Legendary Leamington motorcyclist celebrates 50th anniversary of land speed record - The Leamington Observer

Legendary Leamington motorcyclist celebrates 50th anniversary of land speed record

A LEGENDARY motorcyclist from Leamington was honoured by fellow bikers to mark the 50th anniversary of his land speed record.

Norman Hyde, from Radford Semele, piloted his home-built Roadrunner III to a speed of 161.8mph at RAF Fairford in 1972 to clinch the World Sidecar Land Speed Record – a mark that remained unbeaten for more than 35 years.

And, to mark the anniversary of the historic achievement, members of the Triumph Owners Club invited the 77-year-old along to the National Motorcycle Museum, in Solihull, to talk about the record-breaking day and present him with a cut-glass trophy.

At one point Norman, who worked as a development engineer for Triumph Motorcycles in Meriden before going on to run his own business, held 13 world records for his exploits on two wheels.

He said: “I am so grateful to the Triumph Owners’ Club for organising the day and to all the riders and enthusiasts who took the trouble to turn out.”

​World short distance speed records include two distances, a kilometre and a mile, across two different regimes – a standing start and a flying start.

In the 1000cc engine class, Norman set the kilometre flying start record at 161.8 mph and standing start at 105.09 mph.

Fellow record breaker, Dick Sullivan, said of Norman’s 1972 ride: “All the riders and mechanics stopped to watch as they knew that they were seeing history being made.”

Roadrunner III was added to the National Motorcycle Museum’s collection in the 1980s.


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