Guy Martin’s Rourke Land Speed Bike

Guy Martin's Rourke Land Speed Bike

There have been 240 rider deaths in the 106 years the Isle of Man TT motorcycle race has been running. Statistically, it is the most dangerous race in the world, attracting racers with a penchant for life on the edge. One of the most colourful characters in the paddock is the wooly-haired and steely-eyed Guy Martin, who recently contested the British record for outright speed on a bicycle — on a custom-built Rourke frameset.

Apart from contesting the Tourist Trophy, Guy fosters a deep interest in historical industry and craftsmanship, which has led to a slew of TV shows for the BBC. His latest series, ‘Speed with Guy Martin’, focuses on his love for going fast, by documenting exploits such as building and piloting the fastest ever human powered aircraft, attempting to set the world record for a hydroplaning motorcycle and contesting the British land speed record on a pushie — in the slipstream of a 1000hp racing lorry.

With such a fascination with British industry, it’s no surprise that Guy teamed up with the team at Rourke Framesets, who have been building custom bikes for over 41 years. Constructed from Reynolds 853, Guy’s frame features a wrap-over seat stay, a trademark of the Stoke-on-Trent builder. The attempt took place at Pendine Sands in Wales, where Sir Malcolm Campbell recorded his times in his legendary Bluebird.

‘Speed with Guy Martin’ premieres on the 29th December at 8 pm on BBC’s Channel 4. Be sure to catch it. The first and last images are © Barry Hayden. Special thanks to Jason Rourke for the rest.

Guy Martin's Rourke Land Speed Bike
Guy Martin's Rourke Land Speed Bike
Guy Martin's Rourke Land Speed Bike
Guy Martin's Rourke Land Speed Bike
Guy Martin's Rourke Land Speed Bike
Guy Martin's Rourke Land Speed Bike
Guy Martin's Rourke Land Speed Bike

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  • Edd S.

    “‘Speed with Guy Martin’ premieres on the 29th December at 8 pm on BBC’s Channel 4. Be sure to catch it.”

    Channel 4 is not connected to the BBC. It is a broadcaster in its own right.

    • Mike Dove

      BBC 4 is its own channel if you have freeview or a cable TV package (also on BBC iPlayer). BBC4 normally has really good documentaries so it s worth checking out.

  • George Campan

    What purpose does the “double” head tube serve?

    • Mike Kennedy

      It acts as a buffer to the panel he is slipstreaming. Also rules state you may be towed to start as the gear ratios required are so high; a release mechanism is built into the repurposed left-hand brake lever.