new book traces man’s ongoing attempts to build the fastest motorcycle
on earth. From the very beginning, men and machines have been pitting
themselves against the forces of nature to lay claim to the elusive
title, on country roads, and later on the beaches at Daytona. In modern
times, these pioneers have flocked to vast, dry lake beds in the deserts
to methodically probe the limits of power, aerodynamics, mechanical
reliability, and traction, ever pushing upward the absolute maximum
speed at which a motorcycle can operate.
along as Tom Murphy leads a historic tour of this exotic sport,
introducing us to Denis Manning, Don Vesco, George Smith, Leo Payne, and
many others who built or drove record bikes. Murphy takes us to the
autobahns of Germany, El Mirage Dry Lake in southern California,
Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, and Lake Gairdner in Australia, where the
vast empty spaces make natural test beds for today’s high-speed runs.
He shows us the innovative hardware conjured up by both backyard
mechanics and heavily funded factory teams. And, he describes the number
one enemy of speed—air drag—as well as how speed-hungry racers have
dealt with it over the years. He even shows how much it costs to field a
competitive machine—and it ain’t cheap.
all here, with dozens of rare archive pictures showing the people and
machines that have set the world records and made history along the way.