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Tuesday 11 July 2023


Who Wants a Unique Place in Motorcycle Performance History?

Denis 'BUB' Mannings' obsession with holding the world's fastest motorcycle bragging rights is the stuff of legend, and continues to this day. At the time of writing this piece, he and his BUB-7 Motorcycle streamliner team are making ready for another serious (very serious) attempt on the world motorcycle land speed record and this is your opportunity to help make the dream happen… 

The name Denis Manning needs little introduction to long-term readers of AMD - either because of his former Grass Valley, California 'BUB' exhaust manufacturing business, or because of his life-long addiction to setting motorcycle World Land Speed records at the Bonneville Salt Flats and elsewhere.

Indeed, so bad did Denis have "Salt Fever" that he even started his own event, the FIM recognized Bonneville Motorcycle Speed Trials in 2004 - then and still the only motorcycle specific speed trials for his fellow tribe of LSR addicts, and now recognized by AMA as a Grand National Event.

The 2009 world record team: 367.382 mph

The popularity of motorcycle land speed racing has exploded as a result of the event that Denis started 18 years ago. It has created a worldwide community of motorcycle riders and fabricators who are passionate about the sport. They come together every year to test their machines, and their skills on the Bonneville Salt Flats.

Denis "Bub" Manning

Weather and salt conditions permitting, the 2023 Speed Trials are slated for Bonneville from August 26-31 with Trevor Richter as pilot. 

There are many things that drive such undertakings - great design and engineering, of course; courage and nerves of steel, for sure; but also, that age old lubricant that has always smoothed the path to all forms of racing success, and that of course is MONEY!

And that is where you may come in!

Denis has asked for help (help that, I might add, we are delighted to try to provide) in spreading the word that there is what could turn out to be one of the all-time most powerful sponsorship opportunities available.

If you would like to be that sponsor, to help make the plans to recapture the world motorcycle land speed record a reality, and have your brand indelibly associated with sporting excellence for all time, then Denis and his dedicated, hard-working team would love to hear from you.

Everyone realizes that there is no such thing as a 'Magic Money Tree', and we live in straightened times where marketing budgets are concerned - mind you, haven't we always!

However, the key word in this proposition to recapture the world motorcycle land speed record. Mr Manning has compelling form where such derring-do is concerned. Unprecedented, unparalleled form. 

This is far from his first rodeo, and if anyone can put together a project that stands a fighting chance of overturning the odds then surely his knowledge, his experience, his "been there and worn the T-shirt to shreds" formbook suggests that if it can be done, it will be done.

With its ultra-light, high-strength composite body and custom made "Big Bang" V4, the BUB 7 is the most technologically advanced motorcycle streamliner in the world. It is the result of decades of land speed racing experience and thousands of hours of research and development.

Remarkable to tell, but Denis first captured the world motorcycle land speed record in 1970 with his Harley-Davidson powered streamliner piloted by Cal Rayborn. The official speed was 265.492 mph. The effort was documented and made famous by Bruce Brown in his classic Motorcycle film, "On Any Sunday."

Thus began an era in which the name BUB has become synonymous with world motorcycle land speed records. In a career spanning more than 60 years, Denis has built six of the fastest motorcycles in history. 

In 2004, Denis Manning founded the world's only AMA & FIM sanctioned (motorcycles only) land speed event.

He is a published author, self-taught engineer, award-winning event promotor, and keynote speaker. In honor of his contributions to motorcycle racing, Denis Manning was inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 2006.

In 2019 Valerie Thompson piloted the streamliner to a new Australian motorcycle record. This accomplishment also made Valerie the fastest woman in the world on two wheels. While trying to improve this record Valerie lost control of the streamliner and crashed at close to 350 mph.

"one-piece Monocoque chassis"

Video shows the crash to be extremely violent but thanks to the overabundance of safety built into the BUB 7 streamliner, Valerie was able to walk away from the destroyed machine with only a small wound to her shin. The streamliner has since been completely rebuilt and is once again ready to challenge the world record.

The BUB 7 is the most technologically advanced motorcycle streamliner in the world. It is the result of decades of land speed racing experience and thousands of hours of research and development. The BUB 7 uses an ultra-light, yet incredibly strong, one-piece Monocoque chassis.

Like a Formula One race car, the body is the frame. The revolutionary design is the subject of a Published SAE Technical Paper. The BUB 7 has a wind tunnel documented Drag Coefficient of 0.08.

The heart of the BUB 7 Motorcycle streamliner is its custom-fabricated engine. Designed, cast, and machined "in-house" it is unlike any other motorcycle engine in the world. It is a methanol burning, turbocharged, 3 liter, DOHC, 16 valve, 90 Deg. V-4 making more than 500 hp. 

All this power fits inside an incredibly small footprint of only 18 x 28 inches! The term "Big Bang" engine refers to a special timing pattern that allows the rear tire to "relax" between power pulses resulting in better traction on the salt. The engine is the subject of its own published SAE Technical Paper, it is mated to the "in-house" custom-made 4-speed transmission that uses an Indy car clutch. The streamliner can go more than 185 mph in first gear. The engine was designed and built from scratch making it a one-of-a-kind, purpose built design.

As early as 1980, Denis Manning realized that the fastest land-speed vehicles were rapidly approaching the limit of the currently available high-speed tires. There are many mission-critical components that make up a successful world land speed record motorcycle and contribute to safety, but perhaps none more so than the tires.

He contacted Goodyear with his concerns only to be flatly rejected.  Undeterred, Denis began a decades-long campaign to convince Goodyear to produce a tire capable of withstanding the enormous pressures generated by a vehicle traveling at 400+ mph. 

In 2009, Manning's determination (along with large sums of money!) prevailed and Goodyear agreed to create a series of 450 mph-rated tires. Denis was well within his rights to keep these tires as his ace in the hole, but in the interest of everyone's safety, decided to make them available to anyone in the land speed racing community.

Denis Manning's streamliners have enjoyed a tremendous public profile notoriety well beyond their racing careers. They have earned a place of honor in some of the world's most renowned motorsports museums. 

The BUB 7 has already secured its place as one of the most important motorcycle streamliners in land speed racing history. It was the first motorcycle to set a World Record over 350 mph and, the first motorcycle to run a sub-10-second mile.

"Drag Coefficient of 0.08"

The BUB 7, piloted by seven-time AMA Grand National Flat Track Champion Chris Carr, is a two-time world record holder with a top speed of 367.382 mph. The BUB team is "extremely confident" that the streamliner can go faster. In fact, they believe it is capable of achieving the purpose for which it was designed and built - namely to be the first motorcycle to go over 400 mph.

The 1970 World Record Harley-Davidson streamliner is in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum; the dual engine Norton streamliner is in the National Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham, England; The Tenacious streamliner is in the S&S Cycle Museum in Viola, Wisconsin, and the Tenacious II streamliner is in the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum in Pickerington, Ohio.

The Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC and the Barber Motorsports Park Museum in Alabama have both expressed their interest in displaying the BUB 7 streamliner as a featured exhibit after it is retired from competition.

This will provide years of extremely positive exposure for sponsors in an extremely desirable historical context - and your brand name could be on the side in perpetuity. 

If you'd like to discuss the sponsorship opportunities available, contact Robert Collier, Team Manager at

Indianapolis Motor Speedway - Hall of Fame Museum
1970 World Record Harley-Davidson Streamliner

National Motorcycle Museum - Birmingham, England
The Dual Engine Norton Streamliner

S&S Cycle Museum - Viola, Wisconsin
The Tenacious Streamliner

AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum - Pickerington, Ohio
The Tenacious II Streamliner