Tucker’s own Steve Mayes sets a land speed record of 203.16 mph for the standing mile in Blytheville, Arkansas on his Rich Halverson race-tuned Kawasaki ZX-14.
By Steve Mayes and Rich Halverson
The adventure began with, “Hey, want to get into the 200 mph club? I have the bike to do it.”
Rewind to 2015, when the team headed to Wilmington, Ohio, site of the ECTA (East Coast Timing Association) event, to attempt to knock the 200 mph club off the bucket list. Soon it was realized, if it were that easy, everyone would be doing it. You don’t just point it down the track and twist the throttle. Results were in the low 190mph range, but it was a start.
Schedules, work, and just life always seems to get in the way of goals. However, persistence pays off in the end. Fast-forward to October 2017 and the Texas Mile where Steve makes steady progress all weekend long. Tuning and gearing changes net Steve 199.7 mph on the very last pass of the event. He was so close! But unless the number starts with a two—it doesn’t count!
Which leads us to April 2019 and the Arkansas Challenge in Blytheville, Arkansas, run by the ECTA. The first two days were hampered by adverse weather, winds strong enough to send your tent into the next county, and part failures. It’s hard to gauge your tuning changes in an atmosphere wrought with challenges.
Our friends at VP Racing Fuels suggested a change in fuel from the ultra-safe Q-16 we had been running after burning up a motor on lower octane fuel. They said, “Try the MS-103 we sent you. Trust us.”
The final day of competition gave way to cooler temperatures, and calmer winds going in our favor. The pressure was mounting as both Rich and Steve knew the last day was going to be the best opportunity to set a record, for the ZX-14 to push through the 200 mph barrier.
After a slight hiccup at the start of the first run of the day, Steve was able to lay down a respectable 201.34 mph run. Then, on his second pass, he backed it up with a 203.16 mph run. Goal achieved! Steve Mayes is now a member of the 200 mph club!