Norton at Bonneville blog: Day five

By Peter Scatchard -

General news

 03 September 2009 10:57

Norton Motorcycles is making its first visit to the Bonneville Salt Flats in the USA, where boss Stuart Garner is riding the NRV588 flat out. The team is using this year to get an understanding for the salt flats – it is hoped the FIM will introduce a new class for rotary-engined bikes in time for next year, so the team can aim to set a world record in 2010. On day five the team opted abandon attempts for today – this is why:

Yesterdays’ routine, up late and run later afternoon worked well, so we decide to follow the established pattern – bit of a mistake!

It’s Hot as Hades today – it’s no clearer than before, but with the salt drying out that bit more, there’s less of the refrigerator effect, so the sun’s heat beats down AND up at us today.

We wait for the afternoon cooling and for the long line to get out onto the salt to diminish a little, but we wait in vain. Preference is given to other than the Run Wotcha Brung brigade we’re in, given our experimental status here, so the wait is forever, and we decide not to even go out in these conditions, to fry for several hours in the first holding area.

At last, the queue diminishes, and we start to prepare, just as the wind gets up. Okay, so the salt is indeed firmer today, as we’d hoped, but Stuart adjudges the around 12 mph cross wind is one factor too many. He’s been brave thus far, but with a potential 180 mph top speed facing him, he decides to pull the plug on today’s effort, substituting an early morning attempt tomorrow, so we’re off to bed early for a 6.30am rdv, and hopefully a run soon after the 7.30 first-bikes hit the strips.

Did I mention compensation? Well, there are a surprising number of ladies running at Bonneville, and just just tiddlers. There are NO separate ‘Ladies’ classes (quite right too, in my humop!) so a WSR in a particular class can be earned just as well by the female of the species as the male, and there are no less than 19 women participating, from Karate Black Belt Cindi Turgeau on her 50cc Kawasaki framed rear-streamlined wee machine, to Tracey Synder on her ’Busa. And there’s the Klock Werks team, with Ma, two daughters and the wife of their workshop manager all at it, on anything from a 500cc single Buell, through a Yamaha 1700 V-twin, to a stock, monstrous Victory Vee full-dresser, c/w windshield and panniers!

Big, butch ladies? I leave it to you to decide from the pix, but I’m enjoying my self-imposed task of hunting as many of them down as possible, to try and get to the bottom of what motivates these Fast Ladies!

  • Read day four of the Norton blog here