Common Tread

Castrol Rocket aims at the motorcycle land speed record at Bonneville

Jul 24, 2014

Bonneville Speed Week is coming up faster than a methanol-burning streamliner with twin Triumph Rocket III engines, and speaking of streamliners with twin Rocket III engines, that's one of the interesting entries in this year's quest for speed. These guys want to go 400 mph. And seriously, they might do it.

To achieve that kind of speed, you need a vehicle that doesn't much resemble a motorcycle like anything we ordinary mortals ride around on the face of the Earth most days. Instead, you need something like the Hot Rod Conspiracy/Carpenter Racing Castrol Rocket, shown above in pre-Bonneville testing this week. It has two wheels, sure, but it looks more like a fighter jet stripped of wings than a Hayabusa. Wind resistance increases exponentially with velocity, so adding power is nice, but to set a world record, you need to focus on being slippery.

The minds behind the Castrol Rocket believe they have both sides of that equation covered. Their goal is nothing less than breaking the motorcycle land speed record that has stood since 2010, when Rocky Robinson piloted the Top 1 Oil Ack Attack, owned by experienced Salt Flats veteran Mike Akatiff, to a record of 376.363 mph.

Beneath that bullet-shaped surface, the Rocket III engines pump out an estimated 1,000 horsepower. The pilot is former Daytona 200 winner Jason DiSalvo, who usually rides a Triumph Daytona 675 in the AMA Superbike Series Daytona Sportbike Class, a bike with a lot more lean angle and a lot less thrust.

Can they do it? We find out the second week in August. Meanwhile, consider the video below your daily shot of gratuitous motorcycle beauty to get you in the mood for Speed Week.