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Salt Flat Harley – Chris Bridgewater Racing

Posted on June 18, 2014 by Andrew in Bobber, Racer. 33 comments


There’s some things that most of us would take for granted if we were intending to break a land speed record. Obviously an endeavour like that would take a lot of money – so you’re probably going to need a sponsor or twelve. And you’d also be wanting a whole bunch of top shelf engineers and support crew, too. Not to mention a brand new bike and some seriously hardcore safety gear. You getting this all down? Great. Now tear the list up and come salt flat racing the Chris Bridgewater way – on a wing, a prayer and a blown, 171 HP, S&S equiped Harley.


Here’s Mike Quinones from He’s a friend of ‘Bridge’ and was fortunate enough to see the bike in action. “I can’t imagine sitting inches off the ground, completely exposed to the elements, straddling a 171 HP, and ripping at 200 mph across a barren dry lake bed… but I have a friend that can. Chris Bridgewater pilots this Harley Davidson, Pro Charger equipped land speed bike that pushes him to those absurd speeds; and all while we looked on in amazement.”


“We showed up to El Mirage last weekend to put some shake down miles on this behemoth of home-built engineering. The bike was freshly off the dyno at Bennet’s Performance, with the hand of none other than land speed legend Wink Eller tuning it.”


“From the moment this bike turns over you know it has one purpose; to absolutely obliterated speed records. The bike moves across the miles of open desert at such an incredible speed that it’s difficult to track it at times. As Bridge clicks each gear, the parched lake bed floor is shot out from under the tire as it struggles to make traction. The pound of the exhaust and the whine of that Pro Charger becomes hypnotic.”


Chris practices his 1000 yard stare

The bike is running fully worked Sportster forks at the front with a hard rear. The motor is a 100 cubic inch S&S Evo lump, pumped full of horsey goodness via a Pro Charger system with a bespoke intercooler from Chris himself. It’s running at 14 pounds of boost at 7000 RPM and the bike has been dyno’d at a rather impressive 171 equestrians. Carbs by the house of Mikuni. Elsewhere you’ll find a Rev Tech 5 speed box, Tarrozi rear sets, a modified Sportster tank and some freshly shaved Metzeler ME880s.


The Harley, alongside the Brawny Built ‘Mako’

“Bridge is an independent, meaning he doesn’t have some corporate machine fueling his land speed dream. He’s built this bike with his hands and hard-earned cash, and the occasional support of his friends and anything that they can contribute.”


“All in all, he’s what the true heart of bike racing is. And he’s what will continue to keep the sport pure. Remember, support the Independents!” Burt Munro, eat your heart out.


[Photography – Mike Quinones]

  • John in Pollock

    Hell ya

  • brad barber

    I approve of this in a major way.

  • Spyker May

    As B.M. said: “you live more in five minutes than most people in a life-time”.

    Btw, you will need balls to ride this, but will have none left afterwards…

    • If Burt Munro got up to 180mph on old tires he carved up with a kitchen knife, then I’m guessing that a fresh set of pro shaved Metzelers at 200mph wouldn’t be too much of a issue…

      • Spyker May

        Andrew – thanks for the response. You run a cool site (am a huge fan).

        I have seen the flick – and indeed the legend lives on. In reality though, while 200mph is just over 10% more than 180mph (20/18), all other things being constant, the circumferential centrifugal force is ~ 25% more ((20/18)^2) – in fact with longitudinal slip (on the dirt) it is likely more.

        I trust you will forgive me when I say, 200mph, that is a helvalot for a rusty v-twin in a rigid frame…

        • Davidabl2

          But out there at least it’d be a soft landing if anything went wrong with the tires..unless the rider was wearing speedos
          like that guy on on the Vincent 😉

        • Bridge

          You must do a lot of landspeed racing. Or at least you do a lot of math. This is my bike by the way.

          • BigBridge

            Well, you have to factor in the ball sack ratio. .25/1000(ball sack required) and your % becomes jack squat!

          • Spyker May

            Big B..,

            Bhwaaa, ha, ha, ha – tx for the laugh, have not had a good one in days.

            Who knows, perhaps our paths cross somewhere in the future, or is that our tracks – I cannot wait to see how the ‘BALL SACK RATIO’ is measured, notably on the salt flat…

          • BigBridge

            Difficult to measure. Either you have it or you don’t. You have to ride to find out. I’m glad I wasn’t the only one who got a chuckle. Godspeed!

      • Bridge

        Thanks for the exposure!!! I’ll be sure to get you more photos of the bike with the body and all the new parts. Thanks again.

  • NBarnes464

    It would be awesome to see a video of this machine.

  • Better shot of the blower here:

  • TJ Martin

    The epitome of ‘ functional ‘ ugly . Which in fact makes it quite beautiful . In a very brutal and functional sort of way that is . For y’alls information though ; The real key to setting records is not big bucks , but rather to pick the classes where the Big Bucks guys don’t play . Either that or be a whole lot smarter and creative with your little budget than a lot of the Big Bucks guys are capable of being . Thats the joy of the Salt Flats and El Mirage ( which is dirt by the way ) On any given day with enough smarts and ability they are the last places in the automotive Universe where almost any talented individual is capable of setting a record . Or three 😉

    • Davidabl2

      “The epitome of ‘ functional ‘ ugly . Which in fact makes it quite beautiful.’
      The Japanese call this Wabi-Sabi, I believe.

  • Trevor Ware


  • Davidabl2

    This is the baddest-assed badass Harley I’ve ever seen pictures of.
    Except that it’s only got one disc up front…and it’d need TWO anywhere where there’s pavement 🙂

  • Bridge

    Thank you Pipeburn for the exposure!! It’s something you don’t see a lot of for landspeed racing so I think it’s rad! Just to clear up a couple things. The bike now has 17″ PM wheels with Dunlop KR448 and KR449’s good to 200+mph. The Metzlers are ZR rated and shaved and are legal to 200mph. Also I’m running the bike in partial streamline this year. Which is a full body and with the horsepower and gearing I have. 200+mph is very realistic. I appreciate everyone’s kind words and even the haters, I use both for motivation. Also, I’ve heard paint adds like 10mph but rust actually adds 12mph.

    • TJ Martin

      Best of luck … d*mn the detractors … and keep us/Pipeburn updated on your progress as well as any records you might snag . As to the bikes looks specifically . To quote David Wilcox ; ” Leave it like it is … Its Fine ” ‘ Functional ‘ Ugly / Wabi – Sabi beats Trailer Queen perfect every time in my not so humble opinion [ PS ; Thanks Davidabl2 for the Japanese phrase ] I’ll be rooting for you . And say hello to Wink .. 😉 . Thats one serious guy to be having in y’alls corner

    • Leston

      helllls yeah. we need photos with the fairings asap

  • Junior Burrell

    I tip my hat to the builder of this machine!!!!! Is the bodywork for the streamlining alloy?

    • Bridge

      Alloy would be really cool, but I’m doing a fiberglass body for this bike.

      • Junior Burrell

        That’d be a shame!!! It deserves alloy,feel free to hit me up cause i may be able to help ya out!!!

        • TJ Martin

          Granted aluminum would be cool . But when it comes to setting records and spending your money where it counts … weight [ or lack thereof ] trumps cool each and every time . I’m just hoping Bridge is paying attention to the Rule Book and doesn’t over do it with the streamlining as one solitary square inch too much fairing will bump him up into the Full Streamliner classes quicker than he can say Jack Sprat . Then again .. with Wink Eller on his team … he has the master watching his back I’m sure

          • Junior Burrell

            Yes its more expensive,but my fairings are lighter than glass.

        • Yr a legend.

  • Amazing Drag Bike, I love it !!!

  • Davidabl2

    “Burt Munro, eat your heart out” Actually, IF there is an afterlife, Burt is watching this kindred spirit. And smiling. Either from above (metaphorically speaking) or from below(also metaphorically speaking.) I’d like to think Burt’s up there/out there trying to set new land speed records in Heaven 😉

  • Folke Bredkjær

    Millennium Falcon on wheels. I’m in love

  • felix

    hey guys, can anyone tell me what frame was the basis for this bike? i got that it is a harley… but which one exactly?