Syko Information

Syko breaks British Land Speed Record

The British Land Speed Record for three wheelers was broken on Monday 14th of May at Elvington, York, by Graham Sykes riding The Syko.


The Meeting was held at Elvington on the 13th and 14th of May and was organised by Straightliners and was overseen by the ACU.


There were new class records to establish and existing ones to break.


There was a new three wheeler class for trikes up to 5000.00cc and this is the class that we were going to attempt to not only establish a British land speed record but try to break the existing outright record of 163.19mph 2 way average, which is no mean feat. This record was set by Stan Whitton 12 years ago in his three wheeler Triovad.


We turned up on Saturday afternoon with the bike as ready as it could be, and got our pit set up.

Sunday we had to try and get under the 105Db noise limit requirement for Elvington with the new silenced exhaust system which incorporates 8 silencers! the reading was 104.1 Db!!!  unbelievable.


So we readied ourselves for the first flying run which was to be East to West with a 19mph head wind.  Having launched the bike it was apparent that the clutch was not behaving as it should and was slipping, so back to the pits where we completely rebuilt the clutch pack and re set the air gap and added more weight to the clutch. 

We joined the riders back at the East end and tried again. I set off using only 1/2 throttle and kept the revs below 4000rpm and took a steady ride East to West to familiarise myself with the course and in doing so ran a 133.0mph pass, we turned the bike round within the hour and this time I gunned it but I could feel that all was not well with the clutch feeling it slip through the course so I throttled off and coasted to a 98.0mph pass and established a new record but that wasn't what we went there to do. Our aim was to try to be quicker than anyone else on three wheels.

Having got back to the pits we had a team meeting and decided to fit the old clutch set up back into the Syko and re-fit all the old primary drive and final drive but leave the new ratio in the Bentec as that was working well.

I hurriedly set off back home to get all the old parts and left the team stripping the bike down.

A 90 mile round trip Sunday afternoon back home and to Elvington again took the best part of 2.5 hours and we all worked late into the evening refitting all the old transmission, ten hours later it was all back together again and a well deserved beer was had by all.


Monday morning was very windy with a 20 to 25mph gusty head wind and once again we headed for the East end of the runway to make our first run of the day into the wind.

Every thing started up ok and all the drive belts were running straight and behaving themselves.

I set off and the old clutch set up felt really strong so I wound open the throttle and let the bike pull all the way up to the first gear change at 125mph then carried on accelerating into the wind and ran a 153.0mph run straight as a die.

There was nothing major to do to turn it round for the return run except pressures and levels so within the hour we set off West to East with the wind behind us. This time I held it hard open all the way changing at 7000rpm and entered the mile really tramping on. I felt very comfortable on the bike keeping my head just low enough so I was behind the rev counter so my helmet wasn't being pulled off but high enough to stop me getting double vision with my helmet touching the air intake, I found that turning my head to one side was the best option.


The end marker boards came very quickly and I slowed easily within the 1/2 mile breaking area to the super news that I had just run 180.39mph meaning we had broken the record for the average speed but it was very close to the 1% ruling, so close that none of us could work it out, so there was nothing more to do than return East West into the wind and try improve on the first run.

The third run went just as well as the second but the wind proved to be a real problem battering me from side to side but the bike was more of a match to the buffering and ran real straight and recorded a 157.07mph pass meaning that we had broken the outright British Land Speed Record for a three wheeled vehicle giving us a 2 way average of 168.73mph beating the old record of 163.19mph by 5.54mph.


Well done to every body involved and to all the people who have helped me get this record.

Diane my understanding wife and team-mate, Jack Graham World land speed record holder himself. Roger Goring and Helen Rusling for crewing for me and taking time out from rebuilding the Firestorm Jet Funny Car (watch this space for the new 21st century version of the car, its amazing!!)  Alex Macfadzean who himself held the British land speed record and took it over 200mph with the streamliner "Penetrator" (and who also had taken time out from his World land speed record project) and Mike Ellis from BDR for all his help.


The Syko will go much faster as I ran out of gearing hitting the limiter on the middle run (The gearing was set at the highest we could go with the old set up at 178mph) so who knows what may happen in the future.