From the Blog

Where’s Ralphie?

Well you might ask, where am I, but the usual realities of retired life has kept me from updating, so apologies again.

But, to much more important things. While I have been slacking off a very exciting development has taken place. Our mate, Ralph Hudson, has become the second fastest man in the world on a motorcycle, yes, that’s right, and it’s not even Speed Weeks yet. So, how did this happen? Well, I’ll let Ralphie explain.

“I hear that my bike is in Bolivia! I will be joining it soon! The word is that the track is excellent and very long, 15 miles! I won’t need that much, but the Ack Attack may need most of it. It is currently the fastest motorcycle in the world, at 376 mph! Their sponsor, Top 1 Oil, is putting on this event to try and push the record to over 400 mph! Rocky Robinson, who rode the two wheeled streamliner to the current record, will be at the controls again in Bolivia.

Al Lamb, of Dallas Honda, and I will be competing for the same FIM record. He currently holds that record at 262 mph, set at Bonneville! My bike has gone 266 at El Mirage, so we are very closely matched. We both have new bodywork, that complies with the FIM regulations and are both very interested (putting it mildly) to see how fast the bikes will go at the Salar de Uyuni, Top of the World Speed trials. It should be quite an adventure, there will be almost no parts or services available in Uyuni, so, we’re on our own. 

The FIM (Federation Internationale Motorcyliste)rules are more restrictive that the SCTA ( Southern California Timing Association) rules, so we don’t know how fast the bikes will go, or how stable they will be with the tail sections. They are smaller than the SCTA allows, more tail gives more stability. I’ll try to post updates, from the hotel, assuming all the yanks don’t slow the wi-fi too much!
Also running, are Mike Salimbeni, John Salembeni and Nick Genet. They will be running an Aprilia on nitrous oxide to see how fast they can push their bike at the 12,000 ft altitude!
Ack Al and I are all turbo charged, so we hope that the performance will be similar to what we get at lower altitudes. Hope we all run well and come back happy!!!

Oh, then Bonneville Speed Week starts 3 days after we get back! Maybe we’ll get some rest in September! 

It seems that the Bolivian government thought that it would be great publicity for their country to have an attempt on the world motorcycle land speed record on a salt lake in the mountains, 12000 feet up, actually. The President of the country opened the event and the salt was better than any anywhere else in the world according to the competitors. The event was specifically staged to allow the Ack-Attack team to make an attempt on the all-out motorcycle record which stands at 376 mph (601 km/h) Ralph and the Al Lamb outfit from Dallas, Texas were invited along as the support act, so t speak. As Ralph said in his report, both their bikes were running in the same class so it was a classic “heads-up” between the Californians and the Texans.

What happened? Sadly, the Ack-Attack bike had mechanical issues and was not able to run up to speed and take the record, bu that wasn’t the real story; the real story was that the battle between Ralph and Al turned into a monumental brawl with both teams swapping fastest times until the very death knell of the event. Again, let me quote Al Lamb this time because he was there!

“It was a true race at Top of the World Land Speed Shootout Ralph Hudson and I had an epic battle of the APS1000BF Land Speed bikes with Ralph coming out on top with a new two mile average speed over 284mph (484 km/h). We had a battle back and forth with Ralph drawing first blood with an entry speed of 274mph (438.4 km/h) but slowed through the mile. We struck next with a mile avg speed over 265mph (424 km/h) with a back up of over 266 (425.6 km/h) with a new unratified record of 265.849 (424.78 km/h) for the first ever South American LSR record. That ended day two. Today we started again with an opening run 285.852 (457.36 km/h) for the mile. Ralph responded with with an opening salvo of 280 (448 km/h) and change. My second run was vas very disappointing 275 and change for a 280.8 average. Ralph responded with a blistering 289 (462 km/h) mile giving him a 284 (454.4 km/h) plus average! Congrats to Ralph and crew and now the gauntlet is down. We will return to Bolivia next year if there is enough response from other racers to chase after the best salt at the top of the World! This truly is the fastest salt I have ever had the opportunity to race on and it truly was a race to the finish!”

As a result, Ralphie and Al are the second and third fastest motorcycle racers in the world. A truly awesome achievement.

Speed Week is almost on us (August 12-18) so it will be a rapid turn-around to get the bikes back from Bolivia and get them prepped for Bonneville.

Of course the arrival of Speed Week also means that another of my favourite competitors, Danny Thompson, will be taking Challenger 2 back to Wendover in an attempt to capture the wheel-driven Land Speed Record. The record currently stands at 437 mph (699 km/h) and is held by George Poteet. Danny has already run a 429 (single pass) so he’s in the ball park. The word from the salt is that three courses have been prepared, the longest of which is 9 miles so it should be plenty. Weather reports are very encouraging and it looks like the racers will have the best conditions under which to race for the last 5 years (2013 and 2014 were rained out)

To say that I am excited to see two of my friends at the “pointy end” is an understatement. More news as it comes to hand.