Ok, so the road going out to the Salt Flats is straight and smooth. Speed limit is 45mph. But there is literally NOTHING around. I was tempted to just blast away, but on roads like this you never know--there could be a turtle or a giant pothole or whatever. Not wanting to risk an exploding front rim, I just kept my eye on the other side of the road for debris and things to worry about. And good thing, too. Because without warning the road just ends abruptly. No sign, no big yellow warning barrier, the road just ends right into the salt. Had I not been cautious I'd be a limbless dehydrated mummy right now waiting for someone to find me come the next festival of speed.
You can drive on the Salt Flats - and as far as I know it's legal to go as fast as you want. But 1) salt is kryptonite to metal and 2) it's SLIPPERY as all hell. Not quite ice, but definitely ice like. So I gingerly rolled out into the abyss, stripped down (it's like an oven) and took some shots of the supermodel:
That speck out there is a dude who'd driven all the way from Louisiana with his girl. Gave me a nice little history Bonneville, too. They sure did look mighty comfortable in their air conditioned truck. I should have asked for some Grey Poupon.
It was around here I hit 177mph, which shattered my pre-Panigale record by a significant amount and will stay in my own personal record book until I do a Mojave Mile or similar....though hitting high speeds requires little skill, it still is a lot of fun.
(BTW, anyone who is anti-ABS has never experienced the exhilaration of grabbing a massive handful of brake, dropping 100mph off terminal velocity in seconds at the threshold of adhesion without having to worry about smashing your face into the ground as the front locks up. The ABS on the Panigale (set to 1) is simply outrageous and maniacal.)