Over the Labor Day weekend, I got to work on a special project at a body shop around L.A. In the space next to me was a team of guys who spent no more than 24 hours fixing an old Toyota. They wanted to get it done so that one of the guys’ mom could drive to work in a car that wasn’t all mangled up and was the same color all over.
It wasn’t particularly pretty work, it wasn’t done by the rules, but it would have to do. One guy was mixing and applying plastic filler with extra hardener so it would cure quickly, while another was thrashing with an orbital sander mere minutes after the goop was applied. Anyway, they stayed up all night and ended up painting the car around 3:00 am.
When I came to work the next day at 8:00, there were many bottles of Pacifico beer laying around the shop, trays of half-eaten enchiladas, salsa and tortilla chips piled high on top of wrecked cars in the alley. I spotted two of the hard-working, hard-driking guys asleep, face down on pieces of cardboard that they laid right on top of the dusty shop floor. Mom’s car was mostly back together by noon, and it looked OK from 30 feet. That would have to do… Anyway, this picture reminds me of the mad dash I was a witness to, and I thought I would share it here.
Harley-Davidson Screamin’ Eagle/Vance & Hines rider Ed Krawiec used a Harley-Davidson Street Rod competition motorcycle to crush the NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle field at the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway.
Krawiec was the top qualifier for the prestigious Labor Day weekend event, heading the class with a 6.822-second elapsed time. In Monday’s elimination rounds Krawiec set the quickest time of the day with a 6.842-second blast at 196.56 mph in round one and then proceeded to charge through the field. His final-round win was the third of the season for the three-time world champion and the 39th of his career.
“This was a really big win for us,” said Krawiec. “We showed the rest of the field that we have our new chassis figured out and we’ll be bringing two very fast Harley Street Rods to the Countdown. We are here to play and they better be ready.”
Harley-Davidson Screamin’ Eagle/Vance & Hines rider Andrew Hines qualified second at 6.825 seconds and advanced to the second round of eliminations on Monday. Hines set the top Pro Stock Motorcycle speed of the Indy weekend when his Street Rod race bike was clocked at 197.22 mph
Krawiec and Hines have both secured slots in the Countdown to the Championship playoffs, open to the top ten racers in each NHRA class. Krawiec is the number two Pro Stock Motorcycle seed for the Countdown and Hines, a five-time Pro Stock Motorcycle champion, is seeded sixth.
The Harley-Davidson® Street Rod™ production motorcycle is an agile middle-weight powered by the liquid-cooled High Output Revolution X 750 engine tuned for maneuvering through traffic and congestion. The new Harley-Davidson Street Rod drag bikes made their racing debut at the NHRA Summernationals at Englishtown, N.J. in June.
“This was the prefect weekend to get the new Street Rod bikes dialed in,” said Krawiec. “We’ve been making chassis adjustments for the past three races and it’s finally starting to click for us. It’s great to be hot heading into the Countdown and racing for another championship for Harley-Davidson.”
NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series points will reset for the Countdown, which is held over the final six races of the season. Krawiec will start the Pro Stock Motorcycle playoffs in second place with 2,080 points, 30 points out of first place. Hines is seeded sixth with 2,040 points.
The Harley-Davidson® Screamin’ Eagle®/Vance & Hines Pro Stock Motorcycle drag racing team will begin the Countdown playoffs Sept. 15-17 at the NHRA Carolina Nationals at zMAX Dragway in Concord, N.C.
Mark your calendars for our 115th Anniversary. We’re throwing parties for the people who all share a passion for the freedom of two wheels. Starting in Prague July 5 – 8, 2018 and bringing the party home to Milwaukee August 29 – September 2, 2018.
Yamaha Motor Corporation, USA, today announced a production delay for the 2018 Star Venture transcontinental touring motorcycle. This delay will result in delivery of the new model to dealerships and customers in the latter half of December, 2017.
“The excitement and reception of the 2018 Yamaha Star Venture exceeded all of our initial expectations,” said Mike Doughty, General Manager of Yamaha’s Motorcycle Group. “This production delay is a very unfortunate situation, but we stand by our commitment to the quality of our motorcycles, and the highest level of customer service for both our customers and our dealers.”
The announcement is being shared with Star Venture customers who participated in the Priority Delivery Program, as well as Yamaha Dealers nationwide, after the U.S. distributorship (YMUS) was informed by Yamaha Motor Corporation (YMC) of a needed modification to the production process at the factory located in Japan.
As part of their commitment to customer service, Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A. (YMUS) will be providing customers who participated in the Priority Delivery Program with a $1,000 Genuine Yamaha Parts and Accessories purchase credit. The company will be taking action to keep ongoing communication with its customers and dealers in place, and plans to move forward with production as soon as possible.
From the beginning, the Top of the World Landspeed Trial was a pioneering achievement and a logistical challenge of epic proportions. Chief Engineer Mike Akatiff and the world’s fastest motorcyclist Rocky Robinson took the TOP 1 ACK ATTACK to the rarified air of Salar De Uyuni salt flats high in the Bolivian Andes with the express goal of exceeding 400 mph and breaking the team’s own LSR mark of 376.363 mph set in 2010.
“No wind, perfect salt… No reason it wouldn’t go over 400 mph,” said Akatiff when they finally were able to unload the 20-foot, twin-engined streamliner. No reason except for Bolivian salt gremlins.
On August 5th at 1 a.m. — three weeks later than scheduled, the trailer containing the ACK ATTACK finally arrived. “Our container arrived 3 days into the Top Of The World Land Speed Trial’s very limited window so we were only able to run 2 days and simply didn’t have enough time to sort out our complex machine,” added Rocky Robinson. “We didn’t achieve our goal, but still have a lot to be thankful about.” While they didn’t go 400 mph, Robinson says they did go faster than their own existing Land Speed Record.
“Our best pass we ran 378 mph before blowing off the turbo manifold a half mile before the lights,” he said. “I coasted dead stick through the lights at 338 mph. Another pass we shredded a rear tire and then had another manifold blow out. I even overshot the pits one time by a 1/4 mile and stopped in the middle of the rough, unprepared salt.” There was also the run where the outrigger wheels failed to engage and the ACK ATTACK tipped over as Robinson coasted into the pits.
“We went 5,000 miles to one of more remote places on the planet in an attempt to raise the bar on our own record,” said Top 1 President Joe Ryan. “Unfortunately, time and logistical challenges prevented us from attaining our goal of surpassing the magical 400mph (643 kph) barrier on the last try, but we still have the record and TOP1 will forever be remembered for having the guts to make the commitment to bring attention to perhaps the next major venue for land speed racing.”
At nearly 12,000 feet (3,656 meters) above sea level, the Salar de Uyuni offers prefect salt conditions, no wind and miles of run-off room that LSR teams in Bonneville can only dream about. And several records were set at the Top Of The World Landspeed Trial, including Al Lamb riding his turbocharged Honda CBR 1000 to 265.8 mph and Nick Genet piloting a naturally aspirated Aprilia RSV4 with the fairing removed to a 192.8 mph record.
“Thank you to our general and leader Mike Akatiff,” said TOP 1 President, Joe Ryan. “You are my mentor and inspiration. I cannot be more proud of the entire team. We didn’t get our record but I feel very strongly we have a great story to share with the world!”
The record set by TOP 1 ACK ATTACK in 2010 still stands… for now. To be the best, you have to beat the best and Mike Akatiff’s ACK ATTACK is still the best with a motorcycle land-speed record of 376.363 mph. “This is historic,” said Akatiff. “Coming to Boliva is something I’ll never forget!”
See more of the TOP 1 ACK ATTACK at the Top of the World Landspeed Trial at Salar de Uyuni in Episode 8 of the TOP 1 ACK ATTACK video series:
or the whole series on YouTube:
Follow along in the quest for 400 mph at https://www.facebook.com/top1ackattack/
Sturgis is a major endeavor each year. It’s the epicenter of the custom motorcycle industry. Hell, the Chip held five custom bike shows, five concerts, two wet t-shirt contests, an industry party, and Michael Lichter’s stellar art exhibit and bike show, plus a helluva lot more. That’s just scratching the surface. New camp facilities pop up every year and this was no different with the latest Elk Ridge facility and a very together travel center.
Garage-Girls and Allstate MotorcycleInsurance are proud to announce this year’s Ultimate Biker Makeover winner; Patricia Thurston! Patricia was selected among over 61 entries to this years contest.
To say Patricia was stunned would absolutely be an understatement, “I didn’t see my email till 4 days after the announcement, and I am humbled and so honored. Crying like sissy girl in fact, I so needed this. You have no idea how this will help my dream of getting my motorcycle back on the road.” -Patricia Thurston.
2018 marks the 10th anniversary of the Garage-Girls Ultimate Biker Makeover and the girls are already hard at work planning the big celebration! Stay tuned for more info to come.
“There is nothing better in this world than being able to help out a fellow rider, we love to support bigger organizations, but getting to experience the impact on a personal level, that is priceless. Of course our sponsors are the ones we need to thank, they make this happen with their genuine hearts and compassion. Thank you to Allstate Motorcycle they are truly doing all they can to #keepridersriding” –Sara Liberte, owner of Garage-Girls.