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Supercharged Harley Davidson Blues
By Dan Wright

What follows is NOT Utah Salt Flats Racing Association policy. It isn’t anybody’s policy.
It is just my opinion, an Editorial.
Ed´î-tôr¹ê-el -- An article expressing opinion.
As you can see from visiting the editorial section of your local newspaper, an editorial writer doesn’t need to be concerned with reality, or need to be very knowledgeable about much of anything. Any blowhard can write one up and flop it out there for the world to consider. Here’s mine!
Please, feel free to ignore my opinion, just like my wife does.

I suppose that some will take offense at what follows, but that’s not my intent. I am also aware that I will be discussing some Bonneville Motorcycle class records that were set by hardworking individuals chasing their dream. Some of them are friends and Bonneville acquaintances of mine. I even feel a bit guilty about drawing attention of other competitors to the records they hold. It is not my intent to belittle their achievements. Quite the opposite, the names in the record books (and scores more that never quite made the records) already did -- IT. They lived the dream, and walked the walk. They went beyond beer fueled bench racing, beyond street racing, further than a pass or two at the local drag strip. They gave it their shot on the Salt and their lives are richer today day because of it.
My intent is to invite and encourage new competitors to participate in an honest, gritty, American tradition ----Amateur Racing --- Bonneville is the last refuge of Real Racing for the greasy knuckled individual.
Not just some motorized entertainment to display sponsors logos in front of a mesmerized audience.
Not some artificial extravaganza calculated to captivate and dazzle the masses.
Not a packaged product to fill Joe six pack’s Sunday afternoon.
No marketing, not even much PR, it’s just racing. Simple unvarnished fun.
Elemental racing run by racers, for racers.
No dial in, no brackets, no breakouts, no red-light, no hole shot wins, no one lap penalties, no stop and goes, no yellow flags to bunch up the field, no intimidator bashing your fenders, no Lucky Dog provisional. Just you and your machine on the vast expanse of hard white salt. When the starter waves you off the line, the track belongs to you and your machine--- alone. Run her thru and give it your best shot. Clean, pure, simple. Even a bit primitive. A flat-out, top end contest, a long run up to the Flying Mile, man and machine against the salt, judged only by the unbiased, unflinching, electric eyes of the Certified Timing Clock.

So, New Topic:
Why are the Supercharged Harley (Pushrod Class) Bonneville Records so SLOW?

Now I know that statement sounds like “Harley Bashing” but please, hear me out.
Under the Bonneville Class rules, Pushrod Engines run in their own classes, and only against other pushrod engines. So as we take a look at this issue, keep in mind that I’m NOT talking about New Age, Dual Overhead Cammed, Titanium Valved, 15,000 RPM High Tech Screamers. They have their own separate classes. I am talking Old School pushrod technology engines.
For the technically inclined, the official rulebook “Pushrod Class Engine” definition reads:
Pushrod: “must have pushrod operated valves with camshaft located at least one crankshaft (stroke) length below the OEM cylinder deck or utilize OEM pushrod length at least twice the crankshaft stroke.” We’re talking classic iron here. Triumphs, Nortons, BSAs, Enfields, Vincents, and Harley Davidsons. Now in the classes 750cc and Smaller, one would rightly expect to see that British hardware dominates, it always has. But in the classes 750cc and larger, one would expect to see Harley and perhaps Vincent rule the roost.

Before we examine the current records and I start picking on the Harleys let’s get the class breakdowns straight so we’re all talking about the same Motorcycles.

I’m writing about four bike classes, each with multiple engine displacement breaks. We will look at these four displacement breaks 1000cc (751cc to 1000cc), 1350cc (1001cc to 1350 cc) 1650cc (1351cc to 1650cc), and 2000cc (1651cc to 2000cc) in the following four chassis classes.

M-PBG Modified, Pushrod, Blown, Gasoline
M-PBF Modified, Pushrod, Blown, Fuel
MPS-PBG Modified Partial Streamliner, Pushrod, Blown, Gasoline
MPS-PBF Modified Partial Streamliner, Pushrod, Blown, Fuel

Modified: Any bike that has been changed so it isn’t absolutely stock in external appearance. No faring, no streamlining this is the Naked Bike class. These are Blown (supercharged) classes and since Harley doesn’t sell blown pushrod bikes, blown pushrod stuff is all automatically in the Modified Class.

Modified Partial Streamliner: Any faring, even a tiny “Bikini Faring” moves you from “M” into “MPS”. There are strict limits on how much streamlining is allowed in MPS. Bikes like Burt Monroe’s “Fastest Indian” aren’t allowed any longer due to safety problems.

Pushrod :“Must have pushrod operated valves with camshaft located at least one crankshaft (stroke) length below the OEM cylinder deck or utilize OEM pushrod length at least twice the crankshaft stroke.”

Blown: Supercharger or turbocharger is required and may be mechanically or exhaust gas driven and must pressurize the intake system above atmospheric pressure.

Gasoline Class: Must use gasoline from the “Event Gas Provider” at Bonneville. ERC racing fuels is the “Event Gas Supplier”. ERC offers several grades of high octane racing gasoline, both leaded and unleaded. All their grades are allowed in the gas classes. By using gasoline from this vendor at the race, technical difficulties inspecting gasoline (measuring specific gravity and/or dielectric tests) are avoided. You can check out the technical specifications for ERC gasoline at

Fuel Class: ANY liquid fuel is allowed, including: Nitrous Oxide, Methanol, Ethanol, Nitromethane, Hydrazine, Propylene Oxide, Toluene, Acetone and what ever else you mad scientists think is a good idea , even Gasoline blends other than the “Event Gas”. Tech inspectors don’t fuss about what liquid is in your tank in the Fuel Classes. Run whatever your little heart desires.

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Harley Turbo setup.

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