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Speed Record S.A. ::: News   ::: Archives

SITE UPDATE
Posted by : Ray Wakefield - Date: 06 May 2008 at 11:45

Although there has been no news of any attempted speed records in South Africa for some time, this is not to say that things have stood still. After the unfortunate death of Johan Jacobs, the scene went rather quiet here, as may be expected. However the good news is that we appear to be coming out of the doldrums..

In the course of my trip to the U:K at the end of last year, I met with a number of teams and individuals from the International record breaking scene, and they all showed enthusiasm for a new venue here in this Country at which to practice their sport. As a result, I intend to return to the Northern Cape sites and conduct certain tests there, in order to quantify the degree of grip that the surface offers, and report back to them. Such was the interest in some quarters that at least one team will have a representative here this winter to look at particularly Verneuk Pan, for themselves.

There is also the possibility that I may have a crack at record breaking myself.

I have had talks with an overseas team, which could lead to me being in the hot seat of their streamliner at Bonneville Salt Flats in August/September.

A lot of things must happen before this latter event becomes a reality though, not least, a significant amount of money must be raised, and I must get familiar again with driving a streamlined projectile where, in order to keep upright and straight, one must employ counter steering. This is the sort of thing that one does to a certain degree subconsciously when riding a conventional motorcycle, but in driving a streamliner where one is strapped inside what is in effect a tight fitting tube, it must become a conscious action. This runs counter to the way in which one has become accustomed to riding a conventional motorcycle, and as anyone who has tried it will know, it is more than a little strange at first and requires absolutely total concentration.

The wheelbase of my intended transport of delight is rather less than that of 'Motivator', which has been gathering dust in the workshop for the past four years, and the seating position is more extreme. Indeed it has been described as like laying in the bath with your toes up the taps, but not so comfortable!

As a result, 'Motivator' is being modified such that it will resemble a low-speed - low-tech version of the new machine in various ways. Look under the 'Motivator' section of this website for news of these mods as they take place.

In order to finance the proposed trip to the States, I am selling two of my cherished Classic motorcycles. Click here for more details.

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