Garrett aiming for new record

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Phil Garrett with the two bikes that will be used for the land speed record attempt. PHOTO EUAN CAMERON PHOTOGRAPHY

Phil Garrett’s plans to break the national motorcycle land speed record on a road in Mid Canterbury are back on track.

This time last year he was all ready for the attempt, but covid abruptly halted his plans.

Next month he will burn rubber on a stretch of McCrorys Road at Pendarves as he aims to clock 320kmh.

If successful, he will break the record of 307kmh set more than 20 years ago.

Garret said he was excited, raring to go and keen “to get this monkey off his back”.

“It’s take two of this project, a dream and ambition I’ve had for 20 years, and I can’t wait to give it a go.”

Two turbo bikes, one ridden by Garrett, and another by former Ashburton man Rob Small will attempt to break the land speed record.

The highly modified bikes have been pretty much built from scratch and feature planetary gears fitted inside the rear wheel.

Garrett hopes the rear wheel gearbox will be the solution that gives the bikes the speed they need.

He said he had chosen the same long, straight Mid Canterbury back road for his attempt and had now received all the necessary permits and approvals for the land speed attempt.

He was grateful again for the support of the local community and landowners, who he had spoken to at a meeting in the Chertsey Hall last year.

As well as the land speed record, Garrett and the Flying Kiwi Motorcycles team will set up and attempt other records between April 9 and April 11.

He aims to take a homebuilt electric motorbike to over 160kmh and into the record books and another rider will ride a one-wheel motorcycle.

Garrett said the team of 18 had been busy since October preparing for the attempt.

Health and safety was paramount and there would be strict protocol and detailed briefing sessions each day.

The attempt would not go ahead if it was wet, or if there was wind, he said.

-By Mick Jensen