Written by: Jeff Bailey - Engineering Manager, S&S Cycle
The goal was simple, set a Bonneville land speed record over 200 mph. We had two meets to do it at, the BUB Motorcycle Speed Trials (Aug. 26-30) and World of Speed (Sept 8-11), giving me eight days of racing to work with. The bike had the power to do it and it had proven reliable in the past. The biggest unknown was the new bodywork. Would it go straight? Would it try to fly? Only one way to find out...
This was my first trip to BUB, so the first thing we had to do was understand how they run the event. I started in the MPS-PG 3000 class. This means I had a modified (M), partially streamlined (PS) chassis with a pushrod (P), gas (G) 3000 cc engine. Because this was the first time running the full fairing, I had planned on taking it easy the first run. Even that didn’t go exactly to plan. With a 10-13 mph cross wind, I wasn’t able to even make it through the timing lights after being blown off the course. Not the start I had planned on.
We made sure the alignment was correct, which it was, did a quick 95 mph test run down the return road and headed back out to see if it would go straight. The next run was 201 mph in little to no wind. The bike felt light and not as planted as I would have liked. The 201 did qualify for a record. On the return run the other direction, the wind had picked up, and again I struggled with handling. I wasn’t able to go full throttle and only mustered a 189. This resulted in a 195.732 record. Not 200, but close.
We spent the next two days struggling with handling and traction. I ran a 195.6 and 192 before giving up on the bodywork and switching to a naked (no fairing) class. I hadn’t planned on running the bike naked, so there were plenty of things on the bike that stuck out and made it aerodynamically dirty. We also fabbed up a seat with 2 x 4’s, cardboard and duct tape. Dan Kinsey also went into town looking for any steel or lead weights. The best he could come up with were two 12 lb sledge hammers. We cut the handles off and attached them to the bike with hose clamps and scraps of welded metal.
Now in the M-PG 3000 class, I set off in hopes to set another record. The first run netted a 192.914 mph. The bike felt more planted and hooked up although still not great. The return run started from the other end of the course where the salt was worse and bumpier. I was only able to go 185.235, but that was good for a 189.075 record.
That was the end of the BUB meet, but not an end for this year’s racing. I was happy with the records, but not happy to leave without a 200 mph record.
For the World of Speed (WOS) meet we built a steel skeleton to replace the flat aluminum belly pan used at BUB. Dan also built some brackets that would allow about 60 lbs to be added to the bike. We also went over everything else including pulling the heads and cylinders for inspection. Everything looked great, so with a fresh set of rings, it went back together.
After completing the third 1500 mile trip in a few days, we were back on the salt to take another crack at a 200 mph record. This time it was at the USFRA World of Speed. The salt was good and the wind was calm, so I set off on a test run on Saturday morning. Now in the APS-PF class, I ran 197.7 to qualify on a 184.6 record. The bike really hooked up and felt stable. I knew it had more in it, but I took it as a qualifying pass which meant that I was off to impound for the rest of the day. The next morning we made a return run of 203.4 and it was on the rev limiter the whole mile. We finally had something we could tune on and I could ride. With the PF record in the books at 200.577 mph, I changed to the PG class to go after Chris Rivas’ 201.5 record.
In the afternoon on Monday, the bike made a nearly perfect run of 207.74 mph. It was slightly hitting the rev limiter, but more importantly, it continued to handle well and felt very solid. We decided that raising the rev limiter would be better than pulling another tooth off the rear. I thought for sure the next morning (final day of racing) would yield a solid record over 200.
But the following morning, the weather had changed. It had rained over night and it was cool and windy. We held back in the line of qualifiers hoping the weather would change by the time it was our turn. Luckily it seemed to. The wind died and the sun came out just as the guy ahead of me took off. I was feeling good and took off down the course. At about the 1.75 mile mark, a side wind came up and nearly blew me in to the “Q” that marks the 2.25 mile. I tried correcting the bike and getting back into it and actually ran a 196 through the second mile. I thought that would be enough for the record, but didn’t know about a rule that requires the return speed to be averaged with the speed in the same measured mile. By running it in the second mile, it didn’t count towards my average for a record.
To make things a little more exciting, right before the 4 mile marker, the exhaust weakened the fiberglass on the tail section, causing it to break and flap in the wind at 196 mph. With the wind blowing 10 mph straight across the track, I decided to pull the bodywork and switch to the open A-PG 3000 class and tried to break my own record from 2010 of 180.350 mph. We made two quick runs of 191.84 and 192.151 for an average of 191.995 mph. All I can say about those runs is the wind pressure at that speed is amazing. It was really trying to pull me off the bike.
With two records in the books, it was time to head home. One more day of racing would have probably resulted in the APS-PG record that I really wanted, but it wasn’t meant to be.
We will see what next year brings, but for now I want to thank the many people who helped out. I couldn’t have done this without sponsors like S&S Cycle, AirTech, Jimmy John’s and Spectro Oil. Although many people helped out on the project a few guys were very involved. Dan Kinsey contributed his years of knowledge of Bonneville racing as well as machining and fabrication. Gene Dlask kept the bike in race ready condition and made sure I didn’t do anything dumb. Paul Olesen spent hours reworking the fairing and preparing the bike. Rob, Nevin and Jan took care of EFI, data acq and electronics.
Success stories are great and they’re the stories everybody wants to be able to tell. Racing is a test, with racers pushing their machines to the limit in order to get a passing mark. After all, almost setting a record is the same as not setting a record. Sometimes you win, but sometimes one of thousand things that could go wrong does go wrong, and you don’t. It’s how you deal with that situation that shows your measure as a racer. Will you consider a loss to be a defeat, or will you pick yourself up and look forward to the next opportunity to win.
Here is a letter from John Endrizzi from the Joe Taylor Racing Team to Eric Wangen, the S&S product line manager for Flathead Power®. Eric provided support to the team by sending some much needed FHP engine parts the build the knucklehead race engine.
Hi Eric, I wish to send a very big thank you for all you have done in getting the Joe Taylor Racing Team off the ground. Without the S&S FHP sponsorship, our Land Speed Racing efforts would be dead. There was a whirlwind of activity at Terry Spears Gunners Cycle shop in Webster Wi. prior to BUB. Most of the fabrication on “The Goose” (formerly EL Bonnie Knuck) had been completed over the winter months. Lee Wickstrom had a full plate when he stepped up to do our motor build. He spent many hours wrenching after he should have been home with his wife. We took delivery of the motor about 12 days before taking off for Bonneville. We had arranged to do Dyno testing at Fairbault HD. The dyno operator called the day before we completed the bike to say that he had blown up the dyno. I made a frantic call to my friend Pat Lehmann who is the dyno tech at Rochester HD. He volunteered to run The Goose at the dealership on his day off. A baseline was established and the bike loaded up, leaving for Wendover two days later. A blown out trailer tire made the trip extra exciting! I flew out and joined the Team on Sat, Aug 25. We spent Sat and much of Sunday preparing The Goose for tech. After passing tech Sunday afternoon we had a freak thunderstorm, which left 2 inches of standing water on the Salt. Racing resumed Tuesday morning! We made our first pass that day after waiting in the starting queue for over 4 hours. By the time Terry set off from the starting line a very brisk crosswind had come up. He found the bike being blown from one side of the course almost hitting a marker flag on the opposite side. This was in the measured mile. He backed off the throttle. Later, he said that he was at 1/2 throttle and accelerating when the gust of wind hit him. The result was 115.929 mph. This was enough to break the Sid Biberman Vincent’s standing record of 109.079. By the time that we got the bike back to the pit, the wind speed had not died at all. It was decided not to make the return pass, which would be needed to post a new record. The next morning it was another long wait for our turn to run. Terry got off the line in good fashion and the bike sounded good thru 1-3rd gears. At the top of third, a little change in the motors rhythm was heard. While on the way down the return road, we heard the announcer say that our bike had run 59 MPH! Once back at the pit we found the rear cylinder had a holed piston. That was end of racing for The Goose! As I write this, the motor is still together. We are taking the motor down to Lee’s Speed Shop tomorrow for teardown. We suspect that the hole was NOT caused by a lean or detonation condition. More on this when we are finished with the examination. Well that’s a brief run down. I’m thinking of making a scouting trip to Wilmington, Ohio on Sept 29-30 for the ECTA Throttle Nation Bike only Land Speed Races. This would be in preparation for running The Goose there next April. We are down right now, but far from out! Thanks again Eric!
John K. Endrizzi, Joe Taylor, and Terry Spears
One of the many racers who ran S&S parts at the BUB Motorcycle Speed Trials last August was Jimbo Fischer. This is a pretty cool story so we’ll let Jimbo tell it in his own words.
Well we sure proved the quality, strength, and endurance of the S&S Super Stock SB-100 engine this year at the BUB/AMA Speed trials at Bonneville.
The “Great White Dyno” threw us a couple glitches as usual, that were analyzed and remedied quickly. We had to beat the existing record of 156.096 - An early lesson from Warner is - Don’t waste a minute of time - get there and beat the record first day out. That’s exactly what we did, three times.
After we set a new record of 162.299 mph on the first runs, Dyno Mike downloaded data - the decision was made to change the rear wheel sprocket and drop one tooth. Next time out the following day - we broke the record again, with a two way average of 167.418 mph. He’s still pulling hard so the decision was made to change the rear wheel sprocket again and drop one more tooth. That resulted in a third qualifying record run of 168.702 - In the impound the decision was made to check data - The ignition being on for the process a bit too long made for some high drama at the 5mi. start for the return record run. After trailering the bike to the 5 mi. start the signal was given - we’re next up - get ready. I hit the start button - and - it’s a very low battery - engine won’t turn over. OH S**t ! !
Trying to push start it - he won’t go - Suddenly, like the Cavalry coming to the rescue - Jeff Bailey and some of the S&S crew pull up with a starter pack and we get him fired up.
So with a little last minute high drama we were off to our best speed for the meet, and brought in a 170.552 mph and a two way average of 169.627 for a third time AMA Record in four days of racing.
I must say a huge THANK YOU to my team mates Warner & Mike, as well as to George Smith and all the great talent at S&S that put this engine together, and to our sponsors who also helped with much needed parts - like Wayne & Donna Pingel, and Jim Wallin at AutoMeter and the folks at Magnetrol flow & control.
Four days of racing, breaking the AMA record three consecutive times puts me on cloud nine.
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.
Knucklehead enthusiast, John Endrizzi tells us about the trials and tribulations, and hopefully a happy ending to a project to run a 61” knucklehead EL at Bonneville. In his own words…
"Land Speed Racing is an experience that can be compared to no other type of internal combustion engine performance testing. Preparation is the real key to success. As a boy, the names Craig Breedlove, Mickey Thompson, and Art Arfons were watchwords in my imagination. I devoured coverage of Speed Week in Hot Rod and other magazines. To me, the Salt was a very mystical place.
In 2009 I attended the BUB Motorcycle Speed Trials at the Bonneville Salt Flats. I met and became friends with the Buell® Bros Racing Team that year. Pilot Joe Taylor bettered the 1350APS-PG AMA record to 176.29 mph (over 23 mph increase on the previous record). Between runs that week, Joe and I made a great friendship. We found that among other things, we share a passion for Harley-Davidson® Knuckleheads. Soon we found ourselves planning to build a 1939 EL to run at BUB.
Being amateur historians, it was appropriate that we picked the Vintage Partially Streamlined class to run in. Joe Petrali ran a dual carb El at Daytona to a speed of 136.183 mph on March 13, 1937. Our goal is to better that speed. The current record in our class (1000 MPS-VG) is 109.079 mph held by a Vincent.
Joe had much of what we needed for a start on the build. Stock cases are a major requirement. Joe had cases, cylinders and heads along with a chassis. The road to making them raceable was a long twisted path! We found a willing engine builder and proceeded. Unfortunately he passed away unexpectedly shortly before BUB last year. During probate, it became apparent that most of the internal engine components had been misplaced. That set us back to the point where racing at BUB 2011 was impossible.
During the winter we acquired virtually all the needed engine parts from S&S®/Flathead Power®. Lee Wickstrom of Leeʼs Speed shop in Savage, Minnesota had helped us with special valve gear early on. After finding out that we had lost Tim Riste as our motor builder, Lee immediately volunteered to do the build. Lee, a long time drag racer, built a very cool alcohol burning 1950ʼs style drag bike called the Knuckledragger that flat screams. Knowing this, assurance that we had a winning combination was locked in. As this is written, we are in the final thrash of preparation for BUB. Late night wrenching and covert highway testing is still before us. With inspiration coming from Joe Petrali, George Smith and Bud Schmidt (all pioneers of Knucklehead racing) we look forward to adding the Buell Brothers name as record holders in this elite group."
Thank you John and good luck in Bonneville!
One of the many racers who will be attending the BUB Motorcycle Speed Trials this August is Jimbo Fischer. This is a pretty cool story so we’ll let Jimbo tell it in his own words.
The Gray Ghost Story
"It was an early Sunday morning, spring 2001. Just finished making my first cup of morning coffee, and I hear my wife Barbara call me over to the table. “Hey Jimbo” she says, “ there is an old 1974 Sportster in the paper here, and it says it needs some work, you used to be pretty good at that. – (I worked in a machine shop in early 70’s, and made custom parts, and built my first Sportster from scratch in 71) – Why don’t we go and check it out, you need a hobby besides work”. I am to say the least, a bit surprised, pinching my cheek to make sure I am not dreaming. Not one to argue with this woman much, I just had to say, “yah, that sounds like a good idea sweetheart”. A call was made, a meeting set. We got there and first look made it well said,” needs some work”. Leaning on the side of the garage with a raggedy old tarp on it. Rolling it into the drive I first noticed the S&S carb, then the dual plugged cylinder heads. The young man tells me it was his dad’s bike and was given to him, but he couldn’t keep it running right. Said it was an old S&S stroker. Hhmm hadn’t been plated in over a year.
After about a ½ hr. of tinkering, we got him started, made a deal we could both live with, and began the journey home. Got only half way to the expressway, coughin’, spittin’, sputterin’, and here comes a good spring rain storm to finish the ride to his new home. I kind’a laughed while riding in the rain in that condition thinking, “oh well it’s our Baptism, here we go”. We spent the next year or so doing a frame off restoration. Giving him a retro look with FL struts and rear fender with a Beehive tail light, an old Mustang Bobber tank, keeping the old style pull back handlebars, & head light.
Taking the engine apart. The lower end checked out ok, but he needed a fresh valve job, & rings. Sure enough, it is a 4 5/8 S&S Stroker, complete w/ rods and pistons, with a set of Andrews X series cams, big XLR valves and some nicely done head work.
Riding him to some HOG meetings one of the guys said, why don’t you enter him into the dealers’ choice for the 100th H-D Anniversary in Milwaukee. I figure it’s a long shot, there are a lot of very cool newer bikes out there. So entry was filled out, pictures sent. Couple of months go by, I have just about forgotten about it when Barb comes into the garage holding an envelope. “You looking for this Jimbo”? I see the 100th logo in the corner and start to freak out. Sure enough, the Old Gray Ghost was invited to partake in the Harley 100th as part of the personal collection exhibit. That was stage one.
Stage two came about a year or so later when Barb, once again she started it, brought up the idea of going to the AMA-BUB International Speed Trials at Bonneville and do the “Run whatcha brung”. That’s all it took. After being there, you realize why they call it, “Salt Fever”. That year, we came within 14mph of the existing record for his class. Too tempting to pass up, we spent the next year getting him set up for some real action on the salt. Making a 4in. extended swing arm, making our own oil tank and battery box to narrow his frontal exposure, getting properly speed rated tires, and a whole punch list of requirements. With some parts help and good advise from old friend Steve Manthey, and some tires from Ozzie at WildFire we were headed back to the Salt Lake.
First pass in 07 found a slipping clutch at about 110mph. Back to the pits, make the adjustments, get ready for the next day. Second day of racing (tach quit working) but brought us a qualifying pass of 121.982 – we had to beat 120.444 – the qualifying pass made us eligible for the return record run (in the opposite direction), which we turned a 125.598mph, establishing a new AMA Land Speed Record for his class with a two way average speed of 123.79.
So this old Sporty, 34 years old, almost parted out, gets brought back to life, comes back a few years later and establishes a new land speed record for his class. M/PP 1350
That’s why we call him – “The Gray Ghost”
This year the Ghost will be returning to the salt, with a completely rebuilt engine, thanks to Jimmy “Smiley” Smith, crew chief for Edge Racing, to try and increase that mph number, and also compete for an FIM International title.
I guess that’s why they call it, “salt fever”.
I gotta say thanks to most of all, my wife Barbara, she found the bike and got me started again. And many thanks to Steve Manthey, to my brothers and family for their support and encouragement in chasing a dream. Last but not least, with all due respect, my many thanks to a world class gentleman named Warner Riley for your tutoring of a junior class Land Speed Enthusiast.
Project Gray Ghost
M/PP – 1350
2007 AMA Land Speed Record"
Check back later for “the rest of the story” and we’ll see how the Grey Ghost has been prepared for the 2012 season with a new S&S engine!
Next up for our Salt & Speed racer profile, we have a letter to share from a veteran racer, Tom Anderson, who will be at BUB Speed Trials this August. Here's what "Santa" had to say.
"Hi, I’m Tom “Santa Claus” Anderson. I will get to the bikes, but a little history first. We started racing on the salt in 1995. When Erik Buell and Harley got together and built the S-2 Thunderbolt we came up with the name of Buell Brothers Race Team. We set a record the first year in the Production Push Rod 1350 Class at Speed Week. Our Race Team started with guys that I was in the service with, we were Vietnam Vets and a lot of friends. We loved Harleys and going fast. Our race team now has people from all over the world.
A few years later, my sisters gave me so much crap about having so much fun and not building a bike for women to race at Bonneville. So the Buell Sisters were born.
In 2003, Denis “Bub” Manning met us at Speed Week and helped us go faster. He told us that he was going to put a land speed racing event at Bonneville for motorcycles only. He asked us to come; he was going to call it “Bub Speed Trials”. We said “Yes”, so did other people and teams. As they say, the rest is history.
The Brothers’ bike is now is a 1350 modified partial stream line Buell. With S&S cases, flywheels, and two G series S&S carbs with a set of Schumacher Heads. The bike has evolved over the years, it has set numerous records and gone over 176 mph. We tear the bike down every year, we go through everything: front end, bearings, frame and engine; then paint everything and put it back together and Dyno the bike. Then it is off to Bonneville to see if we can go faster! Joe Taylor has been the pilot for many years. This year Joe is building a 1939 Knucklehead, so he is also busy.
The Sisters’ bike is the same 1995 S-2 Thunderbolt we started racing with in 1995. It is in the 1350 Production Push Rod Class. The engine we use is a stock 1203 Buell engine from Harley. We have had a few different women ride the bike through the years but Erin Hunter is the pilot now. The thing I enjoy about women riding the bike is that they listen to what you tell them to do, then do it and go faster. The Production Class has to be like you bought the bike new. She has set many records through the years on the bike. She holds the record now at 147 mph and we want to go faster at the Bub Speed Trials.
The third bike is new this year; we are going to call it Big Brother. It is a Buell frame with a Buell RR Body work. Things didn’t work out on our new engine so we are going to run a 1203 Buell engine to make sure it goes straight down the track. Plus, we will see if the fairing I built will work and handle. I am putting all that I have learned over the past 18 years to hopefully get to 200 mph on gas and naturally aspirated. All of our bikes are yellow, our first bike was yellow and we still are the same.
If going to Bonneville is on your bucket list, you better do it. You will never forget it. Plus you can always stop by the Buell Brothers and Sisters pits and get an Old Style beer and some Cheese! After racing, we get together at our pits, play guitar, sing some Rock & Roll songs and have a few Old Styles.
Buell Brothers and Buell Sisters Race Team
The countdown to the 2012 BUB Speed Trails at the Bonneville salt flats, has started. To kick things off, we have a few racers who are attending with S&S go-fast parts that we wanted to make mention of.
First up: S&S Engineering Manager, Jeff Bailey, is no stranger to land speed racing. In 2008, he bought a Buell® S2 frame with the idea of building a Bonneville bike. The S2 was chosen because it had bolt-on side plates that locate the rear swing arm mount. Fabricating a special set of side plates allowed the pivot point to move down to accommodate the 160 cubic inch S&S cast Pro Stock engine which is 5.5” taller than the stock engine. The new side plates and some frame modifications got the engine in the frame, and a longer swing arm gave the bike added high speed stability. To hold the nearly 200 horsepower, Jeff fabricated a one-off clutch and added the S&S centrifugal pressure plate for Victory® motorcycles that squeezes tighter the faster you spin it.
The engine is a special version of the S&S cast Pro Stock engine, which is similar to an engine from an over-grown Harley-Davidson® Sportster®, or possibly a Buell® motorcycle. With its 4.8” bore and 4.375” stroke, this engine is several times the displacement of a stock engine. This engine is fuel injected and uses one throttle body from the S&S billet Pro Stock engine on a special manifold built with the help of S&S’ rapid prototype machine. To control fuel and ignition, Jeff chose the S&S VFI fuel ignition module.
This bike was raced in 2010 as an open bike and took home two records in the A-PG 3000 and A-PF 3000 classes at 180.35 and 176.271 respectively. Both records were set running on gasoline even though the second record was in a fuel class.
This year, Jeff is going for the big numbers and wants to break 200 mph in a partially streamlined class. He’s planning on attending the BUB Motorcycle Speed Trials, which will be held August 25-30 this summer. The same engine will be used, but Jeff is counting on the reduction in aerodynamic drag of the streamlined fairing to get him over the 200 mph mark. Work smarter, not harder!
He started with some AirTech fiberglass bodywork but had to do extensive modifications to make it fit his bike and to make it large enough to “hide behind”. Starting with a windscreen from an XR750, an impression of the windscreen was made in 30:1 expanding foam, and the impression was mounted on the modified fairing. The foam shape was then attached with more of the foam, and shaped to blend into the existing fairing. Using the foam shape as a pattern, fiberglass was built up to create the final outer shape. The original windscreen was laid over the shape and traced. The traced area was cut out to allow the windscreen to be inserted. You won’t see another one like this!
There’s still a lot of work to be done on this bike between now and the BUB meet, but Jeff is well on his way and he looks forward to breaking some records in August.
S&S Cycle's Engineering Manger, Jeff Bailey has been busy. Not only is his plate full with his tasks here at S&S HQ, but he's also determined to break some records. We've talked about his Bonneville run here before and now he's at it again. Here's what Jeff had to say about his recent activity:
"Racing at the ECTA event in Wilmington, Ohio went really well. My family (wife Jill, 2 daughters and my dad) and I drove down on Friday. Gene Dlask towed my bike and gear down on Thursday. He also brought Bonneville 200 mph Club member and long time friend of S&S Warner Riley with him. Gene and Warner got my bike through tech on Friday while I was driving down.
On Saturday morning, we were ready to run. I made 5 runs and worked my way up from 141 to 145 mph even though there was a stiff 15-25 mph headwind. I only had about 101 hp to work with and an open bike (no fairing) so I was reasonably happy with the first day’s results. Gene made 3 runs. The first one on his turbo ZX14 was 199 mph. The wind was “exciting” enough that he parked it until later in the day when the wind was a little better. He was able to make a 207 and 208 pass. These runs were good enough for both of us to set records in our classes. So at the end of the day, Gene was presented with a Wilmington Ohio 200 mph Club hat and shirt!
On Sunday morning we made another gearing and jetting change to my 1350cc bike and expected less wind. We were close to the front of the line and ready to run at 8 am. I made a nice 147.9 mph run. Gene made 210 mph pass a couple riders after me. We were both feeling really good and ready to keep making changes and going faster.
Unfortunately, at 8:30 while I was at the registration trailer turning in my slip for a new record, we heard them call for the fire/rescue crew over the CB. A rider went off the end of the runway apparently somewhere around 175 mph. 73 year old Gerald Deneau was killed in the accident. *S&S would like to extend our condolences to the family of Gerald Deneau. This unfortunate event is a reminder of how vital safety is in the motorcycle / racing world.*
After learning what had happened, Gene and I decided to pack up and head home. They said they would resume racing when the crash investigation was complete, but we didn’t really feel like running anymore and didn’t expect that they would rush the investigation to get the racing back underway.
I fully believe that my 1999 Buell X1 with a 1350cc S&S engine is a 150 mph bike with a little more tuning. I came home with an A-PG 1350cc record in the ECTA organization. I will run it again sometime, but in the near term, my focus is now turning to my 1995 Buell S2 with a 3000cc engine and a fairing. Again, the goal is to head to Bonneville this fall prepared to run over 200.
My engine is a 3-5/8 +.040” bore x 3-13/16” stock stroke S&S engine built on 3-5/8” bore Super Stock cases. The cylinders and heads are pretty much stock other than some angle work on the valves. Other than the overbore to get to 1350cc, this is S&S’s 79” Hot Setup kit with 92-1130 series pistons with 11.3:1 compression. I used a G carb, stock Buell header and a custom muffler to make between 101-105 hp.
I want to thank Dave Miller from Spectro Oil for his support and Tom “Santa Clause” Anderson from the Buell Brother’s Race team from the front fender. "
Congratulations to you Jeff and we love having the S&S family carve their names in the record books. This was a great way to prep for his upcoming runs at the BUB speed trials in Bonneville this August.
In 1942, Harley-Davidson® made 462 U model motorcycles, 41 of which were slated for the U.S. Army. Harley-Davidson also produced 426 Sidecar versions for the U.S. Army, and these U Models w/ sidecar ironically were USA models. Since only the U.S. Military can make the great American icon more American, S&S® decided to do a military motorcycle for the 2012 Flathead Power® road tour. Long time S&S employee, Bonneville record holder and military vehicle enthusiast, Dan Kinsey jumped at the chance to work on this project. Since the majority of our flathead parts are for the big twin flatties, the bike would have to be a replica of one of these rare 1942 models.
Built and painted by Bonneville Record Holder, Dan Kinsey, of S&S® Cycle.Diving into the historical archives and internet pages filled with nose cone art and pin-up babes, very little on the U.S. Army U models could be found. Not wanting to give up on the project, we did the next best thing, duplicate what we knew of the 45" WLA models to create our own WLA/U model hybrid. Some initial parts and a wealth of knowledge from our friends at WayBack Wheels got us well on our way. Dan went to work stripping down the “F-bobb” (an S&S built U model flathead bobber style motorcycle) bike and repainting it in olive drab green. Starting with cut down fenders, Dan created some parts from scratch and retro fitted other WLA model parts. Given that the WLA 45" engines used a three-bolt inlet flange on their smaller carb, we had to generate a 3D model and a rapid prototype of the air inlet casting for the oil bath intake system. Our version has the U model four-bolt carb flange and with S&S being S&S, we just couldn’t resist adding the patented stinger to the intake.
Jumping in on the replica rage, Marketing Director Gary Wenzel went so far as ordering a replica Tommy gun to fill the empty scabbard. The designation lettering is even unique to Flathead Power and S&S. On the rear fender, the division designation uses the S&S founding year, 1958, in the call out AGF-58C (Army Ground Forces, 58th Calvary) and the vehicle designation; FHP 1 of course! After three months of hard work and research, the 2012 Flathead Power display and pit bike is complete. This bike features Flathead Power heads, 80" cylinders, pistons, solid lifters and kicker cover. But this bike isn’t just for display – we’ve set it up with a foot shift and a hand clutch so our show staff can easily tool around the show grounds.
You'll can see this bike at these shows:
Perkiomen AMCA Swapmeet
Oley, PA - April 27-29
National Motorcycle Museum Show & Swapmeet
Anamosa, IA - June 1-3
J&P Open House
Anamosa, IA - June 23-24
Oshkosh Air show
Oshkosh, WI - July 23-29
Blackhawk Vintage Races & Swapmeet
Davenport, IA - Aug 31-Sept 2