The great variety of work that turns up at the Lumley Engineering workshop is always keeping us on our toes. So it was when Ian Arnold got in touch with us about his land speed record project. He had made a prototype 18 foot long streamliner chassis, to be powered by a turbocharged 70cc 2-stroke engine with a target of reaching 173mph on the Bonneville Salt Flats.
Our mission was to re-create the prototype but in a way that would hold together long enough to make the target speed, and just as importantly, to satisfy the technical committee of the organisers who have very fixed ideas about materials and methods that may or may not be used in the construction of a land speed record motorcycle.
Throughout his numerous visits to the workshop, Ian was always astounded by the care and preparation that went into every joint in his chassis. In order to make a two minute weld, it is necessary to spend an hour making the parts fit together perfectly beforehand. At every stage, images of frame members and joints were sent to the technical committee in the US for approval. This will potentially save a lot of time and heartache, which could be caused by having to make change on the spot. Effectively, Ian's streamliner will have passed scrutineering before it arrive on American shores.
Mindful of the possibility of going for other records, the engine bay was made to be flexible so that other configurations can be used in the future without major modification. This should allow Ian to pursue other records, or make it easier to sell the streamliner should he choose to follow a different direction.
With covid still causing travel problems around the world, Ian is not sure when his chance will come but is using the time to build and test all the systems that go to make the bike work from standstill to 173mph and back again. We will be watching his progress on racetothesalt.com, all the way and looking for another record to be brought home to Britain.
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