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  • July 31, 2018
  • Dirck Edge
  • MKinderis Photography
  • 57 Comments

242 MPH on BMW S1000 RR Power


Lots of experienced motorcyclists enjoy high speeds … even when illegal. Not too many have been above 200 mph, however (if you have, let us know in the comment section below). Even MotoGP bikes don’t do 242 mph!

This press release (although a couple weeks old) caught our eye. A couple of reasons. First, the outright speed on what appears to be a near production motorcycle (with aerodynamic aids and engine mods, but still naturally aspirated) is mind boggling. Second, the female rider accomplishing this, Erin Sills, also broke her deceased husband Andy Sills’ record set at the Bonneville Salt Flats in 2013 during this trip to the Bolivian Salt Flats. If you know more about Erin’s story, share it below.

Here is the press release:

Uyuni, Bolivia July 18, 2018 — TOP 1 Oil and Hunter Sills Racing add another world record on their BMW S1000 RR at the Cook Top of the World Shootout and set a new peak speed of 242mph / 389kph for the World’s Fastest BMW Motorcycle.

Hunter Sills Racing (HSR) bests its own prior record, setting a new FIM world record of 229.266 mph (pending FIM ratification) in the 1000cc naturally aspirated 4-cylinder partially streamlined class. Rider Erin Sills added eight miles per hour to her late husband Andy Sills’ prior record of 221 mph set on the Bonneville Salt Flats in 2013. HSR rider Trev Richter also successfully earned his 200mph race license aboard the S1000 RR.

World’s Fastest BMW

The team overcame multiple challenges along the way. Shipping containers carrying critical equipment from the U.S. to Uyuni, Bolivia were significantly delayed, causing the race event to be truncated from the original six days to only two and a half. The first day of testing for HSR was promising, only to be followed by a major electronic failure impacting the nitrous system and a blown motor on day two of the event. In freezing cold temperatures and harsh winds, motor builder Shane Kinderis of Alpine Performance Centre and race mechanic Curtice Thom of the HSR crew swapped the blown motor for a spare, and the team was up-and-running the morning of the final day. Sills qualified on her first pass of the day, setting a new high for top speed aboard the World’s Fastest BMW Motorcycle of 242mph (up from Andy’s prior 236mph), but electrical issues caused her back-up attempt to fail to secure the record. Finally, in the last hour of the meet she was able to qualify at 229mph and back it up again at 229mph, setting a new World Record for the team. This is the 37th World or National record set by the HSR crew who’ve been landspeed racing since 2005. The team will next race the Bonneville Salt Flats this Fall with the generous support of race sponsors: TOP 1 Oil, Sena Communications, San Diego BMW Motorcycles, Sprint Filters, Ohlins USA, Remus Exhaust, Helite Airbags, AirTech Streamlining, Moto-Skiveez, Moto Chic, Pit-Bull Motorcycle Stands, Racer Gloves USA, Worldwide Bearings and Wunderlich.

About Hunter Sills Racing (HSR)

Erin Sills and team continue Hunter Sills Racing, and their tradition of excellence in honor of Erin’s late husband and racing partner, Andy Sills. Having raced since 2005, the team has earned over 37 world and national records for top speed, and are members of the SCTA Bonneville 200mph Club, the SCTA El Mirage 200mph Club, the BUB 201mph Club, and the Mojave Mile 200mph Club. Follow Hunter Sills Racing online at www.huntersillsracing.com or on facebook.com/huntersillsracing


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57 Comments

  1. I pegged my 2003 gsxr 1000 at 177 indicated on I65 north in wonderful Alabama

    several times. It was a great time.

  2. mg3 says:

    93 mph in 1969 on a long downhill section of the Taconic State Parkway in upstate NY, on a mid-sixties Yamaha 305cc two stroke.

    CURED!

  3. fred says:

    In the long, nameless past, I dreamed that I saw 150mph on the bike speedo a few times, and 140mph on the gps a few other times. The road does tend to start getting narrower at that speed. I’d imaging that it would look like a ribbon at 200mph.

    I’ve gotten older, and don’t have dreams like that very often any more.

  4. johnny ro says:

    indicated 80 mph on a long down hill flat into Lincoln NH, from the east. Speedo error 10%. Steady redline 8k.

    Yamaha SRX 250 in its heyday. laid down as tight as can get. OEM jetting and gearing.

    Limit 35, so, 2.2x speed limit? Respectable? 2.0?

  5. viktor2 says:

    I saw about 170 mph on my Zx11 one time, just before I had to brake like it was the last time in my life…

  6. JVB says:

    GPS showed 135 on my ’93 900SS at the track; seriously guys go there vs street!! In the middle of a full engine rebuild inc rods, cams, 944, etc … Hope for 90-95hp and an honest 140+ Wonder what those guys on the RRs flying past me at 170 think.

  7. Dave says:

    Indicated 140mph on a VTR1000 superhawk on a long, straight highway early in the morning. Bike felt rock solid and was pulling like it had more than it’s rated 155mph top speed, though I know a lot happens in that last 5-6%. Was exciting but I have no desire to go that fast on a public road ever again. Maybe a track day someday.

  8. downgoesfraser says:

    300 mph in a Mooney MU-2J about 5 feet off the ground over the runway in Batavia, NY, followed by a 2000 ft./min. climb.

  9. paul says:

    I’ve enjoyed reading some of the high speed stories recounted by you guys. its too bad we can’t have an annual MotorcyleDaily Rally at a track somewhere or out on the salt flats. We could swap rides and stories, drink beer (afterward). I really want to try that ZX-14.

  10. Grover says:

    125 on a Suzuki Bandit 1200S. Very smooth and predictable handling at that speed. Today’s bikes are too easy to go fast on and the penalty if you get caught just ain’t worth it. I now ride an 800# touring bike and a dual sport and feel no need to press the limits. If I want to go fast (and I still do) there’s always the track.

  11. denhajm says:

    Indicated 145 (likely less in real life) on my ’86VFR700F going slightly uphill on I-5 in NW WA. Indicated 165 on the straight away a Gratten in MI on a Aprillia 1000R Factory owned by Honda (friend worked for Honda in Ohio). XXX many times at Mid-Ohio on my friends CBR1000RR that he raced at the AMA Superbike race that weekend. Not much high speed stuff the last few years though…

  12. Roger says:

    With my 750 Aprilla Shiver I did 127 mph indicated on my speedometer on a pure gravel road.

    • Dino says:

      So, you were basically an experiment in inertia? any change in speed or direction would have to be so gradual, or you lose what little control you have on the loose surface!!?? I’ve done 60mph on gravel, and that was too much.
      Wow. Glad you lived through that…

  13. carl says:

    I have hit the rev limiter a few times on the ZX14 in 6th gear, to busy looking ahead to bother looking at the speedo.

  14. MikeB says:

    I bought a brand new ZX-14 in 2006 when they first came out. After a 1000 mile break-in I hit 180 mph in 5th gear in the Ocala National Forest. I didn’t get the opportunity to shift into 6th, but I have to say the experience was worth the risk. You feel like you are strapped to an Atlas 5 on that bike. Even at those speeds the bike feels like it is reaching escape velocity and pulling like a freight train. It was awesome! I also had a ZX-11 years ago and would consistently hit 165, and a Blackbird that I hit 171 with. I had a 2009 Bandit that would hit 150, and an ’09 FZ1 that would hit 165 too. Nothing I have ever owned though has had the thrill of that ZX-14. I can only imagine what 242 must feel like. I am 69 years old and ride an XSR900.

  15. Uffe says:

    Indicated 280 kph/175 mph in Germany on the Autobahn. Fully legal. This was 1999 when the Hayabusa came out. Called local dealer and asked if I could test ride it. Dealer said yes and I showed up in shorts and sandals. Dealer looked shocked until I told him that I had my leathers, boots, gloves and helmet in the trunk of my car. I was really impressed with the smoothness and stability. There was more to go but ran into too much traffic. Still disappointed that I wasn’t able to join the 300 kph club that day.

  16. PatrickD says:

    Is that a mountain bike brake on the front of that thing?

    • Dino says:

      I think that is the ABS sensor ring, part of the front hub. Looks like they pulled the calipers and rotors completely off the front, and just have a rear brake. RACING!!

  17. DB says:

    1987, Death Valley, California, Honda Hurricane 1000, indicated 170mph on the speedo, probably an honest 155mph or so. Slight drop in the pavement,after a very long straight, front wheel came off the ground probably 1 inch, felt like 12 inches, scared the hell out of me!

    • Provologna says:

      Oh yeah, catching air at well above freeway speed is a thrill! About 3-4 miles N. of Pt. Reyes on CA-1 is a long straight. North bound is a slight rise followed by a long dip. At high speed you can’t help but catch air under the front wheel. Equal parts fun and scary, good for the soul!

      My old riding buddy Mike had a Kosman-tuned ’78 Suzuki GS1000 turbo, Lockheed brakes, gusseted frame, water injection, the whole 9 yards, super fine runner (not a smooth idler, ridiculous turbo cam). Sandy said it made over 150hp in the late 70s. Mike pulled 30 degree wheelies with a crazy pillion passenger, starting at 70mph-120mph, the 5″ road racing slick laying a streak and so much smoke you could hardly see the freeway. Made my GS1100 look like it dropped anchor. Absolutely nuts.

  18. Brinskee says:

    171 on a 2008 CBR1000RR on the autobahn in a Germany. 168 on my 1198S near Woodside CA on the 280 freeway.

  19. Harry says:

    In 2004 rode across the country from Pittsburgh to Bellingham WA. Had to replace the Chain in CA. Took the inland ferry to Haines Junction Alaska. Rode to Anchorage, Denali and Fairbanks. From Fairbanks caught the AlCan highway to Dawson Creek on my way to Calgary and finally home. Ten thousand miles in 30 days. Three days on the AlCan highway pegged at around 110 mph (GPS certified) through virgin forests. Good paved road, very few sharp turns. Problem were the large moose running along the road. Bike was a 2003 Yamaha YZF600R with a complete Hindle exhaust re-jetted. Good fairing and good upright seating, I’m 140 pounds 5’6″ tall. Got the bike up to 140 mph and backed off. Gas stations were an issue. I was getting mileage in the upper 40s. Will never forget this ride. I’m too old now, in my 70s.

  20. Reginald Van Blunt says:

    I wonder what tires did they use that gave the team enough confidence ahead of time to go for it. I did 110 mph down hill on a Honda TransAlp once. Scary tire issues over 200mph.

    • Bob K says:

      The only available tires that have been rated for continuous duty at 200 are the ones that came stock on the Hyabusas when I was salt fat racing. Land speed tires for bikes haven’t been made for about 20 years. They couldn’t sell enough to justify making them, so they all quit. While tires are much better, now 10 years on since my last race, they are designed more for handling and traction performance than outright speed. So I would probably trust modern tires less over 200.

  21. dave novick says:

    I hit 205 recently. I was hauling-ass (from the shower to the sink) and pegged the scale to 205 lbs along the way…
    Maybe, maybe not hit an indicated 155mph on ZRX1200. And maybe maybe not drafting with other KLR650s to 104mph on the way to see Nicky Hayden win Laguna Seca!

  22. Slow Loris says:

    Did an indicated 275kmh(170mph) on a Yamaha FZR1000B in NT, Australia when open road was a thing. Now I just feel brave/stupid if I see 160kmh on the clock… Age does weary you.

  23. Gabriel Leslie Tyler Veasey says:

    So what does mean for Bonneville Speed Week 2018? I have not been following reports, is the salt thick/solid enough to race this year?

  24. Tom R says:

    Just for fun, have anyone of you actually been CAUGHT doing such triple-digit speeds? If so, what were the results? Enormous fines, imprisonment, impounding? Or all three?

    • Brinskee says:

      I got nailed doing 110 in a 55MPH zone at about 3:00AM. Was a long day at work, I wanted to get home quickly, there was no one on the road, so I opened up my 1991 GSX1100G, laid my head down on the tank and ripped it. Right past Mill Valley in Marin County I saw lights flashing and pulled right over. They were on me with guns drawn immediately. They thought I was trying to evade (I absolutely was not) gave me sobriety test, threatened to throw me in jail; when they finally believed my story they gave me a summons to appear. I stood before a judge a few weeks later and he told me that if I pled guilty he’d revoke my license for a year and fine me a lot, I don’t remember how much. I pled not guilty. A few weeks later I moved to Boston, used my CA license to get a MA license, wrote to CA and changed my plea to guilty and mailed them the CA license. Drove for that year with a valid MA license, moved back to CA a year later and picked up my now valid CA back up. Problem solved! This was back around 1998.

      A few years ago was on a road trip with a buddy from England. He was on one of my bikes, and we were out around Elko NV when we ran up on the back of a sheriff in a pickup truck doing about 115 in a 75 zone. He just pulled over and let us pass then flicked on his lights and pulled us over. We explained that both bikes were mine, all registration and insurance was in my name, so he gave me a ticket and let my buddy slide due to, in his words, helping with international relations. I think he ended up writing the ticket for 10 over.

      Always, always show the officers respect, even if they are dicks.

    • Dino says:

      Been pulled over a couple times, like Brinskee says, ALWAYS show respect (and keep your hands where they can see them both). I have a friend who was LEO, and he said the most dangerous call is the “routine” pull over. The officers are always on edge, just in case. Give them the benefit of being very cooperative, and everyone just gets along better!
      That said, my younger days were interwoven with lapses of judgement, so a few times I have topped the ton. Highest was on a open road, middle of nowhere with flat out visibility for miles. Looked like a fake movie set, where the road is dead straight for miles! I pulled over to snap a photo of such scenery, then had to jump on it to catch up to my friend. Thought I had backed off around 122, but later I found out that was the factory limit programmed on my adventure bike, due to its tires. probably a good thing!

    • Tommy D says:

      In 2001 on my way to a track day on my 2000 Ducati 996 while wearing my full leathers and running late I saw 4 NH State Troopers at the toll booth parking lot. “There they all are”, I thought as I pulled out onto a nearly empty interstate. I wicked it up to 110-120 and the Duc loped along. As I came up on drivers in the left lane I notice how they moved quickly over as I approached. This happened a few more times and I thought that NH had the nicest drivers in the world. I then saw someone look at me and then behind me as I blew by. Uh Oh… I tucked my elbow in to see a Statey behind me with the lights going. I looked at my dash as I let off the gas and saw 110mph. Oh boy! I pulled over and quickly removed my helmet to show the gray hair as I pulled my wallet out of my internal leathers pocket. I asked if he could do me a favor to which he YELLED NO!!! He turned and walked back to the car. I was screwed I thought. He came back and asked what I wanted to ask him. I asked for a warning rather than a ticket. He laughed and said “Do you know I was following you for over 5 miles?” I answered that I thought he was parked at the tolls. He said he pulled out just to follow me after I had gone past. Mostly because he had never seen what kind of bike I was on. HE handed me my stuff back and asked, “What kind of bike is that?” We then talked about bikes and Ducati’s and what the estimated top speed is on a 996… He let me go. Told me to take it easy and to have fun at the track and next time I would get arrested. Best day ever!!!!

    • Richeffect says:

      110+ on a stock 1988 Honda Hawk GT

      2 points on license and a $1k+ ticket. 4 days of S.T.O.P. class (Serious Traffic Offenders Program)
      10 years until points are removed.

      I framed the ticket since I feel I paid for it.

  25. Ricardo says:

    I have done 140 mph on my Ducati 999, very stable bike at that speed but not my heart…

  26. Michael says:

    I’ve been in the 170’s quite a bit, 200 on the gps is hard to achieve, gotta be aerodynamic and have some good hp. Doing 200 has to be a rush but doing 170’ish with 5 other bikes around you with approaching brake markers is another ball game.

  27. MCU says:

    Ran a ’98 Bandit 1200S down a Nevada road to an indicated 170 mph (law of physics says it was only 155 mph: RPM, Gear Size, Tire Size). Took about 4 miles to get there. What was real exciting was the random tumble weeds the cross winds were throwing in front of me!

  28. ze says:

    My top was 260kmh (162mph) on a zx14, but never been a speeder. That bike is too fast it went from 85mph to 160 in a few secs. Even wasn’t at full throttle..

  29. TexTrain says:

    162mph on the gps on a ’99 Blackbird, Texas Highway 41 between 335 and 336. Bike was super stable and solid and had more but I was a wobbly on the inside and didn’t. There were others in my group that were pulling away when I backed off. Glad to have checked that box and haven’t revisited >130mph since.

  30. My2Cents says:

    Aboard a 1986 Yamaha FJ1200 had a roll on with a Testarossa from 70 mph. It was neck and neck till about 135 and then he pulled away although I kept wringing the throttle and it topped out at 150 ish. Mind you he had the 3rd lane and I was dodging cars in lanes one and two and splitting lanes as well. Brainless excess in my youth and would never do that on the street again. So 200 + anywhere is extremely impressive but high speed belongs on a closed course as this. Take it to the track where dumb luck can’t weigh in your favour.

  31. Bill in CA says:

    Years ago I did a solid 150 on a very slightly downhill long straight stretch of highway somewhere out in the boonies of northeast California on my ’94 VFR. I enjoyed the brief episode, the bike was rock solid and it became strangely quiet. The thing that stayed with me is how quickly you run out of road.

  32. ChrisRR says:

    A properly geared MotoGP bike at Bonneville might be able to pull 240mph, considering they can pull 220mph in a (relatively) short distance.

    • Dave says:

      Not likely. Traction is one of the biggest obstacles on salt-flats (far less than pavement, I’m told). The resulting high-speed wheelspin prevents one from extracting all of the available power. The only way to overcome it is with aerodynamics.

      • PatrickD says:

        Traction control would help…..

        • Dave says:

          I suppose it could be good for a couple mph, but aerodynamic drag will overcome the available traction at some point and that’ll be the max achievable speed until drag is reduced or traction gained.

      • Bob K says:

        Traction is indeed the biggest obstacle on the salt flats. Even with amazing aerodynamics, overcoming the high pressure at the front just isn’t possible without the traction.
        .
        I’ve added 100 lbs of ballast over the rear tire in the past to help dig in. With some simple data logging equipment, them team I raced with calculated about 40% of RWHP was lost to wheelspin.

  33. Mick says:

    I have always thought that it is interesting how speed is relative. 100mph on water is really moving. On land? Yeah, I suppose. In an aircraft? Not so much.

  34. SausageCreature says:

    About 135 (indicated) on a Honda 919. I did my best to get flat on the tank and tuck behind the tiny flyscreen, and the bike still had a bit more to give, but the wind blast just became too much.

  35. Vrooom says:

    I’ve done a bit over 160 on a track, when I was a few years younger. Might have done 130 on a Nevada highway some time back, not saying. 240 has to be absurd!

  36. takehikes says:

    I had a violent “I’m along for the ride” tank slapper at 140mph 40 years ago. I didn’t crash but have no idea why I didn’t as I had nothing to do with saving it. Pretty much cured me of seeing how fast I could go.

    • Provologna says:

      What was the bike? Was the bike in good running shape? What caused the slapper? Glad you made it OK…

    • RJ says:

      Got a tank slapper on my ’80 GSX750 at around 120mph. Went through it by going a bit faster, then panicked when I realized I had to slow down at some point and go through the slapping again… Luckily it did not happen at all.

  37. paul says:

    Great story and an amazing feat. The BMW S100RR is a fantastic bike even in stock form.

  38. Provologna says:

    Very nice article, Dirck!

    Fastest ever on 2 wheels (calculated by engine RPM) was a measly 137-138mph on a sweet ’79 Suzuki GS1000S, Kerker exhaust, S&W shocks, 28mm Keihin slide needle carbs (from a ’78 Kawasaki Z1-R, stock was 26mm), fork brace, spoked alloy rims, K&N air filter element, maybe a few small holes drilled in the airbox, otherwise stock. Heading E on I-580 from San Francisco to Yosemite with a couple buddies on their own bikes, somewhere E of Livermore IIRC, little to no traffic, 4-5 lanes in each direction. Bike was stable, packed for the trip. Fun. (I know, 600 Super Sports do 160mph now.)

    Coincidentally, my fastest top speed in a cage was identical and about the same place, with the same destination. Car was a 2004 Saab 9-5 Aero Sport Wagon, 255hp/265 ft lb/5 speed AT in a mere 3300 lbs, OEM ground effects, steel gray metallic, a gorgeous ride. The car was fully loaded for a long trip, and was still pulling when the wife peeked over at the speedo and said, “Okay.” Absolutely stable at that speed. I would exceed that speed on a safe track. That car ripped. On the super long I-580 grade near Livermore that car blew by mortal cages like they dropped anchor.

    Turbos kick arse at higher elevation v. normally aspirated motors.

  39. TimC says:

    The only 242 I’ve done is Front. (They came thru recently, good grief if you get the chance they put on a highly intense a/v assault of a show.)

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