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Last week, a 1980 Yamaha XS850 made a new speed record at the famous Bonneville Salt Flats Speed Trials in Utah, USA. However, it's not the motorcycle or its speed that has hit headlines but the fuel. The classic Yamaha runs on vodka!
The vodka-powered motorcycle set an impressive average speed of 182km/h in the alternative fuel category. The team had targeted a figure of 154km/h but the vodka seemed to have kicked harder than they thought. However, the record is not yet official.
Ryan Montgomery, the owner of Montgomery Distillery, was the one who rode the motorcycle to the new achievement. The 41-year-old had no previous experience in building motorcycles or racing them.
"We actually did it. Nothing official yet, but we blew out the old record with an average 113 mph", said Montgomery after completing the feat. The motorcycle could do only 96km/h during road tests and the figure which he attained was quite overwhelming.
The engine, set up by him, his wife and a bunch of friends, doesn't actually run on traditional vodka. In fact, the vodka used in it is undrinkable.
Termed as ‘heads', the fuel used in it is an impurity-filled byproduct of distilled vodka. Though it is often discarded at most distilleries, vodka heads is a clean-burning fuel and Ryan has managed to collect around 40 litres of it.
The project which cost around 5000 US dollars or Rs 3.56 lakh is named ‘Sudden Wisdom'; a name which gives a lot of meanings. As mentioned before, the motorcycle is a combined effort by the Montgomerys and their friends; out of which Colin Cornberg of No. 8 Wire Motorcycles in Philipsburg played a major role.
However, three days after the run, a 1974 Honda CB750 broke its record with a whopping average speed of 230km/h. However, the Honda wasn't literally drinking while doing so but the Yamaha was.
Thoughts On The Vodka-Powered Motorcycle And The Bonneville Speed Record
In a time period where biofuel-powered and electric vehicles are becoming common, nobody would've thought of using vodka as a fuel. The Sudden Wisdom is indeed a unique creation and possibly even a good alternative to conventional petrol. Though its speed record was broken, this vodka-powered motorcycle has surely become an interesting piece of engineering in the automotive world.