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Go, land speed racer, go!

August 22, 2014
Jaylin and Maverick

Photos courtesy Jaylin Billig

If you’re a regular reader, you know that people do indeed race scooters. But something you may not know is that people also set land speed records with them.

One such person is Jaylin Billig of Houston, Texas. She and Maverick, her 2009 Genuine Buddy Blackjack, are preparing to make their third trip to the Bonneville Salt Flats near Wendover, Utah. Yes, the very same Salt Flats people like Craig Breedlove have traveled at mind-boggling speeds in vehicles that more closely resemble jet fighters without wings than cars. Or motorcycles.

Jaylin and a host of others will be spending the next six days making runs up and down the storied salt, a surface she describes as “like riding on wet concrete.”

She is looking to set records in three classes this time: 175 P-AG with the Buddy; 175 M-CG and 175 MPS-CG with a 1969 Honda CL175 Scrambler she calls Hattori Hanzo (it has its own Facebook page!), which has been modified into a vintage cafe racer.

Hattori Hanzo

Hattori Hanzo is a 1969 Honda CL175

Land speed racing, on two wheels and four, features a large number of classes, which offer many opportunities to set records. The Buddy’s class, 175 P-AG, translates to 175cc displacement limit/production frame/modified gasoline-fueled engine. The Honda runs a 175cc classic gasoline engine in a modified frame, which in the case of the MPS category is partially streamlined.

“The best thing about land speed racing is they don’t care what the machine is,” says Jaylin. “If it qualifies under their rules, it runs. Two-stroke, 4-stroke, diesel, electric, steam, two wheels, three wheels, two engines… you see them all.”

Unseasonable rainstorms dumped almost a foot of water on the salt just prior to the Southern California Timing Association‘s annual Speedweek, causing that event to be canceled. However, the weather gods have (so far) smiled on the bikes, sunny skies and hot temperatures evaporating the water and making for a smooth, virgin surface.

The gates open Saturday. Jaylin will be competing under the banner of Nonesuch Design & Fabrication. To learn more about the event, click here.

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