Video: a 169mph wheelie

Dailies -



A little over a week ago, Egbert Van Popta became the fastest man on one wheel, in 2011. This 169mph wheelie on a GSX-R1100, performed at Elvington Airfield in England, was enough to win this year’s wheelie competition, but doesn’t quite match the world record: 172mph.

via Bikes in the Fast Lane

  • NickK

    I hate KPH. So meaningless.

  • Ben Rendel

    the metric system is meaningless?

    • NickK

      I only mentioned Kilometers, but since you asked, yes. Perhaps I’ll add the following qualifiers so you can de-twistify your knickers: To me, in terms of having an internal feel for distance, speed, and weight.

      Math is hard.

      • stempere

        Metric system is way simpler, how much is a millimeter? A thousandth of a meter.
        How much is a kilometer? A thousand meter.
        For instance my height is 1,78m wich is 178cm.
        Same system goes with weight etc.

        A yard is 3 feet, and a foot is 12 inches. Yeah thats easier to remember…

        I guess it’s easier when you’re french (it is french after all) because “milli” refers to “mille” wich means a thousand, “centi” refers to “cent” wich means a hundred, etc. but still…

      • aristurtle

        Your “internal feel” is just whatever the hell you learned on when you were five years old or so; your system is meaningless to someone who learned on meters, or cubits, or whatever.

      • filly-fuzz

        I’m sorry but Americans need to get over themselves and move on. There is a reason why every motorcycle manufacturer in the world uses the metric system.
        Only Harley still uses imperial…. WTF would you measure something that’s smaller than an inch with fractions? Doesn’t it make more sense to use a smaller increment?!?!
        Metric is better for weight, distance, speed and everything else
        Again I’m sorry but it just doesn’t make sense.

        • filly-fuzz

          Also, try doing engineering calculations using the imperial systems. Every unit in metric is based on the kilogram in degrees of 10. A “pound”, whatever the hell that is, is approximately 0.45359237 kg, with all other measurements based on 3′s, 12′s, xxyz’s and god knows whatever else. Now go and try find the “pound.square.inch” stress in any member used in mechanical design.

          Imperial users should go design their own bikes with material failure in mind. Then you’ll realise you have subscribed to a truly retarded system.

          • NickK

            Simultaneously pleased and concerned my silly comment sparked an equally ridiculous redux of the metric/imperial debate.

            By the way, Aristurtle has it right. All I meant was internal sense. I don’t mind wrenching in metric, or measuring, or anything for that matter. In fact, I much prefer working on my BMW (shameless brand drop) to the Harley I had back when I was a dipshit (disarming self effacement (again)).

            And yes, I understand the metric system. I can actually wrap my puny American brain around the idea. All I meant (and clarified) was that if you came up to me and said, “Oi! I wuz really tryin’a get me arse home to me mums so I could eat a vegimite sandwich, so I went 249 kilometers per hour on me ninja,” I’d meet you with a blank stare until I figured out it was 155mph. Then I’d respond, “Oh, that’s pretty fast. Now take it to the track, you douche.”

            Man! You metric guys sure are touchy.

            • filly-fuzz

              Wow my last comment seemed a little bit more intelligent than the first….. Thanks matt
              But no offense intended, all in good fun.
              But seriously I’m more of a 675 kinda guy ;)

              • NickK

                None taken! This was all in good fun. So funny – I was going to use the 675 in my horribly inflammatory example, but opted for the ninja instead. Didn’t know if the 675 would do 155. Ha! Just kidding.

          • aristurtle

            The metric system (while far less bass-ackwards than the American system) still has a handful of rough edges on it, e.g. how many joules are in a kilowatt-hour? (3.6 million) It’s funny how decimal distances, mass, etc. were fine after a little adjustment but decimal time was removed about as quickly as Robespierre’s head.

        • Archer

          There’s also a reason one can order a Budweiser and Big Mac in Paris or Nimes, while you will have to look very hard to find a Kronenbourg with a side of pate in NYC or Los Angeles.

          The French chose well, when they chose the rooster as their national symbol…

  • jason McCrash

    Not impressed. Why? Because I’ve got two words for him: Ghost Rider.
    If that guy can’t do the fastest wheelie on Earth………. but then I don’t think he would ever show up at a competition. There must be 100′s of warrants out there for him still.

    • Andreas
    • stempere

      He was actually present at that same event, but his turbo hayabusa broke on his first attempt. Also his identity is well known.

      (source FR)

      • jason McCrash

        Really? I’ve only seen his face on a BBC interview. I don’t condone what he does….. but that’s cause I’m incapable of doing it! Guy can ride and has balls the size of ostrich eggs.

    • gaudette

      beat me to it. this doesnt compare.

  • T Diver

    Many thanks. Awesome. And yes. The metric system is meaningless.

  • Adrian

    Oh. Wow. 169 mph wheelie.
    So now the idiot squids will have something to aspire to as they do stupid shit on the Central Expressway and Tollway here in Dallas.

    Sorry, not impressed. But then, I prefer the Metric system.

    • aristurtle

      Look, this guy was doing stunts on a closed track, during an event. Whining that this will encourage idiots to pull 169mph wheelies on the freeway is like whining that Casey Stoner is going to encourage people to do 120mph knee-dragging during their commute.

      • Adrian

        Based on my direct observations (distinctly different from whining), some of these clowns would try a knee drag if they were appropriately geared up, and there was a decent curve.
        I respectfully disagree with you.

        Exhibit A:

        nuff said.

        • aristurtle

          Well yeah, but it’s not MotoGP’s fault.

          • Adrian

            My friend, I’m not heaping blame on MotoGP or Stoner. I wish him well and I hope he chases his dreams and lives long enough to enjoy them. Please don’t get over torqued (in either Newton-Meters or Foot-Pounds). ;-)

        • jason McCrash

          I would shed not one “milli-tear” if all of them wrecked during that run. Total retards. Not to mention that anyone can lift the front wheel on a new sport bike. They have power to weight ratios of fighter jets now. The “big boys” in my neighborhood in the mid-70′s were doing wheelies on KZ900′s and CB750′s. That was impressive. I doubt 99% of those “stuntaz” could lift the front wheel of anything over 450 pounds without toasting the clutch or using a 60 tooth rear sprocket. Dbags.

      • vegetablecookie

        Are you saying that shouldn’t be my take-away from watching Stoner?

  • dux

    His name is Egbert. He is the first cool Egbert I’ve ever witnessed.

  • Penguin

    Egbert Van Popta? Please tell me his nickname is Popt’a Wheelie. If it isn’t then it damn well should be.

    • Brammofan


      • super20


  • Thomas

    Think someone posted it already, but w.e

    191 wheelie record

  • mugget

    That was a really fast wheelie!

  • Tony

    Metric system certainly has merit, but miles (actually, nautical miles) are actually more useful – 1nm is a minute of arc of Earth circumference.

    That brings a plan to travel the planet by a motorcycle one step closer to fruition :)