Vodka-powered motorcycle sets speed record

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A spirit maker has successfully run a motorbike at 113 mph at the Bonneville Salt Flats, having fuelled it with his vodka waste products.

Ryan Montgomery completed a speed trial at the famous land-speed record site, and even temporarily held the fastest-ever time in class.

Nicknamed Sudden Wisdom, ironically after the distiller's rye whiskey brand, the bike was built up from a non-running 1980 Yamaha XS650 that was first found abandoned in a field.

As for the fuel, distilling vodka creates a 'head' that is too impure to drink and so is separated and discarded.



 (Montgomery Distillery)

However, it also makes a clean-burning fuel - and Ryan collected around 40 liters of it.

Despite not knowing the exact process needed for the bike to run on the vodka waste, the 41-year-old spent months mastering the technique with the help of his friends at his makeshift home garage.

fMeanwhile, Ryan - who attended Springbank Whiskey School in Scotland - had no previous experience of building a race bike nor had ever raced.

The project was aided by sponsors who contributed $1,000 (£770), with the bike modifications costing $5,000 (£3,850) in total.

The 113 mph average speed achieved is even more incredible given that Ryan was only targeting 98 mph - the then-record set back in 2016.

Further to that, the bike had only hit 96 mph in road tests - and the salt surface was expected to reduce performance by 10 percent.

The amateur race team entered Sudden Wisdom into the class for 1980 and older 750cc modified bikes with alternate fuel.

Having tentatively set the 11 3mph record, the speed was surpassed by another entrant only three days later, with the 1974 Honda CB750 bike hitting a whopping 143 mph.

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Elisha Thakorlal
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