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BONNEVILLE Speed Week 2008

Post Fri Aug 29, 2008 3:59 pm

Posts: 17

Hi to all my fellow Flathead-nuts out there.
Wanted to give you this news straight from the horse's mouth. Just got back from Speek Week at Bonneville where my fastest single 1 way time was 145.963 mph on a 1937 Flathead. You will find this time listed under my Dad's name (Henry Friebus) on My Dad rode the bike at Bonneville for the first time this week on his 83rd birthday. After his record was in the bag, we changed drivers and I got back on doing as many runs as I could tuning as I went to see if I could break that 145mph barrier!
The day after my Dad's 83rd birthday, he did his back-up run which clinched the APS-VF record at a speed of 137.541mph (this topped Dave Iverson's - Broken Spoke Indian - record of 134.572mph).
Records set A-VF = 139.786mph, APS-VF = 137.541mph
Brought the bike home still running, no-one got hurt - it was a great week.
Pictures and details will be posted soon on our website
Thank-you for all your support. Regards Paul Friebus, American Cycle Fabrication,Inc.

Post Fri Aug 29, 2008 4:21 pm
Pa Site Admin

Posts: 5843
Location: Ohio USA

A solid Salute to you !!! AND DAD !!!! Pa

Post Fri Aug 29, 2008 6:26 pm

Posts: 54
Location: NYC / NoHi, CT
congrats to the both of you!!! well done.



Post Fri Aug 29, 2008 8:55 pm

Posts: 1676
Location: Interlaken, NY USA

Congratulations Paul!! And Dad too... Keep up the good work, showing the world what Flatties can do.

Post Sat Aug 30, 2008 5:21 am

Posts: 732
Location: nekoosa,wisconsin,usa

Way to go Man. I'm especially happy for your father. I know two men in their 80's who are still serious motorcycle racers. The first is my friend Cliff Eckes. He ran his 1956 Triumph to the top at our Dyracuse Mound district 16 AMA Amateur Hillclimb in June. He missed racing his bought brand new 1946 WR at Davenport Iowa last night because of a nervous son. The other is Bud Schmitt who ran a Knucklehead 157mph at Bonneville in 1955. This year at BUB he will be riding a 1650cc V-Rod. He is 81 and Cliff is 84. Again congrats on your record. Look for reports from the BUB Motorcycle Land Speed Races next week. I'll be there and will post here and at Iron Motors Tech.
Call on God, but row away from the rocks.

Post Sat Aug 30, 2008 8:02 am

Fuel is methanol, or ?

Post Sat Aug 30, 2008 8:35 am

Posts: 17

Fuel is classed as any gas methanol other than the supplied race gas. For full details see SCTA's rule book.

Post Sun Aug 31, 2008 8:00 am

Thanks but not what I asked.

Post Sun Aug 31, 2008 8:33 am

Posts: 2688
Location: Los Angeles, CA
I think Panic is asking what kind of fuel you were using.

Post Sun Aug 31, 2008 1:25 pm

Posts: 17

Hi Im using methanol

Post Mon Sep 01, 2008 7:42 am

I'm tending to methanol myself simply because it gives an advantage to engines with temperature problems (37U).
However, I'm tempted to add something else, but my knowledge of fuel chem is so minor that I've convinced I'll break something.
I don't see anything in the VF (vintage = pre-1956, fuel) rules that prohibits spark retard, knock sensors etc. as long as it's still a carb (and that isn't really enforced the way it's written).
It's a lot of extra plumbing etc. to add a small shot of nitrous since it needs a dedicated fuel supply (for my peace of mind!) and lots of gear to attach but another 25 hp should do quite a bit for top speed (if I'm lucky I have 65 now), and still keep the total well below what the flywheels, shafts, etc. get with a big knucklehead motor. Nitrous seems well suited to a SV because they have low specific output, low compression, bad volumetric efficiency, and fairly good exhaust ports.
Certainly, just using nitro-methane will need fewer parts but more poisonous, dangerous, has to be mixed, harder to start, etc. Nitrous just seems easier to do.

Post Tue Sep 02, 2008 6:58 pm

Posts: 27
Location: NJ

Nice job Paul, congrats to you and your dad. Keep up the great work.


Post Wed Sep 03, 2008 8:22 am

Posts: 349
Location: Champaign-Urbana, IL

Would really like to see photos of the various bikes that you have been campaigning over the past few years, with some details ...


Post Wed Sep 03, 2008 7:18 pm

Posts: 903
Location: Hill City, Ks. USA

I just have to add my congrats to you and your Dad. It's inspiring to hear the effort you put forth to take a flathead to these levels. Great Job!!!

Post Sun Sep 28, 2008 9:11 pm

Posts: 87
Paul, When you reduce the engine size to 1000 cc do you destroke, sleeve, or a combination of both?

Post Sun Sep 28, 2008 11:25 pm

Posts: 530
Location: Ogden, Utah, USA
I am just stunned that a UL will get to 140+ under any circumstances. Wow! Just stunned. Congratulations. :shock: Steve.
Steve H

Post Mon Sep 29, 2008 12:01 am

Posts: 1654
considering the controversy that has surrounded the various supposed 100mph sidevalves over here for over 50 years ( these are mainly 500cc BSAs and oversized versions of anything up to 750cc ) I think it's very pleasing that these are valid times and speeds, recorded by a recognised authority under properly controlled conditions.

I'd be most interested to see some pictures of this bike
Shoot, a man could have a good weekend in Dallas with all that stuff...

Post Mon Sep 29, 2008 8:03 am

Re: "reduce the engine size to 1000 cc"

The engine size isn't reduced to get into that class, which is listed as the OHV displacement limit. Sidevalve engines are permitted a 50% handicap, and may run up to 1,500cc (91.5") in this class.
Originally, "sidevalve engines run 2 classes down from their actual displacement", meaning a ULH as large as 1349cc could run against OHV engines as large as 750cc.

SV ... OHV
750 ... 500
650 ... 350
500 ...250
350 ... 175

After doing this for decades, they flushed it (and all existing records except 500 OHV) in favor of a "new, better" rule: "sidevalve engines discount 1/3 of the displacement".
Then they changed their minds, again, and re-wrote it to "sidevalve engines add 50% to the displacement".
Somehow, no one involved noticed that these last 2 choices of language produce exactly the same result, and were highly offended when I mentioned it.

SV ... OHV
1,500 ... 1,000 (1,501-1,650cc SV disqualified)
1,125 ... 750 (1,126-1,350cc SV disqualified, including my 1937 UL 1,345cc)
975 ... 650 (976-1,000cc SV disqualified)
750 ... 500 (no change)
525 ... 350 (526-650cc SV disqualified)
375 ... 250 (376-500cc SV disqualified)
262 ... 175 (263-350cc SV disqualified)

That's much better, isn't it? I would guess that one of the gods on Mount Olympus (or a close friend) got very annoyed at having his expensive OHV museum piece challenged by a crude flathead engine, and turning the entire VG structure upside-down was just their way of being a good friend.
"But, what about records set by bikes that are no longer legal - are they still valid? What about bikes that were built specifically for the class and already passed tech, and are not competitive now?"
Still waiting for an answer... 3 years.

Post Mon Sep 29, 2008 2:14 pm

Posts: 87
45Brit, Look here for pictures of the bike(s).

Panic, thanks for the explanation.

Post Thu Oct 16, 2008 8:58 am

Posts: 17

We met David Peckhammer and partner at Bonneville Speed Week. David is an independant video journalist who shares our passion for Vintage motorcycles. David put this wonderful podcast together (among others) of our team at Bonneville this year.

Here is the location of the podcast:

We hope you enjoy this podcast - please be sure and watch some of the other great video's David has done - on Bonneville as well as other motorcycle events.


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