s10全球总决赛竞猜

Motorcycles

Farewell to the fastest motorcyclist on the planet, Ralph Hudson

Farewell to the fastest motorc...
Ralph Hudson, aboard the 300 mph Turbocharged GSX-R1000 on which he had his final crash
Ralph Hudson, aboard the 300 mph Turbocharged GSX-R1000 on which he had his final crash
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Ralph Hudson, aboard the 300 mph Turbocharged GSX-R1000 on which he had his final crash
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Ralph Hudson, aboard the 300 mph Turbocharged GSX-R1000 on which he had his final crash
Leaving us at age 69, Hudson was a well-known, well-respected and well-loved character in the land speed community
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Leaving us at age 69, Hudson was a well-known, well-respected and well-loved character in the land speed community

s10全球总决赛竞猜Land speed racers are a rare and different breed, willing to put their entire lives on the line for a chance at the immortality offered by the record books, and the ability to look at the world from a perspective and velocity nobody before them has experienced.

s10全球总决赛竞猜Ralph Hudson went faster on a proper sit-on motorcycle than anyone else in history. There are bullet-like streamliners that are faster, but Hudson was out in the wind on his turbocharged, aerodynamically faired Suzuki GSX-R1000 in a way any biker could understand when he made the fastest pass ever recorded on a non-streamlined motorcycle, a 304 mph (489 km/h) pass in 2018 at Bolivia's Salar de Uyuni, the biggest salt flat on the planet.

In land speed racing, though, you've got to back up a fast pass by doing it in the opposite direction; a way of canceling out wind assistance. Hudson's two-way average was an incredibly frustrating 297 mph (478 km/h). Though he was approaching 70 years old, his work was not finished. The dream of being the first proper motorcyclist to officially break that 300 mph barrier was tantalizingly close.

s10全球总决赛竞猜“It’s great to have gone 300 and to have it officially recognized, but I didn’t do two runs with an average over 300 and get an FIM World Record,” Hudson said following the 2018 Bolivia event. “To know that I have a bike that was capable of doing that but not putting the two runs together is very disappointing. You know, you set your goals and it’s disappointing if you don’t reach them.”

s10全球总决赛竞猜Friends, I've felt the fury of trying to force myself through still air at somewhere around 180 mph (290 km/h). I say somewhere around 180 because I could no longer see my speedometer, my head was being flung about so fast. You don't think of air as having much force to it until you stick your arm out the window at freeway speeds, but at double or triple those speeds it's a ferocious adversary. We can only imagine what Hudson felt in those brief moments of madness.

Leaving us at age 69, Hudson was a well-known, well-respected and well-loved character in the land speed community
Leaving us at age 69, Hudson was a well-known, well-respected and well-loved character in the land speed community

On August 14, 2020, at age 69, Hudson was at Bonneville going for an SCTA record. Just after clocking a timed mile speed over 250 mph (402 km/h) on the shorter course, a gust of wind caught his bike, sending it into a speed wobble and eventually a high-speed crash. After initially being stabilized in a Salt Lake City ICU, he passed away on September 6.

He's survived by his son David and Girlfriend Leslie Murray, as well as a reputation as a fearless racer, meticulous mechanic and a humble, friendly and generous member of the land speed racing community.

s10全球总决赛竞猜Ride on, Ralph. You might not have hit the arbitrary number you were aiming for, but you were the fastest there ever was, and that takes no small measure of skill, smarts, courage and determination.

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10 comments
Techrex
I don't mean to sound like a wiseacre idiot here, but what if Mr. Hudson's life could have been saved by established technology? Look, several years ago, I saw a Discovery Channel cable TV show, called "Smash Lab", which had a team of researchers who were making devices to prevent disaster in the event of violent collisions or crashes of all sorts. One of those devices was a fast-inflating vest, that was a full-body encasing air bag. The idea was, if you are construction worker who has to work high up, if you wore this vest and fell down, an automatic acceleration sensor in the vest, would detect your fall as it started, and instantly inflate a kind of automobile air bag all around you, to cushion the impact when you hit the ground, to save your life. They built a working model of it, which a stunt man wore, who jumped off a three story construction site staging, and it WORKED! But apparently, it is not used in the construction business, because it is too $expensive$ to make and buy. But, if Mr. Hudson was wearing a version of that thing, which could activated by some kind of sensor wire tied onto his bike, so that when his bike is about to crash and he moves off it, it activate this wrap-around air bag, and saves him from extreme injury in the crash, perhaps he could have survived intact. I think I saw a video on the Internet a few years back, about a pair of lady entrepreneurs, who were trying to sell their invention, a very lightweight and streamlined crash helmet, that instantly inflated a protective bubble, about the wearer's head, when an sudden impact jolt occurred to the wearer, and that device might have helped in this horrible case as well. That covers it.
guzmanchinky
Sad, but definitely died doing what he loved...
NZRalphy
Thanks for the record. Rest in piece Ralph.
Nobody
For a sky diver 120 mph is a horizontal free fall and 180 mph is a free fall in the vertical position. I have no idea what 300 mph would be like but I would imagine it like pushing through a solid wall.
vince
What a brave 70 year old soul. Kudo's.
Worzel
Obsession has its own price.
Karmudjun
Mr. Hudson was a brave man pushing the limits of human endurance on a maniacal machine. There is freedom in 2 wheels with awesome acceleration, decent range, and the unknown up around the bend. He took it to the extreme. He lived his life pushing back on nature and on the limits of machinery. Visionary? Motorhead? Adrenalin Junkie?
Well respected racer wanting to break another speed barrier - my hat is off to Mr. Hudson.
Bill S.
As a fellow biker (69 years old) who has been riding since the age of 14, I too would like to express my sadness for this mans life being lost. God bless him and his loved ones.
JeffK
R.I.P. Sir!
Richard Hatfield
Thank you Loz for your thoughtful and well written tribute to Ralph.