Leonard Azzopardi has been leading the way in the no-bar bike scene for over a decade with his famous 'Quicksilver' Hayabusa, now his new creation 'Outrun' is writing its own records.
Quicksilver was built around 2005, and by all accounts it was always the one to beat. It was the first no-bar bike to break into the sevens - all the way to 7.2 seconds- the first to run 180mph, 190mph, and also the first to make a 200mph pass.
"But time stands still for no-one," said Azzopardi. "Slowly but surely the writing was on the wall, the competition had caught up - time for a rethink.
"After building Alex Borg’s 'Hell Bent' Hayabusa I got the itch - for the third time. I had a lot of new ideas and plans on how I would like to build a new bike and was keen to see how I could implement them.
"Firstly, the bike had to be built totally in house and using as many Aussie built products as possible. Next, I had to learn how to program and operate a CNC milling machine."
So the idea for 'Outrun' came to fruition.
"'Outrun' is a completely new design from the ground up and the only similarity with 'Quicksilver' would probably be the front wheel, pretty much everything else is different," he said.
"The chassis was modified to allow a change to the front to rear weight bias. The body work, produced by Terry Jackson, is a totally new design to make the bike more aerodynamic as it traverses the quarter mile. A full carbon fibre underbelly pan not only helps prevent liquids from reaching the track and rear wheel but also helps with aero beneath the bike to help suck it down to the track as the speed increases like in F1.
Of course with the new chassis, a new engine was born - but those details are not for publication.
"Engine specs are an all new approach to creating power, we will keep them under our hat. I will however reveal that 'Outrun' made over 100hp more than 'Quicksilver.'"
Finally with 'Outrun' ready to run, the time was now to find out if the ideas would work in practice.
"The first run 'Outrun' made would be the pivot point to success or failure, all that hard work would be judged on this first run," said Azzopardi. "7.6 seconds was the answer to that question, with a 7.3 second pass around three runs later."
At the Gulf Western Oil Nitro Thunder event Azzopardi unleashed the beast as the true representation of the bike's potential started to be realised with a mind-numbing 210mph blast, answering - according to Azzopardi - the question he is always asked. How much horsepower?
"Well at the recent Nitro Thunder event, the smart ones would have seen that answer for themselves," he said.
Running 210mph with no protection is one thing, stopping is another.
"Imagine riding a bike that accelerates faster than the gear before with every gear shift, the front tire is fighting gravity all the way down the track until finally you see the finish line and you can shut off," said Azzopardi.
"Wow, glad that’s over, but wait there’s more. Now the sand trap is coming towards you at 90m/s, a quick calculation and you realise that the 550m of braking area will end in about 6.1 seconds.
"No time for any more math, the brakes are applied hard, but not hard enough to upset the chassis and cause some crazy stuff to happen. Finally you can gauge the sand trap versus remaining track versus speed and you know it’s all good - and that was just the 207mph runs!"
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Looking to the future and the Extreme Bike scene is growing, and it certainly is awe-inspiring to the crowd. Azzopardi has some serious competition from his own ranks with Alex Borg, and north of the border in Ace Edwards, who currently holds the ET record at 6.93 seconds. You can be assured Azzopardi Racing will continue to push the limits of these insane pieces of machinery.
"We have some really big goals for the bike in the future, but rather than spoil it by saying, we hope you can join us on this journey and see for yourselves where the bike takes us," said Azzopardi.