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.