In 1981, determined to up his motorcycle landspeed record from 318 mph Don Vesco installed two modified Turbo Kawasaki, 6 cylinder engines with Hilborn fuel injection in his updated motorcycle liner. One engnine still runs and one needs top end reinstalled. (Missing T-04 Air Research turbo). Don ran this in his all new "Lightning Bolt II" attempting to break the 400 mph mark. He invented his own alloy wheels to use instead of rubber tires. Because he was unable to get any traction on the salt he scrapped the project.
Don Vesco and Lightning Bolt 1981
First ever Turbocharged Motorcycle engines
First ever Hilborn Fuel-injected, Turbocharged motorcycle engines. In 1968 Don Vesco was looking for power to fit into "Big Red," his cigar shaped motorcycle streamliner to set a world land speed record. AMA rules required that a production motorcycle engine be used for the core power, an engine that had a US distribution of at least 100 units. Don chose the XS 650 Yamaha. He removed the twin engine package after fitting it in the liner for dyno testing prior to attacking the world record. Unfortunately, the engines produced so much power it broke high gear while on the dyno! Yamaha had justintroduced the two stroke TR2 350 road race engines. Don found it easier to install two of those engines than to fix the XS650 gear box. Don went on to set the absolute world landspeed motorcycle record @ 251 mph in 1970 with only 700 cc on gas.
(Click to enlarge)
A smiling Don Vesco with his 650s
These engines are a great conversation piece and is ready for display. With a few more parts they could even be made to run again!
Don Vesco and "Big Red"
Hewland 5 speed Transmission with extra gears: Model LG501 This transmission has internal oil pump, "Don Vesco" modified for use in the twin engine turbo Offy #111 Streamliner which ran in 1991@ 397 mph at Bonneville. It has a Chevy 10 spline pilot shaft and standard bell housing bolt pattern and register. It has a hydrolic throwout bearing. (Click to enlarge photos)
Offenhauser Race Engine
1946 Fageol Offy
In 1946, after WWII, the Indy 500 resumed. Lou Fageol had a new idea. His Indy car would sport two 90 c.i. supercharged Offy midget engines. One in the front to drive the front wheels and one in the rear to drive the back wheels. Driver Paul Russo, qualified the Fageol "Twin Coach Special" in second place, but crashed in lap 17 of the race. Johnny Vesco acquired the rear Offy and ran it in the Vesco family streamliner #444, Don Vesco at the wheel, setting a landpseed record of 180.90 mph in 1969. According to our research the two Fageol engines were the only ones produced by Offenhauser that year.