The guts behind the glory

Al Lamb is only days away from attempting the next land speed record. Can he hit 280 miles per hour?

More than what you think goes into speed, and at the end of the day it’s not just horsepower that’s gonna get you the Top Dog spot or another world record. In fact, counter to what people intuitively feel, to really wrap your head around going fast you have to think counter-intuitively.

Case in point.

During a recent interview, some of us reeled our heads when we heard Al Lamb describing what his ideal bike would be made of. “People always ask me why I built the body out of fiberglass instead of carbon fiber – because I can’t build it out of steel,” Lamb said. “Most teams out there are all, ‘Make more horsepower! Make more horsepower! Make more horsepower!’

“I’m like, ‘Guys, you can make all the horsepower you want, but you won’t be able to put it on the ground,” he explained. “We are all running a 180 or 190 rear tire, and we can only go as fast as that tire will hold traction. Otherwise, it just spins.”

Al Lamb
Al Lamb

Photo by: Al Lamb

But this is about the point where the machine leaves off and the technology (and other mojo) takes over. Currently, Lambo’s crew comprise some of the finest, most talented and renowned crew chiefs, engineers and tech guys in the country, whose ideas have come together to create a record-breaking rocket.

“I have an incredible team working alongside me to break these records,” said Lamb. “We have a data guy who has worked all over the world for car manufacturers; mostly what he does is race tuning and data, which he’s done for some of the Rolex and American Le Mans teams.

“Our crew chief has worked with the Nemechecks; our engines are built by Lozano Brothers Porting out of San Antionio, who built my first engine back in 1985 and who built the Porsche engine that recently won the 24-hour Daytona race,” Lamb said. “We also have an aero engineer guy who used to work at Lockheed Martin, and a fabricator out of Wylie who makes all of our custom pieces.”

And Lamb’s “little mad scientist program,” where he comes up with the ideas and then leaves the rest up to his guys to figure out how to make work, also has the help of FastSkinz Inc.

“There are a lot of sharp guys out there, and you’d be surprised how many of those guys catch some of the more subtle, yet pivotal, enhancements we’ve made to Al’s bike so he can get the best out of his bike,” said Peter Salaverry, CEO of SkinzWraps. “If it’s going to put a little extra mojo on the bike, and he sets another record, others will soon be saying, ‘I want to mojo with that thing!’”

Of course, there’s always that little medal angel, given to him by his friend and that he places in his right sock just before any run, that could give him that little extra boost.

“I’m a little superstitious,” Lamb said. “It’s one of those things that may not help, but it sure ain’t gonna hurt anything if I do.” Lamb and his team attempt a new world record during the Mike Cook’s Bonneville Shootout on August 12.

Al Lamb

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About this article
Series Other bike
Drivers Al Lamb
Article type Special feature
Tags 280 mph, al, bonneville, honda, horsepower, lamb, record, salt flats, speed