A Japanese stunt rider has smashed the world wheelie record by riding a single-cylinder 125cc Yamaha Jog scooter just over 500km on the back wheel.
Masaru Abe had targeted 600km for his continuous wheelie, but suffered lower back pain after two hours and had to take painkillers to make it to 13 hours.
“That was the most pain I’ve ever felt,” he said after the stunt.
“Both of my arms were numb from the pain and I had lost feeling in them. My vision was blurred. I was only partially conscious. I was completely dehydrated.”
Abe managed to ride 500.5322km on the Kawaguchi Auto Race circuit at an average speed of about 40km/h.
He broke the previous record by fellow countryman Yasuyuki Kudo who wheelied his Honda TLM220R trials bike for 331km at the Japan Auto Research Institute proving ground in May, 1991.
Interesting that Abe chose a scooter to perform the stunt. A trials bike would probably have been much lighter.
In fact, British and world trials champion Dougie Lampkin became the first person to wheelie a motorcycle all the way around the 60.2km Isle of Man TT course in September 2016 in 95 minutes at about 38km/h (23mph).
We are unaware of any modifications to Abe’s Jog scooter, but once the front wheel is off the ground it’s all a matter of balance and throttle control, anyway.
A scooter’s low centre of gravity could be a distinct advantage.
Other wheelie records
Flying Dutchman Egbert van Popta set a new world wheelie speed record of 213mph (342.8km/h), on his turbocharged Suzuki in July 2016, smashing the previous record by 4mph (6.4km/h).
“StuntWars” creator Todd Colbert did a 100m wheelie at 130km/h on his stock 1992 GSX-R1100 in 1998 with nine people on board, smashing the previous record of eight people.