So, do you need a really big engine to go fast? Certainly not if you are metal fabricator John Buddenbaum or Eric Noyes, an engineer from NASA's Ames Research Center. This dynamic duo recently set out to go as fast as possible with as small an engine as possible, and we'd say they must have met whatever goals they may have had. New world records were set at the salt flats in Bonneville for the AMA Gasoline 50cc Motorcycle Streamliner Record at 194.24km/h and the AMA Fuel Record at 214.08km/h. Just what engine powered their streamliner to just about 133 miles per hour? A 50cc engine from an Aprilia RS50. This small two-stroke mill was chosen for its reliability and parts availability, considering the maniacal following that the little race-replica bike has achieved. Along the way, many different fuels were tried, as well as turbocharging.
Besides the not-so-radical engine, the machine is pretty spectacular. It takes some major cojones to strap oneself in what basically amounts to a powered tin-can, which is just about what the team did when they set their dual records in 2006. Not only are congratulations in order, but so is a little good luck. The team has plans to continue racing their little streamliner. Be sure to check out the video after the break!