He 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.