Land Speed Record competition calls for the right combination of power and chassis design combined with good aerodynamics. Vesco’s twin engine ‘liner made it to about 180 mph, but lacked stability and crashed.
Don and Rick Vesco had a Yamaha shop in California in 1969 when the new Yamaha XS650 arrived. Don had experimented with Yamaha’s two-stroke engines for road racing and land speed record. Rick, seeing the potential for true torque with the new four-stoke overhead cam engine decided in 1969 to engineer a machine with two such engines.
Rick and Don designed and built a tubular steel frame with aluminum subframe engine plates that also mount the twin belt driven superchargers. They also designed a slippery fiberglass body. For the fully streamlined class the driver is totally enclosed and peers out of a small clear window, using two black lines on the salt as guidance.
While the machine looked to be designed correctly, in the end it lacked proper center of mass, enough of a tail fin  and therefore stability. After Rick crashed it at about 175 mph it sat for a few years. Eventually it was sold to Kent Riches at AirTech who made a new body and restored the machine (in only 10 days!) to better than new condition.

  • Twin Yamaha OHC XS650 Engines
  • Twin Pepco Superchargers
  • Horsepower: Est: 275
  • Gear Primaries/Chain Final Drive
  • Exhaust: Hooker Headers
  • Full Tubular Steel Frame
  • Wheelbase:  108 Inches
  • Roll Cage
  • Stability Struts
  • Telescopic Fork
  • Swing Arm/Dual Shocks
  • Wheels/Tires: 3.5/22-15″ Cast Magnesium
  • Brakes: Airheart Disk/Parachute
  • On Board Fire Extinguisher
  • 10,000 RPM Yamaha Tachometer
  • Upholstery: Blue Metalflake
  • Full Safety Harness
  • Fiberglass Body Panels
  • Telescopic Fork
  • Swing Arm/Dual Shocks


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