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Triumph-powered Castrol Rocket attempts Bonneville land-speed record

August 30, 2013|By Charles Fleming
  • The 1,000-horsepower Castrol Rocket, driven by twin Triumph Rocket III engines, is a contender for a new land speed record at the Bonneville Salt Flats.
The 1,000-horsepower Castrol Rocket, driven by twin Triumph Rocket III… (Castol Oil )

The super-sleek 2013 Castol Rocket is headed home from the Bonneville Salt Flats after making test runs for the world's top land-speed record.

Powered by twin turbo-charged Triumph Rocket 3 engines, specially souped by designer Carpenter Racing, burning methanol and operated by veteran motorcycle racer Jason DiSalvo, the Castrol Rocket went through several days of practice runs but was deterred from setting any records by wet and windy weather.

I described my admiration for the Triumph Daytona in a recent column, and noted among other things the awesome power band of this street racing machine.

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But that's nothing compared with the Castrol Rocket, which has a total displacement of almost 3,000 cc and cranks out 1,000 horsepower and 500-foot-pounds of torque.

The aerodynamic Kevlar-skinned body is designed by Mark Markstaller. At 2 feet wide, 3 feet tall and 25 feet long, it will be competing in the Division 3, Type V, "streamlined motorcycle" category for motorcycles up to 3,000 cc.

When it returns to Bonneville for an official record attempt, it will have to go at least 376.363 mph to beat the current world record for its class, held by rider Rocky Robinson and the speed machine known as Ack Attack.

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Topping that speed would mark a return to the world-record stage for Triumph, which held the world land-speed record for most of the period between 1955 and 1970 -- part of the reason that Triumph has had a Bonneville motorcycle almost continuously in the marketplace since 1959, and has referred to the Bonnie as "the most famous name in motorcycling."

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