The Story Of A French Rookie In Bonneville

laurentdutruellayrentdutruelbisHe lives in France and prepared a custom bike for show & race that I featured in this Blog. Told me at the time that he had Bonneville big dreams. Excited, emailed to me one week before the Bub Speed Trials, to tell me that his bike was already waiting for him in a warehouse of Salt Lake City. So, the 1st person I wanted to meet on the Salts to share his excitement was Laurent Dutruel accompanied by its small support team of friends and Eric from Freeway Magazine who traveled with him to immortalize via pictures his morphing from Custom Builder to maybe a Salts Speed God.

First step. To which class my bike belongs (regulations are quite tricky)? Then scrupulous machine, racing suit and helmet scrutenering by FMI and AMA officials. First problem. Helmet is disapproved. Photographer Eric Corlay makes a 200 miles round trip to Salt Lake City to buy a new one. Not good enough for the officials. Then, Lee Chapin, President of Mikuni just stops by to check Laurent’s machine equipped with one of his brand carburetors. Lee being Lee from Mikuni gets immediately a loaner helmet from one of the old “dog racers”. Laurent Dutruel registers his custom bike in the A-PBG Class, makes a couple of runs for feel, then the day after accomplishes a 1st run at 140.347 mph and a mandatory return at 147.633mph. Surprised, the officials make him disassemble his engine to be certain that Laurent runs in the correct class. Satisfied, they officially register Laurent first Land Speed Record.

In 3 hours, the bike is reassembled and Laurent already dreams of a new record, this time in the APS Class, or “Partially Streamliners” where no record has been established. He installs a streamlined front fender, goes to a smaller sprocket, remove the oil radiator cover for less resistance, set the turbo pressure at 1 bar and go to line up on mile zero. After a couple of runs, Laurent gets a time slip at 150.852 mph and return at 152.027 mph, the brand new LSR for others to beat next year.

Land Speed Records (LSR’s)s. There are those who dream about it and those who do it. Laurent dreamed it and got it. And in the plane flying him back to his native France Laurent already sketched another show/street/racing bike. In 2010, the new machine will be based on a 1560 cc Dyna with for objective to reach at least 175 mph. I was there and can testify. Utah Salts are highly addictive…Don’t go or you will come back. Zen Motorcycles.

13 Responses to “The Story Of A French Rookie In Bonneville”

  1. 1 Bertrand Sep 9th, 2009 at 7:06 am


    LES LARMES SUR TA JOUE SONT DES LARMES DE BONHEUR ! ! ! ( c’est beau non ? ? )

  2. 2 liuchuang Sep 9th, 2009 at 7:43 am

    nice bike

  3. 3 philippe Sep 9th, 2009 at 8:19 am

    Bravo Laurent la pure classe…
    Philippe de Lyon

  4. 4 krugger Sep 9th, 2009 at 11:58 am

    Well done Laurent!
    Bonneville is like a dream seen from Europe!

    You’ve been very clever, i’m happy for you!

    Speed , smile and style

  5. 5 Lee Chapin Sep 9th, 2009 at 12:36 pm

    Bon Jour Laurent,
    Congratulations on your successful run at Bonneville. Your’s was quite an adventure.
    Due to your fine engineering skills and I hope a bit of Mikuni Performance, you are now in the record books. I was very happy to have played a small part with the helmet.
    Hope to see you again.

  6. 6 Mike Kiwi Tomas, Kiwi Indian Motorcycles Sep 10th, 2009 at 6:25 am

    Thanks for another great story upon the salt Cyril. Lee is a super nice guy and helped out quite a few folks which is what Bonne is all about. He stopped by as soon as we pulled up upon the salt just to say hi and offer a friendly hello. The Buell Brothers came to our rescue on a racing suit. Theses guys are tops and are always ready to help. Keep those cool human interest stories coming Cyril

  7. 7 maroco Sep 10th, 2009 at 10:30 am

    Great bike and a historical deed!
    Lot of style and Performance!
    You make incredible bikes!

  8. 8 Jim Gianatsis Sep 10th, 2009 at 10:34 am

    Time to break out the Escargot and Bubbly and try for another record! (smile)

  9. 9 Marc Cluzet Sep 10th, 2009 at 3:27 pm

    Bravo Laurent
    Félicitations, je suis très content pour toi

  10. 10 izadore007 Sep 10th, 2009 at 5:56 pm

    Congrads, we we !

  11. 11 gustian Sep 12th, 2009 at 10:03 am

    Mes félicitations Laurent.

    Malgré quelques complications, votre rève accomplie.
    Bravo !!

    J’attend déjà avec impatience le nouveau “FREEWAY” qui va, sans doute,
    nous fournier le rapport de votre “Bonneville-adventure”.

    Cordialement Gustian

  12. 12 Laurent Sep 12th, 2009 at 1:19 pm

    Thanks to everybody,
    I was really happy to meet Cyril for the first time, and i would like to say thanks to all people who helped me during this race, and those from all over the world who supported me.
    And for sure may thanks to those who commented in this Blog.
    Best regards from France.

  13. 13 Rico Sep 14th, 2009 at 6:13 am

    Félicitations Laurent, il est bon de savoir que des français font parler la poudre à Bonneville!

Comments are currently closed.
Cyril Huze