Legendary Leamington motorcyclist celebrates the 50th anniversary of breaking a world landspeed record

Norman Hyde, 77, piloted his home-built Roadrunner III to a speed of 161.8mph at RAF Fairford in 1972.

Norman Hyde aboard Roadrunner III at the National Motorcycle Museum. Photo credit: Mick Duckworth
Norman Hyde aboard Roadrunner III at the National Motorcycle Museum. Photo credit: Mick Duckworth

Legendary Leamington motorcyclist Norman Hyde was honoured by fellow bikers at the weekend to mark the 50th anniversary of his land speed record.

Norman, 77, from Radford Semele, piloted his home-built Roadrunner III to a speed of 161.8mph at RAF Fairford in 1972 to clinch the World Sidecar Land Speed Record – a mark that remained unbeaten for more than 35 years.

And, to mark the anniversary of the historic achievement, members of the Triumph Owners Club invited him along to the National Motorcycle Museum, in Solihull, to talk about the record-breaking day and present him with a cut-glass trophy.

At one point Norman, who worked as a development engineer for Triumph Motorcycles in Meriden before going on to run his own business, held 13 world records for his exploits on two wheels.

He said: “I’m so grateful to the Triumph Owners' Club for organising the day and to all the riders and enthusiasts who took the trouble to turn out.”

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World short distance speed records include two distances, a kilometre and a mile, across two different regimes – a standing start and a flying start.

In the 1000cc engine class, Norman set the kilometre flying start record at 161.8 mph and standing start at 105.09 mph.

Fellow record breaker, Dick Sullivan, said: “All the riders and mechanics stopped to watch as they knew that they were seeing history being made.”

The event also helped Norman raise £250 for Prostate Cancer UK.

Roadrunner III was added to the National Motorcycle Museum's collection in the 1980s.