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...................---- Bub 2006 At Bonneville Page 10 ---

Bub 06 Speed Trials Report

It was quite a week at Bub. The world record which had stood for 16 years was broken first By Rocky Robinson in the Top 1 ACK Attack and then by Chris Carr in the Bub #7. Sam Wheeler then proceeded to put up the fastest speed ever recorded by a motorcycle and then went on to crash after the run. (Sam's Fine).

Media coverage was unprecedented for Bonneville. Sunday saw the first ever live coverage from the salt when we were interviewed by Dave Despain on his Wind Tunnel program on Speed TV. Dick Lague Inigtion3 has been filming the attempts to break the motorcycle land speed record since 2005 and traveled to Australia with us in March. Dick has now teamed up with Chet Burks Productions to produce a two hour program for Speed TV. Dave Despain flew to Bonneville on Tuesday and will be narrating the program.

Chet Burks is one of the major production company's covering motor sports. The array of equipment and personnel was quite impressive. They had 14 high def cameras two helicopters about 25 personnel. I was wired for sound all day and I had a camera man with me at all times. All of the streamliners had onboard camera equipment. They had two 3000mm long lenses which cost about 150K each and piles of other equipment.

The Biker Build Off film crew was there producing a Biker Build Off program around the record attempt which I understand will air in October.

The Discovery Channel was there and will produce a program on the Bub event and the record attempts. We did many on camera interviews with them. Discovery will produce a separate program of Speed Week 2006 and we will be covered there as well.

National Geographic was also filming at Speed Week and at Bub .We did many interviews with them at the Bub event

Print media was there in force. The ones I know of are Cycle News which I understand will do a 4 page spread on the event, Motorcyclist, Cycle, Easy Rider and Fast Facts (UK). I was told there were many others there as well.

Outside Magazine (circulation 600k) has had a writer, Andrew Tilin, who has written for many major publications, following us since our return from Australia. Andrew will be writing the first eve motor sports piece for Outside and was really excited about the way the story turned out.

Chet, Dick and Dave Despain were ecstatic at the way the story unfolded. They came hoping some one would set a new land speed record. What the found was a great story and high drama. Chet told me that he couldn't have hired the best script writer in Hollywood to write a better story. They are now talking about perhaps a three hour program.

This is how the week unfolded:

Sunday the 3rd was the first day of the event. Time trials were supposed to start at noon. We were at the long course start line at noon ready to go but there was a communication problem and it was almost 2 ½ hours before we could run. Rocky made his first down run at about 2:20 with the wind just within our limits. He averaged 344.963 through the kilo 344.673 and 344.673 through the mile. Rocky was hit by several gusts of wind which caused him to back out of the throttle several times. We were running 22 lbs boost and Rocky used about 75% of the available power. The turn around took about 25 minutes and Rocky ran 341.291 in the kilo and 340.922 in the mile again being hit by gusty wind. With this return run we became the fastest motorcycle in the world eclipsing the old record set in 1990 by 20 MPH. The average Speed for the two runs was 342.797 MPH.

Monday 4th

Chris Carr arrived but the Manning crew was not there so he was unable to run. We put in a down run of 347.547 kilo and 346.108 mile. On our return run the bike did not run good and we were only able to put up a 336.202 kilo and 335.739 mile. We found on the return run that the brake water diversion solenoid on the intercooler system failed in the open position diverting the water from the intercooler to the brake cooling system. High intake temperatures caused a reduction in power. We rerouted the lines to bypass the brake cooling system. Dave Dalgren looked at our Motec data and decided it was way too rich and trimmed the fuel by 3%. Dave had to leave that next morning for Watkins Glen.

Tuesday 5th

Chris Carr took the Bub #7 bike down the course at 354 MPH much to our disbelief and astonishment. Denis has spent 38 years and claims 8 million dollars in pursuit of this record. He had never reached 300 MPH until a few weeks ago at a private session with Chris Carr who was able to get up to just over 300 MPH.

After Carr's run we did a down run of 347.333 kilo and 347.326 mile. Rocky was more comfortable with the bike and he got on it harder but said the bike felt softer than before. I looked at the Motec data and discovered that Dave had accidentally added 3% rather than take it out. I was just an honest mistake by this time emotions were running high and we were rushing around trying to get ready while the wind was good. I took out the 3% that had been added and took out 3% more.

Our return run was 349.088 kilo and 349.031 mile. Two miles an hour faster than Chris's return run. This resulted in an average speed of 347.178 MPH 5 miles above our first record but because Chris had run before us it it will not go down in the record books. The mixture still liked fat and I took 3% more out of the fuel. We turned the bike around in about 1 hour and were ready to go we needed about a 356 down run to beat Chris's record by 1% as required by FIM but the wind had picked up to unacceptable levels and we decided to run the next morning.

Wednesday 6th

We decided to run first thing as the bike was ready for the turnaround from the day before. We were there at 6:30 and had some time so I suggested we take a look at the chain drives as we hadn't looked at them since the Sunday run. To my horror the front shaft on the rear chain case had a fractured outboard bearing support. To my amazement the Ramsey RVP chain was still intact even though it had been running that way for a while. With out the outboard bearing the shaft and sprocket is subjected to some miss alignment which is very hard on the chain. This is a complex part made out of 4340 steel and heat treated and about the only part we did not have a spare of. I decided that the only thing we could do was put on a new chain and try to take up some slack on the rear of the shaft which drives off the countershaft sprocket for extra support. I talked to Dave Dalgren and he thought we should put a few more lbs of boost in it say a couple of Hail Mary's and go for it. I upped the boost about 4 lbs which is about 125 HP and out we went.

Rocky aborted the first run at the two as the bike did not run right at low throttle. The extra 3% of fuel I had taken out caused the low throttle openings to go too lean and not want to run well.

I put back in the 3% fuel and Rocky ran again this time he ran hard and said the bike was way faster but the chain broke at the 4 mile and it was over for that day.

Sam went after us and put up a 355 speed for fastest run of the meet. A huge cheer went up in our pits when this happened then we heard Sam Crashed.

Thursday 7th

We replaced the chain and bearing to try again. This time I put everything we had in it 32 lbs boost and about 225 HP more than our record run. I had little hope the chain would hold but it was our last chance and what the hell. There was another drama playing out in the Manning pits Chris Carr being a true racer wanted to make another run to see if he could up the record while Denis wanted to wait and see if we went faster than the record as they were worried about the air intake being too high and by upping the power the motor might not live. They were waiting at the line when we arrived.

Rocky made a run but broke the chain at about the 3 mile. I told the media we were all finished that we would not run again. We took out time going back to
the pits and when we got there I decided that I would take a look at the chain we found that the sprocket nut had apparently come loose which caused the chain to be seriously miss aligned. We had about one hour and fifteen minutes left before the end of the meet. Then began the mad scramble to put it back together for one last try. The media was all revved up again as we tried to get ready to run.

We made it to the line with about 20 minutes to spare and got Rocky in the liner. Denis had come back out. Denis was nervous as a cat because if we were able to
get a run in, we would have 2 hours to turn around and then another hour to run back before the sanction ran out. If they could not get a run in before the 12:00 deadline they could no longer run.

Rocky made a run with about 10 minutes to spare, Denis had Chris in the liner ready to go. The chain broke about the 4 mile and Rocky coasted through the clocks at 102 MPH.

Denis's crew started a countdown to the twelve o'clock deadline then broke out the Champagne. Charlie Hennekam the FIM official then informed Denis that because we had broken the clocks before 12:00 we had two hours to do a return run and then up until 3:00 to try again. They say Denis crew was floored by the news and it was a classic dramatic moment all caught on film of course. We did not know for a while we could run again but by that time it was obvious to us that we would not be able to hold together for an good run and we ended our effort.

All this made for a very compelling story and with the video professionals putting this program together for Speed TV it should make a great story. Nothing like this has happened at Bonneville or any other world speed record venue.

I originally had said my goal was to set the ultimate motorcycle land speed record at a much higher level (which we were able to do) and retire, but I never envisioned having it broken 2 days later. Scott Guthrie kind of put me on the spot at the awards dinner by asking if everyone wanted to see us come back. The response was overwhelming so I said we are coming back. I have redesigned the support bearing system and will be making this and other changes to the Ack Attack for next year.

Thanks to everyone who has supported us in this effort especially Top Oil and the Ryan family.

Mike Akatiff

For more on the BUB meet and pictures of Ack Attack there click ( HERE )

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