Sunday, August 22, 2010

BUB Motorcycle Speed Trials 2010,Bonneville Salt Flats.

As of August 3rd according to BUB there`s 11 miles of good dry salt with a damp patch between mile 2 and 3 of the long course.Hopefully by the time I get there from BC that will still be the case or better.
The Worlds Fastest Irishman
(on a BMW)
The road to the Bonneville Salt Flats took me through Idaho,Montana and then down to the BMW dealer in Sandy Utah for a new set of tires and a coil pack for the left cylinder of the bike.It died up in Nakusp and it took me nearly 4 days through a process of elimination to figure out that it was a coil pack.I thought it was everything from dirty gas to out of sync throttle bodys.I must of set those throttle bodys about a dozen times before I finally found the culprit.
So a new coil pack and a new set of tires and I was headed for the Salt Flats.
The last leg of the journey and I felt just like Burt Munroe.
For more on the movie "The Worlds Fastest Indian" go here.
I left Utah BMW late,around 7 pm.I had decided that instead of taking I 80 West to Wendover I would go South West down to Vernon and take the "Old Pony Express Route" which goes down and around the Dugway Proving Grounds.
View Larger Map

If you enlarge the map you can see the route running along the bottom of
the Proving Grounds.It`s about a 150 mile dirt/gravel road up to Wendover(like I havn`t learned my lesson from the gravel road up in Washington!!).

Since I set out late I made it to Lookout Pass by about 11pm,so I decided to camp there for the night.Next morning up at 5 am,some good campground coffee and I was good to go.I had a roughly 120 mile ride ahead,so on gravel in third gear I figured on getting to the Salt Flats by late afternoon  or early evening.
Which is exactly what I did.
Just as the sun was going down..........

So I turned around and went back a few miles to camp out at the "Bend in the Road".
Yep,you guessed it,it`s right at the bend in the road !!.(who knew).
The entry fee for non racers was $20 a day or $80 for the 5 days of the event,so I
spoke with Peter Manning,son of the legend and father of the BUB Motorcycle Speed Trials, World Land Speed Record Holder and Motorcycle Hall of Fame Inductee Dennis Manning,about either volunteering or possibly even getting on with a team as pit crew.
So Peter mentioned that back at the bend was a gentleman(a legend as I later found out) by the name of Bud Schmitt,who the day before had lost his chief pit man to a family emergency back home,so Pete says he might be looking for a replacement.
So down to the bend I go,and as I`m setting up my tent Bud comes out of his little modest trailer and introduces himself and we get to talking.
5 minutes later i`m Bud Schmitts new "Chief Pit Man" !!!.
Talk about the "Luck `O The Irish" !!!.
I`m working with the first man to build and race a 2 engine dragster on the Salt Flats and get the record.
Not only did I save $80 on entry fees,but I`m also have a "Pits Eye View"of the fastest motorcycles on Planet Earth,and what it takes(money,time and blood sweat and tears of frustation and joy)to get them and keep the running.
So the rest of the evening myself and Bud shoot the nitro.

The next morning was entry and tech inspectionWe got to the gate by 5:30 to be at the front of the line for tech.

The gal in the middle is the Fastest Woman on The Planet,Leslie Porterfield.
I spoke with her for a bit on the start line of the long course,and hope to do an interview with her a little later.
So I finally get on to the Salt and set up.

It`s like "Being On The Moon" as i`ve heard it described to me by many people.
It really is.Early light,a vast expanse of white salt,no wonder they call it "Salt Fever".It`s addicting.

This is the view down the "Long Course",11 miles of uninterrupted flat salt.

The Pit area 4 miles out from "The Boat Launch", the area where pavement ends and salt begins..

Thats a Rolls Royce pulling a stunning Triumph Trident Partial Streamliner.

All the trucks and trailers with all sorts of bikes started coming into the pit area and started to unveil their year long efforts in their machines.

This is Drew.He`s the guy who measures the bore and stroke of an engine.

After you complete a "World Record Run" the bike immediatly goes to "Impound" to await Drew.
He`ll then measure the bore and stroke of the motor to verify that your bike is what you said it is,in other words if you enter your bike in the 1000cc class,he`ll measure the bore and stroke to make sure you have ONLY 1000cc.Usually the top of the motor gets taken apart in order to do this,but not always.In some cases measurements can be taken from spark plug holes,depends on the bike.


Thats all for now.
I have so many pitchers this`ll take more than one post.
Hope you enjoy the Bonneville Salt Flats



Yssa said...

Love this one. See. I read it.

garthgraham said...

This is totally awesome. Your toast is falling butter side up! Pit Crew. Get some good mechanical skills and I will let you work on Woody (the golf cart!) when you get home. Its a full 48 volt!