Triumph Salt Racer - Thruxton 2008The Bonneville Salt Flats in the US are legendary in the world of Land Speed Racing, made famous by many world records and movies like ‘The World Fastest Indian’. A fact that is not as well known is that Australia has one of the only other Dry Lakes in the world suitable for land speed racing, Lake Gairdner. The Dry Lakes Racers Australia (DLRA) are the organisation responsible for racing on the Lake and for one week every year Lake Gairdner becomes the home of some of the fastest vehicles in the World.
The donor bike for our project is a 2008 Triumph Thruxton. We decided at the very start of our project that we would be building a bike using one of Triumph’s modern twins (Bonneville, Thruxton etc..). Before selecting the 08 Thruxton we got the whole team together and talked through the options. We had a few requirements that narrowed down our options;
1. firstly it had to have wire wheels, this was an aesthetic decision – we all like the look of the wire wheels even if it may cost us a few mph. This requirement eliminated any late model Standard Bonneville’s as these bikes have alloy wheels. Obviously it would be possible to use one of these bikes but we would have to source hubs, just easier to get a wire wheel model to begin with!
2. Second requirement is that is has a 360 degree crank. The Bonneville and Thruxton models both have the 360 crank while the Scrambler has a 270degree crank. the 360 degree crank causes the pistons to rise and fall together and according to our engine specialist Andrew this configuration will be more appropriate for our race engine.
3. Fuel Injection! This was probably the most debated part of the selection process, should we go with a carburettor system or an EFI system. In the end we decided that EFI will give us the most flexibility in tuning and the potential to develop the most power. It will also allow us to easily compensate for atmospheric changes out on the salt easily. Triumph updated the modern twin range in 2008 to EFI so any 2008 or later model will work.
We handed these requirements over to Cliff from Triumph Australia and before we knew it we had a 2008 model Triumph Thruxton delivered to the supacustom workshop. After many hours of work the bike you see here is the end result, check out our blog for the full build story.