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2011-07-20 08:47

BILL THE FEARLESS: Despite his Hayabusa’s baby-blue finish, Bill Warner doesn't lack courage or bike control.

Supercars are fun but superbikes are better – right?

Well, if you're one of those who believe chasing velocity records on two-wheels is the highest form of worship at the altar of speed, you’d be thrilled at what Florida's Bill Warner’s managed.

On July 17, 2011, at the decommissioned Loring Air Force base in the state of Maine, Warner beat his personal top-speed superbike run of 447km/h to set the world record for an open cockpit sit-up bike, as opposed to a lay-down rail dragster.


Let the statistical madness of Bill’s beaten record settle in your mind: 447km/h is 17km/h faster than the world record for a production car, held by Bugatti’s Veyron, at 430km/h...

So how fast did Bill manage to go? An absolutely stupefying 502km/h.

Although Bill’s Suzuki Hayabusa’s fairing is a custom-crafted item, the frame’s been left relatively unmodified. The most amazing part of Bill’s bike is undoubtedly its engine.

The 1299cc Suzuki four gains an enormous Garrett turbocharger, boosting power to 480kW. So severe is the boost regime and its cooling requirements that the engine can only run for 25 seconds before the turbo disengages and shuts down. For all intents and purposes then, it’s 0-500km/h in 25 seconds...

Beyond the jet-fighter challenging acceleration, by far the most perilous part of Bill’s record run was slowing down, especially after part of the Hayabusa’s intricate fairing sheared off. "It was a little scary," the 42-year-old said in an epic instance of understatement.


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