Racing his 1,299cc turbo Hayabusa to 311.945 mph, Bill Warner (you may have heard of him) became the first man to break the 300 mph barrier while sitting on a motorcycle. Eeeking close to 312 mph, Warner set the speed at Loring Air Force Base in Limestone, Maine, which has a 2.5 mile concrete runway that serves as the LSR course. With 1.5 miles to hit a top speed, the Loring Timing Association certified Warner’s run, though it would appear that a follow-up pass in the opposite direction was not undertaken, meaning that the speed is not an official FIM land speed record. Don’t let that fact leave you unimpressed though, few riders see a true 200 mph, let alone 300 mph in any direction.
The “first man to break the 300 mph barrier while sitting on a motorcycle” qualifier is important, since fully-enclosed streamliner motorcycles having been busting down 300+ mph runs for some time now, though Warner’s Busa has plenty of aerodynamical work of its own. The catch is that Warner was not fully-enclosed on his Suzuki, and he was still riding on top of the motorcycle in a roughly stock position (note the cut-out in the fairings for his boot and leg, which is to the “T” on what differentiates Warner’s bike from a streamliner).
In his run, Warner broke his own previous top speed record of 273.356 mph, which he set last year at the Loring Timing Association event. The concrete slab course has numerous advantages over salt courses like Bonneville, where traction on the salt flats becomes a huge issue as vehicles increase their speed. Elevation also plays a key role, as Bonneville is over 3,200 ft higher in elevation than Loring Airforce Base, and 2,100 feet lower than the El Mirage dried lake bed in the Mojave Desert, two of the most popular venues for land speed record attempts.