BUB Enterprises racing team have set the motorcycle world land speed record, recapturing a title bike designer Dennis Manning has now held three times since 1970.
Manning designed the missile-shaped motorcycle in SolidWorks CAD software. The company then optimised the design in SolidWorks Simulation software and broke the previous record by a margin of more than 8 mph.
Piloted by Chris Carr, the BUB Racing Streamliner officially clocked in at 367.382 mph on Thursday, Sept. 24, 2009 over a measured mile at the hallowed Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah (see video: http://is.gd/3Qw8d).
“The last thing we did before the run was make an eighth-inch change to the aerodynamics, and that made all the difference,” said Manning, CEO of BUB Enterprises. “The data was telling us the nose was trying to dive, so we raised it up and it worked. Our new alcohol-fueled V4 engine put the record within reach.”
Manning set his first motorcycle land speed record in 1970, and his team has since traded the record with opponents. As his Streamliner designs grew increasingly sophisticated, the BUB team realized it needed to use advanced mechanical design, simulation, and manufacturing technologies to stay ahead of its competitors.
“Until recently, going really fast basically required money,” Manning explains. “Breaking the record used to be pretty much, ‘Gentlemen, start your checkbook.’ Now it’s, ‘Gentlemen, start your gray matter.’ The designs that have a legitimate shot at speeds over 350 mph require a whole new level of engineering know-how and technology like SolidWorks helps deliver. CAD is our virtual prototyper, and Simulation is our crystal ball.”
BUB selected SolidWorks because it helps the team easily transform ideas into reality and successfully confront its steepest technical challenges. “SolidWorks software helped lower the bar for us to accomplish this record,” said Manning. “Because of the design and simulation tools, we no longer had to build and smash the bike a few times, or blow an engine, before we were ready for a record attempt. We knew the numbers, we knew how to do this, and we set the record again.”
In 2011, the UK based Bloodhound SSC project will try to create a new land speed record in excess of 1000mph. The project, which started in October 2008, will make attempt on the Hakskeen Pan, Northern Cape Province, South Africa.