Rider Guy Martin completes initial tests with Hinckley engineers ahead of motorcycle speed record attempt


Former motorcycle rider Guy Martin has completed the first tests in the specially designed vehicle that could break Bolivia’s motorcycle ground speed record next year.

The TV presenter and author worked with engineers from Horiba MIRA, based outside of Hinckley, to perform body shape and intake tests, to inform the design of the carbon fiber body.

He tested the steering and braking system on the 1,200 shp (Shaft horsepower) 52 Express rationalizer that he will drive, with a target to beat of 376.363 mph.

Read more stories from Hinckley on the dedicated LeicestershireLive page here.

The first tests were carried out as part of a test run at the historic North Weald airfield in Essex and included an engine run-up on mounts as well as low-speed towing of the vehicle to test its steering and its stability.

The bespoke bike is powered by a Rolls Royce Gem engine that previously powered a Lynx helicopter.

The 52 Express vehicle sports twin parachutes, tires that can handle speeds of up to 500 mph, and Kevlar belt transfer cases.

Guy Martin of the 52 Express team visits the MIRA Technology Institute near Hinckley

Now motorsport and engineering students at North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College (NWSLC), which have a campus in Hinckley, must design and produce retractable skid plates for the vehicle.

This will involve finding suitable materials, performing tests and inspections, and creating prototypes using the MIRA Technology Institute (MTI) 3D printer.

Students will also explore sustainable manufacturing processes for the production of the skates.

Lisa Bingley, Director of Operations for MTI, said: “We enjoyed welcoming the 52 Express team to MTI and it was a privilege to meet Guy Martin.

“The news on the latest tests looks very positive and we look forward to hearing more as the project progresses.

“We are delighted to lend our support to the dirt bike land speed record attempt and we are delighted to see the MTI logo now appear in its livery and on Guy’s test suit.

“We hope the team will continue to make positive progress in their preparations and wish them well.”

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MTI helps build specialized skills in emerging technological areas, including electrification and self-driving cars.

Since its opening, the MTI has welcomed more than 12,000 students and delegates.

This includes over 800 students studying for accredited qualifications from an Institute of Automotive Industry Level 1 certificate up to master’s degree, and over 360 undergoing apprenticeships at all levels.

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