The weekend started on the Kawasaki ZX-6RR making a pass of 178.459 mph which was a record pass, but not a perfect pass as a dreaded ignition problem caused a very slow launch. The next pass on the ZX-6RR was aborted as the ignition modification wouldn't let them rev above 7,000 rpm. The team disconnected and cleaned all the connections on the ZX-6RR ignition modifications before Sunday's runs. On Sunday, right out of the gate the ZX-6RR was strong. Geared for 184mph but it hit the rev limiter just before the speed traps and when it did the ignition failed. The TLN Motorsports ZX-6RR coasted through at 170mph for that pass. The issues with this bike was starting to take it's toll and the team were getting frustrated. On the next pass, the ignition module totally failed.
On the first pass aboard the TLN Motorsport Kawasaki ZX-10R the team posted a 197.917 mph pass setting a new record and stood as the Throttle Nation 1000cc naturally aspirated leader until mid afternoon. Shortly after that Valarie Thompson posted a 198.1 to take the Throttle Nation class lead. Struggling to maintain heat in the bike the GPS revealed they were running 200 at 3/4's, but slowing from there to the mile as temperature dropped.On their second pass on the ZX-10R slowed even more to 196.831 mph. Keen for a third run the huge field prevented another run from happening.
On Sunday the team simply added more tape to the radiator on the ZX-10R and got in line. It must have been too much tape as we were at 245 in the traps and ran another 196. The next two passes on the ZX-10R smoked the tires on the start and were mid 197's which gave us 4 records, but not the Throttle Nation lead.
The team made the decision to go opposite to conventional wisdom and drop a tooth on the rear. "It wasn't pulling the gear we had on, but I was hoping to get into the bottom of the torque curve as I shifted into 6th. I knew I couldn't pull that tall of a gear, but maybe I could still go faster. We pumped the rear up to 70 psi to expand the tire to help pull the gear. I spun on the launch, spun and turned sideways on the shift to 2nd, but got is stabilized and I went through the traps at 199.329 mph" explains pilot Greg Neal. Record number 5 and the Throttle Nation 1000cc naturally aspirated class lead.
The next pass was interesting. "I found a bump on the 5th-6th shift and the bike unloaded and started to the right. As I corrected the bike I was hit by a crosswind gust that shot me left and sent me into a cone that exploded the fairing, and then another cone at the 3/4 marker with the right side of the bike, my right arm and hand. I was able to keep it on two wheels, but not a pass I want to have again as the bike suffered a lot of damage. We tried taping it up and fixing it so we could make another pass. We got back in line with everyone looking at us like we were crazy, but ran out of time" stated Neal.
The TLN Motorsport goal was seven new records which would have the team at 100 Land Speed Records set since 2008. But that wasn't meant to be. However, setting five new Land Speed Racing records set and Throttle Nation Top Speed Challenge 1000cc naturally aspirated class Champ for the third straight year is no easy feat either.
The sad news is that Team TLN Motorsport has decided to retire the Kawasaki ZX-6RR, but happy it went out setting a record. At one time this Kawasaki ZX-6RR owned every 650/750 record in the ECTA and it has dominated the LTA. It still holds 3 Worlds Fastest Standing Start speeds for a N/A 650cc motorcycle. One mile @ 184.161 mph, 1.5 mile @ 190.118 mph and 1 mile street legal at 182.095 mph.
"To give you an idea of what the weekend was like, I'd make a pass on one bike and get back in line. Then I'd run in leathers about 1/3rd of a mile to where my wife had the other bike in line. She would ride back to be with the other bike, and also do all the record certifications. We made repairs and gear changes in the staging lanes. It was a ton of work to run both bikes, but worth the effort" sighed Neal.
TLN Motorsport with Greg Neal as pilot wishes to thank their sponsors, and all their supporters for the 2012 season, and is looking forward to the 2013 Season to do it all over again! The team is now securing sponsorship for the 2013 season, and welcomes all enquiries.