Young Guns at the Bonneville Speed Week 2019
The Young Guns collective from Rapperswil on Lake Zurich
have brought a breath of fresh air to the international customizing scene in recent years. With their debut bike “Fabilas”, a board tracker with a 1947 AJS engine, the young wild ones won the customizing competition at the Swiss Moto exhibition in 2015. They then built sprint-bikes for Ducati and Indian and also worked on custombikes for private customers. Although there was little time left for their own projects, they spent it all the more intensively as a result.
After winning the European 1/8-mile “Sultans of Sprint” sprint race with their Moto Guzzi “Ferdinand the Sparrow”, their urge to break international speed records at the Bonneville Speed Week had also increased. The dried out salt flat lakes in the state of Utah have been the Mecca of speed freaks from all over the world for decades.
In 2016 founder Nik Heer and his uncle Patrick
followed their dream for the very first time of breaking the world record on a 1955 Triumph “Cheetah MK1”.
With an average speed of 213 km/h over the one-mile distance, they managed this right away. They were supported by Dan Druff of “Franz & Grubb Engine” from Los Angeles, who had built the machine.
Encouraged by this success, Nik set out one year later to give “Ferdinand the Sparrow” another chance of fame, and the Moto Guzzi was converted from a dragster bike into a land speed racer. Supported by Taverimoto, the Young Guns set off again for the Bonneville Salt Flats the following year. Unfortunately, nothing went to plan, as Ferdinand encountered some problems and gave up – and the dream of the world’s fastest Moto Guzzi disappeared in the dry salt of Utah. Last year’s record with “Cheetah MK1” was regained by the former world record holder, Lowbrow Customs from Ohio.
Infected by the “salt fever” Nik started to build a completely new bullet right after returning home. “Actually, I only had a pre-unit engine housing from a 1956 T110 Triumph to begin with,” he says. “Piece by piece we then built the engine from optimized individual parts. The guys from Lowbrow Customs and Alp Design helped us again – we’re all good friends now and support each other”.
The frame of the “Cheetah MK2” was designed and built by Nik himself – only the wheels and front fork were made to order. The first test run at a Swiss military airport was already promising. Meanwhile the bike is on its way to Los Angeles. As one of 28 “Invited Builders” Nik will join the “Born Free Show” in Orange County, California at the end of June. Afterwards it’s off to El Mirage, a dried-out river bed in the Mojave Desert, where the bike can be extensively tested and adjusted before continuing to the Speed Week in Bonneville in August.
Taverimoto will be supporting the world record attempt by the Young Guns again this year. We’ll keep our fingers crossed for Nik and his team and keep you guys up to date.