If all goes to plan motorcycle speedster Phil Garrett and his mate Rob Small will return to Mid Canterbury for another tilt at the national motorcycle land speed record in May.
Garrett vowed after last April’s failed attempt he would return for another go at the 22-year-old record which stands at 307kmh.
He will once again burn rubber on a stretch of McCrorys Road at Pendarves as he aims to clock 320kmh (200mph).
Garrett, who is English born but has lived in Christchurch for many years, said he had been quiet online in recent months, but behind the scenes he and his team had been busy.
“Since our failed attempt last year that saw us blow up the engine at about 240kmh on our first run, we have had to eat a large slice of humble pie and gone back the drawing board.
“We made a mistake with the jetting on our bike that meant it didn’t have enough fuel at maximum rpm and the engine got so hot it melted the pistons.”
Garrett said that small error had had huge consequences and it had been a big lesson for the whole team.
“If I am honest, looking back on it now, it was probably the best thing that could have happened to us.”
He had received overwhelming messages of support after his story aired on TV 1 and that support has included offers of help from all sorts of people including engineers, designers, and a few others he describes as “pure geniuses.”
A number of those good sorts have ended up contributing to a new plan and they include someone who has offered to pay for a big chunk of the design and build costs involved.
“That takes the biggest weight off my shoulders and now makes it possible for us to build the bike we want, not the bike we can afford.”
The green bike Garrett used for the 2021 attempt has been redesigned completely and changed from a magneto ignition, turbo to a full EFI system with full electronic ignition and a set of Gen 2 Hayabusa throttle bodies with eight injectors.
All the engine internals for the rebuild have been sourced from the USA.
Garrett said covid had unfortunately reared its head again in recent months and that had meant delays in shipping and increasingly stringent controls on workshops and public contacts.
A date of April 1 for the record attempt had proven too optimistic, so the decision to delay until May (6-8) had now been made, he said.
-By Mick Jensen