Back in August, a group of motorcycle racers headed to the Andes Mountains in Bolivia for the Top 1 Top of the World Speed trials, with the hopes of breaking the world record for the fastest partially-streamlined motorcycle. Despite the challenges of the thin air at 12,000 feet above sea level, the low temperatures, and limited daylight, racer Ralph Hudson and his turbocharged Suzuki motorcycle broke the record with an average speed of 284.361mph on the salt flats of Lake Uyani. The record was approved in November by the Federation Internationale de Motorcyclisme (FIM).
To break the record, racers must do two runs in opposite directions, over the same measured mile, within two hours of each other. The average speed of the two runs is the number that is used. Hudson’s first run was logged at 281, but his return run was 298mph, giving him an average speed of more than 284mph, and the world record!
Hudson’s Suzuki, which he and his team have been working on since 2009, used CBR’s ceramic hybrid bearings to help achieve his record-breaking speed. Ceramic hybrid bearings are especially well suited for high performance applications like motorcycle racing, since they offer lower friction and are lighter weight than steel bearings. It’s estimated that racers can experience a 5% gain in performance when they switch to ceramic hybrid bearings from traditional steel ball bearings.
At CBR, we’ve been manufacturing ceramic hybrid ball bearings for performance applications for decades. Although the main portion of our business centers around manufacturing large bearings for industrial electric motors, we also produce top-quality bearings for the racing motorcycle and karting industries, using aerospace-grade ceramic balls that won’t fail, even in the harshest conditions.
So what’s next for Ralph Hudson? He says, “Having logged a run at 289 mph, with this setup, I firmly believe that 300mph is well within the realm of possibility.” Even though Hudson is in his mid-60s, it doesn’t sound like he’s stopping anytime soon, and CBR Bearing will continue to support his efforts to go faster by providing him with some of the best bearings in the industry.
If you have considered switching from steel bearings to ceramic hybrid bearings for your motorcycle or kart, don’t just go with any bearings. Make sure they are top-quality. All of our bearings are built in our U.S.-based bearing lab and individually tested for accuracy and consistency.
If you have any questions about our ceramic hybrid ball bearings, or if you would like to place an order, contact us by phone or through our website’s contact form. We’re happy to take the time to answer any questions you may have and help you get the exact bearings you need. We look forward to hearing from you!