Triumph Grabs Five Land Speed Records at Bonneville

Publish Date: 
Sep 23, 2009

FIVE NEW WORLD  land speed records have been set on Triumph motorcycles during the 2009 BUB Bonneville Speed Trials at the world famous Bonneville Salt Flats. British racing journalist Alan Cathcart of Denemoore, Claverdon, U.K., teamed up with South Bay Triumph owner Matt Capri of Lomita, Calif., to set the records with the iconic British motorcycle at its namesake race course.

Cathcart rode a street-legal Triumph Thruxton that was prepared by Capri to three records in the FIM’s 1000cc Normally-Aspirated Twin-Cylinder Unstreamlined class. The duo set new two-way FIM World Records for the flying mile at 152.678 mph and the flying kilometer at 152.770 mph as well as a best one-way speed of 153.150 mph.

Cathcart also rode Capri’s turbocharged South Bay Triumph Bonneville to two more FIM World Records for the 1000cc Forced Induction Twin-Cylinder Unstreamlined class by turning in a two-way speed of 165.405 mph for the flying mile and 165.672 mph for the flying kilometer. The bike’s best one-way speed was 171.624 mph. The mile speed also qualifies for a new AMA record.

“We’ve been coming to Bonneville since 2007 in preparation for this, the Bonneville model’s 50th birthday year,” said Cathcart. “Breaking the 150 mph barrier with the standard bike was always our main objective, and when the FIM established the new Twin-Cylinder category for Speed Records, it was great that we could claim official World Records by doing so. Matt Capri is a genius when it comes to tuning bikes for the Salt, at 4,400 feet in altitude. To set two more World marks with the Turbo, which he’s developed almost as an afterthought and has spent very little time on, is just the icing on the cake. For sure this is a 180 mph-plus motorcycle with more development in its present naked guise, and with a fairing it’ll go much faster. Maybe we’ll be back next year to try to join the 200 MPH Club with it!”

“Triumph Motorcycles wants to congratulate Alan and Matt for their success in setting five new land speed records at the Bonneville Salt Flats,” said Jim Callahan, North American Marketing Manager for Triumph Motorcycles. “Setting the records during the Triumph Bonneville’s 50th Anniversary is amazing, and something that will be remembered for quite some time.” The Triumph Bonneville was born in 1959 to recognize Johnny Allen’s land speed records at the Bonneville Salt Flats. The Triumph Bonneville was an instant hit in America and the UK, and 50 years later continues to be one of Triumph’s most iconic motorcycles. Despite its classic appearance, the new Triumph Bonneville motorcycles feature state-of-the-art design and performance.

While the Bonneville first debuted with a 650cc power plant, an 865cc air-cooled parallel twin engine is the heart and soul of today’s motorcycles. A 360-degree firing order gives the new Bonneville the engine characteristics of a classic twin, while twin balance shafts and state-of-the-art production techniques ensure 21st century refinement and reliability. Ninety percent of peak torque – a healthy 51 ft.lbs. at 5,800rpm – is maintained from around 2,500rpm through to the redline, providing smooth and effortless acceleration through all five gears.