Gary Rothwell in record wheelie action (photo Steve McDonald).
World Wheelie King Gary Rothwell is set to again defend his world speed wheelie record at the 11th annual World Wheelie Championship set to take place in England in mid-August, 2016.
The Liverpudlian set a record of 197mph (317km/h) in 2014 and topped that last year with a run of 209mph (336km/h) for a motorcycle kilometre wheelie.
He will be up against almost 30 top competitors from the USA, UK, France, Holland and Ireland in front of thousands of spectators at Elvington Airfield near York on August 20-21.
The winner and world record holder will be the fastest to complete a kilometre in the wheelie position.
The participants will ride powerful, customised motorbikes, some turbo models rated at 450 horsepower. However, no electronic or mechanical aids are allowed, so it is up to the rider’s skill.
Among the competitors are Egbert Van Popta from Holland riding a turbocharged 195.805mph Suzuki Hayabusa, Irishman Paddy O’Sullivan riding a 189.822mph Suzuki GSX-R1000 and previous World Wheelie Champion Dave “Dodge” Rogers of the UK.
“Dodge” conceived and is the original driving force behind the World Wheelie Championship.
“In the early days of wheelie world records it was dominated by an elite few with high-powered turbo bikes,Z” he says.
“Working with Straightliners we wanted to also involve the average guy on his sports bike. The rules for the World Wheelie Championship has achieved this by attracting serious motorcycle riders from all walks of life.”
The event is organised by Straightliners which is affiliated to the Auto-Cycle Union (ACU) and the International Organisation of Professional Drivers (IOPD). Rider participation including record ratification and timing is administered by to UK Timing Association (UKTA). Both Straighliners and UKTA were set up by renowned motorcycle racer Trevor Duckworth.
Last year’s event included some other unusual world record automotive speed records:
Kevin Nicks of Oxford and his motorised shed set a world speed record of 88.068mph (141.73km/h);
Kevin Scott (Lincoln) and his monowheel ‘Warhorse’ set a world record speed of 61.18mph (98.45km/h);
Tom Armitage (Leeds) in his ‘Postman Pat’ van set a world record speed of 107.4mph (172.84km/h); and
Matt McKeown (Plymouth) on his jet powered shopping trolley set an unofficial world record of 61.18mph (98.45km/h).