Two-wheeled terror

A motorcycle designed and built by Grass Valley’s Denis Manning set a new land speed record for two-wheeled vehicles at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah on Sept. 5. Stockton-born motorcycle racing champion Chris Carr achieved an average speed of 350.8 mph in Manning’s 24-ft long, fire engine red “streamliner.”

“I tell ya, I’m feeling pretty good right now,” Carr told Cycle News magazine. “I’m only five-foot-five, but I’m feeling five-foot-eight.”

As previously reported in the RN&R ("The Streamliner’s Handbook,” Aug. 31), Manning has been chasing land speed records for both motorcycles and automobiles for more than three decades. He set his first record for motorcycles in 1970 with a bike he built for Harley-Davidson. Manning went on to found BUB Enterprises, an aftermarket motorcycle parts company headquartered in Grass Valley, but he never lost his taste for speed.

The new record was set at the third annual International Speed Trials, which is presented by BUB. Hundreds of riders from dozens of different motorcycle classes showed up for what turned out to be the most competitive meet in years. In the unlimited class, Carr and Manning faced stiff competition from ACK Attack’s twin-engined Suzuki streamliner, which started off the meet with a run of 342.97 mph, eclipsing the hold mark of 322 mph that had stood for 16 years. Carr, however, beat that speed with room to spare. He plans on returning to the salt again next year.

“I believe the BUB streamliner has the ability to go 400 mph-plus, and I want to be the guy that take ‘er through that barrier,” he told Cycle News.