Motorcycle: Sports Two Wheels - Drag Racing
Date: Sunday, October 31 @ 17:34:21 UTC
Topic: Motorcycle, Motorcycles, Motor Cycle
The quickest and most violent form of bike competition is drag racing — a straight duel of acceleration over a standing-start quarter-mile (0.4-kilometre). The fastest top fuel dragsters produce almost 1000 bhp and reach over 220mph (354kph) in just 6.5 seconds — roughly the time a top sports car takes to reach 60mph (96kph). To keep the front wheel down and deliver maximum traction, drag bikes are built long and low, with massively wide rear tyres, and often using wheelie bars that extend far beyond the back of the machine.
Drag racing began in America, where most of the fastest times are still set, although the sport is popular in Europe and elsewhere too. In the early days, Indian and Harley V-twins raced against lighter Triumphs. Japanese motors took over in the 1970s, when Californian Russ Collins built double and even triple-engined monsters using 750cc Honda power. Another star of the 1970s was Dutchman Henk Vink, known as the "Big Spender", who won many , races on a 400bhp twin-engined Kawasaki. The extreme stresses that top fuel engines are exposed to make blow-ups frequent and big budgets essential.
Top fuel bikes have been limited to a single engine since the 1980s, but speeds have increased and in recent years riders have posted times below 6.5 seconds.
Harley-engined dragsters are also now faster than ever — and are often enlarged to over two litres, supercharged and fuelled by nitromethane. The Harley class has increased in popularity to such an extent that some American racers are well-sponsored professionals. Modern drag meets include numerous classes such as Funny Bike, for machines with roadster-based looks and power aids such as turbochargers or nitrous oxide, and Pro Stock, for highly tuned, near-standard-looking bikes that run on petrol. The cheapest and most basic class is one which allows riders to race on almost any motorcycle including standard or lightly modified roadsters.
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