Full steam ahead for Force of Nature

12 Jun 2018

Engineering capacity news posted by Andy Sandford

The owner of a race component manufacturer has given a preview of his new steam-powered rocket bike named Force of Nature.

Motorsport and drag racing enthusiast Graham Sykes showed off the culmination of six years’ work at the recent Fluid Power & Systems 2018.

He designed and then produced all of the prismatic parts on a Hurco vertical machining centre, mostly from DXF files output from AutoCad and input directly into the machine's proprietary Ultimax CNC system.

A holder of five motorcycle land speed records on his V8 powered drag bike, The Syko, Graham's top speed was 181.39 mph. Dynamic testing of Force of Nature on the track will commence following further satisfactory static tests. They have already seen 600 kgf of peak thrust over six seconds, which should allow acceleration to a speed of over 200 mph in a quarter mile. A public launch will take place later this year when all tests are complete.

In preparation for a test run, a 60 kW bio-fuel burner will be attached to the bike to heat 50 litres of water in the pressure vessel to 250°C and 40 bar pressure via a flame holder tube running through the centre.

Meanwhile, Graham Sykes Performance Engineering Ltd continues to design and manufacture components for other race teams, as well as customers in the food industry, from its workshop in North Yorkshire.


Photo - Graham Sykes and his wife, Diane, with the Project Force of Nature steam-powered rocket bike on the IMI Norgren stand at the Fluid Power & Systems 2018 exhibition.