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Drag Racing Story of the Day!

The First Fuel Bike Superstar

By Boris Murray

Boris Murray is wheels up and smokin' 'em at Bowling Green, 1971. Photo thanks to Boris Murray
Boris Murray is wheels up and smokin' 'em at Bowling Green, 1971.
Photo thanks to Boris Murray

Hi. You have a lot of neat stuff here. Don't know how far back you go with your fuel-motorcycle stories. Seems they all start from the late, late '70s. From '65 until about '73-'74 this bike was hard to beat. It held the NHRA and AMDRA speed and ET records. After searching all kinds of files, I never see it anywhere. Talk about the "pioneering" days! There were a whole lot of notables back then, but no mention.

This "wheelie" pic was taken by a spectator in the stands at an NHRA bike national meet in Bowling Green, KY, in 1971. It was a record meet and I did set the first NHRA speed and ET record on this run, 175 @ 8:74. I know, not very impressive, by today's times! But, 30 years ago, for several years, it was unbeatable, as far as top-speed went. I toured with it, coast to coast and ran a lot of match races and exhibition runs just because it was the fastest of the time. 

It consistently ran over 170 mph in the 8-second zone with two carbureted Triumph fuel motors, high gear only, with a 4 inch wide M&H racing slick. I raced, and beat, the likes of Joe Smith, Ray Price, Sonny Routt, Bonny Truitt, Leo Payne, Dave Campos, Russ Collins, etc. Remember any of those great racers? I and seven other fuel bikers were the first to race at the NHRA Indy Nationals by special invitation from Steve Gibbs to "try out" a bike field. It went over big-time! 

Boris Murray was part of the killer fuel scene at Lions Drag Strip. Photo thanks to Boris Murray
Boris Murray was part of the killer fuel scene at Lions Drag Strip.
Photo thanks to Boris Murray

This bike was featured in so many motorcycle publications (over 70), that it was unreal! I guess that's why I'm a little disappointed that there is no mention of it. Too long ago? I also rode the Manning-Murray streamliner at Bonneville in the early '70s with my Triumphs the first year, and then with Nortons the second year. Vesco had the record at the time (still does...)

Here is a rundown on the bike's stats and accomplishments:

I held both ends of the records with NHRA, AMDRA, and IHRA for about 9-10 years 
The bike had a pair of 750 cc Triumphs, T.T. carbs, running 92 % nitro, hi-gear only, with an M&H 4 inch slick! 
I built it, tuned it, and rode it -- what a kick. It was featured numerous times in Cycle, Cycle World, Hot Bike, Hot Rod, Car Craft, Popular Hot Rodding, Drag News, and "1320" news 
It was on the cover of Hot Bike, Cycle World, and Cycle in '70-'72

Thanks again for your interest.

Sincerely, 

Boris Murray

Dubieko@aol.com

 

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