Originally Published In The November 2012 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine
It was like Christmas for me as the truck showed up in front of the shop. As soon as the door went up on the rear of that delivery truck, it was all there in boxes from S&S Cycles. The X-Wedge engine had arrived. Lucky for me, it was Friday and since I don’t work on Saturday, I was ready to get it out and count the pieces just like with all my other engines. As usual, it was all there. Looking at the parts along with a manual Jeff had sent, and knowing I had not worked on an X-Wedge before, there were Post-it notes on the parts, bags and boxes making the assembly a breeze.
Next, a call went out to an inspector of the S.C.T.A. (Southern California Timing Assoc.). He came to the shop and did a direct measurement of the engine in order to seal the cylinders to the main case so that if the bike qualified for a record at an S.C.T.A. meet, the engine would have been sealed and would not require a tear down for measurement on the salt or at the lakebed. All was found good for the 3000cc class, being that it starts at 122cc and ends at 184cc, the 132 engine was okay. The race was on to get everything assembled, mocked-up and torn back apart for powder coat. The guys at Orange County Plating really came to the party with a popping metallic blue color. The polish was then finished up on the rest of the handmade parts built at the shop. With handling a big concern at Bonneville, a call was put into Billy Hammil; yes, the 1996 speedway champion. He had introduced himself to me at the 2011 Speedway Banquet, offering a pair of custom shocks for the X-Wedge project. A week later, they came and they looked great. I was told they would perform as well as they looked.
The original plan was to get the bike together and to take it 2 weeks before Sturgis to Viola at S&S. There, the fuel injection would be fine-tuned. Thebike would then be in the S&S booth at Sturgis for a couple of days and then go on to Speed Week at Bonneville. Havoc struck with my health; I ended up in the hospital one more time for a few days and it left me very weak for awhile. But determination prevailed once more, and the bike was completed. We went to Speed Week, but we were not completely prepared and were unable to make a pass. Coming home was a long drive to say the least. After a few calls to S&S with the guys in the Electronics’ Department, success prevailed at the BUB AMA Speed Trials with a new record. Not satisfied with that record, I began prepping the bike for El Mirage, but the weather did not cooperate so we could not run. We are now planning on running the Mojave Mile — Sept. 29-30. Then it’s the World Finals at Bonneville (Oct. 1st-4th) if we don’t get rained out and then on to El Mirage Dry Lake on Oct. 21st and Nov. 10th & 11th. Be sure and watch our progress on www.winkscustomcycles.com and Facebook — Wink Eller Landspeed Racing. During the 2013 season, we will run the partial streamlined body made of aluminum.