Guy Martin tries to break motorcycle speed record of 376.3 mph in a 30-foot-long vehicle


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A 30-foot-long vehicle fitted with a Rolls Royce engine normally used in helicopters will attempt to reclaim the motorcycle’s ground speed record for Britain.

Engineer and former rider Alex Macfadzean, 77, and his team have designed the streamliner bike that will make his record attempt next year at the Uyuni Salt Flat in Bolivia.

Behind the wheel is motorcycle rider turned TV presenter Guy Martin, who will attempt to break the current record of 376.3 mph and cross the 400 mph threshold.

In an attempt to advance the record, Mr. Martin will run the new streamliner on a mile-long course twice in opposite directions, according to official ground speed record rules.

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A thirty-foot-long vehicle (pictured) fitted with a Rolls Royce engine normally used in helicopters will be used in an attempt to reclaim the motorcycle’s ground speed record for Britain

Engineer and former racer Alex Macfadzean, 77, and his team have designed the 'streamliner' (pictured), which will make his record attempt next year at Uyuni Salt in Bolivia

Engineer and former racer Alex Macfadzean, 77, and his team have designed the ‘streamliner’ (pictured), which will make his record attempt next year at Uyuni Salt in Bolivia

The bike’s 1200 horsepower Rolls Royce engine is the same one found in the Westland Lynx helicopter once used by the British Army and Royal Navy.

The first official motorcycle ground speed record was set in 1920 by American rider Gene Walker at 103.5 mph, building on unofficial efforts dating back to 1903.

Britain last held the record for six months in 1937 after Eric Fernihough broke 169.72 mph on his Brough Superior-JAP.

Behind the wheel is motorcycle racer turned TV presenter Guy Martin (pictured), who will attempt to break the current record of 376.3 mph and cross the 400 mph threshold

Behind the wheel is motorcycle racer turned TV presenter Guy Martin (pictured), who will attempt to break the current record of 376.3 mph and cross the 400 mph threshold

The bike's 1200 horsepower Rolls Royce engine is the same one found in the Westland Lynx helicopter (pictured) once used by the British Army and Royal Navy.

The bike’s 1200 horsepower Rolls Royce engine is the same one found in the Westland Lynx helicopter (pictured) once used by the British Army and Royal Navy.

Mr Macfadzean (pictured, right, with streamliner and design engineer Alastair Smith, left) has previously helped American pilot Don Vesco who set a four-wheel speed record of 458.4 mph in the 'Turbinator - a car which, like Mr Macfadzean's streamliner bike, also had a helicopter engine under the hood

Mr Macfadzean (pictured, right, with streamliner and design engineer Alastair Smith, left) has previously helped American pilot Don Vesco who set a four-wheel speed record of 458.4 mph in the ‘Turbinator – a car which, like Mr Macfadzean’s streamliner bike, also had a helicopter engine under the hood

The latest British motorcycle land speed record holder

Eric Fernihough on his Brough Superior record

Eric Fernihough on his Brough Superior record

Britain last held the motorcycle speed record for six months in 1937 after Eric Fernihough broke 169.72 mph on his Brough Superior-JAP.

But Italian Piero Taruffi won the title by 3.31 mph more in October 1937 and the title has changed hands between Germans, Italians and Americans since.

Mr Fernihough – who during his career managed to win the North West 200 in Northern Ireland, the Belgian Grand Prix and the UMF Grand Prix in France – also set a record for sidecar motorcycles in 1937, reaching 137 miles per hour.

Tragically, he suffered a fatal accident in Gyón, Hungary. on April 23, 1938, while attempting to reclaim the land speed record title on a motorcycle.

But Italian Piero Taruffi won the title by 3.31 mph more in October 1937.

Since then, the title has changed hands between Germans, Italians and Americans.

Currently, the record for land speed on motorcycles is held by American racer Rocky Robinson, who won his title at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah in 2010.

“ He’s a great target and one of those things I have to do, ” Mr Macfadzean said. The telegraph.

“I was recently asked where the line is between engagement and obsession.

“I laughed, because I couldn’t tell.

“I guess I’ve always been too obsessed to notice it.

Mr. Macfadzean has worked with engine builders for Formula 1 and Moto GP racing, and designed the vehicle that broke the 200 mph threshold for the British motorcycle ground speed record in 1991.

A decade later, he also helped American driver Don Vesco who set a four-wheel speed record of 458.4 mph in the “ Turbinator ” – a car which, like Mr. Macfadzean’s streamliner, was also equipped with a helicopter engine under the hood.

For their streamliner – which began construction in 2008 and is still being refined – Mr Macfadzean acquired a Westland Lynx engine from a military surplus.

Before Mr. Martin attempts to break the motorcycle’s ground speed record, the new streamliner will first be evaluated both on the road and in the wind tunnel to refine its aerodynamic design, inspired by the RAF Tornado aircraft. .

`` He's a great target and it's just one of those things I have to do, '' Mr Macfadzean (pictured here sitting in the cockpit of the streamliner) told The Telegraph.

“ He’s a great target and it’s just one of those things I have to do, ” Mr Macfadzean (pictured here sitting in the cockpit of the streamliner) told The Telegraph.

Before Mr Martin (pictured) attempts to break the motorcycle's ground speed record, the British streamliner will be evaluated on the road and in a wind tunnel to refine its aerodynamic design, inspired by the RAF Tornado aircraft .

Before Mr Martin attempts to break the motorcycle's ground speed record, the British streamliner (pictured with Mr Macfadzean) will be evaluated on the road and in the wind tunnel to refine its aerodynamic design, inspired by the Tornado aircraft of the RAF.

Before Mr. Martin (left) attempts to break the motorcycle’s ground speed record, the new streamliner (pictured right with Mr. Macfadzean) will be evaluated on the road and in the wind tunnel to refine its aerodynamic design, which was inspired by the Tornado aircraft of the RAF

Mr Macfadzean has worked with engine builders for Formula 1 and Moto GP racing - and designed the vehicle that broke the 200 mph threshold in the British motorcycle land speed record in 1991. On the photo: Mr Macfadzean and design engineer Alastair Smith push the new racing motorcycle streamliner out of their workshop

Mr Macfadzean has worked with engine builders for Formula 1 and Moto GP racing – and designed the vehicle that broke the 200 mph threshold in the British motorcycle land speed record in 1991. On the photo: Mr Macfadzean and design engineer Alastair Smith push the new racing motorcycle streamliner out of their workshop

Subsequently, the motorcycle will undergo relatively “ low speed ” testing at 200 mph at a former RAF airfield.

Mr. Martin is no stranger to record rides.

In 2016, it hit 274.2 mph on a specially designed Triumph – the highest speed the British motorcycle manufacturer has ever achieved.

For the streamliner - which began construction in 2008 and is still being refined - Mr. Macfadzean (pictured in the motorcycle's cockpit, with design engineer Alastair Smith) and his team acquired a Westland Lynx engine at from a military surplus.

For the streamliner – which began construction in 2008 and is still being refined – Mr. Macfadzean (pictured in the motorcycle’s cockpit, with design engineer Alastair Smith) and his team acquired a Westland Lynx engine at from a military surplus.

In an attempt to advance the record, Mr. Martin and the new streamliner will twice complete a kilometer-long route to Uyuni Salt in Bolivia in opposite directions, in accordance with official land speed record rules.

In an attempt to advance the record, Mr. Martin and the new streamliner will twice perform a kilometer-long course at Uyuni Salt in Bolivia in opposite directions, in accordance with official land speed record rules.

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