20 Years Ago: The Rocket Bike at Bonneville

20 years! Two decades! That’s how long RacingJunk.com has been in business, and we are celebrating this milestone by looking back at some of the good, bad, ugly and just plain weird things that happened in the race and performance space 20 years ago! Every Thursday, we’ll throw it back to the end of the millenium and check out what 1999 had to offer (aside, of course, from Prince!). Want to share? Tag us with #RJ20Years in your social posts!

20 years ago, engineer Richard Brown (aka Rocketman) built a rocket powered bike with the hopes of breaking the current land speed record of 332 mph. Brown took this rocket powered monster named the ‘Mach 3 Challenger’ to the Bonneville salt flats and let it rip.

“It’s actually a fairly violent thing to drive,” said Mr. Brown. “It’s a hell of a ride. You need your wits about you, but it’s a hell of a ride.”

Brown’s bike boasts well over 6,000 horsepower, roughly the equivalent to 10 Formula One Cars. “Every time I drive it I think, ‘this is more powerful’. It never ceases to amaze me,” he said.

The video above is the first attempt and even though the bike smashed the record, reaching an insane speed of 365 mph, unfortunately could not complete a second pass, required within two hours, to qualify for the record itself. Still a valiant effort that will be remembered.



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