After over 13 hours on his Yamaha Jog scooter, Japanese rider Masaru Abe smashed the National Wheelie Record for a continuous wheelie at the Kawaguchi Auto Race facility in Saitama, Japan. Abe never stopped once in setting the astonishing mark of 500.5322km, which obliterated the distance of 331.0195km set by motorcycle trials rider Yasuyuki Kudo in 1991, but fell short of his own 600km target. To put Abe’s record into perspective, the daredevil tricks rider managed to keep his front wheel in the air for the same distance as it takes from London to Cologne or, Stateside, from New York to Pittsburgh.
Abe arrived for his attempt shortly after sunrise wearing flip flops, looking more like part of the location staff than the athlete. “I feel great!” he exclaimed. Bike shop owner and prop man Mr. Ishii played the role of mechanic and director, Abe finally lifting off with a wave of the Japanese national flag at 7:09am. Although the track was oval-shaped, Abe maintained a speed of 40kph through excellent body balance and throttle work for lap after lap (688.495m per lap) with 39.2km achieved after the first hour of breaking the National Wheelie Record. Two hours in, though, Abe experienced lower back pain and had to down painkillers he had earmarked for six hours later with Ishii providing incredible support throughout the entire ordeal.