Bonneville Salt Flats Racing

sportscarpat

Bonneville Bomber the Salt Flat record breaker
Jun 25, 2009
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As many of you know my Bonneville Flyer model has been raced a number of times on the Bonneville Salt Flats within the SCTA racing organization. My brother and I do not get out there every year, and sometimes after a huge effort with testing and travelling we get rained out. That's what happened last year, where I made a record pass in the 100cc category, only to be denied a chance to back it up because of rains. My 250cc was running well over my earlier record of 80.438 mph at a solid 86 mph and I never even had a chance to run it before Speed Week was cancelled. That's racing. I simply cannot race every single year and this year was no exception. Fortunately I have sold a few bikes to other teams. This year the Stone Mechanical team put in the necessary effort and absolutely hammered my old record and I couldn't be happier! The new record in APF250 (modified production, push rod, fuel) is now 87.296 mph and at one point the bike reached 90.397 mph! They accomplished this at only 7800 rpm due to valve springs that were too soft. Given a bit more tuning I can see these guys reaching a two pass average of over 90 mph in the future. Like I said, I couldn't be happier!

To date there are 17 Bonneville Flyers of which 5 or 6 have racing history with SCTA log books. Here is a picture of Bill holding his time slip and standing in impound with Bonneville Flyer #3.

World Finals by Pat Dolan, on Flickr

Getting ready to run behind Poteet Racing LSR car that run 480 mph.

World Finals by Pat Dolan, on Flickr
 

indian22

Well-Known Member
Dec 31, 2014
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Pat didn't you say this bike had campaigned a few times previous to this year? I seem to remember this blue bike in some flats photos as well.

At any rate rack one up for the Old guys and your Bonneville Flyers they were aptly named!

Rick C.
 

sportscarpat

Bonneville Bomber the Salt Flat record breaker
Jun 25, 2009
1,829
423
83
california
Hi Guys,
Thanks for the comments. This particular Bonneville Flyer started as a street bike, was updated to race spec, and has been racing ever sense. Sometimes twice a year. The owner, Bill, has been working hard on getting a record. He started campaigning in the 175cc classes but as he chased the record it kept creeping up and staying just out of his reach. They finally decided the 250cc record was easier and switched over. The now have that record.
Tom,
As far as bike set-up, they have made a number of changes all over the machine, including the crank case ventilation. My standard system has worked fine for me for a number of years and should work for you as well. These guys are using a setup similar to some of the kart racers. Will need to dig around for a right side photo. I see they have modified the tool box as well where I sometimes run a catch can. Looks like the tool box has also been shortened.
As far as running an electric bike on the salt we certainly have discussed it. Biggest problem is cost. It would be a very expensive battery. I hope someone comes along that wants a race spec chassis, which I would be happy to supply, and they supply the remaining components. I have researched electric motors, controllers, and batteries so it wouldn't be too difficult of a build. No power outlets on the salt so you would have to charge the bike up using a gas powered generator.
 

sportscarpat

Bonneville Bomber the Salt Flat record breaker
Jun 25, 2009
1,829
423
83
california
Just a quick update on the Stone Racing team from Bonneville 2021. These guys continue to develop their Bonneville Flyer. They took my old record last year and this year have pushed it up even higher. They are certainly in the 90 mph club! Well done!!!

1st run 90.050 mph
2nd run 92.454 mph
New certified record 91.252 mph
 

zean

Active Member
Dec 5, 2010
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Excuse me Pat. I'm respectfully asking if you are too old, or do you feel that you could build a pure racing Bonneville Flyer and get that qualified to compete against the current record holder in the 250cc push rod class in 2022 or 2023 if you have the time?
 

indian22

Well-Known Member
Dec 31, 2014
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Pat I like the idea of you making a push to regain the record with your Bonneville design. That said what are your thoughts regarding how much power would be required on the salt to push speed to 95mph under perfect racing conditions on the flats?
I realize you've been there and done that, which is a huge positive as you know what it takes to be a world record holder because you accomplished it. Just know in my book you are a winner on two fronts as a racer and a designer/constructor kinda the Caroll Shelby model of motorized bikes already and that's quite a feat!

Rick C.
 
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sportscarpat

Bonneville Bomber the Salt Flat record breaker
Jun 25, 2009
1,829
423
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california
Thanks for the replies, guys. I do not feel in any way that this is a loss to me personally. I have been to the salt many times. I recall two visits spent being rained out and one where I set the APF 100cc record and got rained out before I could make my back up pass. Other guys have set 175cc records on Flyers. The logistics of getting there, paying to be there, time spent, etc., show me that I simply can't go every single year. Having another team represent the Sportsman Flyer name on the salt in my absence is a blessing. I held the APF250cc record for years. Records are made to be broken. If my Sportsman Flyer record is beaten by another Sportsman Flyer I will happily shake the mans hand with a smile on my face. I will also share my knowledge and parts to support any Flyer team willing to make the commitment to run at Bonneville.
As far as my age, heck I am only 58 years old. The guy running this years record bike is 70. I have two race bikes sitting here, a 250cc alcohol and 100cc gas bike. My guess it would take 28 solid horse power to take back my 250cc record. I know from experience cases start blowing apart at those numbers. I will probably convert my 250 to 100cc, which is not so simple on my certified 200cc cases, and then run two 100cc bikes. Gas and fuel, non streamline and partially streamlined. That's 4 different records I could grab and testing shows me I can do it by a large margin. I haven't set my last personal record at Bonneville!