Remember when you were first learning to ride a motorcycle, and turning that thing was so foreign to you? How heavy it felt compared to any other two-wheeled conveyance you’d ever controlled? Remember having trouble with U-turns?
We all start somewhere. Marcin Glowacki, a Polish rider who is filmed here competing in (and winning) the Stunt Riding World Championship, looks like he surely must have started riding motorcycles before he was out of diapers, because damn.
Each time he pulls off a stunt you’re convinced that’s it, and the rest of the routine will be variations on that theme. But no, every moment outdoes the last. That must be why this is the “World Championship.” It’s not just wheelies and stoppies (though there are plenty of each), but it is the things he does with the bike while, for example, he’s riding it backwards.
Because his bike is modified for stunt riding, lots of the stock insignia is covered up or replaced, but underneath all of the stickers, the twelve o’clock bar, and the bright yellow wheels, I’m betting beats the lovely little heart of a ZX-6R. The astute observer will also note that while ADV-style crash bars are absolutely declasse for a machine like this one, it is instead festooned with frame sliders, several of them no doubt custom creations. Make no mistake: this bike looks shiny and spotless but those frame sliders are there for a very good reason.
Again, the rider is Polish and this championship was filmed in the Czech Republic, and perhaps that’s why, here in the States, I was baffled to read about this guy and see that he referenced “training.” No formal stunt rider training like this exists over here (to my knowledge, but boy would I love to be proven wrong). Learning to stunt ride like this, formal training or not, involves dropping a bike a lot, breaking lots of motorcycle parts, and injuring yourself probably more than you’d ever want to admit. It is expensive in several respects: money, time, hospital stays.
So here we are in 2019, in an age where so many people want to wrap their kids (and each other) in bubble wrap, and this guy is out there tossing a middleweight sport bike around like it’s a toy. It warms the cockles of my heart to see this kind of talent on display.