Speed-Worldrecord 2007: Mission Completed!

8 World- and 8 American Records achieved by
Markus Saegesser and Ruedi Steck

(2000 to 3000 cc, with Charger)
None-streamlined: 242.801 km/h for the flying Kilometer,
241.675 km/h for the flying Mile.
«Partly Streamlined»: 251.896 km/h for the flying Kilometer,
251.875 km/h for the flying Mile.

(2000 to 3000 cc, none Charger)
None-streamlined: 241.534 km/h for the flying Kilometer,
240.216 km/h for the flying Mile.
«Partly Streamlined»: 242.851 km/h for the flying Kilometer,
242.736 km/h for the flying Mile.

The difference is that they actually did it.

Markus Saegesser hit 256 km/h on his fastest run.


Like the Egg of Columbus: in retrospect, lots of people will say they could have done it as well. But, as Columbus said to all those who envied him: “The difference, Gentlemen, is that although you might have been able to do it as well, I was the person who actually did it!” Now the press are saying that Markus Saegesser and Ruedi Steck went to Bonneville to plant the Swiss flag in the hallowed ground. In MOTO SPORT SCHWEIZ 18/07 we tell the story of how two Swiss enthusiasts decided to go for the World Motorcycle Speed Records, how they became advertising vehicles for the oil manufacturer Castrol and how they built the motorcycles and beefed up the performance.

Rusty garden fence


Everything seemed to have been prepared down to the last detail when Markus and Ruedi and their team went to pick up their machines at the Bonneville Salt Flats on 2 September. But then they fell foul of something really pointless: the rules which are about the size of a telephone directory stipulate that the bike has to have a chainguard, which neither of the two machines had. The mechanic Livio Kägi and Sven Traber kept their cool and soon fashioned the required chainguards from a bit of rusty garden fence they got from a scrap yard in Bonneville.

Despite this stroke of genius, they ran out of time on Sunday. Not only because of the chainguards but also because the organiser of the Speed Trials had been overwhelmed by the rush: the previous year 157 drivers had registered, in 2007 some 352 drivers wanted to register for the world record attempts. But there was still only one record run and a small training run. This year the conditions were a lot worse than the previous year, the salt was soft and brittle after some short showers. What’s more the wind speed was over 3 miles an hour most of the time which meant that we couldn’t run the fully-faired Streamliner.

No hanging around


On Monday morning Markus and Ruedi started to familiarise themselves with riding on salt on the training run. “I was quite shocked”, says Markus. “The salt is nowhere near as hard as concrete, it’s as soft as snow. The back wheel spins all the time. If you get into a roll in a soft patch or a groove in the track, you have to keep your nerve and just let the motorcycle drive itself. There were a lot of crashes where inexperienced riders tried to correct skids.”

Despite the difficult conditions Markus didn’t hang around: when he had the opportunity to do a run on the record run, he set a world record at the first attempt: 247 km /h! “When I did the re-run I played it safe”, reports Markus. The split showed 242 km/h, which was the world record for unfaired motorcycles with 2000 to 3000 cc and supercharged engine.


Ruedi then got behind the steering stem and – guess what? – set another world record! 241 km/h for unfaired motorcycles with 2000 to 3000 cm' and aspirated engine. It was very rare for a new rider to set a world record on his first run. Denis Manning, organiser and builder of the world’s fastest streamliners, went over to the two Swiss to congratulate them.


Despite the poor conditions, the Ack Attack team with driver Rocky Robinson made an attempt on the absolute world motorcycle record (565 km /h) but the ‘bike got into a spin and crashed. Robinson was unhurt but the motorcycle was a complete write-off.

We could have gone even faster


On Tuesday the racing had to be abandoned because of the wind, on Wednesday our Swiss made another attempt, this time with attached half-shells in the “Partly Streamlined” class. Markus also notched up this world record with 251 km/h on the first run but he wanted to go faster and decided to put a bit of extra weight at the rear to stop the rear wheel spinning. But the weight put too much strain on the ‘bike and Markus couldn’t get into fourth or fifth gear, so the attempt failed.


Ruedi was unlucky with the weather: on the record course he couldn’t do the re-run because the wind was picking up strongly by the evening.

Thursday, last chance for Ruedi to break the record with the half-clad motorcycle. But the man from Dietlikon kept calm and did a 242 km/h split – another record! Markus, on the other hand, was slowed down by sparkplug problems. Notwithstanding the delays, in the space of one month some eight world and four American records had been broken by two Swiss riders. So.

“My motorcycle still had enormous potential”, says Markus. “At the start our gear ratio was too slow, the engine was barely hitting 3000 revs/min. Once we had adjusted the gear ratio I couldn’t get into the higher gears because of the weight and afterwards the engine was only running on one cylinder.” So they’ll have to go back next year ... and maybe the salt will be better?


World Speed Records: The Rules

Apart from the famous, almost mystical Benneville Salt Flats there is another place where people can set speed records. Fritz Egli/Urs Wenger set their 1987 record on the high speed oval track at Nardo in Sicily (272.41 km/h for 10 km from a standing start).

In Bonneville world motorcycle records can only be attempted at designated Speed Trials (pure motorcycle event) because the FIM officials are only present at these events. At other events cars and motorcycles sometimes run at the same time and people can try to set national records. The prepared course is 17 km long and in the middle there are the light barriers that measure one kilometre and one mile. In other words record attempts are made with a flying start and on each run the kilometre and the mile record are attempted at the same time. In order for a record to be valid the participants have to complete a run in both directions and the average speed is the final speed used. In order to beat the world record your average speed has to be at least 1 % faster.

352 riders took part in the 2007 Speed Trials. The riders entered in a wide range of different categories, classes and sub-classes. There are fully-clad Streamliners, half-faired and naked motorcycles, engine capacity classes from 50 to 3,000 cm³ and supercharged and non- supercharged engines.


Article Kieser Training / Reflex 45 England

September 2012, Interview with Markus Saegesser for Kieser Training, Reflex 45

cash TV Documentation from the SF archive!

a thrilling documentation about Markus Saegesser and his 2011 Bonneville adventure!

Article in Tages-Anzeiger, Zürcher Unterländer, Bülacher Tagblatt

The follwing article was published between September 3-5, 2011

BLICK Article

BLICK article from August 26, 2011


the following double page was published on August 25, 2011

Article Moto Sport Schweiz, August 2, 2011

At the airport Buochs we went ​​quite comfortably, but in a few weeks it will be serious for the team Markus Saegesser / CCCP on the Bonneville Flats: They want the V2-speed world record!

Double page in MOTO SPORT SCHWEIZ 10/11

Naked to the world record: How Markus Saegesser will drive 201 mph without covering. Article by Daniel Riesen, May 12, 2011

Castrol advertisements with Markus

These adds are worldwide published by Castrol


Thrilling Speeches

Contact us: we will arrange a high professional speech for your next customer or staff event. All around the thrilling background of Markus Saegesser's Bonneville adventure!

DOK film «Der Traum vom Weltrekord» 3sat, August 21, 2011

After SF1 and ZDF, also 3sat shows again the exciting documentation of the Bonneville world record adventure from 2007!

Podium with Gary Hannam and Markus

Gary is the producer of the Hollywoodmovie "The World's Fastest Indian" with Anthony Hopkins

Markus was honored from the city of Kloten!

On 30.1.2009, the athletes where honored in the town of Kloten at the Kolping Arena. The award ceremony took place on the ice.

Markus was in TV at 'Aeschbacher' Late Nighttalk on SF1, 29.1.2009!

The theme of the show was 'extreme' and Markus was the main guest.

4 World- and 4 American Records!

achieved by Markus Saegesser, Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah, USA 20.10.07: American Records are official! 26.10.07: World Records are official!