Bill Warner, who holds the world speed record (311 mph) for a conventional motorcycle, died Sunday after losing control and zooming off a runway while trying to break his record at Loring Air Force Base in Limestone, Maine.
Warner, 44, of Wimauma, Fla., was clocked at 285 mph before he lost control.
Warner was conscious and talking after the crash, but he died about an hour and 15 minutes later at a hospital in Caribou.
"No one will touch Bill's achievements or be the type of racer he was. He was a personal friend and the land-racing community is less for his loss," Tim Kelly, race director of the Loring Timing Assn., said.
Riding his modified turbocharged Suzuki Hayabusa, Warner previously set the record of 311 mph on the same course in 2011, using 1.5 miles of pavement. This time he was trying using just a mile of pavement on the 14,200-foot-long runway at the former Strategic Air Command base that closed in 1994.
The Limestone Police Department and Maine state police are investigating the crash.