Skip to content
Engineering, Transport Automotive

Monash team reaches speeds of 116kmh to officially become Australia’s fastest human powered bicycle

Monash University 2 mins read
Monash Human Power's 2023 vehicle 'Bilby' on location in Nevada.

Two engineering students from Monash University have officially broken the Australian single track speed record for a human powered vehicle, achieving speeds of 116 kilometres per hour(kmh) on a flat desert track at the World Human Powered Speed Challenge held in Nevada, United States.

Monash Human Power (MHP) is a student-led engineering team from Monash University. Since 2015 they have been designing, manufacturing and racing fully enclosed human-powered vehicles (HPV) to push the limits of human speed.

HPV use reclining bicycles in an aerodynamically engineered vehicle. This engineering approach takes into account the sustainable and eco-friendly aspects of possible future travel options.

Students Kit Kirby and Alastair Haslam were two of four riders in this year’s team. They finished second and third respectively in the men’s single-track competition, behind former world professional track cycling champion François Pervis of France. The Monash team’s other two riders, Oscar Varney and Chris Hall, also achieved speeds greater than 110 kmh in runs during the week-long competition.

“Having the chance to go highway speeds under my own power creates a feeling I have been chasing since I rode at the OzHPV Speed Trials last year. The team and I have worked tirelessly to get to where we are and it has been amazing to be able to perform in an event this special with them,” Kit Kirby said.

“The test location is on State Route 305 with a speed limit of 70 mph so after the speed trials this year, powered solely by my own two legs, I had the rare thrill of being ceremoniously delivered a speeding ticket!”

“For me, the simple joy of cycling is being able to do what a car can, using nothing but my legs and my Weet-bix,” Chris Hall said.

“Everyone knows going fast is fun, and riding Bilby at 110kmh is the coolest thing I’ve ever done on a bike.”

Their 2023 bike, named Bilby, is the third they have built and features extensive modifications and improvements to the frame and drivetrain and to the aerodynamics of the external shell, which have been extensively tested in the Monash wind tunnel.

MHP Chief Operating Officer Jessica Mark said over the next year the team will be working through all the insights gathered from the World Human Powered Speed Challenge. 

“We’re designing and engineering our Version 4 bike so we move straight into analysing our results and how we can improve the next model,” Ms Mark said. 

“We’re also in the process of developing a tricycle with the aim of being able to enter more local HPV competitions and try something new as a team.”

Team CEO Sydney Buntine started out as a materials team member in 2019, and says MHP has its sights set on breaking a new world speed record.

“My involvement with MHP has been an extremely enriching and fulfilling journey, being able to work with such a talented and passionate group of students and faculty all working towards achieving excellence in engineering performance and design,” said Mr Buntine. 

“I am so proud of the whole team, but reaching speeds of 116.39 kmh is just the beginning of what we are capable of!”

- ENDS -

MEDIA SPOKESPERSONS
Jessica Mark and Sydney Buntine and riders are available for interview

 

MEDIA ENQUIRIES

Loretta Wylde

Monash University

Media and Communications

E: loretta.wylde@monash.edu

T: +61 (0) 432 123 106

 

GENERAL MEDIA ENQUIRIES

Monash Media

T: +61 (0) 3 9903 4840

E: media@monash.edu

For more Monash media stories, visit our news and events site

Media

More from this category

  • Engineering
  • 26/02/2024
  • 16:04
Engineers Australia

Engineers Australia welcomes appointment of new ACT Chief Engineer

Engineers Australia has welcomed the appointment of Gillian Geraghty as the ACT Government’s New Chief Engineer. CEO Romilly Madew AO said Ms Geraghty is well placed to lead the territory’s engineering future. “As Director-General of Major Projects Canberra and an Engineers Australia Fellow with decades’ experience working on complex infrastructure projects and community programs, Gillian Geraghty is the perfect successor to Adrian Piani.” Ms Madew also praised the announcement of a new Board of Engineering Excellence which will provide engineering advice and advocacy directly to the ACT Government through Ms Gerahty’s office. “The creation of the Board of Engineering Excellence…

  • Contains:
  • Government TAS, Transport Automotive
  • 26/02/2024
  • 15:22
Rail, Tram and Bus Union

ALERT TOMORROW: RTBU launching report into failing Tas transport system

The McKell Institute and the Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) will launch a new report into Tasmania’s failing public transport systemTOMORROW (Tuesday 27 February, 2024) The report, titled ‘A Better Deal: Fixing Tasmania’s broken public transport system’ examines the level of access to public transport in Tasmania, and asks whether services are adequately meeting community need. It highlights areas that are particularly under-serviced, and makes wide-ranging recommendations for improving the public transport system. WHAT: Launch of ‘A Better Deal: Fixing Tasmania’s broken public transport system’ WHO: · Edward Cavanough – Executive Director, McKell Institute · Max Douglass – Policy…

  • Transport Automotive
  • 26/02/2024
  • 14:13
Australasian Railway Association

Queensland’s Sunshine Coast Rail Line will transform communities, bringing new jobs and housing

Sunshine Coast communities are set to benefit from the significant, long-term urban growth and renewal that rail projects such as the direct Sunshine Coast Rail Line deliver, Australia’s peak rail body says. The CEO of the Australasian Railway Association, Caroline Wilkie, said research shows investment in rail projects future-proof communities along the rail corridor, delivering economic, social, safety and environmental benefits, along with thousands of new jobs and affordable homes. “This $2.75 billion funding commitment from the Queensland Government for the Sunshine Coast Rail Line recognises the significant benefit to the economy, and therefore communities, of having a fast, reliable,…

  • Contains:

Media Outreach made fast, easy, simple.

Feature your press release on Medianet's News Hub every time you distribute with Medianet. Pay per release or save with a subscription.