150 Miles An Hour On A Motorcycle! (1930)

Here’s a bit of a blast from the past: British Pathé video showing Joseph S Wright of Great Britain preparing for his motorcycle land-speed record attempt in Cork, Ireland, in 1930.

This was before the days of the famous land-speed record rides in the Bonneville salt flats in the US, where Triumph brought fame to the British motorcycling industry. But this was equally a British victory as J S Wright on his 995cc JAP won back the record from Germany and BMW.


The video shows the rider preparing for the ride and having his clothes strapped down to improve aerodynamics (we also quite like the streamlined helmet). There are also clips of the bike being towed behind a car to get up to starting speed, as well as shots of the bike making several passes at high speed along a straight stretch of road.

The full title of the original film reads: “Cork. 150 miles an hour on a motor cycle! Streamlined in every possible way even to his helmet – J S Wright and an O.E.C. – Jap-engined – wins back record for Britain from Germany.”

J S Wright broke the speed record by exceeding 150mph in 1930.


Here’s the video:


Tony Carter

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