A Milanese rider named Luca Colombo is about to attempt a world speed record on his Honda CRF450L motocross bike. This wouldn’t be noteworthy, except… he’s making this attempt on open water.
Colombo has outfitted the bike with plates under the wheels that act as skis of a sort. The front wheel will not touch the water, but the rear wheel, outfitted with a sand-type paddle tire, will provide the thrust the bike will need to skate over the top of the water instead of sinking.
This is one big “stay on the throttle” moment.
Colombo is no stranger to this sort of thing; the video you see above is his record-setting distance ride (“freshwater distance cross on a motorcycle”); he rode for just over five minutes and covered 5.5km (3.4 miles) and reached a peak of 83kph (51.6mph). His upcoming attempt is a speed record, not distance.
Lake Como is Italy’s third largest lake. Hopefully on the day he makes his attempt the water will be calm enough not to upset his bike, and no recreational lake users will get in his way. The bike does not have floatation devices. The only thing holding him above the water is surface tension; if he slows down his entire rig will sink to the depths.
The current speed record for a motorcycle on open fresh water is held by Australian Robbie Madison. Colombo will try to beat his record of 93.3kph (not quite 58mph). Luca Colombo has set up the Honda he’ll be riding, himself. The entire contraption will weigh approximately 452lbs when he will make the attempt, and at that weight he will need to maintain a speed of at least 34mph in order to stay above the water’s surface.
He’s planning this attempt for Saturday July 6, and his planned route (if it can be called that, over water) will take him 1.9 km (approximately 1.2 miles) over the surface of the lake. His planned launch time is 10AM.