The ULTIMATE Test of Speed

The ULTIMATE Test of Speed

Humans have always been fascinated with speed. It is an affinity that starts with life itself when the fastest spermatozoon races ahead competing with millions of others. And from then on, this infatuation grows bigger and bigger. We chase speed because it is one of the most effective ways to experience adrenaline, the most addictive drug of them all.

But even the fastest pair of human legs can only manage around 44 km/h, nowhere near enough for our body to infuse our blood with adrenaline. That is why cars and motorcycles are put to use. They were meant for transportation but in the end, the need for speed took over.

Being motorcyclists, motorcycles are our preferred tool. Like everything else though, this obsession with speed rose to dangerous levels. Motorcycles got bigger, faster, and more dangerous. That is why in the late 90s, the informal Gentleman’s Agreement between manufacturers came into effect before things got out of hand and politicians had enough fodder to shut them down for good. It entailed limiting the top speed of motorcycles to 299 km/h.

Just like that, the magic figure of 300 km/h turned into a distant dream. But that cannot stop us from trying now, can it? After all, one of the reasons why we ride motorcycles is the quickest 0-100km/h or the fastest speed achievable on two wheels. We are humans too and we possess that desire as well. What did we do? We packed our machines and headed to ground zero when it comes to outright achievable speed- NATRAX.

ABOUT NATRAX

NATRAX is the only place in India where you can test the top speed of your superfast machines to your heart’s content or till the tank runs dry. After all, it is the largest automotive proving ground in Asia and the fifth-largest in the world. The hallowed land of NATRAX has 14 test tracks to emulate various testing conditions and is spread over 2,900 acres. If that does not give you an idea of the scale and magnitude, it took 16 years to complete it.

Out of the 14 test tracks though, we were interested in the latest one, the high-speed track. One of the longest in the world, this track is 11.3 km long, 16 metres wide, and has four lanes. With more than 2 km long straights and zero gradient, most superbikes or supercars can be topped out here except maybe some hypercars such as Bugattis or Koenigseggs.

The straights are followed by a parabolic corner that has a radius of 1,000m and enables corner speeds of up to 250 km/h, the third fastest in the world. The curve is gradual and enables a smooth transition and is fenced on both sides making it one of the safest high-speed test tracks in the world. Whether driving floats your boat or riding, it is THE place for the ULTIMATE test of your machines. It is a matter of extreme pride for us Indians to have such a facility in our backyard.

THE MACHINES

We have established what we wanted to do and where we did it. Now, let us talk about the machines that we put to test.

First up, we had the world’s largest capacity production motorcycle. 2,500cc of unearthly goodness in three cylinders- the 2020 Triumph Rocket 3 R. Regardless of whether you refer to it as a cruiser, a roadster, or even a muscle cruiser, the indisputable fact is that it is diabolically quick and devilishly fast. Numbers do not mean much to us generally but when it comes to the Rocket 3 R, its brochure alone is enough to show what it is all about.

Next, we have one of the motorcycles that started it all; the Suzuki Hayabusa. It is a motorcycle that exists as the very definition of speed for riders the world over. The legendary Falcon was the one that precipitated the Gentleman’s Agreement between Japanese and European motorcycle manufacturers to avoid a regulatory ban or crackdown over motorcycles being too fast.

Then comes a motorcycle compared to which even the legendary Hayabusa is tame. It is the ultimate speedster on two wheels. With its supercharged inline- 4, it is Flash, Reverse Flash, Zoom, and Savitar combined in one. The fastest road-legal production motorcycle in the world- Kawasaki Ninja H2. The supremacy that this marvel of a motorcycle boasts of made it a legend in just a few years of its arrival. Apart from these three, we have two more machines.

TVS Apache RR 310, the fastest sportbike that is completely made in India and the BMW M340i, currently the quickest car assembled in India.

FAST! FASTER!! FASTEST!!!

In English, there are adjectives. Then those adjectives have a comparative degree and then a superlative degree. The only adjective most motorcyclists care about is ‘Fast’. Then its comparative degree, which is ‘Faster’. Finally, the superlative degree, which is ‘Fastest’. Why the English lesson, you ask. Because with the three motorcycles that we were taking to NATRAX, this was the best way to describe this exciting adventure of ours.

Being gentlemanly is a trait for the road. No lights, no road signs, and no laws; in a place such as NATRAX the only thing that matters is being fast, going even faster, and ultimately being the fastest. When you come to a place like NATRAX with machines like those, you come with an understanding that you will not, you cannot leave without maxing your machines out.

Knowing that and knowing the capabilities of our machines, we partnered with Castrol POWER1 to take up this ultimate test of our machines and their engineering acumen. Despite the world-class safety standards of NATRAX, it is as dangerous as it can get. At 300 km/h, even the smallest failure can lead to a disaster. So we did our best to prepare ourselves and our motorcycles while leaving it up to Castrol POWER1 ULTIMATE and its 5-in-1 Full Synthetic Formula to take care of our motorcycles.

We have always believed that when the need for speed comes together with the engineering prowess of the human mind, it can achieve anything. This is a historic project for xBhp where we max out our machines and realize their full potential. We may be able to better these numbers someday, but for now, it was seeing who’s fast, who’s faster, and who’s the fastest!

PREPARING THE BIKES

Before one can even think of conducting a test like this, preparation is necessary. And when it comes to the machines, even more so. It was paramount that our motorcycles were serviced properly. From the chain to the coolant to the brakes; everything had to be in pristine order to carry out this project safely.

Castrol POWER1 ULTIMATE 10W40 for our Kawasaki Ninja H2

When you are looking to do multiple 11.3 km laps, maxing out your motorcycle on multiple occasions, and trying to hit 300 km/h; the engine is put under extreme stress. It is for this very reason that the engine oil played a pivotal role in this test. And when you consider the kind of machines we had with us, it becomes even more crucial.

Castrol POWER1 ULTIMATE 10W40 for our Suzuki Hayabusa

After having tested our Ninja H2 and Hayabusa in the desert, our belief in Castrol POWER1 ULTIMATE was even more profound. So for this test as well, we treated all of our motorcycles with Castrol POWER1 ULTIMATE. Its 5-in-1 Full Synthetic Formula played a vital role in keeping the engines of our motorcycles cool and protected, extracting ULTIMATE Performance out of the machines! Furthermore, we were not limited by the rules of the road anymore which allowed us to extract the maximum from our motorcycles, something greatly facilitated by Castrol POWER1 ULTIMATE. Having put it to test in the desert, we knew that it would provide us with the endurance we needed for multiple top speed runs on all 4 of our motorcycles.

Castrol POWER1 ULTIMATE 15W50 for our Triumph Rocket 3 R

Now that our motorcycles were ready, we had to prepare the data-collection equipment. Since the speedos of modern motorcycles are limited to 299, we decided to get a VBOX Sport, VBOX Touch, and VBOX Laptimer to keep a record of metrics such as top speed, banking angles and so on.

Now, it is time to see how our machines fared. Head to the next page!

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