Alan Spears is an old racer that just can't seem to give up the habit. He's come out of retirement, at the age of 58, to set a land speed record at the Bonneville Salt Flats. And he says he knows he can do it. He's got age on his ...
Alan Spears is an old racer that just can't seem to give up the habit. He's come out of retirement, at the age of 58, to set a land speed record at the Bonneville Salt Flats. And he says he knows he can do it. He's got age on his side.
Spears is building a CR500G. It's a CR500 Honda 2-stroke liquid-cooled racing engine that pumps out an astonishing dyno-certified 100 foot-pounds of torque on the top end, and it's all held inside a highly-modified Suzuki RG250 Gamma Chassis. By comparison a 2007 Suzuki GSXC1300R Hayabusa delivers 98 ft-lbs.
He says this bike will set the record, not the driver. Besides "Bonneville is where old men go to race because it's in a straight line", says the grinning man in a face covered with a grey beard and a head full of salt and pepper hair.
He can defiantly drive in a straight line. Alan started racing in 1961. For the next 20-years he was all over the grand prix motorcycle road racing circuit. When he started winning regional class championships he caught the attention of some big time sponsors. He's raced for Bultaco, Kawasaki and Harley-Davidson.
It was in 1981 when Harley-Davidson put Spears in the Winston Pro Circuit on a grand prix sidecar. His monkey was his then wife, Eve. "You have to be a smooth and aggressive driver because a sidecar is a foul evil handling contraption." Spears claims he could feel Eve moving about on the platform; he didn't have to look or see her because he knew she was there -- and that's what made her a fantastic "monkey".
At the Bonneville Salt Flats Alan will go it alone. But you can't ignore his team of racing engineers. Rob North is a world-renowned chassis builder and has been putting together Spears' modified motorcycle for the past year. North is known in the racing world where Ton-Up Triples and Triumphs ruled the track.
Don Redmon with Replika Maschinen out of Santa Clara California is putting together Spears' mind-blowing engine. He's been able to double the torque output of the two-stroke engine with extraordinary results and he's been doing it for professional racers for more than 35 years now. Let's see what he pumps out of Spears' machine?
If the bike doesn't blow you away, Spears promises he will. He's planning on wearing a one piece silver metallic leather spacesuit with matching boots and gloves. His custom Peter Frechette air-brushed helmet looks just like the Terminator.
"You just can't miss a guy dressed in a shiny silver space suit. I'll look like a bullet flying by," says Spears.
Keep your eyes peeled for Spears and his CR500G. He'll be ready to roll by August 2008.
For more information with photos, please see www.aesracingdevelopmentsltd.photosite.com/cr500g
For information on the event, please view www.bubspeedtrials.com
-credit: Shelly Molaschi