A New Cannonball Run Record Has Been Set on a Motorcycle

The price of winning? Wearing a catheter for almost 33 hours.

The handlebars and side mirror of a motorcycle as it speeds down a winding road in the woods. A motorcycle just a record for the Cannonball Run, an illegal nationwide road race.
Just picture it: You're high on caffeine pills with a catheter in you and staring at this view for 33 hours.
Jakub Sisulak / Unsplash

It appears we’re not done with the pandemic-fueled run on Cannonball Run records. Back in 2019, a new record was set in the coast-to-coast drive from New York City to Los Angeles in 27 hours and 25 minutes. Then, once COVID-19 cleared the roads, that was knocked down to under 27 hours, then under 26 hours and finally ending at 25 hours and 39 minutes

The latest record-breaking attempt from the Red Ball Garage in Manhattan to the Portofino Hotel in Redondo Beach wasn’t in a car, as is traditionally the case, but on a motorcycle. According to Road & Track, a rider named Alex Jones was inspired by the current Cannonball fever; however, not being able to afford the “high-end German cars” that people normally use to attempt the illegal run, he decided a bike would be a cheaper alternative. 

The sanity Jones saved himself by doing this on the cheap was most certainly outweighed by the complete lunacy of bombing across 2,800 miles on a bike in just 32 hours and 52 minutes, which is reportedly a new record for motorcycles. Not only was his top speed around 120 mph and his average speed around 87 mph, a pace that would leave anyone a pile of jelly at the end, but the logistics of achieving that speed record are even more unimaginable. 

“He stopped seven times total … and only for fuel,” as Road & Track writes. “He drank from a Camelback, ate protein bars, took caffeine pills to bolster his alertness, and used a catheter and condom to evacuate the generated urine through a tube and onto the roadway. Fun details.”

The bike he straddled while wearing his medieval urine ejection system was a 2014 Yamaha FJR1300, a sport touring motorcycle, which was reportedly equipped with a few Cannonball-specific upgrades, including an extra fuel tank, extra lights, a radar detector and laser jammers.

It appears we’re in a golden age of the Cannonball Run. But then again, considering the challenge is illegal and highly dangerous to both the drivers themselves and the people they pass at high speeds while hopped-up on caffeine pills, it may be more accurately a dark age, depending on your perspective. 

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