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Fastest Bikes in the World: 600 kmph Streamliners

Updated on December 5, 2018
Savio Dawson profile image

Savio is a resident of Mumbai, India. Cars, bikes, and everything fast is his passion, and he writes about them on numerous reputable sites.

Fastest Bikes - An Introduction

If you are looking at this article for the Hayabusa, BMWS1000R or the Ducati, then good for you since you are going to find out bikes which are twice the top speed of the mentioned bikes. But if you still want to look at those conventional bikes then here’s the list:

Fastest Bikes in the World: Top 10

So what’s this list about then? This is about non-conventional bikes which were built for the sole purpose of testing the limits. The top motorcycle here does a 600 kmph. That’s nearly twice the top speed of the Hayabusa. Interested to know about them? Well, read on.

The passion for speed inspires humans to scale greater heights, and that will continue to be an unfinished business. Be it water, air or land, man has tried to be faster than the fastest in all of the mentioned medium of travel, and in some unfortunate cases even lost their lives. What is great though is that the inspiration lives on and stirs more lives to keep testing the limit.

Coming to the bike world in specific, recorded history talks about Glenn Curtiss as the first person to set a bike speed record of 64 mph (103 kmph) in 1903, and later in 1907 achieved a splendid record which stayed put for the longest in history. That record of 136.27 mph (219.4 kmph) was carried out on what appears like a cycle fitted with a V8; no kidding! And remember this was a time when cars were still in their diapers. It was not until 1911 that Blitzen – Benz, a car, broke the record set by Glenn and later in 1949 when the production model of cars achieved 200 kmph regularly with the introduction of Jaguar XK120. The bike world, though, would take another 23 years till a French rider, Joseph Wright, eclipsed Glenn Curtiss’ record. See, how ahead of time Curtiss was? Take a look at the video below:

Well, let’s get back to the future. The speed record for bikes now stands at 376 mph and all competitors are pushing to breach the 400 mph ceiling. We may see that happen as well but for now, let’s get to know the current record holders.

1. Ack-Attack Streamliner | Rocky Robinson

Source

Ack-Attack is the current number one as far as the speed record is concerned. Rocky Robinson who has created the record on three different occasions keeps trading the first spot with Chris Carr who is second on this list at the moment. So intense was the competition that between 2006 and 2010 alone the first spot has changed hands five times making it the most in a short period in the official speed record era. About the bike though, it looks like anything but a bike. Why so? Because the bikes have to be streamlined for the high-speed run and, of course, three-wheeled in few cases for stability. That's why they cease to look like bikes. Not to mention the rider in a lying down position as opposed to seating position in conventional bikes. Also for the record, Rocky was the first man to go above 600 kmph on a bike.

Record Created: September 2010

  • Record Speed thru two-way run: 376.363 mph (605.9 kmph)
  • Top Speed: 394.084 mph (634.217 kmph)
  • Engine: 2 x turbocharged 1,299 cc inline-four Suzuki Hayabusa engines [2,600 cc in total]
  • HP: Over 1000 hp
  • Speed Record Held: 2010 to date
  • Broken by: None. Rocky Robinson is the current record holder

Earlier Record Created: September 2008

  • Record Speed thru two-way run: 360.913 mph (581.1 kmph)
  • Top Speed: Not Available
  • Engine: 2 x turbocharged 1,299 cc inline-four Suzuki Hayabusa engines [2,600 cc in total]
  • HP: Over 1000 hp
  • Speed Record Held: 2008 to 2009
  • Broken by: BUB Seven Streamliner | Chris Carr

Earlier Record Created: September 2006

  • Record Speed thru two-way run: 342.797 mph (551.9 kmph)
  • Top Speed: Not Available
  • Engine: 2 x turbocharged 1,299 cc inline-four Suzuki Hayabusa engines [2,600 cc in total]
  • HP: Over 1000 hp
  • Speed Record Held: 2 days | Broken in 2006
  • Broken by: BUB Seven Streamliner | Chris Carr

See it zoom past at 2:14

Here’s some bit of interesting history of the 2006 run by Rocky Robinson. Rocky ended up beating a 16-year-old record [second only to Glenn Curtiss’ 20-year-old record] set by Dave Campos in 1990. Not only that, his record was broken within two days by Chris Carr setting the stage for a long-drawn battle which would rage till 2010.

The speed record created in 2010 is recognized by both Federation Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) and Guinness Book of World Records in their 2012 edition.

All the records were set on the Bonneville Salt Flats in the U.S. and August and September makes it the ideal time for any speed runs. Hence, we would consistently see the speed runs happening in September.

Also, Rocky is vying to go faster than 400 mph and I am just waiting for that to happen!

Did you know? If you put the fourth wheel on any of these streamliners they will be classified as a car.

2. BUB 7 Streamliner | Chris Carr

Source

Here is the challenger who upstaged Rocky Robinson’s Ack – Attack within two days of setting the first record run. The BUB 7 Streamliner was the first to breach the 350 mph speed limit. Had it done the run just three days before its actual scheduled run, it would have also had the distinction of eclipsing the 16-year-old record. That, though, now belongs to the Ack-Attack.

Record Created: September 2009

  • Record Speed thru two-way run: 367.382 mph (591.5 kmph)
  • Top Speed: 372.53 mph (599.8 kmph)
  • Engine: 16-valve turbocharged V-4 purpose built Sierra engine [2,997 cc]
  • HP: Over 500 hp
  • Speed Record Held: 2009 - 2010
  • Broken by: Top 1 Ack – Attack | Rocky Robinson

Earlier Record Created: September 2006

  • Record Speed thru two-way run: 350.884 mph (564.8 kmph)
  • Top Speed: Not Available
  • Engine: 16-valve turbocharged V-4 purpose built Sierra engine [2,997 cc]
  • HP: Over 500 hp
  • Speed Record Held: 2006 – 2008 [Longest time between 2006 and 2010]
  • Broken by: Top 1 Ack – Attack | Rocky Robinson

Between 2006 and 2010 the speed records increased in smaller margins, from 342 to 350 to 360 to 367 and finally holding still at 376 mph between Rocky and Chris. That means the bikes weren’t modified much and to make a big jump like that of going over 400 mph in one go, I wonder what more has to happen. Well, non-conventional cars have already done it, so we can expect the bikes to do it too.

3. BUB 7 Streamliner | Valerie Thompson

Source

I had mentioned that the record to reach the 400 mph barrier is a coveted one and there are many vying to be the first. We know about Rocky Robinson attempting it, there’s Guy Martin on Triumph Infor Streamliner and hold your breath, Valerie Thompson on BUB Streamliner. When did we last hear of a lady going for the record? Well, here she is.

Valerie Thompson became the fastest lady rider in the “7” Racing Streamliner hitting a top speed of 304 mph in 2016. In the process, she upstaged Eva Hackansson as the fastest female rider. Valerie is used to racing on the Bonneville Salt flats, the quite well-known achievement being the top speed of 208 mph on a BMW S1000RR.

Valerie, in fact, had a run in the BUB 7 Streamliner too. She could not reach the goal of 376 mph to beat Ack-Attack because of a near-fatal crash at 343 mph in Australia. That said, it’s only a matter of time before the next run.

In the process of the run, Valerie bettered her own time of 304 mph and ended up with a time of 328 mph. That is the fastest lady rider as of 2018.

Record Created: August-September 2018

  • Bike [Streamliner]: BUB 7
  • Record Speed thru two-way run: 328.467 mph (528.83 kmph)
  • Top Speed: 343 mph ( 552.23 kmph)
  • Engine: DOHC, 4 – valve, turbocharged V-4 [3,000 cc]
  • HP: 500 hp
  • Speed Record Held: 2018
  • Broken by: None as of 2018 [held as the fastest female bike racer and third fastest overall]

The near fatal crash

Earlier Record Created: September 2016

  • Bike [Streamliner]: “7” Racing Streamliner
  • Record Speed thru two-way run: 304.263 mph (489.9 kmph)
  • Top Speed: 313 mph ( 503.93 kmph)
  • Engine: Manning Designed
  • HP: 600 hp
  • Speed Record Held: 2016 - 2018
  • Broken by: BUB 7 | Valerie Thompson [Own Record]

Fastest Female Bike Rider

4. Easyriders Streamliner | Dave Campos

Source

Dave Campos in the Easyriders Streamliner set the new record speed in 1990. This was twelve years after Don Vesco set the record in the Lightning Bolt Streamliner (coming next on the list). Dave’s record was to stay put for 16 years the second longest after Glenn Curtiss’. This was one record which was broken in 2006 by Rocky Robinson and two days later by Chris Carr.

Record Created: September 1990

  • Record Speed thru two-way run: 322.150 mph (518.7 kmph)
  • Top Speed: 322.87 mph (519.82 kmph)
  • Engine: Twin Harley Davidson Engines [3,000 cc]
  • HP: About 500 hp
  • Speed Record Held: 1990 – 2006 [16 years. Longest since Glenn Curtiss]
  • Broken by: Top 1 Ack – Attack | Rocky Robinson

5. Lightning Bolt Streamliner | Don Vesco

Silver Bird
Silver Bird | Source

Here’s another record breaker and Don Vesco has two records to his name. He is the first to break the 300 mph barrier for bikes in 1975 and also the first to break the 500 kmph barrier in 1978. Now, in our conventional fastest bikes list, we said that the late Bill Warner was the first to break the 500 kmph and 300 mph record in 2011, so which is true? Logic tells us that it is Don Vesco, of course, but for a non-conventional bike. Whereas when it comes to a conventional bike being piloted in a sit-out position then it is Bill Warner. Bill also has another distinction – he broke the 300 mph and 500 kmph barrier in the same run, which Don Vesco did in two different shots. Interesting, isn’t it?

Record created: September 1978 [500 kmph barrier broken]

  • Bike [Streamliner]: Lightning Bolt Streamliner
  • Record Speed thru two-way run: 318.598 mph (512.94 kmph)
  • Top Speed: 333.117 mph (536.32 kmph)
  • Engine: Kawasaki KZ1000 twin turbocharged inline 4 engines [2,032 cc in total]
  • HP: ~ 400 hp
  • Speed Record Held: 1978 – 1990
  • Broken by: Easyriders Streamliner | Dave Campos

Earlier Record created: September 1975 [300 mph barrier broken]

  • Bike [Streamliner]: Yamaha Silver Bird Streamliner
  • Record Speed thru two-way run: 302.92 mph (487.7 kmph)
  • Top Speed: 307 mph (494.3 kmph)
  • Engine: 2 x Inline – 4 two-stroke Yamaha engines [1,389 cc in total]
  • HP: 240 hp
  • Speed Record Held: 1975 - 1978
  • Broken by: Lightning Bolt Streamliner | Don Vesco [Own Record]

Big Red
Big Red | Source

Earlier Record created: September 1970 [250 mph barrier broken]

  • Bike [Streamliner]: Yamaha Big Red Streamliner
  • Record Speed thru two-way run: 251.66 mph (405.17 kmph)
  • Top Speed: Not available
  • Engine: 2 x 350 cc two-stroke, two-cylinder Yamaha engines [700 cc in total]
  • HP: ~200 hp
  • Speed Record Held: 1970 [held only for two months]
  • Broken by: Harley Davidson | Cal Rayborn

Jump to 8:47 for the run

Don Vesco has another distinction when it comes to records. His Yamaha Silver Bird Streamliner has the highest jump in speed record over the previous record holder. This is second only to the achievement of Glenn Curtiss’ speed record jump over the previous record holder. Here are the details:

Glenn Curtiss’ Speed Jump

  • Glenn Curtiss’ Speed Record: 219 kmph
  • Henri Cissac’s Speed Record [Record Holder before Glenn]: 140 kmph
  • Speed Record Jump [in absolute terms]: 79 kmph
  • Percentage Jump: 56.43%

Don Vesco’s Speed Jump

  • Don Vesco’s Speed Record [1975]: 487 kmph
  • Cal Rayborn’s Speed Record [Record Holder before Don]: 410 kmph
  • Speed Record Jump [in absolute terms]: 77 kmph
  • Percentage Jump: 18.78%

So, quite a lot of distinctions for Don Vesco. Just to summarize, first man to break 250 mph and 400 kmph, first to break 300 mph, first to break 500 kmph and the second highest jump in record speed over the previous record holder. Phew!

6. KillaJoule | Eva Hackansson

Source

Now the list won’t be quite complete without at least one electric streamliner. We are talking about the KillaJoule, the world’s fastest electric motorcycle, and its rider, the fastest female rider in the world, Eva Hackansson. Well, at least, Eva was the fastest before Valerie Thompson made the 304 mph run. However, the title of the fastest female on an electric bike will still stay with Eva. What’s more exciting to know is that Eva is not only the rider but also the builder and owner of the KillaJoule. How’s that for some neat achievement!

  • Bike [Streamliner]: KillaJoule
  • Record Speed thru two-way run: 248.7 mph (400.41 kmph)
  • Top Speed: 270 mph ( 434 kmph)
  • Engine: EVO Electric AFM-240 motor
  • HP: 400 hp
  • Speed Record Held: 2014 - 2016
  • Broken by: “7” Racing Streamliner | Valerie Thompson [However, fastest electric bike and fastest electric bike rider record remains]

Eva’s goal is to show the world that electric can also be fast and sexy. It need not be a compromise over the gas based vehicles. In my opinion, this is eco-activism in the fastest manner!

Back to the Drawing Board

I hope readers noticed that Glenn Curtiss holds a lot of firsts. He is the first to have a big jump on the speed record over the previous holder, first to have his record stand for the longest [20 years], first to do a speed run of 200 kmph [for any kind of vehicle], and the first to be awarded a pilot license. Of course, the last record is out of bounds of this article but that is the person we are talking about. At the moment, seeing the marginal jumps in speed records, we seem to need another Glenn soon.

I truly hope to see a Glenn Curtiss moment in the bike world soon! Till such time, adios!

Which bike did you like?

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Disclaimer: The videos added in the article belong to the users who have posted them on youtube. The Author does not own them nor validates that they belong to the ones who posted them on youtube. The videos are included to give some additional information about the subject being discussed.

© 2018 Savio Koman

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