As can be seen in the record books, the pre-unit 650 Triumph served well in several classes of land speed record racing, this bike most recently running in 650 APS-VG. Based on a 1953 engine and chassis, it was raced from new through 1958 by Bob Baumgartner. In the 1950’s it set records in 650cc and 750cc classes, semi-streamlined. It was also run more recently in 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2002 in Vintage Gas class.

The solo seat and pillion and rear set foot-pegs allowed the rider to slide back, tuck in behind the fairing reducing wind resistance. With plenty of slow down room in land speed racing, a spool hub saves weight. The bike is in as-raced condition, is no trailer queen and reminds us just how hard on metals the Bonneville salt can be.


  • Engine: Four-Stroke Twin, Pre-Unit
  • Type: Overhead Valves, Two Valves per Cylinder
  • Bore & Stroke: 71mm x 82mm
  • Displacement: 649cc’s
  • Compression Ratio: Unknown
  • Carburetors: Amal Monoblocs
  • Starting: Kick / Bump Start
  • Horsepower: Unknown
  • Primary: Chain Driven
  • Clutch: Wet, Multi-Plate
  • Final Drive: Chain
  • Transmission: 4-Speed
  • Frame: Single Loop, Lugged, Steel
  • Suspension: Hydraulic Fork / Sprung Seat/Sprung Hub
  • Brakes: No Front /  7″ Drum Rear
  • Wheelbase: 54.5 Inches
  • Wheels / Tires: 3.25 x 19 / 4.00 x 18
  • Weight: 320 Pounds, Approximately
  • Top Speed: 106 MPH
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