Elvington, North Yorkshire - Motorcycle wheelies are considered hooliganistic behaviour by the general public, but bikers who are able to balance their machine on the back wheel are revered by their peers.
Of course there’s little point in learning such a craft without being able to compete against other similarly-skilled hooligans, which is where the Motorcycle Wheelie World championship comes in. The tenth edition of the annual event was held last weekend at the Elvington airfield in North Yorkshire, with riders from several countries competing for the fastest wheelie over a one-kilometre distance.
Beating participants from Finland, France, Holland, Ireland, Sweden, UK and USA, the UK’s Gary Rothwell scooped this year’s title by clocking 318.455km/h on his turbocharged Suzuki Hayabusa at the end of his run. In the process he managed to beat last year’s winner, Egbert Van Popta from Holland, who clocked 315.118km/h, also aboard a Hayabusa turbo. Third place went to Paddy O’Sullivan from Ireland, who wheelied his turbocharged Suzuki GSX-R1000 to a top speed of 305.489km/h.
Van Popta’s 320.9km/h record from last year still stands, however.
MORE DIFFICULT THAN IT SOUNDS