Bill Warner, just before setting the 311.95 mph record. Image: Rebecca HirstEnlarge Photo
If you’ve ever crashed a motorcycle at speed, you know how sudden and violent it is. One minute you’re enjoying the ride, or focusing on catching the rider in front if you’re a racer, and the next you’re sliding across pavement, wondering just how badly this is going to hurt.
While most of us with significant seat time on two wheels have crashed a bike in our riding career, few can claim to have done so north of 200 miles per hour.
Hemmings Motor News reports that veteran land-speed racer Bill Warner recently became a member of this club when he crashed his turbocharged Suzuki Hayabusa at 238 miles per hour during a record attempt in Texas.
Considering the speed at which Warner went down, his injuries were remarkably few. Warner suffered four broken ribs, a collapsed lung, a slightly lacerated liver, broken bones in his left hand, a damaged tendon on his left foot and various cuts and bruises.
He’s been hospitalized since the October 21st crash, but according to SuzukiHayabusa.org had his final surgeries yesterday, and is expected to be released in the near future. The accident occurred during the shutdown stage after a high-speed run, and may have been caused by a transition in pavement or high crosswinds.
While we generally frown on all types of crashing, Warner’s incident illustrates how good safety gear has become in recent years. We won’t preach, but we’re big fans of the all-the-gear-all-the-time strategy, and we're pretty sure Warner would agree with us. Check out his record run from last July in the video below.