While I was at home, making a pancake breakfast, Bill Warner was at the former Loring AFB in Maine, riding his homebuilt 1299cc Suzuki Hayabusa 311.945 mph on the Loring Timing Association’s 2.5-mile course.
Going this fast is very serious business. When your engine is making around 700 horsepower and you’re moving at more than 450 feet per second, the drag force on the fairing is equivalent to 800 pounds. If the front end of the bike lifts, that force will blow you over backward. If you let your tire spin too much (his only spun 6 to 7 percent), the heat can turn it into hot, exploding mush. The true path is narrow.
Warner went 258 mph last year at the Texas Mile using Hayabusa-like streamlining he’d made himself. He wanted to go faster, so employing his self-taught fiberglass skills, he fabricated classic “fish” streamlining and went a lot faster. A test run at former Maxton Air Force Base in North Carolina revealed aerodynamic lift, so, the bike was put into the A2 wind tunnel, also in North Carolina, prior to the Maine event. This led to the addition of a “chin spoiler” that put load back onto the front wheel.
When you make four times the stock bike’s power, you also make potential trouble. To strengthen the crankcase, the team adopted an uncooled billet cylinder with Nikasil bores. Half-inch ARP studs keep the head gasket in place, and the absence of cooling dictated that the engine had to run on alcohol. A Garrett 42X turbo delivers 26 inches of boost through an ice-cooled water-to-air intercooler, and a MoTeC 800 engine controller commands eight 2200cc Injection Dynamics injectors. Combustion forces are transmitted through low-compression pistons and Crower 4340 rods to a Marine Crankshafts crank. To help the crankcase live, it was align-bored with everything torqued in place.
I love these kinds of success stories because it is determined people, teaching themselves what they need to know, every difficult step of the way—thinking, testing, building and rebuilding.
This was a huge achievement. Congratulations to Warner and his crew.