Thunder Road Racing » Test Run #3
Test Run #3
On July 7th 2005, while Ross and Siggi were at work, our fearless rider Ted and Gary went out to the test runway to have another shot at cracking 80mph.

With the carburator jet problem fixed, the magneto dialed in perfectly, and the fender finally bolted on strong, Ted made an easy first pass in the high 80's. If you listen to the video clip for Test Run #1, you'll hear the bike roaring down the road- on Test Run #3, it was screaming like forty kindergarten kids at a birthday party. Ted was pushing 95mph!! The tachometer was just about buried to the right side at 7500rpm, while the little flathead continued to accelerate!

If only someone had been there with a videocamera in the moments that would follow, we would have captured a near death-defying act of motorcycle maneuveuring and recovery.

As Ted hit 95mph on the radar gun, the rear weld on the back swing arm of the frame completely broke apart, causing the axle in the rear wheel to lock in at a 45 degree angle, while the fender flew off at a trillion miles an hour into the fields. Ted later confessed that at just over 90mph, he started wondering if he should bail or try to lay the bike down. After laying rubber for about 200 metres, Ted tried to slow down into the 70's, riding the bike down the left side of the road, then the right side of the road- trying to fight the angle of the skid. He made a 2 second rider decision, that his safest bet was to keep his ass on the seat and his hands on the bars. After a quarter of a mile, he finally came to a halt.

All in all, the engine and the transmission performed well, but the bike went home in need of some serious structural repairs. Over the next couple of weeks, the little scout was torn down and some mega welding took place on the rear swing arm- which was repainted along with the primary and rear fender.

By the time of this writing, this now screaming rocket has been rebuilt, fired up and waits anxiously to be tested on the Utah Salt Flats from September 7th to the 12th. With any luck the next run you read about will be Thunder Road Racing Team kicking the world speed record for vintage pre-war flathead motorcycles, right to the curb. Ted will be riding this rocket in his new leathers and helmet, intending to break the world record modestly on the first run. On run two, he is prepared to bury the tach and annihilate the flathead record.

We of the Thunder Road Racing Team are confident the frame at the front end will endure close to 100 mph. With new bearings and a perfectly built and balanced engine, our only problem will be metal fatigue in a sixty-six year old engine. Hendee and Hedstrom, the Indian founders, would be looking for a drink from Uncle Bob's bourbon bottle if they could see a Junior Scout this old, cracking close to a hundred.

Stay tuned for the Bonneville Run on the Salt Flats of Utah.

"Long live the Flathead"

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