MIKE YURKO

Biography

This story begins long before the August 2014 Land Speed event at the Bonneville Salt Flats.  It begins in 1967 when my parents split the cost with me for my first dirt bike and I was hooked on motorcycles, a passion handed down to me from my father.  So much so, that by 1977, I was winning Motocross races here in Canada and in the US.   Now, closer to present time…

I worked hard and became licensed in Pipe Welding, Pipe Fitting, Gas 1 Fitter and Motorcycle technician .  But, my heart and my head were never far from motorcycles.  In 2000 I started Yurko Custom Choppers in Oshawa, ON and began building custom motorcycles, but my need for speed was always present.

In 2013, I went to the Land Speed event in Bonneville as a spectator and it was then I decided “I need to try this.”  So, I went back home, began my research and built my first Harley-Davidson modified for salt racing.  The bike was built from components I had in my shop:  frame, motor, transmission and so on.  After a long design and build, I was ready to try it out in Bonneville.
In August of2014, I hit the salt for the first time in the MPG 2000 class and it was exhilaration beyond words.  For a first-timer, I was happy with my times, but, and there’s always a but, I still needed to go faster.  During my week at Bonneville, I was fortunate to be set up next to the S&S race team.  They befriended the “new guy” and were impressed by my desire to learn and go really, really fast.  Their interest in my eagerness to improve my speed led to a sponsorship by S&S for the 2015 Land Speed Events as well as racing Bonneville..
Part of the sponsorship with S&S included putting the prototype 120ci TwinCam 70mm EFI motor in my existing Rolling Thunder frame, combined with a Baker Transmission.  When the factory finished building the motor, it was shipped to my shop, where I installed it and made a trip to the S&S facility in Viola, WI for some fine tuning and Dyno testing.  Once that was done, I headed back to Oshawa for the final adjustments in preparation for Bonneville (unfortunately, this event was cancelled).

However, test the motor and prepare for the Salt Flats, I entered the Loring Timing Association Maine Event on July 25th, where I raced in the A/PF-2000/4 and the A/PG-2000/4 classes, 1 and 1.5 mile distances, setting the following records:

1 Mile 1.5 M
A/PG-2000/4 169.30 MPH 173.22 MPH
A/PF-2000/4 170.56 MPH 175.86 MPH

On September 4, I went back to Maine for the Loring Timing Association Harvest Event, where I raced in the APS/PF-2000 AND APS/PG-2000 classes and set the following records:

1 Mile 1.5 M
APS/PF-2000 167.566 MPH 170.460 MPH
APS/PG-2000 169.679 MPH 170.753 MPH