Humans have done some amazing things on four wheels, in planes, sailing boats and even by foot. But how many times do we hear about the amazing things people have done on motorcycles? This article would like to honor some of history’s most hardcore riders of two wheels.
The Longest Ride In History
How about riding your bike for 10 years and through 279 countries? Talk about a cramp in your leg. But that is what Emilio Scotto started out to achieve in 1985 on his 1980 Honda Gold Wing.
He decided he didn’t want to work as a sales rep for Pfizer any longer, took $300 (which is all he had to his name at the time), and took to the road. Scotto, born in Buenos Aires on September 27, 1954, was 41-years-old when he hit the pavement for unknown adventures.
His amazing motorcycle tour didn’t take him through anything but peaceful backroads either. He rode through treacherous countries such as Nicaragua during their 1985 civil war; through Kuwait in 1991 just prior to the Iraqi invasion; and through Africa, where he was arrested for being a suspected spy (though an 1100cc motorcycle wouldn’t be the best mode of transportation for a spy).
When he got to China, they were going to refuse him entry because he couldn’t pay the $70,000 “entry fee.” But as the motorcycle community is one big global brotherhood, the Motorcycle Club of Beijing was able to pull some strings and get him through the border without paying a cent.
I bet it would have been nice to have 1AAMotorcycles back then to help with those inevitable ship rides.
Scotto later wrote a book about his arduous trek accross the world on his black Honda Gold Wing, The Longest Ride: My Ten-Year 500,000 Mile Motorcycle Journey, published in 2007.
The 145 Mile Wheelie
Riding on two wheels for long distances can test even the most solid riders. Imagine riding long distance on only one of those two wheels. That’s what Doug Domokos, a.k.a The Wheelie King did in 1984 at the Talladega Speedway in Alabama.
He bought his first motorcycle when he was only 15-years-old. Spending hours-upon-hours at an old abandoned railroad roundhouse terminal, and fueled on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, he practiced his motorcycle skills. Domokos soon began racing motocross where he often times showed off his wheelie skills.
And as with a lot of heroes like Domokos, he was killed doing what he loved. But it wasn’t on a motorcycle that he lost his life. On November 26, 2000, he was learning how to fly an ultralight aircraft when it crashed along with his flight instructor, who also died. He left behind a fiance and a son, Nikolas.
Need For Speed
While some like to travel around the world on cruisers and others long distance wheelies, some people like to go fast – real fast. Now some people may argue if a rocket-propelled “motorcycle” can even be considered a motorcycle by traditional standards, but that’s what they’re calling it. Thus, we shall go with that.
The Triumph Infor Rocket, piloted by Guy Martin, beat the fasted motorcycle speed record on the Boonville Salt Flat at a whopping 274.2 miles-per-hour. This beat the last official speed record of 245.6 miles-per-hour set by Bob Leppan in the Gyronaut X-1 (where do they get these names from).