Paralysed, but Talan aiming for bike world record

Talan Skeels-Piggins - Image: Newspress
DESIRE FOR SPEED: Talan Skeels-Piggins is aiming to go much faster than he can in his wheelchair – 600km/h on a motor-cycle on the Bonneville salt flats for a world speed record.  Image: Newspress

“Made to be Broken” is the story of Talan Skeels-Piggins and his attempt – against all odds – to be the fastest man on two wheels.

It’s not a huge-budget, rocket-shaped attempt at 600km/h, it’s an ordinary bike, modified by a committed team of enthusiasts. to help a man set a UK record on a machine that nearly killed him.

WATCH and LISTEN to Talan’s hopes, dreams, achievements

In 2003 Talan was knocked off his motorcycle and paralysed from the chest down. He was told he would never walk again but instead of giving up he learned how to ski, represented Great Britain at the Paralympics and found the courage to get back on a bike.

Talan Skeels-Piggins - Image: Newspress
ON FOUR WHEELS, FOR NOW: Talan Skeels-Piggins. Image: Newspress

With help from friends, he learned to race (providing there was someone there to help him on his way and catch him again when he stopped).

Now he has a new challenge: to become a “fastest man on two wheels”, a journey that, it is hoped, will take Talan to the Bonneville Salt Flats in north-western Utah in the US on a machine designed to take on nearly 640km/h and secure an outright record, able-bodied or not.

ALREADY DONE 300KM/H

But. for now. he has a UK record in his sights: a disabled land-speed attempt in either towards the end of 2016 or early in 2017. “To comfortably beat this,” his sponsors say “we need to target 400km/h on the relative safety of an airfield and in the right weather.

“We’ve shaken down the bike (a tuned Suzuki Hayabusa) with one run and achieved nearly 300km/h but now we need your help for further modifications such as engine work, frame modifications and a bucket-sized turbo to get us the right side of the double-ton.”

The plan is to run more than 375kW, with the hope of raising that to 525kW.

To document the process – and by way of thanks to Kickstarter supporters (along with giving away goodies including actual parts used on the bike for the record run) – a short film is being made to record the journey from a kitchen-table idea to a land speed-record.

‘AMBITION IN THE FACE OF FEAR’

“That will mean covering how we tweaked the machine, got the record accredited and made sure Talan could hold on to the bike for long enough to make history.”

“Made to be Broken” will be a documentary about ambition in the face of fear. “Proof.” the sponsors add, “that if you stare adversity in the face for long enough it’ll get out of your way – but the main thing we’ll achieve with your backing is to help Talan be the UK’s fastest.

“If we can break 400 maybe we can start to think about Utah – and prove that disability is no barrier to the pursuit of speed.”

So how can The Corner’s readers help? Pledge your support on the Kickstarter page  or keep up with Talan’s progress via the website and social media channels.

talan pos 3
MAN ON A MISSION: Talan Skeels-Piggins is paralysed but still aiming for a motorcycle world land speed record. – Image: Newspress
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