Like most racing enthusiasts, you find yourself drawn to other people's racing endeavors.
Especially is that the case when it is family or someone close to them. That describes my
situation with the other part of my family - my brothers-in-law and their children.
Some time ago, '80s, Jeff Boyle, my brother-in-law, ran his 1959 BSA at Bonneville in an effort
to get a vintage class speed record.
(I will look for the slides and see if I can get them into digital format to include here.)
So, it wasn't a big surprise when in 1994 Jeff came in contact with Denis Manning,
Bonneville racer and record holder, that the fire was again kindled in Jeff.
You can read about that encounter and the BUB Streamliner here.
A few years later, while visiting family in Grass Valley, Jeff took me over to BUB Enterprises
to see the BUB streamliner. It was version 6, sitting in the spare room at the business.
Denis was very kind and allowed me to capture a few images of the bike.
This is the skin for the bike.
Looking down the nose trying to capture the whole length.
Cockpit and front end, steering, etc.
Can you pack a little more gear in there?
Side shot - engine
Right front closeup.
Motor and tail
Looking back the other direction.
So, it began, an interest in yet another form of racing, against time and traction.
The technology similarities and differences fascinate me. Guess I've got a little salt in my veins.
So, with a little salt in my veins, self employment, and my friend Chris who was also doing
some creative things...like a radio controlled concrete finisher... we decided September
2004 would be a good time for a road trip!! Bonneville for a special event - Bike week.
Here's Chris standing next to Bub6 on the salt flats.
The event was conceptualized by Denis Manning. With some sponsorship and his experience
at Bonneville the event was born. This was the banner back then...
The salt was wet and had to be dragged and packed/dried.Here's the view from Chris's truck
during a packing/drying session. He could say he ran his truck on the salt flats! :-)
In reality, unless you've got a pretty good camera and stout lens, you can't see a whole
lot. Since some of these travel well over the speed limit :) you have to stay back for
Then, of course, there are those pursuing the higher speed goals.
But all of this is not as interesting as wandering the pits and getting up close and personal with the hardware.
So, lets move in a little... I'll start with the more traditional "looking" fare and move to the exotic.
Traditional may be a misnomor; not much here was "traditional" in my book.
This one I found interesting, stand up scooter. Yes, the rider ran it through the timer.
If I remember, it ran in the mid 70's mph-wise. Pretty fast considering the rider is acting like a wind break.
The pits were an interesting place. It's worth noting that this form of racing, while competitive, is also a
nurturing and supportive environment. People help each other to reach their goals.
The Hyabusa, an incredibly powerful engine. These guys were looking to push 200 mph.
This one was pretty interesting, with its major frame and suspension components made from carbon fiber.
If you go back to look at those panoramic style shots, you will see this one on the course - it's the last shot.
I didn't get a lot of shots of the other ones there, though I thought I had. Here's one... from either end.
Our purpose in going was to see how Denis' version 7 streamliner would do. It is one pretty machine. it also
presented the opportunity for me to see my brother-in-law and nephew who were there as part of the BUB crew.
And here they are... Jeff (right) and Corbin. It's pretty easy to see how Corbin could get the bug to go for
his own bike speed record in recent years. More on that later.
Break for an advertisement (of sorts). As part of the team, Jeff's business (with brother Greg) got some
space on the side of the streamliner - Boyle Future Tech. If you're in the Auburn area, stop in and
tell him you saw him on this webpage. ;)
Alright, back to the hardware!! Lets start with the hauler/trailer. Well thought out rig with tools etc.
My dad would have appreciated that.
The streamliner is an impressive 22 feet long (264in or 6.7m) and is shaped to reduce drag.
This thing is impressive! Carbon fiber body, aerodynamic shell, just a real work of art. But for me, being
a motorhead of sorts, the engine was the real heartbeat.In 2004, it was naturally aspirated and they were looking
to go 350 MPH. That's a 4-cyl, 180 cu. in. engine.
In subsequent years, Denis put a turbocharger on it and Chris Carr was able to get it over 370 MPH. A feat in
engineering and driving combined.
Learn more about the development of the Bub Seven Streamliner here.
Moving ahead in time to this year, 2014, it was time to go back to the salt again, this time to watch Corbin run
the 1959 BSA 650cc (I think). He was hoping to go 128 mph to qualify for a record run.
There were challenges though. To start with, the Automotive Speed Week had been rained out in early August. So, the potential
was there for the same thing to happen for Bike week. When we arrived and went out to the pits there was about 9-12 inches of
water when you dropped off the boat ramp onto the salt flats. That went for about a mile as you headed to the pits.
That's a pretty decent water hazard.
One day folks spent the entire day waiting for the wind to die down enough to make some runs. It was photo-op time.
The lady, Eva Håkansson, who ran this streamliner set a land speed record and is now rider of the world's fastest
electric motorcycle - another impressive feat. Congratulations!
Check it out here
Now, I'm wondering what next year might bring? Will there be an opportunity to return? Time will tell.