Syl at speed on a saturated Sunday…

This arrived in the mail today…it’s my Mexico moto buddy John Welker’s video of Sylvain at speed last Sunday, setting the new land speed record at 74 mph on a 150cc California Scooter.   Take a look at Sylvain flying below the cloud cover!

Great job, Syl!

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2 Responses to Syl at speed on a saturated Sunday…

  1. Joe says:

    Hey Jimbo:

    Good to hear from you! Happy Thanksgiving!

    Originally, this event was going to be held at El Mirage Dry Lake, but as it turns out, the lake wasn’t so dry. Alan Spears (the event organizer) did a marvelous job and found a backup site so we didn’t have to cancel (he really is a great guy).

    The timing system was a radar gun, and we think it is accurate. On one of Sylvain’s runs, he carried a GPS in his pocket, and it recorded 74.5 mph when the radar said we were going 74 (that’s close enough for government work, as they say).

    The track was definitely not level. The riders had a half mile to go from a standing start to the point where their speeds were measured, and then they had a quarter mile to stop. Of that half mile to build up speed, the first half of it was uphill! And the second half was downhill! We lost a bit going uphill in terms of our ability to get up to speed, and then we gained a bit going downhill. A few critics on the Internet who did not compete badmouthed this approach, but you race on the track you have, not the one you want (none of the real racers complained, only the Internet commandos did). Ideally we would have liked a 5-mile perfectly level track with no wind and no rain, but Alan worked miracles to get us this track, and it was pretty awesome.

    There have been a lot of guys on the Internet on the other forums who have said their bikes could go faster, etc., but while Syl and the guys were out shivering, fighting to keep the front end down, and splashing down the track in the freezing rain, these guys were probably at home watching TV. I was polite in responding to the flamers on the other forums, but it’s pretty clear to me that their idea of competition does not go beyond posting derogatory stuff on the Internet. I’d love to see those guys on the track, but I doubt that I ever will.

    The one beautiful Mustang that was there did not race. Like you, I had hoped that we’d get to see it run down the track, but the guy on it (I believe) brought other bikes to race. Both the Mustang and the Valmobile were operational, though, and it was cool seeing them riding around in the pit area. They are amazing machines. The sidecar-equipped Salsbury did race, and it was beyond cool. It had a distinctive “put-put-put” sound, and I felt lucky just seeing it at all. Seeing it running and racing was a real treat.

    Your buddy,


  2. Jimbo says:


    Considering I’m hearing impaired, the sight and sound of the racer seems like it’s going a lot faster than 74mph. Could you explain what timing system was used? Also, the terrain looks less than level! Do you know if the one and only Mustang made a run? Considering the wet conditions, I would chalk this up to a “tune-up” for next year!


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