Show First. Then Race. On His Way To The Bonneville Salts.

Because of a resurgence of interest in Bonneville racing and because more machines are built by traditional custom builders who want to taste the Salts, more of these racing motorcycles are shown on the bike show tour before traveling to Utah. Although Mike Beland has a background in motorcycle racing, too busy at his West Palm Beach A1 Cycles shop, he never made it to Bonneville to watch or participate.

2012 will be his first trip with this bike featuring a 140″ Turbo Nitrous engine and conceived to easily reach speeds over 200 mph. Still being tested and prepped, this racer was unveiled in Daytona during Bike Week where it won Best Of Performance Class in the 2012 Ultimate Builder US Championship and a free trip to compete in the Sturgis AMD World Championship Of Bike Building. Then, Mike Beland will take his machine to Bonneville for a bid at a land speed world record. A1 Cycles. To follow…  (photos @ Horst Roesler for Cyril Huze)

31 Responses to “Show First. Then Race. On His Way To The Bonneville Salts.”

  1. 1 Ryan Apr 12th, 2012 at 10:15 am

    This year going for the 1st time to Bonneville…as a spectator. Can’t wait to be there.

  2. 2 Greeko Apr 12th, 2012 at 10:25 am

    Hey, Mike Beland. In Bonneville don’t forget to dress with a racing suit. Lol.

  3. 3 Bleeding Ears Apr 12th, 2012 at 10:52 am

    It may wow the bike show bumkins, but it’s not likely to impress anyone on the salt.

  4. 4 Smokenjoe Apr 12th, 2012 at 11:09 am

    Is this the same guy/shop that built a red twin side by side turbo charged 124″ bike?

  5. 5 dannyb278 Apr 12th, 2012 at 11:21 am

    Nice custom. I’ve been to bonneville, and that aint it. Wish Leslie Porterfield would go topless in front of her bike. She’s the real deal.

  6. 6 Bud Apr 12th, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    @ Smoken Yes, it is. Port City Fo’ Life.

  7. 7 Eric Maurer Apr 12th, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    better run a solid cover on that open primary….. I watch more guys lose belts as the rear rulley fills with salt.

  8. 8 Buzzard Bait Apr 12th, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    GOOD LUCK, an keep the rubber side down.

  9. 9 ray c wheeler Apr 12th, 2012 at 2:19 pm


    See ya on the salt.

    Looks like we’re running in the same class.

    Good Luck, nobody said it would be easy.

    Ray c wheeler

  10. 10 Kevin Boyle Kustoms Apr 12th, 2012 at 2:42 pm


  11. 11 Steve Carr Apr 12th, 2012 at 6:12 pm

    great news Mike, Always wanted to go out there. I wish you lots of luck and most of all just have a good time.

  12. 12 Dar - Brass Balls Bobbers & Choppers Apr 12th, 2012 at 6:15 pm

    Too much stress in life not to ride. Have fun Mike (and Ray)

  13. 13 Tim-Bikers Choice Apr 13th, 2012 at 6:21 am

    Glad to see the bike done, looks great. I know you put a lot of hard work into it. We wish you nothing but the best at the show and on to the Salt. Here comes the hard part, we wish Ray the best also in the Salt. Both you guys are great. Two Great guys going for a great challenge, can ya hear the cheering?

  14. 14 ragsflh Apr 13th, 2012 at 7:26 am

    best of luck on salt

  15. 15 heineken Apr 13th, 2012 at 7:41 am

    So I didn’t say anything a few weeks ago when we saw this in the Rat’s Hole pics, but now that they plan on actually riding it (and hard!) I have to say something. The front end and wheel on this bike is off of a Ninja 250, arguably under-suspended for anyone over 150 lbs in the original light bike.

    I don’t profess to know what I’m doing when it comes to high-speed runs, but I sincerely hope they do, with their 16″ front wheel and the limited option, 20-year-old tire technology that goes with it.

  16. 16 Doc Robinson Apr 13th, 2012 at 7:44 am

    Hey Ray, this is getting mighty interesting. Good luck and safe racing to both of you guys. You both rock!

  17. 17 Tyler Apr 13th, 2012 at 8:27 am

    Mike is an A-1 guy, genuine racer with high test running through his veins. This bike is a true one off in a world where unrideable art show bikes are everywhere. It runs like a beast ( I’ve seen it) to all the detractors here, Mike is a 4 time “Rats Hole” winner, if you think you can build better do it, if you think you can build faster , MEET HIM AT THE TRACK! Good luck on the salt Mike…………..

  18. 18 BadMonkeyMW Apr 13th, 2012 at 8:36 am

    The world is full of critics but they don’t mean a thing in the end.

    I’ve met Mike a couple times at Willie’s show and he’s a nice guy, I wish him the best of luck in his first trip to Bonneville. Haul ass man!!

  19. 19 Webster Apr 13th, 2012 at 9:53 am

    heineken – you are cluess – you really think he is going to go 200mph on an old tire!! dumb@ss

    Mike knows what he is doing, and around here, its put up or shut up… so meet him at the flats are show some damned respect.

  20. 20 a 1 cycles Apr 13th, 2012 at 9:54 am

    heineken…you are correct that the front was too missed the rear was also too the rush to make daytona we didnt have time finish the underpinnings..since our return home we have upgraded the rear spring from 13.7 kg/in to 15.7kg/in for the stretched arm and 200 pound rider weight.the front tubes are from a ninja but also have pmfr billett clamps and now have racetech springs and valving to handle the weight and speed…as far as the front tire…. its not rated for the speeds we are aiming at but many tires go way beyond their ratings at the track and on the salt…and the small diameter was used to achieve the 22 degree rake to facilitate the proper front to rear weight ratio…and thanks for your well versed opinion..unlike some other people on here who dont deserve a did. and to all my supporters thank you an see you soon

  21. 21 Jason Hallman (Steelchoppin) Apr 13th, 2012 at 10:11 am

    He is holding up the “Shocker”! Priceless. Obviously a cool guy that isn’t afraid to have fun too. Best of luck A1!

  22. 22 Man in Bib Overalls Apr 13th, 2012 at 10:50 am

    “…and conceived to easily reach speeds over 200 mph.”
    I have heard that alot over the years, and wish you the best with your
    proposed entry.

    However, as a longtime landspeed racer friend of mine frequently says,
    “Hope and plan for the very best, but be prepared to eat some humble pie”.

    If coming to the BUB meet; I’ll see you in tech. inspection,
    and if all goes as planned, in impound as well.

    The following is a link that will help.

  23. 23 AFT Customs Apr 13th, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    I think it’s great that the guy builds a show quality bike & then proves it’s worthyness bu running on the salt. So what if it doesn’t set a record. He’ll have a great experiance & some fun. I see a lisence plate on it which makes it even cooler. See you at AMD & Bonneville.

  24. 24 Bleeding Ears Apr 13th, 2012 at 1:19 pm


    The bike you’re thinking of was built and ridden by Ken Lion. It was a 3 litre, unit construction, water cooled, fuel injected, turbocharged, Shovelhead in a modified FL frame. It first ran on the salt in 1979. Best pass several years later was190.360mph.

    Ken later built a K100 BMW powered streamliner. That bike had a lot of potential but was destroyed in a crash that left Kenny partially blind. That bike caused a lot of hard feelings on the salt because it would have taken Burt Monroe’s record. The feeling among the SCTA / BNI members was that Monroe’s achievment was so great that the class was unofficially retired and the record should be allowed to stand as a tribute like retiring a heroic football players number.

    Anyway, Kenny is now developing Goldwing powered streamliner.

  25. 25 Hater Apr 13th, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    I think you’ve got a really nice motorcycle, and it has the potential to go very fast, once you make the necessary changes to pass tech and get some salt seat time under your belt. The few issues that I see in passing tech are easily fixable by someone with your skills and talent. Infact, I don’t even want to call them issues. Call them rule infractions, because that’s all they are.

    As a regular salt racer, I do have one piece of friendly advice: get a rule book, read it several times, and please understand that this statement will not fly at the tech inspection tent. “as far as the front tire…. its not rated for the speeds we are aiming at but many tires go way beyond their ratings at the track and on the salt…”

    Although you’re 100% correct that many tires are run past their ratings on the street and in other venues just fine, they don’t mess around with tire ratings on the salt anymore. They do check, and they won’t have a problem forcing you back on your trailer if your tires are not rated for the speeds you’re obtaining. It’s a great idea to use a 16″ to correct the geometry and the weight, but even though your reasoning is very solid, it still won’t pass tech if the rating is too low. Thank the lawyers mostly, the days of “ah just let him run,” like in the Burt Munro movie, are long over…

    But please, don’t take my word for it, or see this as negative criticism towards you or your motorcycle. I highly advise you to contact the Tech group at Bub about the tire rating, and any other questions you may have after reading their rule book. They’ll politely tell you if you’re legal to race or not, and even offer suggestions on how to pass tech if they see an issue with something. It’s a great group of people worth talking to before you show up at the event. The “man in bib overalls” that posted above will not knowingly let you break the rules, and he’s now read about your tire issue (he’s the head tech inspector). So there’s no avoiding it at this point. Talk to him now so you have time to make a change if he deems it necessary. The SCTA will not be polite when they tell you to put your motorcycle back on the trailer if you do not pass their rules, they seem to get their kicks on finding infractions on motorcycles and enforcing them with an iron fist. I do believe that’s half the reason the BUB event was created…..

    And I only say all of this because I can’t wait to see the bike running on the salt, it’s going to be awesome to ride and watch! I can’t wait to hear it go wide open in top gear! Good luck, nice bike, and see you at BUB 2012!

  26. 26 Joe Mielke Apr 13th, 2012 at 5:54 pm

    Yup, read the rule book. Ask questions to those who have been and be prepared to fix or change something, it happens to the best of them. It’s all to keep you safe, keep the track clear so everyone gets a shot. Best of luck, the salt flats are a wonderful place!


  27. 27 heineken Apr 14th, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    @ a 1 cycles Sorry for bringing the tire to the attention of the world, my intentions were more for safety rather than stirring up trouble for you with Tech.

    The highest rated tire I know of for that rim is the Avon Roadrider, so you might look there.

    Another option that would be close to your needs would be a 16.5″ race-only rim, for which they only make race tires, I don’t believe there is a single DOT legal tire made for them. They pop up on eBay occasionally for cheap because they aren’t usable to most people. But I’ve never read the rule book, so I don’t know whether they would pass tech either, even though they’re intended for 200+ on a track.

    Best wishes.

  28. 28 Pat Manard Apr 16th, 2012 at 8:38 am

    Congrats Brother!! Hope to see u in Sturgis!

  29. 29 THUG CUSTOM CYCLES Apr 16th, 2012 at 12:32 pm


  30. 30 Scout Apr 16th, 2012 at 9:36 pm

    Go Mike Go!

  31. 31 RUB Apr 18th, 2012 at 11:35 pm

    Isn’t all that stuff hanging off the front of the motor gonna kill the aerodynamics at ” 200 mph ” ?

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Cyril Huze