8/25/10

From new FTWCO  Land Speed Racer Warren Matthews:

   I must say this up front: Land racing is a pretty slowly progressing thing. Races don't happen very often and are usually really far away, making attendance sometimes a bit tricky. There are also very few places to test  one's bike before competitions, making the whole endeavor a little silly. Couple that with me being a broke turd and things can sometimes take a little while. All that being said, I am not messing around. I really like this stuff and am not dropping it for anything short of catastrophic brain failure.
 
           This all started with a very simple question. My girlie asked "why haven't you ever thought  to race on the salt flats"?  To which I had no good answer. She immediately donated her dirt bike to the cause and asked: "how fast do you think you can get it to go"? Again, no good answer. That Spring, her '77 and my '78 YZ400's went under the knife and made a showing at the 2008 BUB Speed Trials. My top speed was very disappointing because of a gross miscalculation in my primary gearing resulting in a 89mph pass, what a bummer.

              Shortly after, we both relocated from CO to MA. The transition was very rough and work was scarce forcing competition to the back burner. However, progress continued. I made a new much lower frame and began sourcing parts for more go-fast. Aside from the frame, the best score was an old Yamaha wheel that bolted right into my set up allowing me to go from a 40 tooth sprocket to a 28. Fast forward a full year.

               While testing for the next available race, my "side A" motor reversed phase and switched to external combustion. But with a wave of some magic honing paddles, the "B side" motor showed enough promise to risk the entry fees. A week later we jammed up to Loring Air Force Base in Maine to bag the M-G 400/2 record with a 100mph pass (would have went faster if it were not for some sissy clutch springs).

             With next season I hope to run out of gearing completely and run the bike up to north of 140mph, and with the help of a super slick porter I have hidden in the mountains of CO, I hope to bag the AMA 500cc record of 139mph. More lofty goals include the SCTA record that sits around 170mph. I am back in the garage this weekend and that record seems a long way off.

Warren