Want To Own The World’s Fastest Motorcycle? You Can’t Afford It!
September 3, 2010 | By: Scott Holton
It’s the current motorcycle land speed record holder and the owner’s already been approached to put a price on this sleek machine. But more on that later. Right now we’re going to share construction and competition details of this motorcycle with any of you who have a hankering for speed and performance.
As for me, I was hooked on this svelte streamliner the first time I laid eyes on it — in full song and on its record-setting run back in 2006. The owner of this bike is Denis Manning, CEO of BUB Enterprises, which manufactures aftermarket motorcycle exhaust systems. Denis has been in the motorcycle industry for more than 40 years. Early in his career he was nicknamed the Big Ugly Bastard and has proudly touted the BUB moniker ever since.
In 1968, Denis built his first streamliner. Two years later, at the tender age of 24, he built the world record-breaking Harley-Davidson streamliner that was driven at 265 mph by the late Cal Rayborn. Denis’ racing career expanded from there, building streamliners for Harley, Triumph and Norton, among others. To date, Denis has designed and owned six of the 11 fastest motorcycles in history. His designs have included streamliners, conventional motorcycles and on occasions, LSR cars.
This latest record holder is nicknamed “Seven” because it’s Denis’ seventh streamliner designed from scratch. It is the first streamliner to have a monococque frame built of carbon fiber. A buck mold was made first out of foam, then a female mold out of fiberglass to lay the skin in. The shell is constructed of carbon fiber and Kevlar with aluminum honeycomb.
All components of the chassis combine to give “Seven” its strength. The shell is the frame with FEA analysis for the rigidity and stress testing. The shape is based on that of a Coho salmon after Denis saw the fluid dynamics of this graceful fish on TV.
The BUB Seven is powered by a custom V-4 engine. This engine is purpose-built for motorcycle land speed racing. From a blank sheet of paper this engine was designed for one thing — to power the world’s fastest motorcycle.
These guys built their own patterns for all the castings, machined them after they were poured, assembled as prototypes and developed this engine into a 3000 CC (class limit) 500hp @ 8500 rpm, 400 lb/ft torque @ 8500 rpm snarling beast. I have heard this engine under load at WOT and the sound literally raises the hair on the back of your neck.
Another design consideration was that the package had to fit in a space that was 18 inches by 28 inches.
Piloting this E ticket ride is flat-track champion Chris Carr. A seven-time national champion, Chris brings a fearless professionalism to the plate. In his first year of riding “Seven” in 2006, he established a new record of 350.884 mph. Rocky Robinson broke that record in the twin-engined turbo Hayabusa Ack Attack Streamliner. Rocky pushed the bar up to 360.913 mph in September of 2008. Chris and “Seven” grabbed the record back the next year, pushing the speed up to an astounding 367.382 mph. To give you and idea of how fast that is, the “Seven” covers 538 feet per second and five football fields in 3.3 seconds.
Earlier this year, I heard that somebody had asked Denis to put a price tag on the world’s-fastest motorcycle. When I asked him about this rumor, he said it was true. He said a Saudi prince asked him what it would take and Denis considered tossing out a figure of $10 million. But he told me he couldn’t reproduce “Seven” — even for that kind of money. Personally, I think Denis is having too much fun to part with his dream machine.