Project Velocity: Belfast students aiming to break legendary 47-year-old motorcycle speed record

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The legendary Burt Munro’s record is the one Team Velocity are trying to beat on Bonneville Salt Flats

A team of students, with its roots at Queens University, Belfast, is aiming to break the 1,000cc Bonneville Salt Flats speed record, which has stood for over 47 years.

Still held by Burt Munro, a New Zealand motorcycle racer who worked 20 years on customising his 1920s Indian motorcycle to break the record for a final time in 1967, his story has inspired this new generation of land speed racers.

Team Velocity are aiming to hit 250mph on the famous flats next year, and although they have a full year of research and development behind them, they’ve taken to Kickstarter to enlist support.

Using their student editions of SolidWorks they’ve got as far as blueprinting the design, and are ready for prototyping, but with funding typically scarce, the university (although letting them use this as part of their final course mark) can only stump up the funds for a test machine.

Currently the team are on their placement years, developing the knowhow ready to get back together and build the bike to take them well into the double ‘Ton Up’ club.


The team are as far as research and development for their 1,000cc design, but need funding to make it a reality

If you want to help the lads out, you can get involved for the price of a couple of pizzas here – or can donate £5,000 for the chance to be a part of the team and head out to Bonneville.

If you want a bit of history on Burt Munro (and can stomach a patchy Kiwi accent by Sir Anthony Hopkins) then you can get a sense of what it’s all about form the film made about his record-breaking run.

Team Velocity’s Solidworks rendering of its streamliner design

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