(Photos by David Whealon) – If there is one class that represents the blatant insanity of drag racing, it is the Mickey Thompson Top Fuel Harley-Davidson division. These are V-twin bikes that produce more than 1,000hp out of a nitromethane injected engine that hovers right around 200ci. While legal, most bikes do not run a blower. Why? No one has really figured it out yet and consistency still rules the day in drag racing, especially on Sundays.
The 2019 Amalie Oil NHRA Gatornationals provided a potential glimpse into the future of the class when Japanese rider Tak Shigmatsu made the quickest run in the history of the category at 6.10 seconds. He did not win the race but he began to show the potential of the ProCharger equipped combination that he rides on top of. His photo serves as the lead for this piece above.
The all time speed record was hammered as well with bikes traversing the track at nearly 240mph, which is incredible if not completely terrifying. These things spend the majority of a good run with the front wheel up for 1,000ft before it touches down, smokes, and rockets past the quarter mile finish line.
They look like movie props, but we can assure you that these things are all too real and they are all too fast! Beau Layne won his second race in a row at Gainesville, placing him in the lead of the points chase for the 2019 NHRA top fuel Harley championship. Awesome.