Bonneville SpeedWeek 2017.... In an era of Decreasing Salt

 Bullett Maintenance, Benefit, and Racing


As it is often said " Put someting exciting between your legs".

Post 2016 Bonneville: Time for New Tires

One set of these Goodyear LSR 300 MPH tires was used for the construction of the Bullett. They became weathered during the long build process and were cut in half for close inspection of the thickess of the rubber in 2008 at the request of Nate Jones Cowboy Tire. Shaving excess rubber was done by Nate Jones to balance and prep the new tires and to round the front tire for better handling. The second set was used for the initial running, gaining licenses for the Long Course, and setting a 200 MPH Record that stood for 5 years. After spinning the rear tire at over 260 MPH, bouncing through some deep ruts at 194 MPH, and plus the effects of weathering, we decided to put on new rubber for safety reasons. You are looking at $1650.00 worth of new rubber. Our third set. Does get expensive.

The Bullett is about the only long course (>175 MPH) motorcycle that actually has legal tires in the eyes if the SCTA-BNI Bonneville Inspectors. There have been crashes at Bonneville due to tire failures, and numerous instances of tires chunking with Z-Rated tires running well over 200 MPH. Motorcycles have crashed and people have died in other Speed Events...Perhaps with tire failure as one of the factors.

Mike Geokan, some 24 years ago, made the decision to design his Bullett around tires that would be safe. He had no guidance and he was on his own. He was proved to be correct. 45 degrees of rake, a stiff chassis, a long wheelbase, and safe tires to bring the rider home alive.

The three new tires above were purchased and then we decided not to use them. The decision was made to go to a taller front to better handle the poorer salt conditions and an even higher speed 300 mph LSR rear tire.

Now we have better rubber and perhaps the only motorcycle with truly certified 300 mph rubber front and rear. We are now running the two tires circled above in the Goodyear Eagle Land Speed brochure. No they do not have them at Costco.


So we actually ended up buying five new tires...Two fronts (they would only sell us two) as we had before, and a rear same as we had before...Then we decided not to use them.New 2284 LSR rear tire pictured left above.

Then it was bye, bye $1300.00 on the second purchase. Mike Geokan and Bryan Stock decided to put on a 23" 2283 front tire instead of the previous 21" LSR tire as it had a more rounded profile and the rear tire we upgraded to a true 300mph LSR 2284 rear tire instead of the 25" Front Runner we used before. In 2016 Bryan was sideways on the poor salt at 194 mph on the long course...and after his last run he said he was on the floorboards sawing the handlebars left to right. He's hoping the new front will be better with it's more rounded and taller profile. He has a lot of runs over 200 mph so he's the best judge. The tires will pass any SCTA-BNI inspection.


Does these look like they are worth $1300.00? Well, If you are Bryan Stock and sitting on the Bullet with the front tire going 250 MPH and the rear tire spinning at 275 MPH, it is, from his viewpoint, money well spent.

New 23" 2283 front tire to the right above. These LSR tires run on Mike Geokan designed Funny Car certified wheels with 70 PSI tire pressure. Rubber bands in the tradition of Sir Malcolm Campbell, Craig Breedlove, Mickey Thomson, the Summers Brothers, and Al Teague. No pops.

Nate Jones LSR Tire Balancing and Shaving

Nate Jones Cowboy Tire in Signal Hill California does everyone's LSR Tires and has done ours since 1985. Tires themselves may or may not be round and Nate shaves them and makes them round. In addition, excess rubber just builds up heat on the long course at Bonneville. Tires can suddenly chunk. There will be piles of chunked tires in the motorcycle tech inspection stand during Speedweek. 200 mph motorcycles must have their tires inspected and stamped after every run. The stamp is checked by the officials at the starting line.

Nate Jones and Son...Nate Jones Cowboy Tire

Nate Jones and his son with the Bullett's 2017 Goodyear LSR tires...Mounted, shaved and balanced. Nate wants everyone to know that shaving new tires whether it's for Bonneville, your new pickup truck or your $200,000.00 Porsche Turbo Carrera will make the vehicle safer and smoother as even new molded tires are not perfectly round and, if not shaved, require more balance weights than needed to try to correct the out of roundness. All Bonneville motorcycle tires whether Z-Rated or Road Race slicks should have additional shaving to remove excess rubber to cut down on heat build-up on the long course at Bonneville to prevent chunking. Even the Bullett's $650.00 tires get shaved and balanced. Nate Jones Cowboy Tire 1-562-597-3369.

When we first went to Bonneville in 1985 the late Jack Dolan, of two and four wheeled Bonneville fame, advised us to get Goodyear Road Race Slicks and have Nate Jones shave and balance them. It's something we have done ever since. Zero problems with the Bullett's LSR rubber prepped by Nates. People have died using tires not rated for these 200+ mph speeds and it's damn stupid to have the excess rubber that a street tire has. Z-Rated does not cut it on the great white dyno. Tire shaving has been around a long time.

If you have ever looked at the tires, or pictures of the same, of Sir Malcolm Campbell, Craig Breedlove, Al Teague, Mickey Thompson, and others you will find an extremely stiff carcass (bitch to mount) with very thin rubber and no treads. Nate Jones does pretty much all the SCTA-BNI Bonneville tires as well as Duallies, Rolls Royces, Bentleys and Porsches.

Bullett Pistons..People ask about the specs

When you stick a 560 Hp turbo on the 139 CID Bullett Orca Motor the pistons, piston pins, and rings get subjected to a lot of heat and pressure. A lot of people ask what we run and here are the specifications: CP Pistons 4.367" for a 4.375" Bore; Top Groove 0.064"; 2nd Groove 0.064"; Third Groove 0.149". Flat Top with relief for the 2.200" Inlets and 1.800" exhaust valves; 0.927" heavy wall pins with 0.073" wire locks.

We cut the skirts for clearance and ceramic coat the piston tops and graphite coat the skirts. Ring gaps are 0.026" for the Top Ring and 0.028" for the Second Ring; Std 3 piece oil ring. No cylinder head gaskets or base gaskets with Silver-plated Inconel 600 psi Nitrogen seal rings on the cylinder heads. We have even run PEEK Buttons on the skirts. Drop $2,500.00 on the pistons...and more on the machining and coating. We have had zero issues running high zinc content Brad-Penn Oil.

The 139" Orca motor has been used as a test bed to experiment with new technologies...electronics, closed loop boost control, traction control, bearing designs, piston sealing, vacuum pumps, ceramic coatings, high temperature valves, cylinder head porting, camshaft design and more.. Somethings have worked and somethings have failed. It is definitely not short on power as Bryan Stock can attest...His first words after a 214 mph run...."I want one of those in my Dresser!".

Bullett Turbo

New chromed AN fittings installed Bullett's turbo wastegate replacing the lightly corroded gold irridited cad plated ones. Either chrome or hard anodization will withstand the salt corrosion. The wastegate was bench tested and checked out O.K.. The Bullett's Garrett 560 hp turbo was inspected and its bearings were in perfect shape. A light touch up with ceramic spray coating and she is good to go again for 2017 with closed loop phase anti-phase boost and traction control.

New Teeth for the Bullett

New custom 7075-T6 Hard-Anodized sprockets from Sprocket Specialists for the jackshaft and rear wheel...312 mph gearing @6750 rpm in 5th gear. New EK chains were also purchased and installed.

Five 7/16" chromed Grade 8 fasteners secure each of these sprockets. Chrome survives the salt slush. Zinc plated parts corrode instantly. Stainless, save specialized Aircraft A286 fasteners are not strong enough. The bouncing on a rough long course has already bent a rear axle and snapped a primary chain. Safety is paramount. Maintence and replacement of parts is mandatory.

More Teeth for the Bullett

The Bullett's 60 tooth front wheel speed sensor disc for the Cosworth Pectel SQ6M Hall Effect (3 wire) speed sensor. We compare front and rear wheels speeds to determine the amount of wheelspin to activate the traction control system. We allow more slip in lower gears and less slip (10%) in 4th and 5th gears. Boost is controlled by both gears and vehicle speed and fuel cuts are used to control traction. Ignition timing is a matrix of four maps each with 625 sites. We do not use ignition retard as a traction control strategy but activate it via other inputs.

Corrosion resistant Electroless Nickel Plating for the 60 tooth discs applied by Chromeplate Company in Inglewood California (310-641-4922)...Established in 1961 and aerospace certified and now Bonneville Salt Flats certified. Two day quick turn around with excellent dimensional control as specified. We have to plan for salt getting onto everything.

Gear Indicator

So Bryan doesn't have to count to five at over 200 mph...Like when he's a bit sideways on the Bonneville Long Course coming up on the two mile marker and can't remember if he's in 5th or 4th Gear. No point in hitting the pneumatic shifter again if you are already in 5th gear on the Jims Fat5 Transmission. Here verifying the programming on the test bench with two function generators to simulate crank position sensor speed (rpm) and transmission mainshaft output rpm off the 4th gear teeth.

Exhaust Gas Temperature Calibration

Calibrating the Bullett's programming for Exhaust Gas Temperature (EGT) Correction. Here Bryan is at about 19 pounds of boost and 6000 rpm in 5th Gear with an EGT of 1600 Degrees Fahrenheit  (871 Degrees Celsius). We program extra fuel as the combustion temperatures go beyond a certain point to prevent engine damage. A precise thermocouple simulator is used to output the specific temperature, in this case 871 Degrees Celsius, to verify programming.

Bryan Stock...139" ORCA

Motor freshened up by master mechanic and bike builder Bryan Stock with new Torrington and Timken pinion shaft bearings. Bye Bye ball bearing and its clips that got us at the 2016 World of Speed. New rings and new S&S oil pump. Ready to roar. Fuck the trouble, it's time to party and roll again.

Diana and Shane...2017 Bullett Benefit in Boise 



Coordinating bikers, vendors, bands, bar service, food, raffles, bike washes, and supporters will be Diana Sterk (in pink & black above), and Shane Taylor (in Brother Speed's Gold and Black above).  Diana with her lasso to pull people into line with her infectious laugh and iron will, and Shane with his gentle Brother Speed persuasion. Plan on attending. Beautiful weather has been ordered. Diana and her ever present Canon camera gear. Check out Diana's photography.

2017 Winter Time Blues by Diana Sterk....Winter Time Blues (You Tube)


 

Tenatively scheduled for 29 April 2017 in Boise Idaho there will be a benefit for the Bullet Race Team and Mike Geokan. Mike will be in final recovery from an upcoming operation at the Veterans Hospital.  The 2015 Bullett Benefit was a big show and 2017 will be even bigger.  Shane's Chopper on the salt in 2016.

Mike Geokan... Before Bonneville

No Easy Rider Movie, No Peter Fonda, no Dennis Hopper....Mike Geokan and his 21-over Panhead, back from Viet Nam with two Bronze Stars for Valor and Purple Heart and an attitude with a short fuse. There's only two kinds of soldiers as they say..."The quick and the dead". Back from Viet Nam, head to the roughest bars with an Indian primary chain for a belt, cum equalizer, and a cold-eyed stare of one who's seen shit and came out the other side.

Hit the road on the 21 over Pan packing his 45 ACP and ride till the money runs out and then head home on fumes with one apple to fuel himself. Write the definitive book on building choppers, The Chopper Handbook, and find a home in Brother Speed where brothers have your back. More that four decades later in Brother Speed he still has a passion for his art and his 21 over Panhead...and a devotion to his craft. Meet Mike and his Bonneville Bullett at the 29 April Benefit.



Pink: Get the Party Started...lyrics by Linda Perry..

I'm comin' up so you better you better get this party started
I'm comin' up so you better you better get this party started
Get this party started on a Saturday night
Everybody's waitin' for me to arrive
Sendin' out the message to all of my friends
We'll be lookin' flashy in my Mercedes Benz
I got lotsa style, got my gold diamond rings
I can go for miles if you know what I mean
I'm comin' up so you better you better get this party started
I'm comin' up so you better you better get this party started
Pumpin' up the volume, breakin down' to the beat
Cruisin' through the west side
We'll be checkin' the scene
Boulevard is freakin' as I'm comin' up fast
I'll be burnin' rubber, you'll be kissin' my ass
Pull up to the bumper, get out of the car
License plate says Stunner number one Superstar
I'm comin' up so you better you better get this party started
I'm comin' up so you better you better get this party started
Get this party started
Makin' my connection as I enter the room
Everybody's chillin' as I set up the groove
Pumpin' up the volume with this brand new beat
Everybody's dancin' and their dancin' for me
I'm your operator, you can call anytime
I'll be your connection to the party line
I'm comin' up so you better you better get this party started
I'm comin' up so you better you better get this party started
I'm comin' up so you better you better get this party started
I'm comin' up so you better you better get this party started
Get this party started
Get this party started right now
Get this party started
Get this party started
Get this party started right now

Be in Boise 29 April and hear the Bullett Roar. Burn some rubber.

Bullett Benefit Boise 29 April 2017

Bryan Stock and Mike Geokan buttoning up the Bullett's fairing after a three day slog to install the turbo system, redo the Bullett's pneumatic shifter harness, install the new 23" LSR front tire, new LSR rear tire, trim the fairing for the taller front tire, and reinvent the front fender for the new front tire...Just finishing on Friday afternoon before the Saturday benefit. Parts and people coming in from many directions.

Assembly Fun

Commonly heard phrases:

1. Chrome bolts are the best for the Salt...Where are my damn chrome bolts? Walt stole my bolts!

2. I should have made this damn thing a foot longer!

3. Which part goes on first?

Starting the Bullett Friday the 28th..Bullett is Alive.

On Friday morning, the day before the 2017 SpeedWeek Benefit, we started the Bullett up (video) and let her warm up and check for any issues. There were none. Brother Speed's Gary Brant stopped by and captured the moment on his phone. Bryan Stock gave it the thumbs up. One big swig of whiskey to celebrate when the Bullett barked to life..

Then it was time to call in Chad Kirby of Apex Professional Mobile Detailing to polish the Bullett's aluminum skin. Everyone started showing up once the word went out and Diana Sterk was there to take more pictures. There are many people to thank for their support and pictures tell the tale. Even a long lost sister showed up at the fortuitous moment. The sun shone. Karma.

Mirror Mirror on the Wall

After you have put 60 manhours into detailing into some guy's restored zillion dollar car or polishing some corporate jet, you take a break and slide down to the bottom of the financial pyramid and donate your expertise to a worthy cause. Apex Professional Mobile Detailing. 1-208-713-8842 (Chad Kirby) We got the Bullett started and buttoned down and Chad made the Bullett look the best she ever had.

Bullett Benefit Turn Out

After several days of rain and extreme winds, Saturday 29 April was calm and sunny and absolutely perfect for the Bullett Benefit. We don't know who ordered the weather but many were ready to take credit for it. The Crescent parking lot was divided up into various categories for the bike show awards..FXRs, Dynas, Dressers, Sportsters, Customs, Rigids etc....and there was lots of room at the Crescent lounge for all who showed up for the Brother Speed Bullett Benefit. Many different clubs and a diverse set of people provided support.


We kicked off the Benefit at 11AM but many people arrived early to get their bikes in the show or line up for the Dyno Contest run by Nick Stock.

Brother Speed...Bonneville Iron

Brother Speed's current, past and future legacy. Fred Wiley (founder Brother Speed) and 200 MPH Lifetime Club Member's BMW Bonneville Bikes..(Fred did it on an RB Racing Suzuki Turbo in 1992). Mike Geokan's record setting #226 Blue Bike and Bryan Stock's 200 MPH record setting #8228 Bonneville Bullett. All turbocharged.

#226 Blue Bike

Some 20 years after it last ran at Bonneville Mike Geokan's Blue Bike still amazes people. 255 Hp @ 22 PSI of boost and it sits and idles and drives like a stock bike. Fuel injected, intercooled and water jackets on the cylinders. #226 begat #8228. Long history and even longer hours. If you only knew.

Dyno Contest

Nick Stock was busy all day doing three dyno pulls for each bike. KC ran off with the prize for his built Dyna (not the bike above). We did not enter the Bullett or Mikes #226 turbo bikes.

Bands...Pumping up the volume.


Diana Sterk and Shane Taylor arranged for several bands playing at the Benefit ...They kept things at full volume all day long. Good times..

You had to pass tech at the Benefit

When you go racing at Bonneville you have to qualify at speeds of 150, 175, and 200 MPH to get your license to run on the long course with the big dogs. Bryan Stock runs with the big dogs. At the Bullett Benefit we had a similar qualifying procedure...Those who qualified for long course got a red arm band. Anything associated with the Bullett is long course. Everyone who helped with the Bullett is now qualified for long course.

Flyin Bryan and Shy Diana

Besides organizing the event, running her own business, and pursuing her passion of photography Diana Sterk also finds time for and is a bit shy about all the work she does for Veterans. Some people coast by in life and some try to make a difference. Here books are for sale and there were lots of items like Brother Speed's Little Todd's custom knives and other items up for sale in a silent auction. All sales went to the Bullet Benefit. Diana kicks butt.

Diana Sterk's Photography on YouTube

Diana Sterk's Facebook Page

Unintended Consequences

As Mike Geokan said after the event..."I used to go to Bonneville with my pickup truck, a small trailer, maxed out credit cards, and Bryan riding his Dresser. I had no idea back in 1992 when Bryan and I started the Bullett that it would ever get completed much less that so many people would become involved".

Mike is hoping to get to Bonneville in 2017 as a series of medical issues have prevented him from seeing the Bullett run except for a 1 day visit in 2011 when Bryan ran back to back 200 mph runs and into the record book. After Mike's last operation they say he is good to go to see Bryan go for 230 MPH back to back, and then 250 MPH.

Bishop, California


300 Miles to La La Land. Lock and Load. 10 hours down 4 to go. A tradition.

Cruisin' through the west side
We'll be checkin' the scene
Boulevard is freakin' as I'm comin' up fast
I'll be burnin' rubber, you'll be kissin' my ass

Post Bullett Benefit...The Work Never Ends

That dwindling patch of white above draws people together. People who never knew each other before and who now share a common experience...and have a newfound reason to keep going in this crazy world. Flat out together...

A special thanks goes to all who attended the Benefit. Rolling Thunder and good times for all. Up close and personal with the Bullett.

2016 SpeedWeek at the Rainbow Casino...sharing a meal together in a sea of one-armed bandits...with Donna Summer's "Hot Stuff" blaring in the restrooms... and plenty of beer in our motel rooms. Party Time before the show.

Anyone who has been involved in racing knows both the highs and the lows of the process. We ended our Bullett Benefit in Boise on a very high note due to all the hard organizational work by Brother Speed's Shane Taylor and the tireless Diana Sterk who, together, pulled out all the stops to make it happen.

The Bullett Crew worked their butts off to get the Bullett buttoned up and started the week before the benefit with the newly refreshed 139 Inch Orca Motor assembled by Bryan Stock. She never looked better.


Static Testing Turbo Water Injection

We can verify the water injection activation in our software programming on our SQ6M Simulator...However, we also need to verify actual water spray (1000 PSI) in the Bullett's inlet manifold. You can't just "turn on" the water injection pump because it is triggered by a chain of events in the SQ6M which, in turn, activates a relay that powers the pump.

To test the actual water flow and priming of the system we made a harness that plugs into the water injection pump on the Bullett. We can put water in the Bullett's stainless steel left side saddle tank, install the harness, remove the Bullett's plenum cahmber, and watch for the ultra fine fog (1000 PSI) in the Bullett's inlet manifold. There is a single nozzle in the bottom of the inlet manifold. We can verify the system is primed (There is a 15 psi check valve in the nozzle) and that the nozzle is not clogged.

This is all part of the preparation we go through before we head for the long course at Bonneville.

Wiring Harness Connectors

These three connectors for the Bullett wiring harness are about $500.00. There are a total 49 connectors in the Bullett's Wiring Harness. These three are Deutsch Autosport Mil-Spec connectors for the Cosworth Pectel SQ6M Engine Management System (ECU). There are up to 131 wires in the wiring harness for the various sensors. All of this does require a bit of planning and specialized tooling. The salt will try to eat everything and the harness needs to be completely sealed.

The Bullett's wiring harness has 49 outboard connections with up to 131 wires slithering here and there. Because of the environment at Bonneville everything is sealed to prevent corrosion. It takes more about 200 or more man hours to plan and build the harness. This involves creating 20Mb of documentation on how the harness is constructed down to each individual pin, socket, connector, and wire as well as the specification of every component and internal diagrams of all the wires.

You figure Mike Geokan and Bryan Stock documented 3000 man hours over a 25 year period building the Bullett and then add items like the wiring harness and the 139" watercooled Turbo Orca Motor and T RB Racing's fabrication on top of it all. It does require a bit of determination mixed with insanity and little appreciation of how far it was down when you stepped off the ledge. Hell of a trip.

This harness never made it on the Bullett. The plan was to return to Boise after SpeedWeek and update the harness. But plans changed and the harness returned to Los Angeles. Nice practice as we say.

2017 SpeedWeek

Diana Sterk is busy documenting the scene at SpeedWeek. The Bullet crew was fighting the worst long course track we have ever seen, a blown trailer tire, and a broken wire in the Bullett's FlyByWire system. Waiting times on the Long and Short Course was 5 to 6 hours. We worked on the Bullett's programming hoping to get some 200 mph passes in the bad course conditions. There was some issue with the bike that was not resolved as the same exact programming we had run at 194mph with 19psi under closed loop boost control at SpeedWeek suddenly acted lean. Apparently there was a hose connection venting pressure but time ran out. You can't reprogram an air leak.

The below link is Diana's photography of 2017 SpeedWeek. You can purchase the photos by clicking on the link on that page.

https://photography-by-diana.smugmug.com/Bonneville-Salt-Flats/Second-Folder-2017-Speed-Week-/



2017 SpeedWeek...Diana Sterk was palling around with Burt Munro's son, introduced us to him, and we got to exchange lies and tall tales about motorcycles. His tall tales were better..like riding through town in New Zealand at full throttle standing on a motorcycle seat running all the lights all the way to the harbor.

We countered with a 1985 story about exiting the salt on a twin turbo Suzuki going 135 mph back up the access road and then realizing we had no brakes and a 90 degree left hand turn was coming up. Of course we died...Plus financing a trip to visit the ladies in Wells.

Crazy as his dad. Stories about Ed Iskendarian and his father and many others. We asked him if he worked his way over on a tramp steamer..."Yes at 30,000 feet". His stories were definitely better.

Mike Geokan who started the Bullett 25 years ago and who has been supported for over 27 years by RB Racing who designed, tuned and manufactured the turbo system on his record holding #226 bike was finally able to attend the event and decided he knew more and was better qualified than RB Racing so we removed our Cosworth electronics, wiring harness, fly-by-wire system and completely ended our support...We donated the 139" water cooled engine, all turbo components, TIG welder, Haulmark Race Trailer, one Dodge Van, watercooled Honda generator, compressor, SnapOn tools and all support equipment to the team. 10 years worth.

Two bikes #226 and # 8228, two records..decades apart..All with zero testing. Just theory.

Interesting fact: Fred Wiley Brother Speed (200 mph club Member 1992), Bryan Stock Brother Speed (200 mph record holder for 5 years..2011-2016); and Mike Geokan Brother Speed 196 mph record holder were all at SpeedWeek 2017. All their records set on RB Racing Turbos built and tuned by RB Racing. Fred was there this year on a BMW Airhead with a 36 year old RB Racing BMW turbo kit looking for a new record but conditions were terrible. There's some sort of common thread there.

It's interesting how egos are large and memories are short.

Edith Piaf - Non, Je ne regrette rien