K&N Air Filters Do the Job for Extreme Land Motorcycle Speed Racing Team

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Susan Robertson, August 2005, Bonneville, Utah
Susan Robertson, August 2005 in
Bonneville, Utah (Photo by Ken Faught)
Susan Robertson, 38, of Clear Lake, California, is officially the fastest woman on an open-wheeled motorcycle with modifications for racing, according to SCTA, the Southern California Timing Association. This all-volunteer group promotes safety and insures accuracy.

Robertson broke the record at El Mirage Dry Lakebed, located on the western edge of San Bernardino County near the Los Angeles County line. This is the world of the original extreme sport of land speed racing in the Mojave Desert. “It was a pretty nice day,” said Susan Robertson. “I felt the rush when it was over.”

Susan’s Suzuki Hayabusa (Hawk) was fitted with a K&N Air Filter when she reached 205 mph, said Becca Livingston, the Assistant Team Manager for Falkner Livingston Racing.

“The conditions were very harsh in July 2005, it was 113 degrees when Susan broke the record,” said Becca. Elevations range from about 2,800 feet at the El Mirage Dry Lake to more than 3,800 feet in the Shadow Mountains. “You dehydrate out there quickly,” Becca said. “It’s dry and it’s high, and Susan was in complete leathers and of course a helmet.”

“The K&N Air Filter worked well with the elevation,” said Becca. “Air flow is important on a blown turbocharged engine.” The reason, said Livingston, is to compensate for the altitude, and turbo allows more oxygen into the combustion chamber. “Air is what it’s all about and a K&N Air Filter is a key element to our performance out there,” said Becca.
Falkner Livingston Team, August 2005, Bonneville, Utah L to R  Ken Faught (3 time land speed record holder), Paul Thede (rookie), Paul Livingston (2 time land speed record holder), Jason McVicar (23 time land speed record holder), and Susan Robertson (2 time land speed record holder).
Falkner Livingston Team, August 2005, Bonneville, Utah - L to R Ken Faught (3 time land speed record holder), Paul Thede (rookie), Paul Livingston (2 time land speed record holder), Jason McVicar (23 time land speed record holder), and Susan Robertson (2 time land speed record holder)  Photo by Ken Faught

Susan Robertson holds the current record on Yamaha R6 class, 650 cc production modified gas. She broke it at the world-famous Bonneville Salt Flats. This 100-square-mile parcel in western Utah is where speed can reach 600 mph, and a place where a crash can last more than a quarter mile.

“In the middle of a run I don’t think about the element of danger,” said Susan. “I make sure the bike is doing what it is supposed to do and I’m doing what I’m supposed to do.” “Susan is totally focused,” said Becca, who also doubles as crew chief. “She accesses the goal in a very logical way, once she analyzes the risk she goes for it.”

The salt at Bonneville looks bright and white, almost like a glacier at first. But this epicenter of speed is salty and grainy. “As our motorcycles run the front tires can kick salt up into the air filter area,” said Livingston. “The K&N filters we use on our Yamaha’s keep the salt out of the engine.”

“K&N Engineering built special one layer filters to fight the salt,” said team manager Paul Livingston. “We also run stock K&N filters at Bonneville.”

In 2005, Falkner Livingston Racing had seven motorcycles at Bonneville, all were outfitted with K&N Motorcycle Air Filters, said Paul. “We have the fastest (184.610 mph) motorcycle CBR 600 RR at the Bonneville Salt Flats,” he said. “We absolutely use a K&N Air Filter on that.”

“Land speed racing is sort of like wrapping your arms around a rocket and seeing where it goes,” said Paul. “What Susan did was so cool; the only thing to hold onto is the motorcycle grips.”

“My goal for 2006 is to continue to be the fastest woman on a conventional motorcycle and to break the standing record in my class (1350cc MPSBF),” said Susan.

“It all comes back to basics,” said Paul. “We have a lot of respect for K&N Engineering.” 

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K&N Engineering, Inc. of Riverside, California, is the inventor and leading innovator of High Flow Technology and Lifetime air filters for automotive applications. K&N has been manufacturing our exclusive line of Lifetime air filters in Riverside California for more than 35 years. We continue to lead the way in pioneering new and innovative technologies designed to allow your car, truck, boat, or motorcycle to get all the air it needs to perform its very best. K&N Engineering, now a truly global company with offices in the U.K. and the Netherlands, continues to exist as a family owned business with an enthusiast mindset and a direct connection with motor sports that carries over throughout all levels of management and manufacturing. Today, K&N exists as both the sales and brand leader for performance filters, and maintains a stocking catalogue of over 3,500 part numbers, including an extensive line of factory replacement drop-in filters, performance air intake systems, and High-Flow oil filters. For more information about K&N Filters, please contact K&N Engineering, Inc., P.O. Box 1329, Riverside, CA 92502-1329, (800) 213-4182 for a dealer near you, (800) 858-3333 for technical service/questions, (951) 826-4001 Fax, e-mail, or visit