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This pint-sized streamliner coaxed 150 mph from a miniscule 50cc engine

This pint-sized streamliner coaxed 150 mph from a miniscule 50cc engine

Lou Fischer’s Bonneville Stories series on YouTube has a lot of good stuff in it, but we’re partial to the tiny terror that John Buddenbaum and Eric Noyes built to tackle the salt several years ago. In 2008, the pair set the 50cc motorcycle land-speed record at a completely mind-boggling 144.891 mph. That’s more than two-miles-per-minute from an engine with three cubic inches.

Fischer gets Noyes to talk a bit about the build, which was custom-fabricated under some claustrophobic fiberglass bodywork. The single-cylinder engine, which is about the size of that in a typical lawnmower, runs methanol and a turbocharger to get the big bang, but the tall gearing necessitated in and the turbo needing some revs to spool up makes the bike more than a handful from the start line. Neverthless, Buddenbaum and Noyes have their record.

There’s a bit of something for everyone in land-speed record and while the future of Bonneville seems tenuous, you can get some of the stories on YouTube here.

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5 thoughts on “This pint-sized streamliner coaxed 150 mph from a miniscule 50cc engine

  1. Matt Cramer

    I never realized how tiny streamliners were until I went to Bonneville a few years ago. But this is on a tinier scale yet – it looks like they could use a longbed pickup to carry the streamliner there without a trailer.

  2. Chevy Hatin' Mad Geordie

    Well OK smart asses – now tell me how any of those guys can actually fit in to it. It doesn’t drive itself and I can’t see a midget or a child in the picture. So how does the driver manage to operate it when he’s bigger than its is?

    Weird or what…

  3. Tubbed Pacecar

    These guys need to attend yoga classes at least twice a week, if they miss a couple weeks, they lose the ability to “fold” themselves up in order to fit into their streamliners:):)

  4. Brendan M

    Hope to have my 50cc back at Wilmington in September. Nowhere near what these guys are doing.

  5. Paul Blez

    All kudos to these guys but don’t forget what NSU achieved back in the mid-50s!
    NSU went an average of 150mph with a 125cc machine in 1956 and nearly 200mph with a 250! And the original Triumph Bonneville ‘Texas Cigar’ went 212mph later the same year!

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