To people who follow motorcycle land speed racing, Sam Wheeler is a household name. In almost 50 years of racing on the Bonneville Salt Flats, Wheeler has built the reputation as one of the premier streamliner builders and pilots in the world. Unlike other constructors going for the wheel-driven two-wheeled land speed record, Wheeler has previously foregone the brute horsepower approach to generating speed. Instead, he has worked with CalTech Master’s students to develop the slipperiest streamliner on the salt.
Proof of his concept almost came in 2006, when he crossed through the timing lights at 355 mph. Unfortunately, a blown front tire and subsequent crash prevented him from making a backup run to secure the record. Now, with more money behind the EZ Hook streamliner effort, thanks to Parts Unlimited, Wheeler’s “Race to 400mph” is combining big horsepower in the form of a Vance &Hines-built Hayabusa engine with his low drag coefficient.
This several years long process has progressed to the point that Wheeler is dyno testing his custom built engine and drivetrain in the chassis. Because of the size of the streamliner the Dynojet dyno had to be modified to accommodate the liner. This video, part six of the series, shows the beast being shaken down in the controlled environment of the dyno room rather than in the variable conditions of the salt.
Longtime MO readers may recognize former staffer, Todd Canavan, in the video.