S&S Cycle is claiming a new land speed record set at Bonneville in September.
Using an S&S SB100 in a 1999 Buell X1 chassis, Jeff Bailey made runs that averaged 172.591mph establishing a new record in the APS/PG-1650 class. The engine in Bailey's bike is essentially all stock, having only benefited from extensive tuning and careful preparation. The bike was equipped with an XR750TT-replica front fairing and a tail section from famed lightweight body work manufacturer AirTech. The only other modifications to the bike came from an extended swingarm and Works Performance rear shock and adding 65 pounds of lead and steel for ballast to improve traction and stability.
Bailey hit the salt with a small crew, his father Neil, Grant Hillegass (another S&S employee) and himself. After a marathon 24-hour straight drive, the team set up camp and teched the bike in. The very first pass Bailey made resulted in 171.7mph, shattering the previous 168mph record. With the bike impounded for the night, Bailey returned in the morning to run 172.08mph, setting him up with a 171.892mph average — a new record.
After a four-hour impound session requiring the team to tear a head off for an inspector to measure the engine, haste to reassemble caught up with Bailey when the bike shut down two miles into another run. They had forgotten to tighten the carburetor to the manifold properly. After a few more runs and some carburetor jetting changes, Bailey ripped off an impressive 173.616mph pass, which raised his average to the new record of 172.591mph — using a basically stock S&S engine.
"I think I left a little on the table that I could have gone after between fine tuning the fuel, more consistent riding and playing with timing, but other than having to tear down for inspection, the bike needed absolutely no work and held together perfectly," Bailey says. "That was my main goal with not only the engine, but also the bike. With only a small crew and not much money or time, I wanted the most reliable combination possible that would put me in the record book with a respectable speed. At the end of the day, I think that is exactly what I did."