Yorkshire grandad breaks world land speed record using his water powered motorbike invention that took 10 years to build in his shed

Yorkshire grandad breaks world land speed record with his rocket bike which was built in his shed.

Graham Sykes, a grandad of nine grandchildren, is based in Bedale and is passionate about bikes.

The self-proclaimed 'nutty inventor' and precision based engineer dedicated 10 years to designing an environmentally friendly motorbike he named 'Force of Nature'.

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The 'Force of Nature' bike uses steam based science to reach super speeds and has beaten the odds by breaking the world land speed record using the latent energy of superheated, pressurised water that is then released through nozzles.

Graham Sykes on his motorbike.Graham Sykes on his motorbike.
Graham Sykes on his motorbike.

The bike then turns this water to steam which thrusts it forwards; the invention is eco-friendly and reached the speed of 163mph in 3.87 seconds over ⅛ mile.

The grandad-of-nine used his own shed to invent the bike along with his team, which includes his wife Diane Sykes who is also passionate about the bike.

“It’s just a big bomb really, and it all started in my shed,” Mr Sykes said.

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“I’ve taken the principles of chemistry, and married them with precision engineering to create something I’m passionate about - fast bikes. I wanted to do this in a way that is sustainable for the planet (I’ve got nine grandkids after all), and demonstrates that you don’t have to compromise on speed, you just have to get creative.”

Graham Sykes driving water powered motorbike invention.Graham Sykes driving water powered motorbike invention.
Graham Sykes driving water powered motorbike invention.

Following a dedicated 10-year journey, the inventor and his team accomplished a unique feat at the UK&ITA World Records Speed week where the ‘Force of Nature’ claimed the title of the fastest steam-propelled motorcycle in the world.

This triumph marks a significant milestone in his career and has previously broken the British National record for the fastest three-wheeled vehicle in 2015 with his self-built V8 three-wheeler ‘Syko’, which reached a peak speed of 180.3mph (171.4mph average over the flying ¼ mile).

Before his record-breaking invention, the fastest recorded steam-powered motorcycle had reached a speed of 80.509mph in 2014, the wheel driven bike was crafted by American inventor Bill Barnes - different from the Force of Nature, which is thrust driven.

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Following on from this record, the Force of Nature steam rocket bike aims to surpass 200mph in the standing ⅛ mile. With an emphasised commitment to environmentally friendly practices, the bike uses steam power, with the water heated by Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil (HVO), showcasing its green features.

Mr Sykes and his team will be displaying the Force of Nature at upcoming drag race meetings and participating in meetings such as the Straighteners Top Speed at Cambletown on the Mull of Kintyre in Scotland from June 24 to June 25, 2023. They will also be running exhibitions at Hockenheim Circuit in Germany from August 25 to August 27, 2023 during the Nitro Olympics night show.

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