'Streamliner' could achieve 400mph in 90 seconds

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A UK team is developing a 400mph motorcycle that could break the world land speed record for a two-wheeled vehicle.

Angelic Bulldog is a fully enclosed aerodynamic motorbike known as a ‘streamliner’. If it is successful in achieving its target speed of 400mph then it will cover a mile every nine seconds, or the equivalent of two football pitches a second.

Gabriel Uttley, the designer, owner and rider of the Angelic Bulldog, said he has dedicated the last 16 years of his life to developing the £75,000 motorbike.

‘It’s a motorbike in the sense that its got two wheels, a motorbike-based engine, handle bars and a hand clutch,’ he said. ‘I can’t quite ride it like I do my road bike because I have to input everything. I can’t move my shoulders or twist my head to change direction like I do on a road bike because I’m strapped in.’

Uttley compared the experience that could launch him into the book of Guinness World Records to somewhere between flying an aircraft and steering a boat.

Each aspect of the 900kg vehicle has been assembled at different locations across the UK.

The power behind the Angelic Bulldog is an eight-cylinder, 2,300cc super-charged engine manufactured in Wolverhampton that could take Uttley up to 400mph in less than 90 seconds. Each of the complex on-board sensors that could make the difference between life and death has been developed in Grantham.

Speaking about the record itself, Uttley said: ‘Since 2006 it has been broken five times; it’s gone from 322mph to 376mph. But I’ve never changed my aim — I’ve just said I’m going to do 400mph.’

The team, exhibiting this week at MACH, is now in the process of completing the rolling chassis to enable initial testing in the UK, before shipping the streamliner over to Bonneville in the US. Two alternative venues are currently being evaluated in Norway and South Africa.

Uttley hopes to break the record at Utah’s Bonneville course either later this year or in 2013.

The course is 12 miles of flat salt, consisting of a five-and-a-half-mile run-up, a measured mile and then five and a half miles to slow down — mainly by parachute.