Michigan man Phil Comar uses his unique skill of long-distance motorcycle riding with no hands
and uses it as a force for good. Comar just raised more than $1,200 in his attempt to break his
own world record of the longest hands-free ride with a lofty goal of 680 miles without touching
the handlebars of his 1997 Harley-Davidson FXDL Dyna Low Rider.
After Comar’s father passed away in 2008 after suffering from Parkinson’s, he made it his mission
to do his part in aiding the cause that means so much to him. Long-distance hands-free riding was
something he used to talk about a lot with his father, so Comar managed to combine his two passions
to raise money for the Michael J. Fox Foundation while doing what he loves.
According to local news outlet WWMT, the route in question began at the southern Michigan border
by Toledo, Ohio going up to Lansing, Mich., then west to the coast of Lake Michigan, north to Grand
Rapids, east to Ann Arbor, and finally north towards Mackinac Island. Unfortunately, he couldn’t
make the full 680-mile trek without using his hands.
Comar has broken the hands-free ride record four times before. The first time was in 2010 riding
314 miles with no hands, then in 2011 going 327 miles, 534 miles in 2015 and 588 miles in 2016.
We reached out to Phil Comar to find out what modifications he made to help him get more range
out of his Harley. “The additional [10-gallon] fuel tank is the only true mechanical modification,” said
Comar. “Because it has a carburetor, with the extra tank’s location, it has a gravity-feed operation.”
Comar said that when both fuel tanks are full, he can get approximately 560 miles of range depending on
variables like weather and wind. The mast on the back of the bike is a camera mount and he has his
camera and headset hard-wired for power since his rides go “well beyond the normal charge times” of his
Since he appears to be the master of the skill, we asked Comar if he has any tips for riding hands-free.
“I certainly have a hard time recommending it to anyone,” said Comar. “As an instructor, my first advice is to
do as I say…not as I do.” In other words, don’t try this at home. When it comes down to it, it’s equal parts
really good balance and fearlessness.