With 1,000bhp from its 6-cylinder twin-turbo engine, the Triumph Castrol Rocket is probably a bit faster than your Hayabusa or HP4...
Here and now, in 2014, there's no dearth of fast motorcycles in the world. The Suzuki Hayabusa, Kawasaki ZX-14R and the BMW HP4 are some that'll happily do 300kph. But 300kph isn't, apparently, enough for some people. It certainly isn't enough for Triumph Motorcycles America and Castrol, who are building a 1,000-horsepower motorcycle - the Triumph Castrol Rocket - which they hope will be able to hit a top speed of 640kph. At the Bonneville Salt Flats, of course.
The current FIM world land speed record is 602kph and next week, at Mike Cook’s Bonneville Shootout, this record will be up for shattering as Triumph Motorcycles America, in cooperation with Castrol, Hot Rod Conspiracy, and Carpenter Racing, take to the Bonneville Salt Flats with their new streamliner. Developed by Matt Markstaller of Hot Rod Conspiracy and Bob Carpenter of Carpenter Racing, the Triumph Castrol Rocket streamliner is powered by not one but two Triumph Rocket III engines, with twin turbochargers! With six cylinders and a total engine capacity of 4.6-litres, the twin-turbo engine produces a nice 1,000bhp and close to 700Nm of torque.
"Piloting the Triumph Castrol Rocket is a unique and thrilling challenge, but what really stands out is the unbelievable amount of power the machine produces. It simply defies explanation and belief. I find myself tapping into all the honed skill I have developed in my racing career and learning new ones as we continue to eclipse new speed levels," says AMA Pro Road Racer Jason DiSalvo, who will ride the bike during its record-setting attempt next week.
"There are teams that have been out here attempting to break records for years. It’s very hard, because there are so many variables to contend against, but we have an amazing team. We have confidence in the progress we’ve made in this project’s development since we were on the Salt a year ago," says Matt Markstaller. "While our streamliner produces enough power from the two Rocket III engines to generate record setting speeds, our endeavor also becomes a battle with the elements. The Salt Flats are an ever-changing environment that can be quite forgiving or absolutely inhospitable, you never know what to expect," adds Bob Carpenter.
Triumph have built record-setting land speed motorcycles in the past and, in fact, they held the 'World’s Fastest Motorcycle' title from 1955 to 1970. Bikes like the Devil’s Arrow (1955, 309.05kph), Texas Cee-gar (1956, 342.67kph), Dudek Johnson (1962, 359.26kph), and Gyronaut X-1 (1966, 393.05kph) are a significant part of Triumph's fast past the Salt Flats, and the new Triumph Castrol Rocket may well continue with that legacy. "It is all about the journey. To be back at Bonneville with Castrol and the rest of our team is like returning home. So much of Triumph’s legacy was established right here in Utah, by passionate, driven and courageous motorcyclists and engineers that all believe in constantly pushing the envelope. Today, we are able to continue that legacy, and it is something we are immensely proud to be a part of," says Matt Sheahan, CEO, Triumph Motorcycles America.
Triumph Castrol Rocket: Tech Specs
Chassis: Carbon-Kevlar monocoque
Engines: Two Triumph Rocket III engines, with two liquid-cooled turbochargers
Power: 1,000-plus horsepower at 9,000rpm
Torque: 700-plus Nm
Suspension: Custom-made aluminum swingarm, adjustable Ohlins TTX36 shocks
Tyres: Goodyear Land Speed Special
Engine Lubricant: Castrol Power RS 4T 10W-40 full synthetic