All of the two-wheeled machines that have held the motorcycle land speed record over the past few decades have one thing in common – they don't look like motorcycles. The latest speedster to step up to the plate is no exception. The Castrol Rocket is a 1,000-hp jet without wings that's been undergoing testing at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah in preparation for a shot at the title of world's fastest motorcycle.
Going under the full name of the Hot Rod Conspiracy/Carpenter Racing Castrol Rocket (let's just call it the Castrol Rocket), the methanol burning streamliner motorcycle is powered by two turbocharged Triumph Rocket III engines that produce more than 1,000 hp (745 kW) at 9,000 rpm and 500 lb-ft (678 Nm) of torque. The bike's aerodynamic outer skin is wrapped around a Carbon Kevlar monocoque construction and at over 25-feet long, we suspect it's not particularly easy to park.
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The Castrol Rocket is the result of a collaboration between engineer Matt Markstaller, high-performance engine specialist Bob Carpenter and Daytona 200 winner Jason DiSalvo. DiSavlo will pilot the bike in its bid to break the existing official land speed record of 376.156 mph (605.697 km/h) held by Rocky Robinson in the Ack Attack streamliner.
Chris Carr was the first to break 350 mph in his BUB Seven streamliner back in 2006 and the record has been creeping north ever since: Robinson hit 360 mph in 2008, Carr took back the title with a 367 mph run in 2009 and Robinson set the current mark in 2010.
How times have changed – Glenn Curtiss set the first unofficial motorcycle land speed record in 1903 at 64 mph
But 400 mph has a nice ring to it, and it's this mark that the Castrol Rocket team eventually hopes to go beyond, though no timeframe for the attempt has yet been revealed.
If successful, the team's efforts would once again put a Triumph-powered motorcycle on the podium as the world fastest, a title which the British company held for almost a quarter of a century prior to 1970.
Source: Castrol RocketView gallery - 15 images