Like a bat out of heaven: Vicar claims world record for fastest motorcycle hearse
Last updated at 11:37 AM on 11th May 2011
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, 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.
Say your prayers: Reverend Ray Biddiss thanks God after the record-breaking run
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 the 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.'
High speed: Rev. Biddiss sets a new Guinness World Record for a speeding motorcycle hearse by notching 114mph
Rest in peace? The machine tears across Elvington airfield in Yorkshire
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.'
After the two-and-a-half-mile run, Rev Biddiss said he was waiting for the Guinness World Records analysis to be completed.
'It was exhilarating,' he said. 'Anything over 80mph would set a record but I wanted to aim high.
'Tipping it over a ton is the best I could ask for - that's a record really worth holding.
'I'm living my dream. Bikes are my passion and I want the lives of bikers and the general public to be celebrated in style when they pass.'
God on his side: The vicar takes on another rider as he prepares for the record attempt
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