5.30’s On A Motorcycle? Finnish Racer Jaska Salakari Calls His Shot

In the fall of 2017, two-wheeled racing legend Larry McBride stunned the world with his 5.61-second blast aboard his nitromethane-fueled Top Fuel Motorcycle, leaving many to ponder who, if anyone, could ever touch the new mark. Well, a Finnish racer unknown to many here in the states is not only promising to break that record, but make it nearly unreachable by anyone else. And he has a time-slip to back up his claims.

In August, Vantaa, Finland native Jaska Salakari made the quickest run in history to the eighth-mile by a wheel-driven motorcycle at 3.67-seconds while competing at Sweden’s Tierp Arena. For comparison’s sake, McBride went only a 3.74 on his 5.61-second lap, meaning Salakari was well on his way into the low 5.50s, if not the 5.40s. Unfortunately, the parachute deployed right at 3.3-seconds ending any hope of some magical performance, but nevertheless, it still resulted in a mighty impressive 5.83 at just 211 mph (only one mph faster than he was at the eighth-mile). The .83 was personally noteworthy to Salakari as it marked his first dip into the 5-second zone.

Salakari is confident enough in his program that he’s already promising 5.40s during the upcoming season that begins in May, and says the bike is absolutely capable of going low 5.30s.

Unlike McBride and others who run an inline-four cylinder, Salakari utilizes a dual overhead cam, 60-degree v-twin measuring 1699cc (103 cubic-inches) that he developed and built himself. He says the firing process of the engine makes it less susceptible to traction issues going down the racetrack; that, combined with his own clutch and chassis design, he says, makes this bike capable of such unheard-of numbers. Burning nitromethane, the supercharger produces 48-pounds of boost at full song.

Salakari and his team first built the chassis in 2004, and in 2015, with the fresh new engine, made a series of test runs before campaigning the bike around Europe. He had previously made a best pass of 6.01-seconds before the 5.83.

For additional reference to existing runs, Salakari went .997 to 60-feet (McBride was 1.007) and 2.479 to the 330 (versus a 2.542). In a supercharged doorslammer, a 3.67 equates to right at 5.55-seconds at 260 mph and change.

About the author

Andrew Wolf

Andrew has been involved in motorsports from a very young age. Over the years, he has photographed several major auto racing events, sports, news journalism, portraiture, and everything in between. After working with the Power Automedia staff for some time on a freelance basis, Andrew joined the team in 2010.
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