Ride in Peace: Motorcycle speed record-setter Bill Warner

Publish Date: 
Jul 16, 2013

LIMESTONE, Maine – Speed record holder Bill Warner died in a crash July 14 while trying to best his own record. He was 44.

Warner had been clocked at 285 mph before the crash, but it was unclear how fast he was going when he lost control of the bike. He was trying to reach 300 mph at an event held by the Loring Timing Association.

Riding his modified turbocharged Suzuki Hayabusa, Warner previously reached 311 mph on the same course in 2011, using 1.5 miles of pavement to set the world land-speed record for a conventional motorcycle, according to the association.

On July 14 he was trying to hit 300 mph on a track a half-mile shorter in length. He was on a bike that started as a stock Suzuki, but he had modified nearly every part on it, he previously told the Associated Press.

"No one will touch Bill's achievements or be the type of racer he was. He was a personal friend, and the land-racing community is less for his loss," Tim Kelly, the timing association’s race director, told the Los Angeles Times.

Warner was conscious and talking after the crash, but died about an hour and 15 minutes later at a hospital in Caribou, Maine, Kelly said.

The Limestone Police Department and Maine State Police are investigating the crash.

Warner was unmarried and had no children.

Posted by Holly Wagner