Japanese rider Masaru Abe just broke the world record for the longest continuous wheelie after he rode for over 13 hours on one wheel at the Kawaguchi Auto Race facility in Saitama, Japan. Around the oval track, Abe maintained an average speed of 40kph, covering about 688.5m per lap. The previous record was set at 331.0195km by his fellow countryman and motorcycle trials rider Yasuyuki Kudo in 1991.
Abe blew past that record distance in 8 hours, 18 minutes and 43 seconds and continued riding for almost five more hours setting the new record at 500.5322km. His original goal was to cover 600km. The record attempt was especially difficult as Abe was attempting it on the 125cc 4-stroke Yamaha Jog scooter.
Keeping the front wheel in the air for over half a day required tremendous physical effort. Just two hours into the attempt, Abe experienced severe back pain and was forced to take the painkillers he had reserved for the 6-hour mark. By the time he landed his wheelie, the 33-year-old Japanese rider was dehydrated and only partially conscious.
It required motivation from the crowd, his support team (including former two-time 125cc world champion Haruchika Aoki) and most importantly himself to work through the excruciating pain. As Abe explained, ““If I didn’t go further than what I thought my own limit was, then someone else would. I thought if I was going to try and break the record, then I would have to post unattainable numbers that would leave people totally speechless.”
Photo credit: Kunihisa Kobayashi/Red Bull Content Pool