Phil Hawkins

The World's Fastest Ducati Monster

A double-engine land speed bike sets the record straight.

Salt fever is a sickness for which there is only one cure: more of the same. As soon as you set one speed record, you’re already planning how to go faster next year with something different, as well as how to fund it. Mark Bjorklund has the Bonneville bug big time.

Profile of the rider, Mark Bjorklund.Phil Hawkins

Five years ago, Bjorklund set a 1,000cc A-AG (altered frame, normally aspirated engine, pump gas) record of 166.360 mph on the Team Super Rat Ducati Monster S4RS. He didn’t begin building his next bike, the double-engine machine seen here, until 2014. “I was planning on using a single engine. Then, I thought, ‘What if I put two Ducatis together?’ I’d be going after the 2,000cc A-AG record, which would mean I wasn’t trying to beat my own 1,000 A-AG speed.” Bjorklund built a jig to bolt the 128-hp V-twins together using new frame lugs he machined to mirror factory lugs. He welded gussets to the front steer tubes and ran bolts through to center those on the frame table. Then he measured his body to determine wheelbase—11 feet.

A closer look at the engine.Phil Hawkins

“I was entering Mile 3, and I finally had the Double Duck pinned,” Bjorklund said. “Around 190 miles per hour, it pitched sideways. I backed off the throttle a hair. By the time I saw the flying-mile markers, my helmet was shaking so violently I just tried to tuck behind the front tire.

"I was entering Mile 3, and I finally had the Double Duck pinned..." - Mark BjorklundPhil Hawkins

I pulled off the course and waited for the crew to pick me up. A lad pulled up in a truck and said, 'You did 205.' I threw my arms into his open window and gave him a big hug. Then I pointed up to the sky and said, 'Thank you, Jesus! I'm still alive, and I'm in the 200 mph Club!'" —Alan Cathcart