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Carl Reese Breaks The Record For Riding The Furthest Distance On A Motorcycle In 24 Hours!

Carl Reese has made his way into the record books by riding the furthest distance on a motorcycle in 24 hours. On February 25th 2017, Reese took his specially modified BMW K1600GT to the Continental Tire Proving Grounds in Texas and clocked up an insane distance of 2,119 miles (3,410.2 km) in a 24 hour period. Reese’s effort managed to knock the previous record out of the park. The previous record was held by Matthew McKelvey, who managed to clock up 2023.5 miles (3256.5 km) in 24 hours back in 2014.

So, we’ve got another awesome motorcycle world record to talk about. It might not have the sex appeal of the world’s fastest wheelie, but it’s certainly a more impressive feat. Imagine riding for 24 hours continuously, with only a few short breaks to break up the monotony of going around, and around, and around the same track.

How Do You Ride The Furthest Distance On A Motorcycle?

Naturally, to go the literal distance you need a few things: will power, a closed circuit, a good support team, and a modified motorcycle. The bike used was a BMW K1600GT but with a few handy upgrades. The first major upgrade was a specially made fuel tank that held an extra eight gallons of fuel to keep refueling stops to a minimum. Next, lightweight accessories such as BST carbon fiber rims and a compact EarthX lithium battery were added to keep weight (and fuel consumption) down. On top of that, Reese’s BMW packed two separate recording devices to monitor the event, as well as a set of Clearwater Lights to help him see where he was going, since the track isn’t equipped with floodlights.

Reese has actually named his world record winning motorcycle “The Spirit Of Cannonball Baker” in homage to the legendary Erwin “Cannonball” Baker. Baker famously set 143 records in his life, but the “Cannonball” is probably more famous for establishing the “Cannonball Run” – an endurance race that he completed back in 1922 riding from Los Angeles to New York City as fast as possible.

The standards of motorcycling have improved significantly since Baker’s days, but that didn’t make Reese’s attempt any less difficult. In fact, Reese had a few issues trying to conquer the record. These incidents included more minor things like a run in with a wild animal, to more significant issues like tire wear.

Reese’s tires actually gave out towards the end of his 24 hour run, and his chief mechanic Jay Carson of West Valley Cycle Sales actually cut the attempt short on safety grounds. With just over an hour left to go, Reese was forced to retire…but he’d already smashed the world record! In the end, he only spent 22 hours and 52 minutes to take the record. That time includes his rest breaks and maintenance stops.

During that time, Reese reached top speeds of 141 mph (226.9 km/h), maintained an average speed of 92 mph (148 km/h) and clocked up a record breaking 2,119 miles (3,410.2 km) distance. All that with 1 hour and 18 minutes to spare. That’s how you ride the furthest distance on a motorcycle in style.

Categories: Motorcycles

Joe Appleton
About Joe Appleton

I’ve done a bit of work here and there in the industry – I’ve even ridden a few bikes for actual money but what it comes down to is this: I ride bikes, build bikes and occasionally crash ‘em too. I like what I like but that certainly doesn’t make my opinion any more valid than yours…