Finnish stunt driver Vesa Kivimaki breaks side wheelie speed record [w/video]

Article by Christian A., on November 2, 2016

As a driver reaches 115 miles per hour (around 185 kilometers per hour), he or she is already moving at high speeds. However, this speed pales in comparison to how fast a high-powered car could really get. Some cars could even go beyond 250 mph like the Hennessey Venom GT (270 mph) and the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport (268 mph).

But when you do a two-wheeled side wheelie at 115 mph, that’s another story. It is a crazy stunt considering such speeds. But recently Finnish stunt driver just managed to do it as he set a new Guinness World Record for the fastest two-wheeled side wheelie.

Vesa Kivimaki, with the support of Finnish winter tire specialist Nokian, managed to reach a top speed of 115.742 mph (186.269 km/h) with his BMW 335i Coupe, thereby setting a new Guinness World Record for the fastest two-wheeled side wheelie. The record attempt required a run – each way -- over a 100-meter (328 feet) road. Take note that this had to be completed within an hour. Although the record-breaking attempt was conducted at the end of August, Guinness World Record recently made it official.

This was not an easy feat. The previous world record had been left unbroken since 1997 – for nearly two decades. Previous record holder was achieved by Swedish driver Goran Eliason, who drove his car to a two-wheeled side wheelie to 112.62 mph (181.25 km/h). Within the span, numerous attempts had been made to break this record but all failed – a testament to how difficult such a stunt is.

One primary factor in breaking side wheelie records for both speed and distance is the tires used on the attempts. Since the car is tilted over during the stunt, only the sidewalls of the tires remain in contact with the road. Unfortunately, the sidewalls of conventional tires wear too quickly during such attempt, thereby resulting to utmost failure.

Kivimaki remarked that his earlier attempts to break the side wheelie speed record had been failures making him realize that to achieve the goal, he needs tires that are exceptionally durable. This is why he commissioned the support of winter tire specialist Nokian, which employed the Aramid synthetic fiber in the construction of some of its tires. This synthetic fiber is especially strong, durable and heat-resistant. To illustrate its strength, Aramid has been used in ballistic composites and has been employed as a substitute for asbestos.

Thus, just for the record-breaking attempt, Nokian developed a special bulletproof tire. Matti Morri of Nokian remarked that passion and creative madness necessary for the record attempt also defines company’s product development. Morri quipped that by trying new things and testing its limits, Nokian could develop safer, more durable tires in the future. These tires were installed on the wheels of the Kivimaki’s BMW 335i Coupe by local tire supplier Vianor.

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