Big Bad Nitro Daddy returned to the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah the last week of August for the BUB Motorcycle Speed Trials. With three nitro methane powered bikes, we believed we were ready to set some impressive records.
When Rob and Julianna arrived on Friday, the standing water was ominous. As it turned out, the event was shortened to just three and a half days by torrential rains that turned the Salt Flats back to a salt lake.
Sunday, we were ready to race. Rob prepped little Pinocchio, the BBND RS-50 Aprilia that previously set F.I.M. records. Running stacked carburetors to deliver enough of the 50% nitro methane fuel mixture, the greatest problem was setting the air-to-fuel ratio. After Julianna burned one piston, Rob set the mixture rich. On each successive run, as the carbs were leaned out, the speeds climbed higher. A return run of 85.5mph averaged a new AMA record of 82.004mph for the mile. Although the Aprilia was still burbling rich, we put it in the trailer to concentrate on the other bikes.
Rob had designed new exhaust pipes for the BBND Hayabusa which looked great, but did not deliver the hoped for performance. With one cylinder running hot, we decided to retire the 'Busa as well, rather than risk damage to the engine.
We had great hopes for the 500cc Buell. New Cometic gaskets had improved compression, and the bike had performed well on the dyno. We were all eager to see how its modifications would translate on the Salt. Unfortunately, we had barely taken the Buell through scrutineering when the rain began to fall. The Buell was not able to make a single run down the track.
We’re glad to be home safely and with all engines intact. We are, as always, grateful to our sponsors, Purifoy Chevrolet, Optima batteries, High Gain Tuning, George Dean Racing Engines, Pit Bull Motorcycle Stands, Red Line Synthetic Oil, AF I Racing, Kinsler Fuel Injection, Wiseco Pistons, Performance Machine, Quality Components, JE Pistons, L A Sleeve, Accessories Inc., Klotz Synthetic Lubricants, Millenium Technologies, GRP Connecting Rods, MaxInnovation, MagnaFuel, Digitron, and, of course, Speedwrench for their support. We enjoyed seeing friends and sharing the camaraderie of racing.
And already we are at work, muttering the mantra of land speed racing, “Next year.”