British stunt rider Gary Rothwell has a new world record to call his own after setting the world wheelie speed record at the World Motorcycle Wheelie Championship at Elvington Airfield in England over the weekend. Rothwell was able to hit a top speed of 209.8 mph on just the back wheel of his bike over a distance of 1 kilometer (.62 miles), setting a new bar for aspiring wheelie riders to beat.
Setting world records has become kind of an old hat for Rothwell. Over the course of a career that has spanned two decades, Rothwell has set numerous records, including the famous “Fastest Man on Skis” stunt that saw him get pulled along on titanium skis fitted into his boots at 156.3 mph. His newest record is pretty incredible considering the degree of difficulty attached to it. Performing a wheelie isn’t that difficult for a short stretch, but when you factor in the speed and distance Rothwell did it in, it’s absolutely incredible.
Now that he’s etched his name in that proverbial stone, it should serve notice to everyone who may want to attempt to break it in the future. Gary Rothwell owns the world wheelie speed record. If you want to break, you’re going to have to do better than 209.8 mph.
Continue reading to learn more about Gary Rothwell’s new world wheelie speed record.
Ducati has never been shy about dropping teaser photos and videos for its new models. The company has found it to be a useful tool to drum up interest in its upcoming releases, including a mysterious new model that’s now the subject of Ducati’s new “This is Black” teaser campaign.
I don’t know a lot about this model, other than it’s going to make its debut at the 2015 EICMA Motorcycle Show in Milan, Italy. But other than that, Ducati’s not saying a lot about it with the exception of this teaser video that frankly ends with more questions than answers. From the accompanying press release, the Italian motorcycle manufacturer did say that the “This is Black” campaign is a project that will open up an entirely new “universe” for Ducati, one that it has never ventured into before. From a timing perspective, it begs the question on whether this campaign is alluding to an all-new model for Ducati. The company, after all, has nine new models planned for 2016. What better way to kickstart interest in one of them than to make it a centrepiece of a campaign that will come to a head at the biggest motorcycle show of the year.
Hopefully, Ducati sheds more light on this new campaign before the EICMA Motor Show opens its doors on November 16, 2015. Otherwise, we’re all going to be left scratching and postulating theories on what this campaign is all about. Trust me, the latter scenario may be fun, but it gets a little tiring if there aren’t any clues around that can lead us to the right direction.
Continue reading to learn more about Ducati’s "This is Black" campaign.
BMW is no stranger to adapting automotive technology into its motorcycles, having already done so numerous times in the past. The latest technology to make this kind of transition is Side View Assist, something most BMW cars already have at their disposal. The technology itself isn’t new nor is it all that complicated. But it is a useful safety tool that will increase rider awareness, especially in his blind spots, which admittedly are far bigger in motorcycles than in cars.
The Side View Assist technology is set to become available as optional equipment in the updated versions of BMW’s two maxi-scooters, the C650 Sport and the C650 GT.] Both maxi-scooters will be fitted with four sensors, two each in the front and rear fenders. These sensors function the same way as parking sensor systems in cars in that they detect objects that get too close to the scooters. In this case, vehicles approaching from just behind the scooter’s blind spot at speeds lower than 6.2 mph will trigger the warning lights on the rearview mirror arms, alerting the driver of the presence of these vehicles. That tells the rider that the flanking lanes are not safe to turn into until the cars have passed or he switches his turn signals to indicate to the car driver his intentions to switch lanes.
The sensors have a range of about 16.4 feet so any vehicle that comes within that distance to the scooter will trigger the warning lights. It also works at speeds ranging between 15 to 50 mph. Riders won’t have to worry about controlling the system though because it activates automatically.
Daredevil Doug Danger has succeeded where his hero Evel Knievel failed to do, jumping over a record 22 cars at the Buffalo Chip in Sturgis, South Dakota.
Danger’s incredible leap to the record books was a long time coming but for what it’s worth, he made all that waiting worth it. Riding the same 1972 Harley-Davidson XR-750model that Knievel used back in his heyday, Danger made the record-setting jump look elementary, easily clearing all 22 cars with plenty of real estate for the landing.
Such was the ease of Danger’s attempt that he actually almost overshot the landing slope, hitting the part of the slope that was already close to the ground. If you think about it, the man could’ve probably cleared 25 cars and still had enough space to make a comfortable landing.
It’s undoubtedly an incredible achievement for a man who has planned this jump for years. The preparation and training to make the jump wasn’t easy and Danger is the first to tell that the road to the record didn’t come easy. But the man who has built a career from stunts like this will also tell you that this was a stunt he had to do, not just for himself but for the man he considered his mentor of sort.s
Its no accident that Danger also used a 1972 XR-750 for the jump, the same model Knievel used in his own attempt back in 1972. While it’s the same bike for all intents and purposes, Danger’s bike did have the advantage of weighing only 200 pounds, compared to Knievel’s 1972 bike that weighed 350 pounds.
People will likely point to that as the biggest reason why Danger succeeded where Knievel couldn’t. I’m here to say that’s a short-sighted way of looking at Danger’s incredible achievement. Jumping over 22 cars, no matter what you’re using, is an incredibly risky proposition.
There’s a reason why not everybody does it. Doug Danger did, and he beat the odds. That, by itself, is an achievement nobody’s going to take away from him.
Continue reading to read more about Doug Danger’s incredible leap to the record books.
Australian daredevil Robbie Maddison pulled off his most audacious stunt yet when he successfully rode massive waves in the island of Tahiti.
For a man who has performed some of the most nerve-wracking stunts in history, riding one of the world’s most treacherous waves in a KTM dirt bike fitted with skis is next to mental. Yet somehow, whether its through force of will or just downright luck, Maddison pulled it off in spectacular fashion, proving once again that when it comes to fearless stunts, the Australian has no peer.
The incredible footage of Maddison’s wave ride was used in his “Pipe Dream” video and it’s really a sight to behold. The editing made it look even more incredible, but you can’t deny Maddison’s steely nerve to attempt a stunt like this in Teahupoo, considered as one of the premier surfing destinations in the world.
The mere suggestion of performing a stunt like this is crazy enough on its own. But Maddison’s an entirely different level of crazy and he proved as much when he somehow rode past the towering waves in his customized KTM dirt bike.
Maddison’s stunt itself is incredible to watch, but what isn’t shown is the intense preparation that goes on leading up to the death-defying ride. According to Maddison himself, this particular stunt took two years of preparation before the actual ride happened in April 2015. Even with all that time to prepare for his sick wave ride, it took Maddison a handful of attempts before finally succeeding in pulling off his amazing derring-do.
The video doesn’t do it enough justice. I’ve never seen anything quite like it and after watching it, I’m confident that a lot of you will share in my sentiments.
Continue reading to read more about Robbie Maddison’s incredible wave stunt ride in Tahiti.
Ever had a dream where you’re all suited up in full supermoto gear and you’re sliding along a track with MotoGP’s very own Dani Pedrosa? Seems like a good place to be in, right? Well, the European Luc1 supermoto team had such a moment even though the whole thing was nothing more than a pre-arranged production content.
The team nicknamed the Sultans of Slide has released a new video that proves that its more than just one of the best trials squads in the world. In it, Luc1 was able to feature none other than Pedrosa in full trials action, far from the Spanish rider’s fast-paced, full-throttle day job in MotoGP. Perhaps the current summer break in MotoGP gave Pedrosa enough time to participate in the video?
Whatever the case may be, we got the treat of seeing Pedrosa slide his way into hearts, proving how versatile he is as a motorcycle racer. Put him in a superbike and he’s going to get you results. Put him in a trials bike and he feels just as at home as he does in his trusty RC213V. That’s called all-world talent, ladies and gentlemen.
As for Luc1, the team does what it always does best: provide us with incredible joy just by watching them. As it turns out, the team also has quite the production prowess, too. Just goes to show that when you’re surrounded by talented people with a passion for what they do, you can make magic happen.
It’s not what we’re used to from Luc1 and Pedrosa for that matter - the acting needs some work, Dani - but hey, at the end of the day, it’s entertainment for us, from the people we love to root for.
Can’t get any better than that.
YouTube DJ Big Fresh Mouf has produced one of the catchiest music videos that involves using motorcycle sounds in it that I’ve ever heard.
It’s not often that you get to listen to a professionally made video that eschews traditional music instruments in favor of motorcycle revs and helmets, but Big Fresh Mouf managed to pull it off by creating a sick and continuous beat that’s actually pretty catchy to the ears.
Whether it’s revving a Yamaha YZF-R6, slapping a helmet, shutting the helmet visor, or punching the rear tire, no simulated sound was spared from Big Fresh Mouf’s creativity. Having indie artist Kinna Grannis supplying the chords of The Weekend’s “Can’t Feel My Face” to the video is the perfect finishing touch to the video.
If I do say so myself, the result is nothing short of incredible. Big Fresh Mouf manages to use the sounds to not only create a sick beat, but he also managed to seamlessly blend it with Grannis’ incredibly soothing voice.
I’ll be honest. The video has been playing on an endless loop for the past few hours. Non-stop. I don’t know if it’s the creative use of motorcycle sounds on the video or it’s just Grannis’ incredible rendition of the song, but I can’t get enough of it. I really can’t.
Part of being a successful daredevil is understanding the hazards that come with your trade and being prepared to face whatever perils that come with it. The best daredevils in the world like Evel Knievel were comfortable with that and far more often than not, that fearless attitude propelled them to successfully pull off the most death-defying stunts in history.
Daredevil Doug Danger is in that position now as he prepares for a jump that not even the legendary Knievel could pull off. At the 75th Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, Danger will attempt to clear a line of 22 cars in a single jump. It’s a stunt that’s as incomprehensible as it is dangerous. In other words, it’s the kind of showcase feat that a daredevil like Danger lives for. Should he be successful, it would be the “hello, world” moment for a stunt rider who has lived in the shadow of Knievel for so long.
Making things more interesting, or at least related to what Knievel tried and failed back in September 1972 is Danger’s decision to ride a 1972 Harley-Davidson XR-750, the very same bike Evel used in what turned out to be a failed attempt at the record.
The bike is over 40 years old so there are legitimate questions on how it’s going to handle the pressure of accomplishing something its first owner couldn’t do. For his part, Danger seems to be taking things in stride as he begins practicing for the big attempt on August 6, 2015 at the Sturgis Buffalo Chip ampitheater.
It’s hard to put into perspective the success of these practice jumps, but our concerns aren’t what’s important for Danger. It’s being able to clear all 22 cars before he lands Knievel’s XR-750 safely onto the ramp.
Make no mistake, though. There are so many things that could go wrong with this jump, no matter how prepared Danger is, as he claims. But it’s also nice to see the stunt rider exude the same level of confidence and enthusiasm into the attempt the way he did when the stunt was first announced in January 2015.
I’m rooting for Doug Danger to successfully accomplish what his long-time hero, Evel Knievel couldn’t. I’m not saying he will, but rest assured, he has our full and unwavering support.
Continue reading to read more about Doug Danger’s death-defying stunt at the 2015 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.
Two-time MotoGP world champion Casey Stoner’s return to two-wheel racing ended in spectacular fashion when he crashed out of the Suzuka 8 Hoursfive laps into his run at the iconic Japanese race track.
Stoner sustained a broken right shoulder and left tibia as a result of the accident but after seeing video of the crash for the first time, I can make a really good case that Stoner was fortunate that he didn’t suffer anything more serious than the separated shoulder and the broken leg.
Apparently, the throttle on the MuSASHi RT HARC-PRO Honda CBR1000RR got stuck open at full throttle, which led to Stoner losing all control of the bike as it went sideways into the gravel A closer look seconds before he went off the track also shows the front wheel give a slight wiggle just as Stoner was about to make a sideways turn.
What happened after that will be the moment that fans will have a trouble forgetting. As the bike careened into the barricades, it threw Stoner out of the saddle and flipped over in the air more than a dozen times before crashing in a heap in the middle of the race track. Stoner himself took a few violent spills before getting slammed in a heap into the grass.
The accident predictably brought out the safety car as emergency response units quickly rushed to Stoner as he was crawling out of the wreckage, no doubt hurt but feeling fortunate that he was still alive.
The video is pretty graphic and some people might not be able to stomach watching it without feeling a little queazy. But the good news is that Stoner is alive and well, except for the few broken bones sustained during the violent spill.
That’s really all we should care about at this time because Stoner could just as easily have died because of the crash.
Continue reading to read more about Casey Stoner’s horrific crash at the Suzuka 8 Hours.
17-time Trials World Champion Toni Bou recently put on a showcase of stunts with Repsol Honda teammates Takahisa Fujinami and Jaime Busto at Capus Repsol in Madrid, Spain in front of almost 4,000 Repsol employees who had no idea that they’d be treated to an incredible display of skill and balance.
The three Trials riders are no strangers to obstacle courses; that’s a big part of their day jobs. But it must be especially sweet for all three to perform in front of employees of the company that employs them. Bout, Fujinami, and Busto all look like they’re enjoying themselves in the video and can you blame them? It’s one thing to perform in front of its competition; it’s another thing to do it in front of the people who are directly and indirectly responsible for helping them compete in the FIM Trial World Championship.
Oh, and Repsol CEO Josu Jon Imaz was also there to take in all the action. Must’ve been nice to run through the custom-built obstacle course in front of the man that cashes their checks.
Those Honda Montesa Cota 4Rs also get some well-deserved camera time and if I do say so myself, the way the shocks and suspension on those bikes handle all the obstacles serves as a ringing endorsement of the capabilities of these championship-winning trial bikes. Indirect promotion at its finest, ladies and gentlemen.
In any case, watching all three Trials riders isn’t going to inspire to do what they’re doing. I’m smart enough to know what my limitations are. But still, it’s entertaining as heck and more importantly, it shows the level of skill and concentration needed to be good at what they do, or in the case of Bou, to be a 17-time champion of the Trials World Championship.
Motorcycle stunt-riding is a skill I’m confident I’ll never have. I’m not afraid to admit that I have the fluidity of an oak tree so there’s no reason for me, now or ever, to be doing what professional stunt riders do. Sarah Lezito, on the other hand, is a stunt-riding goddess, capable of performing stunts on a motorcycle that most of us can only dream of doing.
The recently held 2015 Stunt Grand Prix in Poland provided the perfect venue for Lezito to showcase her skills in motorcycle stunts. She only finished in ninth place, but don’t let her standing fool you. Lezito absolutely stole the show, thanks in large part to a unique blend of skills that made her stunts seem so natural. As impressive as that was, Lezito’s best stunt years are still ahead of her, which is awesome for us and not so much for the rest of the competition.
If you’re not familiar with her now, it might be time to get used to seeing her in more and more stunt-riding competitions. Her performance at the 2015 Stunt Grand Prix earned her a lot of acclaim. Some have even labeled her the best female stunt rider in the world. That’s high praise for someone who was the only woman who competed in the event.
You can check out her performance at the 2015 Stunt Grand Prix by watching this video and after doing so, I encourage you to hop on to YouTube and search for her performances. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed. This young lady could very well be the present and future of female stunt riding.
Now’s the best time to see her in action before that bandwagon fills up.
Honda’s got high hopes for the Africa Twin, the company’s resident adventure bike that’s itching to become the game-changer in the segment Big Red always hoped it would be. The all-new Africa Twin clearly has a lot on its shoulders so as you can expect, Honda has prepared a marketing siege to help promote the bike, including a promotional video of the bike with interviews from the people who were directly responsible for building it in the first place.
Honda went straight to the point here and you have to applaud them for that. Instead of the carefully crafted promo piece, the company went straight to highlighting what the new Africa Twin will have at its disposal.
One new feature on the Africa Twin is the Dual Clutch Transmission, which is not only new to the model, but also a first for off-road riding in general. Whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing remains to be seen, but from the looks of things, Honda’s willingness to take the bike outside of its comfort zone speaks to the company’s confidence that the name, cache, and overall features will translate well to off-road riders the world over.
As far as the video itself is concerned, it’s nice to see the team behind the all-new Africa Twin to talk shop with their Japanese counterparts who were responsible for the development of the original model. Hearing how both sides reflect on their creations is like listening to two proud sets of parents comparing their equally awesome children. It’s a nice break from the usual cavalcade of promotional materials that focus solely on the aesthetics without diving deep into the spirit of these machines.
The new Honda Africa Twin is promising a lot, which it should if it wants to separate itself from the likes of the KTM 990 Adventure or the Yamaha Super Tenere. After watching this video, I’m hopeful that all these promises won’t go unfulfilled.
Continue reading to read more about the arrival of the new Honda Africa Twin.