All photos courtesy Nathan Allred
You might not recognize a streamlined motorcycle as being a motorcycle at first glance. But all it takes is to catch one in action to know that those who ride them are literally pushing the edges of extreme speed.
More than 50 years after the first modern, fully streamlined motorcycle was designed and concepted, Rocky Robinson of the USA broke the record for the fastest land speed on a motorcycle. Riding his Top Oil-Ack Attack on 25 September 2010, Robinson achieved an average speed of 605.697 km/h (376.363 mi/h) over one measured kilometer (0.6 miles) at Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah, USA.
The record came for the average speed across two runs, but Robinson topped out at an incredible 634 km/h (394 mph) for a single run. It wasn’t the first time Robinson had tasted the glory of unprecedented speed. His current record marked the third time in his career – and all within a 4-year span – that he broke the motorcycle land speed record. Before breaking it for the first time, the mark that Robinson surpassed had stood for 16 years.
The Ack Attack contains a carbon-fiber paneled body with chrome-moly tubing. It purrs on the strength of twin Suzuki Hayabusa in-line four-cylinder engines, with a 30 psi turbocharger boost. The maximum engine speed tops out at 12,000 rpm with an incredible net horsepower of between 700-900.
It measures 5.99 m (19.67 ft) in length, with a height of 76.2 cm (2.5 ft), and a weight of 748.42 kg (1,650 lb).
The Ack Attack was designed by Mike Akatiff in 2001. A motorcycle racer in his own right, Akatiff has worked with five crew members to create the record-breaking beast, which has been riden by four different riders.
Robinson has ridden the Ack Attack since 2006, having broken the world land speed record in 2006, 2008, and 2010.