In ’06 I agreed to do a bike competition for Discovery Channel with my good friend Matt Hodge. I had known he had been to the premier of The World’s Fastest Indian and thought a race would have more content than just another bike building competition.
It seemed like a fun thing to do to use this as an opportunity to build something I wouldn’t usually. I took a dirt bike and cut it down the middle, put a super 2 stroke, carbon fiber sport bike wheels, snowmobile engine and then we hand curved a KTM radiator in a press.
We went to Bonneville and raced and I’ve been back ever since. I love that bike, its an interesting combination. I like diversity in bike building. The bikes I build share technology but I try different things and like to experiment a bit.
- Achieved 128.774 MPH at Bonneville 2007
- 1st Place AMD World Championship 2007 Metric Class
- Winner Biker Build Off 2006
This project started following the opportunity to participate in the Discovery’s Biker Build Off. What really swayed me into participating was the fact that I was given the option of a racing event as a conclusion… racing at the legendary Bonneville Salt Flats. As a fan of all types of motorcycles, dirt bikes in particular, I strove to incorporate components from several different styles of machines into this bike.
The challenge was to build a bike in very short order, that would be a functional race bike, yet stay true to my needs as a custom bike builder to create a visual effect… a work of art.
We started with a new 2006 Honda cr250r, probably the most successful dirt bike ever built. The bike was stripped, frame cut down the middle and widened ¾”, swing arm widened 1.125”, neck, down tube, and lower frame rails we cut off as well. A new neck was welded on at 36*, a curved triangular down tube built to mate up to the re- formed KTM radiators (curved both outwards and back ) .The result was a much lower (12”) and longer (7”) chassis.
Instead of the original 250cc single two stroke, a Rotax / Aprilia designed (built by BRC in Alberta Canada) was used… still a 250cc two stroke, but a tandem engine. This unique design has two cylinders running parallel, one in front of another, with two counter rotating crankshafts, geared together.Aprilia used this setup very successfully in 250 GP racing from the late eighties through the early ninetys.These engines are currently used in the highest level of go-cart racing… Superkart.
The two strokes expansion chambers were fabricated using some existing sections froma set of Superkart pipes, keeping the same tapers, lengths and diameters. An electric water pump circulates coolant through engine and rad`s. A controller varies speed of pump to maintain temperature. Aim is the manufacturer of the data acquisition computer, vital to tuning the engine to the weather conditions.
The swing rear suspension’s shock was changed to a Fox Racing unit, with much less travel than the original, linkage and mounting points were all re located, as was the swing arm angle.
The modified girder front end was built by Twin Speed in Michigan. It’s main spars are made from aircraft aerostream tubing, thin wall chromoly steel. The shock is a Penske unit.Revolution carbon fiber wheels are used, 19” front and 18” rear, shod with Metzeler ZR rated tires Lindall Racing supplied the brake rotors, made with a ceramic / aluminum composite material. The rear Rotor was designed for a snow mobile, modified to fit. All bodywork is hand formed 0.080” 3003- H-14 aluminum. Only a small highlight of black paint was added to highlight the lines of the bike,then clear coated by Jerry Ashley of JA design.
The bike was finished, and one week later- with virtually no testing, was brought to the Bonneville Salt Flats for the balance of the filming, as well as race…which to be honest, was my main focus.We made novice mistakes, like too tall gearing of the final drive, not enough (lean) carb jets, and the air box design simply didn’t work… but it was a great experience to try to get as much as we could out of the bike.
The record for the class that it was in – 250 M-G , was 109.2 mph, and we managed A two way average of 127.93mph, and hit speeds of 133 .highest speeds were attained with no air box at all … far from ideal, as the passing air would siphon the fuel (cone) away from the carbs . This is all part of the learning process.
Equipped with a good ram air system, correct coolant and exhaust gas temperatures, these engines made around 90 hp., good for around 145 mph in a chassis like this with no wind streaming.