The "King" of drag bikes
Weighing 400 kg, up to 1,500 hp, acceleration from 0 to 250 mph in less than six seconds – anyone who wants to tame a drag bike needs strength, driving skills, and a lot of courage. Born in London, drag bike rider Ian King has been one of the best in his profession for some thirty years. When it comes to paint, he swears by Spies Hecker.
His list of triumphs is long: Ian King is the only person to have won the FIM/UEM European Dragbike Championship, the highlight of the European drag racing season, eleven times in 17 years. His passion for drag racing is contagious. "It's the most extreme and high-speed motorsport ever," raves the Briton.
In a drag race, two dragsters, or drag bikes, compete against each other, head to head. The bikes are specially designed for these acceleration races. They stand out due to large-volume, often turbocharged engines and wide drive wheels. The winner is the rider who crosses the quarter-mile (about 400 metres) mark first. The forces acting on the driver and the vehicle are enormous. "A drag race is the ultimate test for the machine and the team. If one is slower by only one-thousandth of a second, the race is lost," King emphasises.
"To avoid cracks, the paint must be robust and flexible at the same time. It also has to withstand the fierce heat of the 1,500 hp engine."
Since 2010, King's team has been sponsored by Gulf Oil. "Since then, like many famous racing teams before us, we are in the legendary blue and orange colours," says King. His handmade bike is constructed of aluminium. Loads well above 3G affect the metal. The frame moves, stretches, and vibrates – difficult conditions for a perfect finish. But with airbrush artist Knud Tiroch, the team has a true paint professional on its side. "He quickly recognised the demands our sport places on the paint. To avoid cracks, the paint must be robust and flexible at the same time. It also has to withstand the fierce heat of the 1,500 hp engine." To respond to these demands Spies Hecker products are the best choice for us," says King. The paints met all his expectations and the colours were outstanding. King again: "They are extremely resistant to the wear our machine suffers over the course of a season – on the track and in transit around the world."
More information about Ian King and his team can be found here: https://www.gulfoildragracing.com