Imagine passing your motorcycle test and then getting straight on your bike and starting a journey that lasts over 11,000 miles (17,600 kilometres). That’s exactly what BMW F 800 GT rider Deena Mastracci did when she recently set the world record for the ‘Longest, Continuous Journey by a New Licensee’.
Deena Mastracci never says no to a new challenge. Refusing to be outdone by her fiancé, professional endurance driver Carl Reese, (who used a six-cylinder BMW K 1600 GT to set the fastest time on a motorcycle from Los Angeles to New York in August 2015) Mastracci decided to set her own long-distance motorcycle record. First though, she needed a motorcycle licence – no easy feat in itself.
Mastracci’s cross-country trip began on 1 June in Santa Clarita, USA, where she left the California Department of Motor Vehicles armed with her new licence, rode out of the parking lot and just kept on riding for the next 27 days. Prior to that, she’d had no previous on-road experience other than a one-day class on a closed circuit at Streetmasters Motorcycle Workshops, and a motorcycle safety class given at a local college as part of the preparation for her motorcycle test.
This ambitious coast-to-coast ride, by way of the Arctic Circle, was no vacation though, as Mastracci encountered a variety of challenging conditions, including snow, mud, ice, gale force winds, flooded roads and plenty of loose gravel. Her route included the full length of the treacherous Dalton Highway (one of the world’s most dangerous roads) and her journey included pit stops in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska; Denver, Colorado; Brookfield, Connecticut; and Grand Rapids, Michigan before concluding in New Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
Mastracci covered an average of 400 miles per day. During the third week of her journey, she even travelled over 1,000 miles from Denver, Colorado to Hammond, Indiana within a 24-hour time period, a feat that is only attempted by the most seasoned riders, and often referred to as an ‘Ironbutt Challenge’. Mastracci’s total distance of 11,236 miles (17,978 km) surpassed the previous record of 9,000 miles set by Clif Chu in July 2012.
For this latest record attempt, Mastracci rode a used BMW F 800 GT motorcycle purchased at West Valley Cycle Sales in Los Angeles, the oldest BMW Motorrad Dealership in the United States and family run since 1950. The F 800 GT already came equipped with a Bill Mayer custom seat and Verholdten risers for a more comfortable handlebar position.
Deena then added some modifications for this long ride, including auxiliary ClearWater Lights for increased visibility; an EarthX battery that is considerably lighter than the original (by some 8lbs/3.6kg) and designed to performed flawlessly in cold conditions when she was north of the Arctic Circle and miles from help.
And to look good on the road, the GT had a special custom red and chrome paint finish done by Creations ‘n’ Chrome in the same town where she took her motorcycle test.
As for the F 800 GT itself, it was a big step up for Deena, having previously only ridden a 250cc Honda during training but she proved that that where there’s a will, there’s a way forward, as long as you have faith in your abilities.
“I was initially intimidated by the size and power of the F 800 GT over the first few days, but I soon got over that,” she says. “I was even told by several people that I would not make it up to Prudhoe Bay in Alaska because I was a beginner and my bike was a belt drive, but both the bike and I proved the ‘naysayers’ to be wrong. The range was excellent – over 200 miles per tank, depending on my right hand! My longest journey I did before refuelling was from Coldfoot to Prudhoe Bay, a distance of 246 miles with no gas stations in-between. I was very comfortable on the bike and I never had saddle soreness, even accomplishing the ‘Iron butt’ on day 21 by riding 1,023 miles within a 24 hour period. Even then I was just a little tired, but not sore.”
As a new rider, Deena was amazed by the support from the motorcycling community both during and after her journey. A live online map of her travels meant that people rode out to meet and support her along the way. There were TV interviews en route and an appearance at the BMW MOA rally in Hamburg, New York, left her with an aching throttle hand again – this time from signing over 1000 autographs!
情報提供元 [ BMW Motorrad ]