Reaching 272 km/h (169 mph) in a performance-focused car might be an easy task on a quiet day at the Autobahn, but we would never imagine doing that on a bicycle. Still, this is exactly what Elias Schwärzler achieved, breaking the Guinness World Record for the fastest standard bike towed by a motorbike.
The mountain biker from Austria set the record at the Lausitzring track in Germany on May 22, with the help of Geri Gesslbauer who towed him with his Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP superbike. The goal was to break the 300 km/h (186.4 mph) barrier, but the team finally clocked 272.934 km/h (169.593 mph) which is still quite impressive and high enough to break the previous record.
The bicycle was provided by Scott, and notably, it wasn’t a road bike with narrow tires or an aerodynamics-focused model, but a mountain bike. We are not bicycle experts but it looks like a Scott Gambler that is designed for downhill, with front and rear suspension. The wheels are shod in Continental Race King tires, with disc brakes being responsible for braking.
The record attempt took place on the longest straight of the German track, with the bicycle being connected to the motorbike with an elastic strap. Following a hard acceleration and just before the drivers reached the corner, the biker released the strap, allowing him to decelerate from this ultra-high speed.
Doing 272 km/h (169 mph) on such an unfit vehicle sounds very dangerous, even with the protective suit and equipment that Elias wore. For a good measure, a 1992 Dodge Viper SRT/10 with its massive V10 engine could go up to 270 km/h (168 mph), which is also the advertised top speed of the more recent KIA Stinger GT 3.3 V6 Turbo AWD.
Screenshot: Guinness World Record/YouTube