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Vodka Powered Motorcycle

September 5, 2018

A Montana man broke a motorcycle speed record using a bike that runs on vodka waste products.

While at Wendover, Utah’s Bonneville Salt Flats Motorcycle Speed Trials, Ryan Montgomery broke the speed record for 1980 and earlier, 650cc to 750cc motorcycles running on alternative fuel on August 26. Montgomery, 41, who co-owns the Montgomery Distillery in Missoula, Montana, broke the record using a motorcycle he had restored over six months and named Sudden Wisdom, which ran on “heads” from the vodka distilling process. Montgomery beat the previous 97 mph track land-speed record by reaching a speed of 114 mph on his first pass. His 1980 Yamaha XS650, which he found abandoned in a field, was the only bike in the competition that ran on liquor heads — vodka too impure to drink and usually thrown out.

Montgomery noted that he was particularly shocked that his bike hit the speed it did, considering he had only managed to reach 96 mph in road tests and had expected the salt course to slow him down further. Montgomery’s reign over the speed record proved to be short-lived, however, as his record was broken by another competitor in his class three days later. Dennis Weinhold managed to reach 140 mph on his 1974 Honda CB750.

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