Bonneville Speed Week August 11th-19th
Its that time of year again, a time when people burn all their money, and spend a week out in the desert and try to get a hunk of iron to go as fast as you can. They call it Speed Week, and it is an annual quest supported by the Southern California Timing Association, held out on the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. And I am lucky enough to head out with all the crazies again this year.
Last year I was able to catch a ride in an old Winnebago, chasing down Barbara, a fearless pilot riding a Vintage BMW R68 replica. We where unable to obtain the Vintage 650cc Production Push-rod record, but Kevin Brooks, and his wife Barbara of Brooks Motor Works were able to capture the record for 500cc Vintage Sidecar.
This year the Brooks and a large group of volunteers, including myself, will be taking 3 pre-1955 BMW motorcycles to attempt to get as many as 6 Land Speed Records.
The 1955 BMW R50 “Bonita” will be attempting to get back a Production Pushrod record stolen from Brooks Motor Works by a BSA. 104mph is the current record, and Kevin calculates there is a potential for 107mph out of BMW’s vintage 500cc shaft drive bike. The Production class is one of the most challenging records, because the bike must appear as if it left the showroom floors any year prior to 1955.
Kevin will also have his 500cc sidecar racer which currently holds the Vintage sidecar record for regular gas. He will be putting oxygenated Fuel through the huge carbs in an attempt to grab a new record in a new class for the Vintage BMW. As you can imagine riding a motorcycle with a sidecar can be difficult, and even more so on the salt.
Last, and with the least displacement is the 250cc BMW R25. Never intended as a sports bike, the R25 is not what you would expect to see if you pulled the streamline Dustbin fairing off. But this little bike which was intended to max out at 50mph, could possible exceed 70mph as a solo bike. Lots of time and money in internal and external modifications which have been learned racing the larger boxers have gone into this single Cylinder BMW. If all goes will, Kevin will attach the sidecar pictured and try to get the 250cc sidecar record along with the solo record. Oh, and if there is time, a larger barrel will be put on to go for some 350cc records.