Wednesday 16 August 2017

Video: Vicar sets motorbike hearse record

'Heaven's angel' the Rev Ray Biddiss clocked up 114mph driving a motorcycle hearse down an airport runway
'Heaven's angel' the Rev Ray Biddiss clocked up 114mph driving a motorcycle hearse down an airport runway
Motorcycle hearse The Rocket - a Triumph Rocket III - set the inaugural world record at an airfield near York

A vicar who calls himself "heaven's angel" has celebrated setting the inaugural world record for a motorcycle hearse when he clocked just over 114mph on an airfield runway.

The Rev Ray Biddiss, 57, had to reach a speed of more than 80mph at Elvington Airfield, near York, on Tuesday in his specially built "trike-hearse" to be recognised by Guinness World Records.

And the clergyman, from Halifax, West Yorkshire, managed to hit 114.1mph in The Rocket, which he says he uses for real funeral services.

The Rocket is a Triumph Rocket III with a 2.3 litre, three cylinder engine built by Liversedge-based DTB Panther Trikes to Mr Biddiss's specifications and within the relevant road traffic regulations.

The unique hybrid trike-hearse merges the body of the British-made 2008 Triumph Rocket III trike conversion with a coffin carrier to create a sleek black and chrome hearse outfit, the firm said.

The reverend, who has been biking for more than 40 years, said before today's record run: "Many people who are or have been bikers agree that a motorcycle hearse is the only way to travel for your final journey."

He said he hoped that by showcasing The Rocket, bikers around the UK who do not want to make their final journey in a car may opt for his creation, which is available to all funeral directors.

Mr Biddiss said: "The Rocket is the purest form of bike hearse. Not a side car or trailer, it's a true vehicle in its own right.

"I wanted to create the most powerful of all coffin carriers - a vehicle that maintains the integrity of a motorcycle, appeals to the most passionate of bikers and brings a credible alternative to the traditional four-wheeled hearse or other motorcycle hearse outfits."

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