Turn back time to 1894 and you will be met by a historic event, the invention of the motorbike. The first versions may not have had the majestic beauty of those we see today, but they were still incredibly powerful and capable machines. In the early days, the average speed was a pretty damn impressive 102 km/h, considering that this was in a time when the combustion engine was still a confounding piece of machinery.
As the years rolled on several companies saw the potential and jumped on board, all striving to build ever faster iterations. Here is a quick history of that tale.
First Record Set
Gene Walker is considered by many to be a true legend, given his incredible career in early bike racing. The dashing young man made a name winning 19 championships, followed by setting the first official land speed record in 1920, riding an Indian. Sadly, he was working with still extremely imprecise technology, and died at 31 in a crash.
His record sat at 167.57 km/h.
Heading Into The Future
Into the 1930s enormous strides were made in combustion technology, and BMW were keen to get in on the action. 1937 saw another dashing young man, Ernst Jakob, take a shot at the record. He didn’t just break it, he shattered it with a staggering 279.51 km/h.
The record stood for over a decade, given that World War 2 made recreational bike antics impossible. Speaking of advancing technologies, if you want to buy cryptocurrency you can take advantage of cutting edge tech advancements online.
A New Era
After the war, land speed record attempts were once again engaged, this time with increased vigour, even more training, and dedication. Custom models were built for the sole purpose of hitting a record, and new understandings of aerodynamics were put into play. 1956 saw the Triumph Devil’s Arrow, piloted by Johnny Allen, shoot along the Bonneville Salt Flats and hit 311.778 km/h.
A True Mile Stone
Through the 60s and 70s new records were thrown back and forth on a fairly regular basis, with mostly just a small difference between each. But then in 1990 Harley Davidson decided that it was time to really put a final note on the game. David Campos, astride a heavily modified Harley Davidson, pushed things to a truly dumfounding 518.449 km/h.
This obscene milestone would remain untouched for some time.
Breaking New Ground
The record was briefly broken by a twin engine Suzuki, using a heavily customised bike referred to as the Ack Attack. This record was broken quickly by Chris Carr, clocking 564.693 km/h, only to be broken once again by the Ack Attack in 2010. This puts the land speed record at an utterly stupefying 605.697 km/h, and that is where it currently stands to this day.
Chances are that it will be some time before the record is again broken. It was the goal of Suzuki to top 600 km/h, which has now officially been achieved. But, as it stands, only a few companies are pushing to exceed this monumental accomplishment.
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