As the team at ActiveWin know from experience, it doesn’t take a big team to break records. A team of UK biking enthusiasts have burst on to the racing scene, shattering 5 records with a vintage Bantam!
Walking on the wild side is a notion usually associated with our youth. Once we settle into our daily routine of adulthood, we often crave something to spark the imagination and distract us from the mundane. Luckily, the members of the team Bonneville Bantam never let go of their need for break-neck speed, and as a result, they have smashed their way into the record books.
Based in Wales, the Bonneville Bantam is made up of long-time friends Karl Meredith and Stephen Roberts, 2 engineers with a big passion for motorcycles and the anatomy of engines.
“I purchased my very first bike aged 10”, says Karl. “Having grown up in the countryside, motorbikes were very common in the farming community so naturally I spent a lot of time around them and quickly became fascinated. I love bikes.”
With a zeal for riding, the guys fixed their gaze across the pond to the desserts of America to embark on a biking odyssey. After much debate, the team decided that the 2013 Bonneville Speed Week was their calling. After 18 months of lovingly restoring and improving two 1955 BSA Bantam engines and designing frames for them, they packed up their motors piece by piece and jetted off the States in a real-life David v Goliath scenario.
Before the contest, the team spent four days at the salt track surrounded by hot-rods, streamliners and a crowd of hopefuls waiting to take to the track.
On the week of the races, Karl, Stephen and close friend Nick took to the track and laid down a daunting gauntlet for others to challenge, but none were to succeed. The records were set at:
MPS-VG 125cc 79.06mph (42.239) – Karl Meredith
APS-VG 125cc 84.44mph (open) – Stephen Roberts
MPS-VF 125cc 82.49mph (32.052) – Nick Spalding
“This was our biggest motorcycling achievement up to date, from building the bike to crossing that finish line was an emotional rollercoaster. The track was 4000 feet above sea level, and temperatures were close to 40˚C. Riding on the salt was a strange sensation, it felt like a mixture of snow and sugar.”
Not content with the 3 new speed records, Team Bonneville Bantam returned to Wales and geared up for the Pendine Sands Speed Trials. With both bikes, they took to Pembrokeshire, the historic home of Land Speed Racing where they set their next record for Modified Production Vintage 125cc, at 90.5mph and the Special Frame Vintage 125cc at 94.7mph.
ActiveWin MD, Warren Jacobs says “We are honoured to be working with such a professional and enthusiastic team. They inject as much passion into their racing as we do into our marketing. Both are proof that small teams can make a huge impact if they love what they do.”
The team will be joining ActiveWins at 2016’s London Affiliate Conference, where the record-breaking bikes will be on display.