Wild File Triumph Bonneville Motorcycle - Blown Bonnie

Celebrating The Bonneville's 50th Birthday With A Supercharged Speed Record Attempt

By Aaron Frank, Photography by Jim Haraughty

It's a long way from Triumph's old home in Meriden, England, to Utah's Bonneville Salt Flats, but word traveled quickly when Texan Johnny Allen's Triumph streamliner set an outright motorcycle speed record of 193.3 mph in September 1955. Triumph immortalized Allen's achievement four years later by dubbing its latest, dual-carburetor 650cc twin the "Bonneville," complete with "The World's Fastest Motorcycle" decals.

Fifty years later, Madison, Wisconsin-based Team MS Racing is looking to rekindle some of the Brit brand's salt success with a record attempt of their own. Team MS Racing's Jim Haraughty will pilot this radical partial-streamliner, powered by a supercharged vintage Bonneville twin mounted in a rigid frame and wrapped in Suzuki Hayabusa bodywork. Bill Whisenant and his crew at Motorcycle Performance built the machine, extensively modifying the late-'60s T120 powerplant by reversing the cylinder bank (so the intake ports face forward) and adapting a belt-driven supercharger and home-brewed fuel injection.

Haraughty's goals are more modest than Allen's original number-to say nothing of the 230-mph record set by Triumph-mounted Bill Johnson in '62. This machine will compete in the APS-PBF (special construction, partially streamlined, pushrod, blown, fuel) class. There is currently no record in this class, and Haraughty is hoping to go at least 140 mph. The effort is mostly concerned with honoring the spirit of the Bonneville name, and, more importantly, raising awareness for Haraughty's Team MS charity, which assists athletes like himself who have been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. To find out how you can help support that effort, or for the latest updates on the Bonneville record quest, visit www.teamms.org

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