The goal was to put a regularly used stock hearse on track to test it’s high speed stability and during practice a new World Record was set. A motor-tricycle with a concertina rear to hold coffins had managed to clock 114.1 mph at the one mile mark where it peaked while my Hayabusa motor-cycle hit 115.2 mph at the same one mile trap, but kept on building up afterwards. On the last run it clinched 117.6 mph at the two mile trap.
Straightliners ensured the tests were correctly scrutinised and tested to FIM standards while Mr. Colin Liddell DipFD FICF served as an independent witness from the funeral profession. All photos here were taken by him. Straightliner’s proofs of the new World Record for fastest motorcycle hearse are currently going through the Guinness system.
Rather than employ a PR company to create a press frenzy I kept these speed tests quiet as our Suzuki Hayabusa really is used to help real people who have lost loved ones. Our fleet of ‘seven deadly sidecars’ has served on thousands of funerals and this Hayabusa is already back out in service. Closer to the bone we have carried loved ones of both Straightliners officials and racers so it was vital to be as sensitive to them as possible. They didn’t need me being the centre of a media circus, they needed pastoral care! Clearly it must have been awkward for them when the hearse that carried their very own friends arrived, yet they were all so supportive and helpful. I think they honoured their lost friends with such excellent conduct. Some have asked why I didn’t carry a weighted down coffin. Basically our Hayabusa is very well-engineered and doesn’t lack grip or stability so hidden weights are not needed, but far more importantly it would have been highly insensitive to those men and women out there on the track for me to belt around with a coffin. Ultimately their feelings are more important.
This Suzuki Hayabusa Hearse was put into funeral service about eighteen months ago and it has a restricted engine. It is not fitted with a concertina to take long coffins, it is built full length and solid, properly tested and classified by DVLA. It is used on the funerals of elderly ladies who were dispatch riders during World War Two, former TT racers, marshals, bikers and motorcyclists. A number of terminally ill children have asked for the Hayabusa and we have been to care homes and schools with them so that their friends can wave them good-bye. We know for sure the families will be proud of our results, indeed we are already getting encouraging remarks. So, to all those who have watched our motorcycle and sidecar-hearses serve your loved ones we dedicate this new World Record to you.
Built to Funeral Furnishing and Manufacturer’s Association (FFMA) standards