This is it,” exclaims Rocky Robinson from his high altitude training in the Colorado Rockies. “It has taken an incredible amount of team work, logistics and cooperation, but now we can break the record.” The TOP 1 ACK ATTACK is headed to Bolivia’s Salar de Uyuni, for the Top of the World Landspeed Trial on August 3-8, 2017. The goal is to exceed 400 mph and break the team’s own longstanding LSR mark.
“I am so excited to be going to Bolivia,” says the world’s fastest motorcyclist. “To be honest, the last few years we ran at Bonneville were nothing but disappointment. We would go there and haven’t been able to push to the speed that we wanted to run and I haven’t felt safe or comfortable.” The diminishing salt and wet conditions have prevented The TOP 1ACK ATTACK team from challenging their 376.363 mph LSR mark set in 2010.
“Records are made to be broken — especially Land Speed Records,” claims Robinson. “The TOP 1 ACK ATTACK team is headed to the best salt in the world.” The nearly 12,000 feet (3,656 meters) above sea level elevation of the Salar de Uyuni also offers the least amount of aerodynamic drag the team has ever run in. “On paper we should be able to get this done, but it is such a hard thing to do.” Which might explain why Rocky’s record hasn’t been seriously challenged since 2010. “It’s never been that easy.” he says.
At least with all the prior world record attempts at Bonneville, the team could call somebody and have them FedEx something the next morning or fly back to San Jose, get something and be back in three or four hours. “It is a huge task… there is so much money involved, so much logistics involved, so much team work and coordination from everyone to get this done,” says Robinson.
He knows what he is talking about, as the former speedway motorcycle racer has set the LSR as the world’s fastest motorcyclist on three separate occasions. On September 3, 2006, Rocky rode the TOP 1 ACK ATTACK to a motorcycle land-speed record of 342.797 mph. In 2007 he tried to better his speed, but crashed at speeds in excess of 320 mph and rolled 16 times! Robinson returned to Bonneville in 2008 and piloted TOP 1 ACK ATTACK to a second world record of 350.884 mph. On September 25, 2010, for the third time in four years, Robinson set the LSR that has held off all challengers for the past seven years.
“In Bonneville you only have a limited amount of run-up, but at Salar de Uyuni we can run a 20 mile course,” said builder/visionary Mike Akatiff. “So we can run 10 miles up to the timing lights, but you can only run the motor so hard, for so long. It is going to be very, very tough on the motor.” TOP 1 ACK ATTACK is powered by two 1300cc Suzuki Hayabusa engines.
“The Suzuki is a very rugged motor,” added Akatiff. “I am really impressed with the new Hayabusa engine. How hard can we run and for how long… that is all part of the equation determining how fast we can go and something we are going to have to find out.” Adding to the horsepower equation is the Garret turbocharger/intercooler that force-feeds 35 lbs. of boost into the system, generating 900+ horsepower!
“At the extreme conditions we are pushing our engines, having the right lubricant means everything,” says Robinson. “Engine failures, overheating, seizures… all those things happen from pushing to this type of extreme, but we’ve never experienced any of these issues. TOP 1 has been phenomenal. We’ve never had a lubrication breakdown issue to this point and I don’t expect to see that any time in the future.”
This is the opportunity of a life time, claimed Robinson before heading to Bolivia. “It is one shot… we’re going to take it and hopefully come out on top of the Top of the World Landspeed Trial.”
Follow along in the quest for 400 mph at https://www.facebook.com/top1ackattack/
Text, image and video courtesy of TOP 1 ACK ATTACK