It was one year ago today, July 14, 2013, that Land Speed Racing lost an innovator, friend, and all around amazing person, Bill Warner.
“Bill eclipsed records and set performance standards at a level that are, even now, incomprehensible to most in the land speed racing world… we may not truly understand how fast he was in our lifetime. Bill accomplished his feats with a humble style and personality that made him a favorite among fans and fellow racers alike. We miss everything about him, from his glowing blue eyes and lion’s heart, to his exhilarating examples of what a man on a personal mission can do aboard his brilliantly engineered machine. I know that wherever Bill is right now, he’s racing, he’s going fast and he’s pushing the limits.”
– Brock Davidson
About Bill Warner
by Keith S Kizer
Born February 11, 1969 in Little Falls, New York, William Warner was born to parents who both worked in a Tea factory. Bill’s father grew up a dairy farmer and his mother came to the United States from the Ukraine after the war and worked in a shoe factory. After Bill’s mom spent a season milking cows, she decided working a dairy was not for her. Bill got into motorcycles at a young age after his father bought two 50cc Indian Broncos, assuming he could take the parts from the two bikes to make one that would run for Bill’s older brother Ray. Bill said in the absent of brother or father he spent much of his youth pushing that minibike up the driveway and trying to bump start it on the way down. He remembers getting it started twice, the first time it died right away, the second time he took out the fence in the back yard.
Afters the Bronco incident Bill was not allowed on anything with an engine so he got into BMX (bicycle) racing. Nothing hardcore he says, just the local kids racing each other at a non-sanctioned track. Although Bill would borrow his brother’s Yamaha 100 from time to time without his knowledge, then for a brief time played around on an ATV, it wasn’t until 2002 that Bill actually purchased his first street bike, a 1986 Yamaha VMAX.
Bill’s riding came well after his move to Florida. His goal following high school was to be a marine biologist. He basically had three choices. He first visited a school in Long Island, New York, but found the weather to be terrible. Someone told him this was typical weather, so he moved on to choices two and three, both in Florida. One was in Miami and since this was also the period of time as Crockett and Tubbs of Miami Vice fame, Bill’s dad struck that option from Bill’s list assuming all of Miami was a drug infested cesspool with everyone at risk of being shot or worse being forced to wear coral pink and blue-green all the time. That left the University of Tampa where Bill went to school and has remained in the area ever since.
It wasn’t until 2004 that the idea of going really fast came to Bill. While watching the national news, Bill saw a story about a guy named Sam Tilley in Minnesota getting clocked on a state highway going over 200mph. As it turned out it was a mathematical mistake by the officer but it planted an idea in Bill’s head. “I want to go 200mph on my Yamaha VMAX,” he thought. After everyone told him that would be impossible and that it could never be done, he really wanted to do it.
Bill’s first race was at Maxton Airport in North Carolina in September of 2006. He raced in the MG-1650cc class and went 180mph. A month later he went 187mph and used the winter to make some changes preparing for the next race in April of 2007 where he achieved his goal and ran 200.06mph on his old naked VMAX.
The success of racing his VMAX got Bill into a spinoff business called Wild Brothers Motorsports that sold VMAX aftermarket parts. The name came from a combination of two nicknames Bill grew up with, Wild Bill and Warner Brothers, the later after the cartoons. So he put the two together which is now Wild Brothers Racing.
In the fall of 2007 Bill purchased a new 2008 Suzuki Hayabusa. With a turbo installed and the bodywork stripped off he made his first pass at Maxton in the class MBF-1350cc resulting in passes of 217 and 226 respectively before blowing the engine. This was the first time that Bill had ever ridden a sportbike of any kind.
Articles About Bill Warner
- Land Speed Racer Bill Warner Dies Following 285 MPH Crash
- 311.94 MPH: WORLD’S FASTEST MOTORCYCLE ROLLS ON BST CARBON-FIBER WHEELS
- World’s Fastest Man on a Motorcycle Acquires Rights to Houston Mile Top Speed Competition<
- 290 MPH FROM A STANDING START IN ONE MILE
- Bill Warner / Team Wild Bros. Racing Sets Land Speed Record at 278
- Bill Warner / Team Wild Bros. Racing Sets Land Speed Record at 272