In contrast to Confederate Motorcycles’s forth year on the Bonneville Salt Flats, Norton Racing is also present at Bub Week with their rotary-powered NRV588, trying their luck for the first time out on the salt. With no FIM sanctioned class to race in, Norton isn’t going for a land speed record per se, but instead hopes that their efforts this year will provide the adequate momentum to have a sanctioned LSR class for rotary motorcycles in 2010.
With four days thus far on the salt flats, Norton has found that there is a step learning curve when it comes to reaching maximum velocity. While the NRV588 is every racer’s dream bike for tackling your local road course, its purpose-built design does not necessarily translate into an ideal LSR breaker. For instance, the NRV588’s almost anemic weight makes it harder for the bike to hook-up the rear-tire when at full speed, possibly spinning up the rear while at 150+ mph.
Learning the course and strategies behind racing on the salt flats is also key. Experiencing a slight snafu on the first run, Norton saw only 103 mph because of confusion on where the timed portion of the course ended. Sorting it out on the second pass, Norton put down an average speed of 158 mph over the timed-mile (161.31 over the time kilometer) yesterday, and showed the capability of 170mph, no problem.
While the NRV588 has gone 190+ indicated on the asphalt, the team takes a 160 mph result as a huge success, but is still well aware that they can better this result before Bub Week is over.
We’ll keep you up-to-date as they finish their chance at pure speed from now through Thursday.
Source: Norton Racing