Masaru Abe sits a Yamaha Jog on the back wheel for 500km – As you do….
What better way to spend 13 hours than breaking the world record for the longest continuous mono, or wheelie if that’s your preferred venacular.
That’s what Japanese rider Masaru Abe thought sounded like a good idea and set the new benchmark of 500.5322 km on the back wheel around the Kawaguchi Auto Race facility in Saitama in Japan.
His mount was a specially modified Yamaha Jog scooter. One of the most important modifications was a funnel and tube system which enabled Abe to refuel the machine himself while in motion.
Cohorts rode alongside Abe carrying a purpose made jug of fuel which Abe could then just plug into his funnel receptable and thus refuel the little Yamaha while still on the back wheel.
See the refuelling in action in this video
Abe never stopped once in setting the astonishing mark of 500.5322km, which obliterated the distance of 331.0195km set by motorcycle trials rider Yasuyuki Kudo in 1991, but fell short of his own 600km target.
Although the track was oval-shaped, Abe maintained a speed of 40kph through excellent body balance and throttle work for lap after lap (688.495m per lap) with 39.2km achieved after the first hour.
Two hours in, though, Abe experienced lower back pain and had to down painkillers he had earmarked for six hours later with Ishii providing incredible support throughout the entire ordeal.
After 12 hours, Abe was crying out in pain and shouting, “It hurts! I hate this! I want to stop,” followed by words of encouragement to himself, “You got this, don’t stop!”
The pain finally became too much over an hour later, Abe bringing his front wheel down at a breathtaking distance of 500.5322km to more than earn the name Wheelie King.
“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. That was the most pain I’ve ever felt. 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. I’d never experienced that before.”
To put Abe’s record into perspective, the daredevil tricks rider managed to keep his front wheel in the air for the same distance as it takes from London to Cologne or, Stateside, from New York to Pittsburgh.
Abe had arrived for his attempt shortly after sunrise wearing thongs, looking more like part of the location staff than the rider. If he was any cooler he would be wearing Tan!
Images by Kunihisa Kobayashi