Bill Warner Sets New Record
October 29, 2010: Continuing to push the performance envelope and boundaries of two-wheeled insanity that is land-speed racing, Bill Warner muscled his turbocharged, 1299cc Wild Brothers Racing Suzuki Hayabusa to 278.6 mph at the Texas Mile on October 25, a new record that upped its “World’s Fastest Streetbike” status by 5.3 mph over a July, 2010 run in Loring, Maine.
Out of 76 motorcycles and 173 cars, this dynamic duo was also easily the fastest vehicle at the Texas Mile, an annual event which is held at an industrial airport in Goliad, Texas. Competitors leave from a standing start, have a mile to reach terminal velocity and another half mile of tarmac to get their machines stopped.
Warner, a mild-mannered tropical fish farmer and marine biologist during the workweek, turns into a mad scientist on race weekends. He went progressively faster during the three-day festival of speed, posting a 255.1 mph run on Friday, 270.7 mph on Saturday–beating the old motorcycle record of 261.5 mph, set in March, 2010–and 278.6 mph on Sunday. Very modestly, he said, “I gradually made changes to the bike’s existing setup to maximize the acceleration in each gear, trying to utilize all of the available horsepower.”
“The entire weekend, all three days, I only was able to make five runs,” admitted the 41-year-old from Tampa Bay, Florida. “I usually run four or five per day, so five passes in three days is not much time to get everything dialed in. The Texas Mile track is very smooth and wide, but there is not much room to shut down. More than once, I took a wild ride off the end of the track trying to get the bike stopped.
“The wind picked up significantly after 9:30 every morning. It took two runs (one on Friday and one on Saturday) to learn to stay the hell off the track when those side winds picked up. There was one gust that laid the bike over so bad I could have put a knee down, but that’s not a good idea at 240 mph, while trying to go straight.
“The early-morning pass on Sunday that set the record started with my best launch ever. The bike got squirrely, skidded side to side and then she finally hooked up. It felt like I was shot out of a canon! The bike stayed perfectly vertical for the entire run. It was so smooth it felt slow, if that makes any sense. Shutdown was tough, but fun, the bike screeching, sliding and hopping off the track.”
Wild Brothers Racing had a great year of land-speed racing in 2010. It now holds track records at Maxton, North Carolina (272 mph), Loring, Maine (273 mph) and now Goliad, Texas (278.6 mph).
Brock’s Performance President Brock Davidson, another member of the 200 mph club, is impressed with Warner’s heart and achievements: “The thing that strikes me, is that I didn’t know Bill before this year, but he came highly recommended. With methodical, consistent, record-breaking runs, he’s proven his skill to the point where I sit back in awe and wait to see the next goal het sets outs to break.”
Warner’s Wild Bros Racing team and Larry Forstall worked on the Hayabusa’s development, tuning and technical direction, engine assembly was handled by Steve Knecum, and Walter Kudron, a 200 mph club member also, played the all-important role of Sponsor Relations Director.
The record-setting bike was set up with products and technical support from the following sponsors: Brock’s Performance, BST, RCC Turbos, Garrett Turbo Technologies/Honeywell, Ward Performance, R&D Motorsports Inc., Ohlins USA, Continental Tires, MTC Engineering, Worldwide Bearings, Knecum Performance Engines, Web Cam Inc., McIntosh Machine and Fabrication, Aerospace Lubricants, Inc., Spiegler Performance Parts, Heads Up Performance, Falicon Crankshaft Components Inc., Millennium Technologies Inc., Color Concepts, Power-Coat, Zip Sensors, Weimer Mechanical Services, Helmet House, Larry Forstall Racing, AiM Sports and Crower Rods.