Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A Good Way To Spend A Tuesday

You may have seen photos of this bike on this site or elsewhere, it is owned by both Wes White of Four Aces Cycle and myself, and we call it the Salt Ghost. It was raced at Bonneville Speed Week and El Mirage starting in 1967. We decided that it might be a good idea to race it again. Here is a photo of it in line at the short course at Bonneville this morning.

It has a similar setup as my personal bike, long and low with rearsets and a reversed shift pattern, so I got the good fortune to be the first to ride it. I was actually pretty nervous just because on my own bike I know every nut and bolt and am very in tune with it, and this was a bike I was just getting on and going wide open.

The way it is set up it is difficult to get in position on it until you are in motion. Start it and constantly blip the throttle as the Amal Grand Prix carburetors have no idle circuit, they are meant for all out speed. Wes started it up for me, I took over the throttle, he pulled off the kick starter lever and Dangerous Dave shifted it up into first for me by hand. Once the starter let me know the course was clear I took off, swinging my feet up onto the rearsets and tucking in.

119.9 mph, it blew me away, I guessed 105. We got right back in line and I shifted into 4th half mile earlier and tucked in as tight as I could, laying my head sideways on the tank behind the tach and watching the orange cones on the far side as a reference point. I just kept full throttle until I saw the 3 mile mark then cut to the left. 121.675 mph, just 2 miles shy of the record. Needless to say, I was happy. We got in line again and Wes was going to run the bike, he is 35 lb lighter than me and we figured that could pick us up the couple miles we needed. Unfortunately one of the Amal GP carbs pulled out of the manifold just a mile or so down the track and on top of it the mag gear spun off, killing the spark.

And that is our day in a nutshell. Tomorrow we do something new and different, wrenching and racing motorcycles all day. I can't believe it is only Tuesday I feel like we have been gone forever.



BitMonkey said...

Cool post, I'm a little jealous. You guys really need to post a video Salt Ghost in action sometime.

josh said...

121mph!!!!! hell yeah!!!

Anonymous said...

Did you buy the Salt Ghost from Keith Martin? Sure looks like the one he bought a couple of years ago.

Anonymous said...

Well I just answered my own question by clicking on Salt Ghost. I knew it was the same bike, I saw it in his shop after taking mine there for repairs. That is a great looking bike and a piece of history and I'm knocked out by the fact you rode it to 121. Another testimony to the Triumph brand.