Swiss rider Urs “Grizzly” Pedraita has set a new world record for riding around the globe in 119 days and 21 hours aboard his specially modified Victory Cross Country Tour.
Grizzly started his journey at Daytona Bike Week on March 11, 2016, and covered roughly 76,266km (47,390 miles) in 72 riding days and 13 hours returning to Volusia Motorsports in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, on July 10.
His overall time beat the previous record of 120 days and 2 hours, including time-stops for transfers.
The Swiss rider had been trying to establish the record in less than 100 days, but transfer and customs delays in countries such as Australia cost him several days.
“With this journey the spirit of the pioneers of the past was re-established,” Grizzly says. “There is no place for time-stops in this kind of adventure. This victory belongs to the team, and is dedicated to my brother and my guardian angel, Emelie from Peru.”
The Victory Cross Country Tour engine, frame and running gear was relatively untouched, but the bike was specially modified with a bigger tank, extra lights, various electronic gadgets and comfort features by Motostyling Zurich.
Grizzly was in Australia during April, riding from Sydney to Darwin, down to Port Augusta, SA, and west to Mundrabilla, WA.
To prepare for the journey, Urs, also known as “Grizzly” because Urs means bear in German, rode for a month in various conditions including snow, mud and sand in six-hour stints and setting five alarm clocks to prevent him sleeping more than one hour at a time.
He rides in six-hour stints with one-hour sleeps.
Speaking through an interpreter last year at the Victory American Rally in Colorado Springs, he told Motorbike Writer the secret to setting the record is to never go into deep sleep and only sleeping an hour at a time.
“The most important thing is you can’t fall into a deep sleep,” he says. “I’ll catch up on sleep on the boat between continents.”
The “Long Stretch Federation” set the route for the record global lap and strictly monitored his progress via GPS and satellite to ensure the integrity of the record.
He says his motivation to break the trans-global record came from being a native of such a small country as Switzerland.
And he chose the Victory because of its low centre of gravity, its reliability and because “everyone does it on an enduro bike”, although the current record was set on a Yamaha R1.
“I’m just rebelling,” he says.
“Lights on the bike are the most important part because I have to do a lot of riding at night,” he says.