That's absolutely awesome Andy!! Have fun!
CoffeeSnobs racing presents our entry in Speed Week 2017.
DRLA (Dry Lake Racers Australia) run an annual event around the first week of March on Lake Gairdner in South Australia called Speed Week.
Most people would have heard of the Bonneville Salt Flats in the USA well this is Australia's version of the same thing. Held in the outback, 300km west of Port Augusta in an alien moonscape of red dirt, flies and in a dry lake bed which is Australia's 3rd largest lake when it has water but at this time of year it's known as "the big white dyno".
I'm turning the big five oh this year (and freaking out a bit) so this is one of those bucket-list things for me.
I've always had road bikes and pre-kids a 1428cc nitrous drag bike and nearly all have been Kawasaki built or based so when a long time pen pal and fellow drag racer in Texas sent me the first of Kawasaki's teaser videos in 2014 I was immediately interested. By the time teaser number 8 and teaser number 9 came out I was tossing and turning at night trying to justify such a ridiculous toy.
It was released the following year and was sold out before it landed and before anyone had even seen one. Amazing effort by Kawasaki's marketing team.
So roll on late 2016 and I find a 2015 one for sale interstate, un-ridden and looking for a new home. Without very much thought I spent my superannuation on a 2 wheeled rocket ship that you can't ride on the road. Did I say I have a very understanding wife? I jumped in the Snob van and drove to Sydney and returned home in a 24 hour trip with a new "baby on board".
Sorry, this wasn't going to be such a long story...
I took the bike to Phillip Island to run it in late last year.
The run-in process is 20 minutes under 4000rpm (painful), then 20 minutes under 8000rpm (equals 200kmh in top gear) then change the oil and oil filter... then it's ready for anything.
Here's 6 second video Zed took of me at 280kmh on Gardner straight and buttoning off on the exhaust brake after the bridge before tipping into turn one with wide eyes and getting ready to do it all again. The WAV audio of that clip is now my ring tone on my phone :-)
Phillip Island was a blast, come out of turn 12, squeeze with your knees, tuck your elbows in and try and get my head on the tank as you roll it and hang on while the front wheel carries 4" off the deck for half the straight. Such a rush and really must be similar to being shot out of a cannon!
324HP at full noise with ram air though those large nostrils.
0-100kmh under 2 seconds
120DB (ear splitting loud)
Traction control, launch control, quick-shifter, ABS (front, back or both)
I have changed the factory gearing for the trip to the salt, 1 tooth bigger on the front and one smaller on the back (19/41) and really want to see 322Kmh on the salt (200Mph) but don't know what traction will be like.
I'll update the thread with some stories and pictures when I return from the 3200km round trip. Zed and I are heading off this Thursday night and will return Sunday the 5th.
Awesome. Have fun and good luck with the 200mph
Burt Munro of "World's Fastest Indian" fameYou live more in five minutes on a bike like this going flat out than some people live in a lifetime.
First things first - weather? After 3 attempts to spectate at Lake Gairdner being washed out (after trying to travel from Tassie with ferry complication), and a washed out trip to Bonneville, weather is essential but is looking perfect for Andy's salt assault.
Lake Gairdner is a surreal experience in itself. The salt presents an almost lunar landscape and is so vast that the curvature of the earth can be observed. The effort needed to access the remote location, and the need for some degree of self-reliance all add an additional dimension to this unique location.
The dry lake racing community is also a refreshing form of motor racing. While there are some high-end high-financed entries, the vast majority are self-builds that present a wide and interesting variety of machines and solutions to the unique challenges of land speed racing.
Congratulations Andy. Good luck and may the traction gods be with you.
PS and good coffee even finds its way there. A shiny Atomic in one pit fitted in perfectly with all the surrounding chrome.
Very cool Andy! Put a India Elephant Hills coffee bean in your pocket and you can do a World's fastest Indian...coffee bean.
You live more in five minutes on a bike like this going flat out than some people live in a lifetime
Yeah, I get that. The old drag bike did 0-100kmh in 1.1 seconds, 3 times faster than a million dollar super-car and you certainly feel alive (even though you forget to breathe till you get to the other end).
I think they might be, stories from the track this week have gone from "it might be damp and soggy" to "best salt I've ever seen". It's amazing what a week of 40+ can do.Good luck and may the traction gods be with you.
It will this year! Not sure what I''m taking but I expect queues around the tent in the mornings with people following their nose.and good coffee even finds its way there.
Love it!Put a India Elephant Hills coffee bean in your pocket and you can do a World's fastest Indian...coffee bean.
Last year at Duttons in Melbourne I touched Donald Campbell's Bluebird wheel, that was inspiring too.
I vividly remember touching Donald Campbells Bluebird when it was displayed in David Jones in Adelaide in1963-absolutely mind boggling !!!!
Another wheel is displayed in the Southward Car Museum near Wellington New Zealand which is full of awe inspiring bikes, boats, cars and aeroplanes.
All the best for your trip north-I am sure it will be wonderful and unforgettable-may you exceed your expectations!!!
We have been following Afflick and Afflick (postie bike) on facebook.
Good Luck Andy
Have a fun time. I might join you one year. My ride is a turbo ZX10R
Have fun....and HOLD ON!
I'll have a look for them there. 100cc nitro supercharged putting out 30hp is impressive.We have been following Afflick and Afflick (postie bike) on facebook.
There are a few turbo postie bikes entered too.
Sweet... I bet that would be a pile of fun too.My ride is a turbo ZX10R
Been practising that bit. Trick is not to sit up at 300kmh when you back off.and HOLD ON!
That Kwaka sounds wonderful mate, really crackles...
Is that the H2R Andy? I saw some of the promo videos too - the dyno run blowing flames at the bike show was epic
Stay shiny side up - and have fun!
Yeah, its a Kawasaki 2015 H2R.
...and the only one I know that gets ridden... unlike the handful that made it to Australia and are in storage unridden in the hope to make a dollar one day.
I've seen that video too, have no idea if my bike does that at full noise as I'm too busy hanging on and looking where the missile is pointing.
300+ KPH is very impressive indeed....
The fastest I was able to crank my 900SS up to was about 285 KPH on the old Surfer's Paradise Raceway (long gone now).
Ran as straight as an arrow and also sounded awesome. Gotta love a high revving Duke 'on song' too I reckon...
Note to self.
Turn the volume down before playing the YouTube video of the H2R on Phillip Island so that the dog doesn't die of fright!!!!!!
Last edited by LFM60; 4 Weeks Ago at 09:47 PM.
About 18 years ago I had a litre bike, it was the latest and greatest back in its day (or there abouts), I remember riding it home in the back roads thinking to myself, geese it arrives at the corner quick.....it had about half the herbs of that ROCKETSHIP you're riding Andy and I almost filled my diaper a few times on it.
These days, I'm happy blasting along the back roads @ 80km/h.......it's a bit like 'driving miss daisy'. No desire to go quick anymore.
Some years back I use to ride with a guy in his late 80ies & he was quick too......he got me worried towards the end because I use to remark to him when we!d stop for a Coffee, "Hey Bill, you got a bit close to that truck back there" & his reply was, "What truck"!
Anyway, he gave it away at 90, died before his 91st RIP Billy.
I believe I would have covered more than a few 100,000 kilometres on bikes....never had a real accident, except I've dropped 2 in my driveway whilst cleaning them. Idiot.
One of my favourite bikes of all times was an old chook chaser, actually it's the second longest I kept any bike in my life. It went everywhere, over hills, across the beach, through carpark gardens......I use to blast around the place without a care in the world, wind in my face, rarely cost me money, was not attractive and I never worried about it getting stolen or scratched.......served me well the old girl, Happy days.
I woke up one morning and there was an old guy in the mirror, he just stared at me......"wtf happened, I know, a bike will make me young again". You don't need a race face like Andy to enjoy a bike.....go on, you know you want to
I had, among others, an orange 1971 Kawa H1 500 mach 111. The 1969 had a front drum brake but mine was the first year I think with a disc. Bought for about $500 or $550 secondhand in about 1978? Would be worth more now.
What I really wanted was an H2 750 triple.
I admit that they sound like an outboard when idling and any smoke was good for keeping the mosquitoes away.
Also bought a brand new 1976 Yamaha RD350 for $810 on the road from Norm Fraser Motorcycles in Breakfast Creek Rd, Brisbane. They were discounted down from about $1100 because the new RD400 was coming out.
Those were the days...........
This must be the old buggers, coffee drinking, bikers forum. Too old for the Ulysses club.
Bit harder to kill ourselves falling off a coffee machine, although.......
Last edited by LFM60; 4 Weeks Ago at 08:14 AM.
Just thinking here............I could be wrong, but wondering if you (Andy) thought that money in an H2R was better than money in super
(given the govts haphazard handling of super funds).
Wishing I'd bought a GTHO new in 1971 for $5300. (Except I was only a kid then)
Love bikes too. I've just had to pull my FJ1200 off the road … just too hard to justify it at a time with 3 kids from 11-15! (and when I realised that my 5-6 rides a year were costing about $200 a pop it mad for an expensive hobby!)
Oh well - the big 5-0 is not too many years away … maybe I'll try to pull and Andy! Although, I'd struggle with a Hypersport after the FJ. I've sat on a few and being 6"4 they make me feel like a monkey on a tiny bicycle at the circus!
A series of strokes over the last few years have put paid to that idea though. Can't even sit on a bicycle these days without falling off.
That's a lovely Trumpy Yelta...
Used to own an original (from new) Bonneville back in the late 60s through to about the mid 70s when I bought the Duke 900SS Desmo. Loved the Bonny (not the oil leaks though )...
My first registered road bike was a the RD400 (with 250 side covers and bore labels). Far from new in 1985 but cheap and lots of fun to learn on....because the new RD400 was coming out.
I promise I'll "grow-up" sometime soon and then I can sit there an watch a 7% annual growth on a bit of paper before they blow 50% in a bad year (been there already!)
Scrap the plates, start a project, hot it up and come racing!...pull my FJ1200 off the road...
I'm in the same boat, 3 kids 12,15,17 and the 15yo is coming with me as pit-crew... great family entertainment.
Sorry to hear this Mal, being a newbie here & thick as two short planks I didn't realise.
Ive been bugging my wife for the last 12 months about getting a new bike however she rejected my application on the basis of 2 reasons, 1. No bike until our house is built & 2. Not until my health improves.
At the present time, aim in the process of obtaining legal advice on whether to appeal her decision or wait out the mandatory 3 month waiting period before applying again.......marriage is a wonderful institution....
An old friend of mine told me to Man-up & just by it BUT the other 28 times I did that resulted in all sorts of sanctions which make USA/North Korean relations look good.
So I wait.
Just had a look on Bikesales. Keyword H2R. Thinking, leave it in a term deposit or...........
Too fast for me anyway. I'd sneeze or something at the start of the straight on Phillip Is. and end up sliding the rest of the way.
Last time I looked a few months ago, they were early to mid $40's. One in SA for $90K and one dealer Get Price.
Some speculating going on there, I think.
Apparently the FJ1200's are popular with the stunt/hooligan brigade, but for the life of me I can't see why. It weights almost 300kg!
Amazing that in 20 years they've doubled (or even tripled!) the power of the FJ and halved the weight. What a terrifying thought! Launching mine from 5000rpm and taking to redline is enough to clench the cheeks
Owned the forerunner to the FJ1200, the 1100...
Great bike and lots of fun to ride at any time. Imagine the 1200 was not too dissimilar...
My 1100 was not the forerunner as I thought, being an XS1100 not an FJ.
It was designated as an XS1.1 and sported a mini-fairing. Colour was a near black metallic paint. Looked superb.
Was a great bike...
Last edited by Dimal; 4 Weeks Ago at 09:48 PM.
There are 3 ex police 2012/2014 FJ 1300's in Sydney somewhere, on the Pickles auction site finishing on the 24th. Tomorrow. Milperra just checked.
Bet they have had an easy life.
Bottom of the page of 27 listings.
Interesting.........it shows the bidders initials and location next to all bids!!
Last edited by LFM60; 4 Weeks Ago at 07:11 PM.
My first "real bike" was the 1973 air cooled RD350. The stories that one could tell on and off the track... I try to forget the 1973 Ducati "making mechanics out of riders" 750SS - $2700 worth of warranty work on a $1800 new bike - shudder - only on the road for 4 1/2 months in the first year then after the twentienth electrical fault I sold it on to the next sucker via the dealer. Then a few Hondas, BSA's, a Kwaka (Z9), Vincent (58 Rapide), Norton 850, Triumph (bought new, stripped it down immediately, rewired it "top to tail" and machined the engine cases - no oil leaks after that), BMWs (they actually worked reliably out of the box, pity their brakes were useless) etc etc.
My 21st and final bike (so far) is a "bought new" 1979 XS1100E with 330K Km on the clock - mostly "rapid transit" trips from the west to Sydney / Melb / Bris and back (numerous "3 days of all daylight travel per trip" from my door to my aunt's in Fairy Meadow. NSW). Due to Com Aircraft's wind tunnel in Adelaide setting up the DCP Concorde fairing (plus a few vary minor engine mods - just sorted out the inlet and exhaust breathing) it probably is the fastest streetable Yammy XS11 out there for the long haul. When the two service stations on the Nulla wanted someone to pip a Ferrari's 57 minutes for the "old road longest straight" I let it rip. Caiguna to Balladonia: 196km in 42:15 (average just a shade under 280kmh). Not too shabby for a (then) 2 year old bike carrying 6 weeks of camping gear plus ex-wife 1 returning to Perth... and yeah, she loved it. Wrecked the fuel gauge because the tach needle stayed over 11,700rpm for too long and smashed the gauge's needle and stuffed it up. Still a current record in 2006. Now the flashing blue light problem means very few will be able to have a go (unfortunately).
Andy - go for it - you only live once, so make it count. I also loved the original Z900 and those awesome 750 two strokes.
The Duke electrics were pretty sad alright.
Didn't worry me unduly though, I just rewired the bikes and used Japanese switchgear, etc. Not a hiccup after that... Don't know if the current crop of Duke electrics is any better.
Loved all my Dukes though, had four of them altogether.
Just read your original post Andy , coffee and bikes. I feel a bit of man love coming on I had a laugh. Too many bikes i've owned to name in this post. Current Bike, Triumph Bonneville. Good luck on the salt.
Perhaps as well as wishing Andy good luck on the salt we should wish him good luck getting there. From DLRA (Dry Lake Racers Aus) web page as at 16 Feb, "The Iron Knob - Kingoonya Road is very good. The road from the turn off to the water tanks not so much. And large patches of bull dust from the tanks to the lake." Hope his tow car is a 4WD.
Made it to Port Augusta, bone dry forecast for the week ahead so should be fine.
Borrowed a dmax 4x4 to tow the tandem enclosed trailer and have 200m of duct tape to seal the Ute and trailer from at least some dust.
Getting closer, next post will be in a week odd when we get back into service range. I'll update everyone then
Here we go!
Wow, what a week. Heat, sunburn, rain.... we got it all.
The salt is an amazing thing to see, every morning we drove to the lake from the camp-ground at sunrise to see the light change. It was jaw dropping awe every single day... surreal, alien-planet esk and also nice and cool before the blistering sun beat down.
The first couple of days we did our licence passes, you need to prove you can handle the speed before you can go flat out.
First pass on the salt. Not nervous but seriously excited and a tad anxious to see what it was like to ride on this stuff. Speed limited to 200kmh. It was like running on velvet, beautiful, smooth and better than any road I have driven on.
Second pass: Now I'm allowed to go to a 240kmh limit. Ahh, that feels faster, still smooth and nice.
With the first two licences out of the way I'm allowed to do 280kmh. Woah, that feel fast. Front wheel moving around on the salt, back wheel spin and little fish-tails and a huge lump of salt hitting me in the helmet from under the speedo. Now it feels like I'm riding and I can see how much everything changes with a small speed increase.
280kmh licence out of the way and I'm allowed to go 320kmh. First pass, flat out through the 2mile, 3mile, 4mile... tacho up to 12,000rpm then a flash to 14,000... lighting-up the back wheel. Tons of power, can't get it down. 300kmh top speed.
After talking to Ben (Yamaha R1) and Sam (ZX14) they said "stiffen it up!". So I changed the geometry, stiffer front, stiffer rear, pre-load, dampening and rebound. Ran again... 295kmh, still getting wheel spin in the top end. Arrgghhh.
Check the bike over and can see a slight discolouration in the oil... hmm... this is clutch slip, not wheel spin this time. So pulled the clutch out and inspected all the plates. None burnt, just slipping. Spent the rest of the day scrounging heavier springs or washers to pad the existing springs.
Greg (Suzuki's and regular 200mph runner) found some spacer washers in the back of his clutch on a bike that smoked a piston earlier in the day. Legend! I installed the washers and went out again. 295kmh! Wheel spin this time, not clutch slip. Then the heavens opened and we got soaked... racing called off for the day.
After sitting around the camp site pondering most the night, I decided to try removing the top wings. Less down force on the front means more weight transfer to the rear. We were on the lake at sunrise but there was a lot of water on the start line from the night before. It was a late start, they moved the startline to the 2 mile mark and could run "short track" for the morning. First pass... 319kmh top speed with wheel spin and fish-tails but WOW, that was fun.
Got back, grabbed the time slip and rode down to the start for another pass. 319kmh (198.238mph - exactly the same to the 1000th as the previous run).
Being only one and a half miles off the 200mph mark I rode down to the start line for a third pass but Peter the starter said "sorry, all done". Arrgghh. So close yet 12 months away from the next pass.
Punchline: a couple of 319kmh passes and I now have a 320kmh-400kmh "A Grade Licence" so I can drive/ride anything at stupid speeds without qualifying again.
We have lots of photos and video that we haven't had a chance to look through yet (got back and have been on the roaster ever since... including now as I type)
I do have some Race Chrono footage from the last pass on my phone and have just uploaded it to Youtube. Sound is bad (wind noise) but you can see the GPS speed, G-meter and see the tacho needle (14,000 is straight-up).
I'll upload more stuff when we sort through it.
(thread was locked unintentionally, I was just told by someone who wanted to comment... sorry for the oops)
Still getting back on top of the day to day at the Snobbery and haven't looked through the other videos or camera card yet as catch-up work gets in the way.
Here are some random pics from my phone.
The inland submarine at Mt Ive station. I'm sure it's the most photographed thing on this long red dust road. A true work of bush art.
Camp kitchen/dining room and Zed the "Prepper Master Chef" creation, beans and spag with spicy spam.
It tasted better than it looks and sounds.
Sunset view. Contrast of red dirt and prickly bushes, ice white salt, distant hills and a pretty glow. If you look closely on the salt you will see cars and trucks leaving for the day.
Clean alien looking bike on a suitable landscape.
It didn't stay that clean for long!
All very interesting, but more importantly what was your camping coffee solution?
30,40,50kg of lead ballast in the swing-arm is pretty "normal" for high powered bikes so that would help get some more to the ground. I could also start to play with the aero and add a belly-pan and more enclosed style bodywork.
Not sure which direction I'm going with it but I know I'll be there again next year to go faster.
Oh yeah, this is a coffee forum. Umm... took the Bellman stove top and used it once, it works well but a bit fiddly in the dark before sun-up and harder to clean. Made great microfoam and the best bush-latte I've ever had. For the rest of the trip I fell-back to double dose stainless filtered Aeropress in my travel mug made with a kettle on the gas camp stove with Zed's Espresso beans. Simple, fast, clean for great long blacks and easy to bang-out a few in a row for others at the same time....camping coffee solution...
Amazing, thanks for sharing......next time we expect you to make the final pass on one wheel and at 200mph......stop slacking at 198.
For the rest of the trip I fell-back to double dose stainless filtered Aeropress in my travel mug made with a kettle on the gas camp stove with Zed's Espresso beans. Simple, fast, clean for great long blacks and easy to bang-out a few in a row for others at the same time.
Oops, missed adding a comment! Great to see the Aeropress endorsed as the ideal solution for camping. After a lot of trial and error I have settled on the Aeropress for mainly the same reasons. For remote area travel, when water conservation is a priority, the quick, easy, clean-up of the Aeropress is a real winner.
Awesome video, must have been a hoot!
Would a change to grippier tyre help too? Not sure if special tread/compound would improve traction on salt? Absolute nuts you were breaking traction at that speed! I would have been wearing brown underpants just in case...
Had a laugh - great way to start a tradition with SWMBO. "Hey Honey, if I go next year and get just a few Kph faster I can go over 200mph and 300Kph on the same run...
Damn shame Howard closed ComAir wind tunnel isn't it?
All the best for next year - and 319 is damn fast anyway - congrats.