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By TAG Heuer, TAG HEUER TEAM —  22 May 2015

World's fastest turbine powered motorbike - 233.7mph

TAG's phrase, #DontCrackUnderPressure is never more relevant than in the high risk, high speed world of land speed racing. Achieving a land speed record is not an every day occurrence, even less when done on a road legal motorbike, powered by Jet Turbine from an Augusta 109A helicopter. 'Pilot' Zef Eisenberg, a collector of high end TAG watches, shares the same passion in engineering excellence as TAG HEUER, with his 'naked' turbine powered motorbike that he and his team designed and built in the little island of Guernsey, which ironically has a speed limit of just 35mph!

Zef explains, 'After raising the speed of the motorbike from 224.9mph last August to 225.6mph on the first run of the day, the speeds started to get hard, real hard with strong cross wind gusts, and every 1mph increase feeling near impossible, due to the intense wind resistance at that speed with no fairing at all. The physical pain in holding on, was intense with the 'upright bars' and arms out position acting like a parachute. By the end of the day, the 228mph goal had still alluded us. By 5pm, it was time for food and thought.

The team spent the whole evening looking at the motorbike datalogger to see where we could make improvements. We worked out we needed another 100hp to gain just another 6-7mph, as the drag on the bike is about 0.9 Cd which is about 3 times that of a sports fairing bike like a Suzuki Hayabusa, which has a drag of around 0.35 Cd. We decided we would go all out and increase the fuel flow on the turbine to maximum and increase the water-methanol cooling to max flow also. The safety parameters were raised to the limit (auto-cut out on the turbine) to ensure we had maximum power, with safety still. 

Sunday started with strong winds and slight rain, but we were not perturbed, as the bike was now set up perfectly for the conditions. The speeds started to climb frustratingly slowly.  So we decided it's going to be an 'all or nothing' next run... I literally held on with every ounce of strength and held that throttle on full, to push out an amazing new top speed of 231.5mph with an upright Streetfighter bike, with no fairing and motorcross style bars!

I can't tell you how relieved we all felt. We now felt confident. The bike was handling superb, like a turbine powered bullet train. The data logger and torque sensors were showing levels around 480lbft at the turbine, regular spikes of 1100lbft at the rear tyre and 542hp, which interestingly is over 100hp more than last August's Top speed event, where we set a top speed of 224.9mph. The laws of physics needing eight times the horsepower for double the speed was never more true.

 

If you want to see the amazing world record MADMAX turbine bike in the flesh and see it ride up the hill at the Goodwood Festival of Speed 2015, this special motorbike will be on the TAG stand outside the Drivers club side entrance, where Zef and his team will be there to discuss in more detail how the bike works.