Exciting news in the world of Land Speed Racing: Chris Rivas is the first person to push a "bagger" over 200mph!
That's right, a bagger. (No rocket propulsion necessary. Just good ol' American made S&S horsepower.) With the offices at S&S HQ all a-buzz with the news, we called up Chris and wanted to ask him a few questions about his achievement to share with everybody. Here's what "The Rocket" had to say:S&S:
First of all, Congratulations on the world record! Can you tell us a little about it?Rivas:
Nothing about this accomplishment has come easy. For three years I have fought every part of this bike from chassis geometry to catastrophic engine and transmission failures. With all of the runs we have made at Bonneville we have not been able to get a good baseline for the tuning because of every other issue that pops up. Finally with the help of George Smith we were able to "tone down the tuning efforts" and find a baseline to run with. S&S:
The class you rode in is called APS-AG. What does that really mean?Rivas:
The official class designation is 3000 APS-PG. The motor has to measure between 2001cc and 3000cc to be legal. The "A" implies an Aftermarket Chassis. The PS signifies that there is partial streamlining body work in place. The PG means that the motor uses pushrods and runs on Gasoline.S&S:
It is the world's fastest bagger and the first bagger ever to break 200mph. Why was this accomplishment important to you?Rivas:
In the racing world there aren't too many barriers left to be broken and I know that S&S has been instrumental in breaking many barriers such as the first Top Fuel Bike to break 200. I think there is a possibility that someone else someday might also go over 200 on a bagger but there will only be one first and that is what I wanted for me and my business. Chris Rivas V-Twin has had a strong relationship with S&S Cycle for about eight years, and now we are building a great working relationship with Crane Cams. I truly believe that accomplishing these milestone goals together that can never be taken away is huge in our industry and allows us to service customers with a higher quality in mind. S&S:
How long have you been working toward breaking this record? Can you give us a little history?Rivas:
For three years now, we have been seriously trying for the 200 mph goal. I had a conversation with Carl Brouhard about building an aerodynamic Road Glide for Bonneville and he was excited to help. With his body and paint expertise Carl was able to take an idea and make it into a reality, what we know now is the design was not the hardest part. S&S Cycle provided the motor parts and the 167 inch motor is button start and has amazing power. The seemingly impossible task is to make all of the components work together in harmony at peak performance in the harshest conditions in North America. S&S:
It must take a lot of power to push a full dress, button start motorcycle on gasoline over 200 mph. How did you accomplish that? Rivas:
Our motor is a 167Cubic Inch S&S Cast Aluminum Pro Stock Twin Cam design that puts out about 250 HP. I ordered all of the parts from S&S Cycle including a special set of Easy Start Cams
, and completed the machine work and assembly at my shop, Chris Rivas V-Twin
in Fresno CA. The great thing about this combination is that we can use this same technology and the same high quality S&S Cycle and Crane Cams components for our everyday customers when we install big bore and stroker kits into their street driven bikes. S&S:
I hear the chassis and the fairing played an important part. Can you explain how?Rivas:
When we first received the chassis and put this bike together with the fairing in place, I took it out to the 2010 SCTA Speed Week and found out the hard way that the front end geometry was all wrong. On the first pass I experienced the worst front end wobble of my life and head shake that ended up throwing me off at about 130 mph.S&S:
Well that is a lesson that I'm glad you only had to learn once! Now that the bike is in a safer condition, what is your ultimate goal with this bike?Rivas:
With the data that we have received from this bike, and with the help of George Smith we know that in the right conditions it will go about 220 Mph.
Chris Rivas and George B. Smith
I understand that George B. Smith from S&S was out there. I know George has a love for the salt and he was out at Bonneville with you before
. Did he have any good advice for you this time around? Rivas:
George was instrumental in my success at Bonneville. Just as he was instrumental in my success in the NHRA racing Pro Stock Motorcycles. So I knew that when I started my Land Speed attempts I wanted George involved in the project. George has been a mentor to me for a number of years, not only in my racing career, but also in my business. With George's guidance and some assistance from the new CEO of S&S Cycle, Steve Iggens, Chris Rivas V-Twin has recently had the opportunity to partner with Crane Cams and develop a couple of new cam grinds. The Chris Rivas Signature Series Rocket Cams
are now available to the public and have been some of the best cams ever tested at our dyno facility.
Watch Chris Rivas NHRA victory in Pomona 2008
Are you coming back for the BUB meet
in 2 weeks?Rivas:
Yes, we plan on freshening up the motor at our shop in Fresno and heading back out to the salt at the BUB's Speed Trials where I hold the record for the class at 193 mph from last year. I hope to up the record to something that starts with a "2".And so do we, Chris. We tip our hat to you in respect and wish you the best of luck. We are rooting for you.
2004 Iron Horse - Original condition
Black Betty... Or Why You Should Never Say “Can’t”
Most of the time, the Performance Times Blog is about racing and other high performance topics. This story illustrates another kind of high performance. It’s more about high personal performance where someone takes on a challenge that others have walked away from. In the end, they show what you really can do if you try. It also illustrates why you should never tell Paula Taylor that she can’t do something. On April 12, 2012 we received this email from Paula:
After the fire
I want to let everyone know how awesome your motors are and I have proof thought u might want to use in advertisement. I got a 04 Iron Horse Texas chopper that was burned in a garage fire pix of it in the garage. We replaced the rocker box covers & compression releases as they were burnt off. After hours of cleaning and polishing, the cases polished back out using the same burnt plugs it started and ran on second start up. It won radical class at bike week. I can send pix if you are interested. Thank you for your time.
Talk about your burnout! Well, the photos were so amazing, and the story even more so, that we asked Paula to give a full account, and here it is in her own words.
“In June 2011 a friend of ours decided to sell his 2004 Iron Horse Texas Chopper, he took it to a guy to have it detailed before selling it the next day, when he went over to pick it up, the bike was not ready yet and was asked to leave it with him that night so it could be completed for the next morning. At some point during the night the window air conditioner unit shorted out and caught on fire burning the garage down with the bike inside. To make matters worse he owner did not have the bike insured and garage was not covered by the home owner insurance.
When we went over to look at the bike " it was bad", first thing the hubby did was tap on the fins with a screwdriver to see if they were brittle from the heat. We decided to take the challenge. We never built a burnt bike and figured I could part it out if nothing else, so I traded a paint job on his other Harley the owner had for the burnt bike. None of the other shops in town would touch it and was repeatedly told I was wasting my time, to the point they kind of made me mad, so I guess now I should thank them as it made us more determined to build it. Sounds crazy but I just had a good feeling about it. The bike was delivered to my shop Paints by Paula Bend Over Customs, Mims, Florida.
Had to cut what was left of the rear tire off with a saws-all to be able to roll it inside with the melted rim. Once inside the shop, it not only looked bad but smelled worse. If you touched it or got near it you were black. It took us two days to disassemble. We were very concerned with the motor condition and there is still a stain on the floor from tearing it down and believe it or not, there was still spark in the battery. We rolled the motor outside once it was removed from the frame and then with hubby’s help, we started cleaning with a water hose, degrease made for aluminum, Scotch Brillo, Brillo pads and a wire brush. The motor was covered with soot and fire retardant foam that had hardened, 9 hours later the motor was looking pretty good.
Next we began to tear down the motor to inspect for damage, we removed the rotor and found the stator was intact, we removed the carb, the float bowl was full of gas, the rocker boxes were damaged beyond repair, but when we removed all of the rubber gaskets that were intact, there was oil in the lower box. No discoloration or any signs of damage. The rubber boot for compression releases and insulation were burned off, leaving about 6" of wire. The husband then tested each compression release with a 9 volt battery. Amazingly enough, they both worked. That really inspired us to go for it.
We then removed the oil pressure sensor that were burned off, nose cone removed, chiseled out what once was the points cover that had melted. No damage to the cam cover. The melted metal did not stick to it amazingly. No discoloration, infact the cam seal was good and was NOT replaced. After approximately 120 hours of buffing and polishing (we did not split the cases) it was coming back to life with full luster of polished aluminum. We used a small wire brush to clean between the fins but we could not get them polished enough so they still had some discoloration. So we sprayed the cylinders with hi heat texture paint and re polished the edges of the fins. Replaced the rocker box covers, took pushrods out, no damage.
Took the pushrod covers and nose cone to Space Coast plating for re-chroming. We replaced all of the gaskets and seals. New compression boots and added wire to the 6" pigtail that was left. Installed Dyna S single fire ignition, plugged the crank position sensor hole. Installed motor back into refurbished original frame. We just built up from there. The day of truth or dare was fast approaching. Wednesday of bike week, Charlie Hadayia, Sr from S&S in sales and customer support, happened into my shop and needed some tranny lube for his 94" knuckle. He was curious after seeing the photos of the bike before we started and the condition after the work we did and how the motor was going to run. We were booked to be at a show that Friday morning of bike week with this build, and this was Thursday late afternoon.
The finished product!Cocky Hubby, Steve was cleaning the old burnt spark plugs and actually put them back in the motor. Turned the motor over a few times with no power to coils to verify oil pump was coming up to pressure etc. Applied power to the coil second stroke of the motor it FIRED, being fed fuel from dual Delerto carbs (the S&S carburetor also polished out and is working). The 111 motor ran so well you would have never known it was in a fire with such extreme heat.
So we can attest to the true integrity of the S&S motors. Oh and we did make the Friday show. We won the Radical class with the old burnt bike, Black Betty.
Paints by Paula Bend Over Customs
Santa not visiting your house this year due to your questionable behavior? Here is your chance to WIN BIG for the holidays!
If you were at the AMD Championship at the last incarnation of the one-and-only Sturgis Rally, you may remember this bike. If you do not, let us get you up to speed.
Darwin Motorcycles has developed a sporty machine with a lot of (X-Wedge) muscle. This bike, dubbed the "RLX", won 1st in the "Production Class" at the 2011 AMD World Championship of Bike Building. That class is no easy ticket to come out on top of!
This bike was built for 2 reasons:
1) "To build an American Muscle Bike that pays tribute to Bobby Rahal and his storied racing career."
2) "To raise money to support our troops through military charities, Steel Anchor and Pros 4 Vets" (to be raffled off January, 2012)
Seriously... how awesome is that?!
Heard enough? GET YOUR TICKETS TO WIN HERE!
Darwin Motorcycles could have slapped some shiny parts together for your average chopper, put a price tag on it and given a portion of the proceeds away and called it a day. Not the case! This is an exceptional motorcycle with the highest quality components, some by yours truly, and award winning design that its sole purpose was to be raffled off to raise money for our troops. (I'll give you a second for an appropriate hardy slow-clap.)
The RLX was featured in the January edition of IronWorks Magazine and they had plenty of good things to say about it.
"I’ve mentioned it before; the most exciting part of working with creative people who make stuff is watching things come together. I’ve seen this machine in various forms and described in various conversations, captions, FB posts, emails, and texts so that I had a clear image of it in my mind’s eye before I had ever seen it in the “tin.” But when I first saw the bones of the machine last year in Daytona, I was knocked out. It was so much cooler and tougher in person, I couldn’t wait to see it done and flying down the road.
I got that chance this past Sturgis. Dar, Bryan, Tim, and the Brass Balls/Darwin Motorcycles team had kicked some major booty with this machine at the AMD show with a win in the very competitive Production Class and were feeling good about the results of all of their effort. The bike was a killer and knowledgeable folks had recognized that, we all know how good it feels when hard work is recognized." -Stephen Berner
Darwin Motorcycles: RLX
S&S Cycle: 132" X-Wedge
Baker Drivetrain: FFP primary w/ King
Kong Clutch and 6-speed transmission
D&D: Materials for 2-into-1-into 3 stainless
exhaust, built by Darwin Motorcycles
Beringer: Dual 4-piston front and single
4-piston rear brakes plus hand controls
Brock's Performance: BST Carbon Fiber
wheels, 19"x120mm front, 19"x180mm rear
WorldWide Bearings: Ceramic bearing sets
Dunlop: Sportmax tires
Ohlins: Road/Track suspension
Racing Innovations: Muscle Bike frame
Autometer: STACK race gauge
Braille: Carbon fiber battery
Vortex: Clip-ons, sprocket, gas cap
Vortex/Darwin: foot controls with reverse
Joker Machine: Bar end mirrors
Motion Pro: Cables and switches
MoFlo: Air cleaner
Alloy Art: Headlight
Hix Design: Custom seat
Escort/Passport: Radar detector (machined
into top clamp)
Cycle Electric: Regulator and Stator
Shark Skins: Front fender
Paint: Manny's Ink & Air
Darwin Motorcycles: Tag bracket, custom
bodywork, custom top clamp and rear
brake hanger using Summit Machine.
Designer, Dar Holdsworth had a few things to say about the build / charity: "At Darwin Motorcycles, we build a no compromise custom/production bike using only the highest quality components. We machine everything to fit perfectly. There is a performance edge to our bikes...
I wanted to go farther: more power, more sport/cafe inspired styling. I could not stop thinking about this next bike. How could I bring it to life: out of my head, onto paper, and onto our bike lift? I decided the best way to develop this bike was to pay it forward. To build it then give it away at the end—and that is what we did.
See, I do a bike every year that supports the military. I knew with such a tight economy, I’d have to do something big to get contributions from the top suppliers I was seeking to partner with... All proceeds go to Steel Anchor and
Pros For Vets charities. The components listed in the sidebar were generously donated by these exceptional suppliers; Darwin Motorcycles built the bike for free."
Tickets are only $20.
The bike is valued at over $50,000!
Only 3,500 tickets are being sold!!
Darwin Motorcycles is raffling this bike through midnight pacific standard time, December 24th and need your help to raise as much money as possible to support our troops. Winner will be selected January, 2012. Good luck!
Photos and commentary by Matt Polito
S&S was once again a force in the chase for the NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle championship in 2011. Led by the Lucas Oil Team and rookie sensation Hector Arana Jr., S&S-Powered Buells amassed some enviable accomplishment in the premier motorcycle drag racing series.
Arana Jr. joined his father, 2009 NHRA PSM champion Hector Arana Sr., on a two-bike team this season and put himself in position to challenge for the championship. In the end he could not overcome a strong finish by Harley-Davidson® rider Eddie Krawiec, who claimed his second #1 plate.
Hector Arana Jr. had a sensational year in his rookie season of NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle racing. Arana Jr. took the number one qualifying position in seven events and scored three wins in five final round appearances.
Arana Jr. would finish second to Krawiec in the championship points and was awarded the prestigious Auto Club Road to the Future Award – NHRA’s Rookie of the year honor - beating out eight other eligible professional rookie racers.
Arana Jr. had a disappointing start, failing to qualify at the season-opening Gator Nationals at Gainesville, but he took the pole four races later at Norwalk – the place where his father won his first-ever NHRA event in 2008.
Arana Jr.s first-ever win came at the prestigious NHRA Mac Tools US Nationals at Indianapolis.
In all, Arana Jr. qualified on the pole in seven events and had 3 wins in five final round appearances. He took his first-ever event title at the prestigious NHRA Mac Tools US Nationals at Indianapolis.
"Overall, it was a good season, being that it was my rookie year, first time out," said Arana Jr. "I can't wait to get back to the shop, find some power, come back and show these guys who's boss. I've got a full season underneath my belt. Those last several runs, I felt like I was making perfect runs. I'm ready to go to Gainesville and start from the beginning."
Hector Arana Sr, who won the 2009 NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle championship, set a new elapsed time record of 6.777 seconds in 2011.
His father, Hector Sr., did not win an event this season but qualified on the pole at two events and set the elapsed time national record at 6.777 seconds in Gainesville. The record remained unchallenged for the rest of the season.
Combining the Arana’s #1 qualifying performances, S&S-powered Buells took nine poles in the 16-race NHRA schedule.
Matt Smith, who brought a Buell to its first championship in 2007, went to three finals in 2011, winning at Englishtown. Smith finished the season in the fourth position.
2007 NHRA PSM championship Matt Smith took one event win in three final round appearances and held the number 4 spot in the championship points in 2011.
Chip Ellis got back on an S&S-powered Buell this season and went to the final at Chicago.
Rejoining the S&S-powered riders this year was Chip Ellis, riding the new Kuryakyn Buell of veteran owner Harry Lartigue.
Ellis has a rich history on the Buell’s, taking the prototype G2 machine to its first-ever pole at the US Nationals in 2004. He then ran the Drag Specialties Buell of George Smith and George Bryce for three seasons, finishing in the top five every year.
This year Ellis went to the final at the Chicago event but failed to make the top ten cutoff for NHRA’s Countdown to the Championship.
Lartigue stated that the team would compete again in Kuryakyn colors in 2012
2011 marked the sixth straight year that S&S-powered Buells accounted for two of the top five points earners in the NHRA series. In that time two championships were won on S&S-powered Buells, Smith in 2007 and Arana Sr. in 2009.
George B. Smith commented on the season, stating, “I am really proud of the talent, hard work and dedication of the riders, the tuners and their teams. Our technology is available to everyone and we have to race against technology that is only available to the Harley-Davidson® factory team. We built this engine as an alternative that would change the face of NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle drag racing. With the efforts of the racers, we were able to do that.”
Our friends over at the PowerSport Institute, who carry out our S&S Dealer technical training program, along with tech training for all aspects of the powersports industry, have a new project to show off. Last August during the 2011 Sturgis rally, the students and instructors at PSI unveiled a custom bike build that was entered into the AMD World Championship of Custom Bike Building.
This build is the pride and vision of PowerSport Institute Students. Hence the bike's name, "Students Pride". This 2004 Big Dog has an S&S 107" engine and was hand built by the students from fabrication of fuel tank, forming of handmade side covers, fitting the seat pan to Corbin one-off seat and mounting Corbin bags to a Softail Frame. The one-off pipes were designed and manufactured by SuperTrapp. All molding, paint prep, selection and application completed by PSI students with assistance of PSI Instructors.
Student Builders (from left to right): Brenda Riley, Angelica Hrach, Brandon Timberman, Matt Laughbaum, Tom Lucas, John Fabrizio, Carl Lehman. Not pictured: Samuel Doyle, Nat John, Lucas Berkes, Wade Haller and Thomas McDaniel
PSI's Campus Director, Bernie Thompson reflected: "I enjoyed the enthusiasm and the passion the students demonstrated during the build, they knew it was for a special event and took a lot of pride in the workmanship. I enjoyed the entire event to see the industries creative minds with their unique craftsmanship skill was incredible. PSI was the only technical school entered into the event with some of the best bike builders in the world. A special thanks to S&S for your support."
This bike was built with industry partners support.
- S&S supplied engine components
- Baker Driveline supplied a complete transmission
- Gardner Westcott supplied all the fastners
- Super Trap built a one off exhaust for our students
- Jim’s supplied all tools that the students used for this build
- Tricky Air supplied the rear and front Springer air suspension
- Avon supplied the tires for this build
- Corbin supplied the rear bag and fender assembly
- Diamond Heads supplied PSI with a great job on cutting the heads and cylinders
- Daytona Sensors supplied the Ignition
- Accel supplied other ign parts
- Cosmetics supplied all the gaskets and seals
- Frame Lock supplied a frame loc system for the bike to be transported with... and worked GREAT
- Sherwin Auto Paint supplied the paint and supplies for this build
This is PSI's first entry into the AMD World Championship and their efforts were well recieved. The PSI bike placed 8th in the Production Manufacturer class and walked away with a very nice 9th place, out of 87 bikes, for the people's choice internet contest. Well done! We look forward to seeing what the students at the PowerSport Institute comes up with next year for the AMD build.
But, that's not all... PSI is gearing up for SEMA in November. At this show, a couple of lucky students have been invited to attend and build a bike during the show. This bike started out as a 2002 Stock CVO bike and will be air brushed by the Ohio Technical College during the show and as the students from PSI are building.
Related: S&S takes a road trip to the PowerSport Institute facility for S&S Dealer training classes.
What's With The Red Hat?
We've gotten a number of emails asking what the red hat is all about. Odd that nobody has commented about it on the blog. Be that as it may, here's the deal.
The red hat that Jay and Wink were striving for is not the one your mother in law wears with her purple pants suit to her Red Hat Society meetings. The only people who get to wear this hat belong to the prestigious 200 MPH Club. The 200 MPH Club is a very exclusive organization open only to people who have set a record of over 200 MPH in any of a number of land speed racing sanctions. Check out their website
for more details.
S&S has a resident 200 MPH Club member here in Viola. Dan Kinsey has been with S&S since 1970 and has set a couple of 200 mph+ records at the Bonneville Salt Flats. Dan piloted the S&S/BUB streamliner Tenacious to a 276.510 mph SAF2000 record in 1985, and drove the S&S partially streamlined bike Tramp III to a 226.148 mph APS-APF2000 record in 1991. (video
) He's been there, done that, and he has the hat to prove it.
Dan Kinsey and TRAMP III
Not So Fast!
So all Wink and Jay need to do is to beat their current records and go over 200 mph to get in the club, right?
No, it's not that simple. They intend to run in two classes APS-PG 3000 and APS-PF 3000. Jay currently holds SCTA records in those classes. Both records are less than 200 mph. However, the 200 MPH club has set a minimum speed of 215 MPH in the APS-PG 3000 class and recognizes a record of 231.597 set by Dave Campos in 1974 for the APS-PF 3000 class. That means that Jay and/or Wink have to set a record of over 215 mph in the APS-PG 3000 class or break Dave Campos record in the APS-PF 3000 class. That's a tall order, but they think with the additional horsepower and slippery bodywork that it can be done!
How can Jay Allen hold an SCTA record in APS-PF 3000 if Dave Campos holds a higher one? The answer is that it's complicated; involving several different racing sanctions and 200 MPH Club rules. When the smoke clears, it's tough to fight city hall, and if you want to join the club, you have to play by their rules!
What do all the numbers and letters in the class names mean?
The number is the maximum displacement in cubic centimeters. The first A stands for Altered or special construction. The PS stands for Partially Streamlined. The PG stands for Pushrod Gasoline, and the PF stands of Pushrod Fuel. So APS-PF3000 means that the bike is altered, partially streamlined, with a pushrod engine of less than 3000cc displacement, and running on fuel (nitromethane). So why are these guys going after a fuel record on a bike that's powered by gasoline? Well, there's no rule that says that you have to run nitro, it just says that you can. So if you can beat a fuel record on gas, more power to you. It's been done before.
Meanwhile back at Wink's shop in Orange, CA . . . Wink is modifying the new bodywork to fit Jay's FXR. The problem is that this fairing was built for a different type of motorcycle. When you stick it on a Harley-Davidson® big twin the cutout for the riders left foot is right over the big hump in the Harley® primary case. The solution is to move the cutout back about eight inches so the rider's foot can slide in behind the primary and out of the air stream. That's a time consuming bit of fiberglass work, but it has to be done.
The aerodynamics of the bodywork is critical to the success of this project. In fact it's just as important as the additional horsepower. Keep in mind that the salt at Bonneville does not offer exceptional traction, so it's not that hard to make the tire slip and spin. Also, at speeds of over 200 mph wind resistance becomes a major factor. At some point wind resistance will overcome the traction available, and the tire will start to slip. The easier the bike can slide through the air the higher the speed at which that will occur. That's what it's going to take to get that red hat!
Haste Makes Waste... And Who Wanted To Get Wasted?
A couple of days ago Wink contacted us here at S&S to tell us that they weren't going to make it to the World Finals at Bonneville, and now it looks like the meet may not happen due to rain. The reason Wink and Jay decided to give it a miss was that there was just too much to get done and not enough time to do it right. In addition to the fiberglass bodywork, one of the key problems was that the engine hadn't been given the Wink Eller treatment, and he needed to go through it to make sure everything was perfect. According to Wink "You have to be prepared, and everything has to be done right when you go to Bonneville." He went on to explain that just going 200 mph is dangerous enough, and that rushing to get ready and possibly making mistakes or cutting corners increases the danger unnecessarily. "Besides, if you work 24/7 to get ready the week before the race, you show up at the salt all worn out. That's no good! And I hate workin' on my bike out on the salt!"
These guys are no quitters, so what's the plan? The plan is that they will skip the World Finals at Bonneville, but will instead focus on a November race at El Mirage in southern California. That will give them more time to prepare the bike and get everything dialed in before the race. We intend to update this blog to follow Wink and Jay's progress, so check back to the S&S Performance Times Blog often to see what happens.
Last week at the BUB International Motorcycle Speed Trials at the Bonneville salt flats, there was much to see.
Customers of S&S hit the salt and came away from it with new land speed records! First up was Jay Allen of the Broken Spoke Race Team. You may know him as the bandana wielding owner of the original Broken Spoke Saloon in Sturgis. Jay came to BUBs with his FXR, powered by an S&S® V124 engine built by Jeff Lange of Different Strokes. The heads were B2 heads ported by Rob Schopf of Rob Schopf Performance. Jay broke not 1, not 2, but 3 land speed records within the two weeks of BUBs. (actual numbers coming shortly when released).
Next up is veteran land speed racer, Wink Eller. Wink broke the old record of 167.335 mph in the A-PF 3000 class with a run of 169.558 mph. He also worked with Jay Allen of Broken Spoke Racing to help him set his three records. Some time during the meet Wink sustained a pretty bad cut on his leg, and proceeded to stitch it up by himself so he could race the next day. There's a video of the stitchery on YouTube, but be warned, it may be hard to watch if you have a weak stomach! Wink took Jay's bike for a run and qualified at over 192 mph, but due to bad weather did not have the opportunity to back it up. He vows he will be back in October for the world finals.
Last but not least is Chris Rivas. The quest to find the 2011 World's Fastest Bagger is officially completed, and the award goes once again to Chris Rivas of Chris Rivas V-Twin in Fresno CA. Chris, riding the newly upgraded “Aero Glide” designed by Carl Brouhard Designs, completed the timed mile with an average speed of 195.036 mph to turn in the fastest measured mile ever on a Bagger. Thanks to a special appearance by S&S Cycle's Executive Chairman & CEO George B. Smith, after a 20 year hiatus, some very smart tuning decisions were made in order to accomplish what some thought to be impossible. Even though exit speeds are not a part of the official times, it is now clear that a 200 mph lap on a Bagger is very attainable. Not only is the body design unique, The Aero Glide motorcycle also has several very unique features such as a naturally aspirated 240 HP S&S Powered 167 cubic inch Twin Cam that button starts, thanks to the S&S Easy Start Camshafts designed by the engineers at S&S Cycle.
*More from George below
2011 Return and Recollections
By: George B. Smith
Driving across Utah, headed for Wendover and the Bonneville Salt Flats, with my wife Connie, a wave of emotions and thoughts flooded through my mind.
Twenty years ago, at the 1991 BNI Meet, I had been here with Dan Kinsey, Floyd Baker, Uncle Sid (Smith), and the rest of the S&S team with Tramp III running nitro in the APS 2000cc fuel class. We set a 226MPH record but were not satisfied. Dan and the Tramp had been clocked at over 239MPH and we knew it could run faster but it drove through the clutch on our last attempt. We packed up and took the long drive back to Viola, Wisconsin and proceeded to make modifications so we could return to the late fall USFRA meet and go 250MPH or better. We reloaded the trailer and got as far as Wyoming when the snows came and the meet was called. The dejected crew returned to Wisconsin and unfortunately, Tramp III ended up in the S&S Museum never to return to the Salt.
I thought back to my first trip to the Salt with my Dad just after joining S&S. We were running three Harley street bikes testing S&S parts with Warner Riley doing the riding. It was my first opportunity work with Warner that began our motorcycle work relationship which has lasted all these years. I developed a passion and respect for “the great white dyno” as the ultimate test bed for horse power, longevity, and handling. Painfully, that was the only trip I enjoyed with my Dad because he unexpectedly passed away.
The heavy responsibility fell on those who remained at S&S Cycle after Dad’s passing. With me and Floyd Baker assuming the lion’s share of R&D and product designing, enter Denis Manning into my life. He called and asked if S&S wanted to collaborate on a Bonneville project. What better way for me to get my feet wet and learn about go-fast-parts then to work with Denis! The collaboration between Denis and S&S Cycle was not new. In 1970 Denis, Warner, and my Dad worked with Harley to set the motorcycle world land speed record at over 265MPH. After talking it over, I called back Denis and said yes under one condition—that Denis collaborate with S&S to design a conventional motorcycle Bonneville racer. He agreed. And work began on what we called Tramp III.
Thinking of all the time I had been away from the Salt brought pangs of guilt as I rationalized reasons to explain my absence. In 1992, Ma died and the family was dealing with her loss. The following year, I began to get involved in designing the first Harley drag bike to go 200MPH in the quarter mile. I quit S&S daily operations in order to work on this and other R&D projects. The thought of a blown nitro S&S powered V-twin “Harley” drag bike to be the first in the 6’s and over 200MPH became my passion. Andy Gotsis and Steve Rominski would develop the chassis working with Sandy Kosman and I and S&S would do the engine. Our relationship with the late Elmer Trett proved invaluable as Elmer coached us on the fuel system among other things. We missed being the first bike to run in the 6’s by a month or two but in May of 1995, at Richmond, Virginia, Andy Gotsis on the S&S blower bike was the first Harley to crack 200 in a quarter mile. The bike was a hit and coined “the loudest bike on the planet.” I still have people come up and ask about that bike.
The blower bike project was replaced by helping Dave Feazell run S&S engines to win the number one plate in the AHDRA Pro-stock class. We did that in 1997 and again in 1998. The AHDRA project gave way to interest in the NHRA Pro stock motorcycle class where there was growing effort to develop competitive V-twins to liven up the competition. But at that time S&S was gearing up to build complete engines for the growing custom bike chopper craze in the U.S., so I was not able to get the funding necessary to develop a special purpose NHRA pro stock motorcycle v-twin engine. When Harley entered the fray in 2001, the Board approved the project. Work began in earnest using what I and S&S had learned over the years including experimenting on projects with Dave’s invaluable help. The first production prototype was completed by August of 2003 and was enclosed in a chassis that George Bryce and I had developed with Sandy Kosman’s expertise doing the fabricating and body work. The engine was 60º V-twin, in line cylinders (forked rod), 4 cam pushrod, two valve head motor patterned after the Sportster engine. Always being Harley guys, it was logical from an S&S stand point to use Buell bodywork. The bike debuted at Columbus, Ohio NHRA national event in the spring of 2004, qualified number two, and received the NHRA Best Engineered Vehicle award. The S&S Buell enjoyed great success winning the first national event in Las Vegas 2004. Since then, over 30 S&S Buells have been produced, winning championships on three continents including the NHRA in 2007 and 2009. Today, about half the NHRA qualifying field is comprised of S&S powered Buells.
So what do me and S&S do for an encore? Back to the Salt! As Connie and I drove into the pits at the 2011 BUB all motorcycle world land speed trials I wondered who would be there besides Denis, Warner, and Chris Rivas—who I had been helping with his S&S powered world’s fastest bagger project. I must admit I was a little nervous but that feeling disappeared in a hurry when I talked to Denis, Warner, Chris, John Yeates, Jay Allen, Wink Eller, Sam Wills and many many others. I helped Chris set a new bagger record of 193.9— thrilling! Attending the awards banquet on Thursday night was a humbling experience as S&S’s contribution to Bonneville land speed racing was warmly recognized with John Yeates and his wife Dexter presenting me with a copy of a new book recognizing the 1970 Harley record achievement which was autographed for me by three of the crew in attendance in 1970— Dennis Manning, Warner Riley, and John Yeates. My return to Bonneville was a very intense and satisfying experience for me and I’m thankful to all for making me feel so welcome. I’ll be back next year!
High performance v-twin engine manufacturer, S&S Cycle Inc. announced that they have received the coveted "Engine of the Year" award for the new KN-Kone engine, at a ceremony held during the V-Twin Expo in Cincinnati, Ohio. The award was given at a ceremony on Saturday evening February 6, at the Duke Energy Center in Cincinnati. The KN-Kone engine is a new product sold under S&S' Flathead Power® brand of vintage engine parts.
Accepting the award for S&S and Flathead Power were S&S VP of Product Development Scott Sjovall, and Flathead Power product line manager Eric Wangen. Eric was the driving force behind designing the KN-Kone and getting it into production. When asked where the KN-Kone rated on a coolness scale of 1 to 10, Eric immediately replied, "It would at least be an 11!"
The V-Twin Expo is a three-day dealer-only show, which is presented by Paisano publications, the home of both V-Twin and Easy Riders Magazines. This is one of the largest, most important, and certainly the most historic shows in the v-twin industry.
The KN-Kone is a cool combination that looks like a knucklehead top end grafted to an alternator style shovelhead crankcase. The result is a very unique retro looking engine that will drop into any 1970-'99 big twin chassis. It can be used in an earlier chassis if the longer late style transmission shaft is used. Klassic knuckle kool has the bright lights of an alternator charging system and the compatibility with the modern primary, clutch, and transmission goodies. The joins an extensive selection of high quality vintage engines and components in the Flathead Power product line.