For nearly two years Robbie Maddison has been focused on making surfing on his motorbike a reality. His efforts paid off in Tahiti, where he rode the world famous waves at Teahupoo and Papara. Maddison?s early attempts involved a Honda CR500R, outfitted with two skis: one beneath the front wheel and a larger one that extended from beneath the frame back to the rear wheel, which was outfitted with a paddle tire normally used for dune riding. With no existing ?water bike? projects to learn from, Maddison and his team experimented with a wide range of options, including dozens of different ski and tire options, and even a booming KTM 450 SX-F four-stroke. ?Contrary to what you might assume, the overall power output of the bike didn?t have that much effect on its ability to ride across the water,? says Maddo?s mechanic, Buddy Morgan. ?Instead, it was the shape and angle of the skis and the number of paddles on the rear tire that made the most difference.? As one might think with such a project involving so much trial and error, sinking the bike was a very real part of the learning curve. ?Through the entire project, they sank the bike 30 to 40 times,? explains Morgan, who was faced with a five-hour workload every time the motorcycle was submerged. Thankfully, switching back to a two-stroke for the final setup?a KTM 250 SX?simplified the teardown and rebuilding process.
Guy Surfs a Wave on a Dirt Bike
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