We don't use our elbows much while riding a motorcycle. Racers will occasionally scrape them across the pavement in a steep, fast turn, but only as a feeler to check on their lean angle. MotoAmerica champion Josh Herrin, however, dragged his elbow 30 continuous meters (about 100 feet) at a speed of 162.4 km/h (101 MPH) to set a Guinness world record for the fastest elbow drag ever.
To be fair, this record didn't previously exist. Herrin and his sponsor Fresh N Lean came up with the idea while spitballing ideas of crazy records to set, and settled on this one. Guinness didn't make it easy for them, though. They did their research and determined that Herrin would have to drag his elbow for 30 meters at a minimum speed of 161 km/h (100 MPH) to qualify. His first two attempts at this failed. The pressure was on for this third attempt on December 4, 2020, with cameras, spectators, and sponsors in attendance.
Herrin's weapon of choice was a Yamaha R6. He's set lap records on this bike before and felt comfortable enough on it to try something wild like this. The attempt took place at Buttonwillow Raceway, where they found a turn that was both fast enough and tight enough for Herrin to get leaned over far enough to drag his elbow.
His first pass clocked at 155 km/h (96 MPH), not fast enough. He tried again and hit 159 km/h (99 MPH), just a tad too slow. After this pass, Herrin made some comments regarding soiling his racing leathers.
It all came together on his third pass, though. While 101 MPH isn't much faster than 99, it was just fast enough to qualify for the record. It also shows Herrin's talent and control of the bike that he could increase his corner speed in such small increments, creeping toward the record and then finally taking it by just one MPH.
Herrin has no wish to crash and was clearly riding outside his comfort zone here. A careful, measured approach, despite the overall insanity of this effort, was the right way to do it and keep Herrin as safe as possible in the process.