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September 22, 2009

Triumph Thruxton Sets Land Speed Records

Photo: Triumph UK

Cathcart aboard the Triumph Thruxton at Bonneville

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Cycle Canada contributor Alan Cathcart captured 5 new world land speed records aboard a couple of Triumph motorcycles at the Bonneville Salt Flats last week.

Cathcart, a Brit, teamed up with Californian Matt Capri, owner of South Bay Triumph, to ride a street-legal, Capri tuned, Triumph Thruxton to three records in the FIM’s 1000cc Normally-Aspirated Twin-Cylinder Unstreamlined class. The duo set new two-way FIM world records for the flying mile at 245.711 kph (152.678 mph) and the flying kilometer at 245.859 kph (152.770 mph) as well as a best one-way speed of 246.471 kph (153.150 mph).

Cathcart also rode another Capri bike, a turbocharged Triumph Bonneville, to two more FIM world records for the 1000cc Forced Induction Twin-Cylinder Unstreamlined class by turning in a two-way speed of 266.194 kph (165.405) mph for the flying mile and 266.623 kph (165.672 mph) for the flying kilometer. The bike’s best one-way speed was 276.202 kph (171.624 mph). The mile speed also qualifies for a new AMA record.

“We’ve been coming to Bonneville since 2007 in preparation for this, the Bonneville model’s 50th birthday year,” said Cathcart. “Breaking the 150 mph barrier with the standard bike was always our main objective, and when the FIM established the new Twin-Cylinder category for Speed Records, it was great that we could claim official World Records by doing so. Matt Capri is a genius when it comes to tuning bikes for the Salt, at 4,400 feet in altitude. To set two more World marks with the Turbo, which he’s developed almost as an afterthought and has spent very little time on, is just the icing on the cake. For sure this is a 180 mph-plus motorcycle with more development in its present naked guise, and with a fairing it’ll go much faster. Maybe we’ll be back next year to try to join the 200 MPH Club with it!”

Watch for a review of the 2010 Triumph Thruxton online and in an upcoming issue of Cycle Canada Magazine.