Richard’s race to Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia South America
6 Land Speed Records over a period of 15 years
Richard Assen is no stranger when it comes to speed and will be attempting to break multiple Australian Land Speed Records in Lake Gairdner, South Australia, in March, before departing to Uyuni, Bolivia, South America, in July to attempt to break the class 1350cc Blown Fuel FIM World Record.
In the beginning
Richard’s passion for motorcycle riding began at a young age. As he grew older, his desire to go faster and faster grew, but road riding at the speeds he desired became too dangerous.
Thinking he would never reach the speeds he only ever dreamt about changed when he saw a documentary on Land Speed Racing in Lake Gairdner, South Australia. Richard did what any adrenaline junkie would do, he put together a team, and purchased the fastest bike on the market, a Suzuki Hayabusa.
The first bike
The standard 2004 Suzuki Hayabusa was purchased in 2005 and was shortly transformed from the fastest production motorcycle money can buy into one of the world’s most powerful land speed racers.
The bike is classified APS-1350-BF, meaning Altered Productions, Partially Streamlined, 1350cc, Blown Fuel. This category is where the fastest-ever sit-on motorcycles are entered.
The engine of the bike has been completely built up using the highest spec components available from around the world. Its turbocharged 1350cc engine can produce 400+ Hp reliably and more on tap by applying more turbo boost should it be required. A fully built spare engine and the turbo was crated and prepared for contingency should the need arise.
After attending multiple events in Australia and Bonneville USA, in 2011, the racing team smashed the outright record for sit-on motorcycles at a speed of 420kph. Once setting this record, the team discovered that if they wanted to smash a record over 500kph, they would need a purpose-built bike, designed for pure straight-line speed.
The new bike
After years of planning, building, and testing, the new bike was unveiled at the DLRA Speedweek in February 2016. The frame was designed and built from the ground up using chrome moly. The bike had no bodywork at this point, but it handled like a dream. After the mandatory licencing runs, they hit a speed of 332kph, right out of the box.
In order to achieve the lowest potential, drag coefficient, the new bodywork was specially built from aircraft-grade carbon fibre and developed exclusively for land-speed racing.
Richard believes his bike is one of the best, it has been built from the ground up with the sole purpose of land-speed racing. Most other bikes on the track are modified production bikes and are compromised when it comes to handling, power, and aerodynamics.
Richard is currently in training for the upcoming trials in both South Australia and South America.
|Records held – classes|
|Sanctioning body||Class||Speed Mph||Speed Kph||Year|
(Southern California Timing Association)
(American Motorcyclists Association)
|Div B, Typ II, Cls 11|
(1000cc – 1350cc partially streamlined, blown)