Back in 1955, a company named Triumph sought to construct a motorcycle which burned methanol and, more importantly, recaptured the crown of “World’s Fastest Motorcycle” from the clutches of Germany. This sparked the design of the Thunderbird 650 Twin, which shattered the world record almost immediately. For the next several years, the German company NSU exchanged attempts with Triumph to continually top each other, always pushing to establish yet another world record for speed motorcycling. By 1966, Triumph’s Gyronaut X-1 would set an impressive record of over 245 miles per hour! This secured the record for some time, even after the Gyronaut crashed at speeds allegedly approaching 280 MPH. Afterward, it was tucked away until very recently, when the Detroit-based company Jefferson Motor Service elected to thoroughly restore it. They completely refurbished both its chassis and its engines, even bringing on board the original designer who had painted the Gyronaut back during its inception. Although the motorcycle is, as would be expected, no longer the world’s fastest, its pubic appearance at Palos Verdes Concours verified its restoration and showcased its sleek, streamlined design that had once enabled it to rocket past the competition.
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