Worlds Fastest Table
Updated May 25, 2014
The Location: The Quail Motorcycle Gathering, Carmel, CA May 16, 2014

L to R Mike Akatiff, World record holder in "Ack Attack", 376.363 mph, September 25, 2010. Wife, Christie, Dick Lague, and Ken Puccio, chief fabricator.  Standing in the white shirt is Dave Campos, 322.870 mph July 14, 1990. He was there with his daughter

On the right right in the blue shirt was Rocky Robinson, Ack driver. Out of the picture was Sam Wheeler, 355 mph in 2006, Carol Wheeler, and Carol Vetter.

These guys are fierce competitors, risking their lives and fortunes to out do each other. And yet, here they are, together with their wives, sharing their knowledge, having a wonderful time!

I sat next to Mike Akatiff, owner of the world’s fastest motorcycle, Ack Attack. What an opportunity to learn. Of course, the big difference between us is the speed we expect to ride. Bonneville guys travel at 370 mph. Vetter Fuel Challengers ride at 70 mph. Still, there might be things I could learn.

Mike Akatiff’s motorcycle received the Quail’s Innovation Award” for having the most revolutionary motorcycle on the field, leading in both technology and design.

Surprisingly, the most memorable moment for me was when I went to hang the tag on the Ack Attack letting the team know that they were to receive a Special Quail Award.

Normally, such notices are hung on handlebars. But on the Ack Attack, there were no handlebars. In fact, there was nothing sticking out at all to hang the notice on. The surface is perfectly smooth.

I taped it to the windshield. Such is the nature of real streamlining.

My questions:

How do they deal with side winds?

The biggest concern I have as a fuel economy Challenger is sidewinds. Of all the Challenge bikes, my streamlined Helix deals with sidewinds the worst. Why? All I can figure is it is a result of the little wheels, since the other bikes, all with 16” wheels or larger, don’t seem to have a problem.

Sidewinds are not an issue for these guys at all. Why? They don’t ride in sidewinds. They don’t even go on the salt if sidewinds are more than 4-5 miles per hour.

Mike did confirm that they kept their Center of Pressure behind the Center of Gravity. He also understood that a closing angle of 7 degrees was optimal for streamlining. (It is nice to have basic information most of us have read confirmed by the owner of the fastest motorcycle in the world.)

Frontal area:

Ack Attack is a really big machine! It bores what seems like a huge hole thru the air. Mike Akatiff explained that he was more interested in a strong structure to protect his pilot than going for the smallest frontal area. Mike said he could always add more power. How much more power did his two Hyabusas have? 20% more was easy. “How?’ I asked. “Just turn up the boost” he said with a grin.

The folks at the World’s Fastest Table seemed ready to turn up the boost. They fully expect to be going 400 miles per hour at this years events.

We will be there. A Vetter Fuel Economy Challenge is scheduled for Bonneville in August.

Master Index to the Last Vetter Fairing Story

Updated May 30, 2014

Posted May 24, 2014