From field to bike: Motorbike powered on vodka breaks speed record

A 1980 Yamaha XS850, converted to run on recycled-vodka made by Montana-based Montgomery Distillery, has achieved a record average speed of 113mph at the Bonneville Motorcycle Speed Trials.

Image: Montgomery Distillery.

The bike, which was hand-built by the distillery’s owner Ryan Montgomery, took part in the race on the Bonneville Salt Flats over the weekend.

Speaking to the The Missoulan, he said that he’d began planning for the event last winter after deciding to try out land speed racing.

The distillery made the fuel by recycling the heads from the distilling process, a cut that is usually thrown away as its impurities make it unsuitable for drinking. According to Montgomery, however, the vodka makes a good clean-burning ethanol. The team saved up around 10 gallons of the vodka to be used as fuel.

The bike, which has been named ‘Sudden Wisdom’ after the distillery’s rye whiskey, beat its target of 98mph, achieving an average of 113mph.

The distillery produces the spirit from wheat grown on the its farm in Lewistown, Montana.

In its post on Instagram, the distillery thanked the pit crew and sponsors that had helped to create the bike, adding: “Holy shit we actually did it. Nothing official yet, but we blew out the old record with an average 113 mph”.

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