Silver Bird

Silver Bird
Don Vesco with Silver Bird at Bonneville Speedway
Manufacturer Don Vesco
Predecessor "Big Red" streamliner
Successor "Lightning Bolt" streamliner
Class Streamliner
Engine Inline-4 two-stroke, 1,389.8 cc total displacement
Bore / stroke 64 mm×54 mm
Top speed 303.812 mph (488.938 km/h)[1]
Power 240 hp (180 kW)
Dimensions L: 21 ft (6.4 m)
H: 32 in (810 mm)
Weight 900 lb (410 kg) (wet)

Silver Bird was a motorcycle land-speed record setting streamliner motorcycle. It was powered by two motors delivering 240 horsepower (180 kW).[1] It was the first motorcycle to set a speed record over 300 miles per hour (480 km/h), when ridden by Don Vesco at the Bonneville Speedway in 1975.[2][3]


Silver Bird c. 1974 with shorter stabilizing fin than on the 1975 record setting run

The motorcycle was built by Don Vesco and sponsored by Yamaha.[4] It had two four-cylinder, 694.9 cc reed-valve two-stroke engines from the Yamaha TZ750 racebike.[1]


  • Displacement: 1,389.8 cc total
  • Engine bore and stroke: 64mm×54mm[5][6]
  • Dimensions: 21 feet long, 32 inches high[7]
  • Weight: c. 900 pounds (410 kg)[8]




  • Motorcycle Hall of Fame: Don Vesco, American Motorcyclist Association, 1999 
  • Cameron, Kevin (March 30, 2012), "Ask Kevin: Hard riding beasts – Yamaha TZ750", Cycle World 
  • Williams, Evan (c. 2007), Yamaha's TZ750: Where Legends Began ..., Superbike Planet 
  • Robinson, Rocky (2007), Flat Out: The Race for the Motorcycle Land Speed Record, Motorbooks, ISBN  
  • "Don Vesco, 63, Record-Setting Motorcyclist", The New York Times, December 20, 2002 
  • "Don Vesco Turbinator Streamliner Land-Speed Racer—Vesco's 300-MPH Bike", Hot Rod, July 2003 
  • American Motorcyclist "Record runs a family affair with Don and Rick Vesco", American Motorcyclist (American Motorcyclist Association), April 1982: 86 
  • Phinizy, Coles (November 1975), "Flat out on the flats", Sports Illustrated 43 (19): 38 

Further reading

  • "Motorcycles - The Silver Bird - Don Vesco's 300-mph Yamaha streamliner", Hot Rod, December 1975 

External links

  • Don Vesco & The Silver Bird 1975 on YouTube
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