Tyler and Kyle Malinky are brothers in pure speed.
The pair spent the last year assembling and tweaking two vintage Triumph motorcycles that they raced at Bonneville Salt Flat Speed Week in Bonneville, Utah.
Tyler and Kyle are the majordomos at Lowbrow Customs, in Medina, an Internet-based retailer that specializes in parts and accessories for vintage motorcycles. It was the second year the pair ran – and they set records.
Competitors race down 3- or 8-mile straight tracks on solo runs. They run the course twice, and the average speed is taken as their best time. Racers who travel the long course, or 8-mile track, can reach speeds of 300-400 mph, and ground is a level surface of pure salt leftover from lake-water evaporating during the spring and summer.Orange cones define the track and give you a clue how far you’ve gone downrange.
“It’s just so unlike anything else,” Tyler said. “It’s so white as far as the eye can see.”
Tyler Malinky competed in A-VG and APS-VG classes with his 1955 Triumph 750 cc motorcycle, and set marks of 117.108 mph and 116.171 mph. The A-VG class is for special construction (read customized) vintage gas motorcycles. The APS-VG is a special constructions class for vintage gasoline-powered motorcycles which have been partially streamlined.
Kyle Malinky set his highwater mark at 116.404 mph in the APS-PG class for partially streamlined pushrod gasoline-powered bikes on his 1967 Triumph 650 cc.
It also happened to be on his33rd birthday.
“We know people who have been going there eight to 10 years without a record,” Kyle said. “For us to go out there for our second year and set records, it was quite an accomplishment.”
Greg Valladolid, a pal of the brothers from Cleveland, acted as a crew member.
“Now I have a good excuse to go to help out my friends and to support them,” Valladolid said.
The brothers worked out the performance kinks on their bikes over the course of a year on a dynamometer and with high speed proficiency runs on a Medina Municipal Airport runway.
“You can’t take these bikes on the street, so there’s not a whole lot of testing you can do,” Kyle said. “They’re full-custom race bikes built only for this.”
The brother’s bikes can reach speeds of nearly 120 mph, and that’s some output considering that the original vintage motors in both bikes could only achieve somewhere around 60 or 70 mph stock.
The brothers are already thinking about next year’s speed week and what improvements they might make to their machines.