycle streamliner to new limits on the salt flats of Bonneville, the TOP 1 ACK Attack team achieved what it came to do. Mike Akatiff, with driver Rocky Robinson and crew toppled the existing absolute FIM motorcycle world land speed record with a blistering 360.913 mph run. "Mike's design expertise is second to none," said Frank Ryan, TOP 1 Oil.
During the WLSR BUB Seven Streamliner record run this last week, Eric Manning, the son of the team's owner, reported that "Seven" recorded an exit speed of 372 mph and an overall top speed of 380 mph.
There was no word whether the Ack Attack team would be taking to the Salt Flats next week in order to try and take back the title of "World's Fastest Man on Two Wheels," which is now owned by Chris Carr of the BUB Seven Streamliner team.
(article researched and written with the assistance of Wired, Top 1 Oil, and the internet)