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April 16, 2020
Recently, Bridgestone Motorcycle Tires played a significant part in a world record breaking attempt held at the Bridgestone Texas Proving Grounds near Fort Stockton, Texas.
After a cross country motorcycle trip in 2016, Eduardo Antillon, a professional motorcyclist from Chihuahua, Mexico, determined he was going to attempt the world record for “Greatest Distance in 24 hours on a Motorcycle (Individual).”
He achieved that goal on October 15, 2019 by completing 2,351.5 miles (3,782 kilometers) at an average 98 miles per hour on his 2018 BMW R1200GS Adventure Rallye motorcycle featuring Bridgestone ADVENTURE BATTLAX A41 tires. The previous record was achieved by Carl Reese (USA) at Continental Tire Proving Grounds in Uvalde, Texas on February 26, 2017.
After confirmation of the record was received from the World Record Academy in December 2019, Bridgestone sat down with Antillon to discuss his experience becoming a new world record holder and how Bridgestone tires made it possible.
Bridgestone: What inspired you to attempt this world record?
Eduardo Antillon: The best version of me comes out when I sit on my motorcycle and start my ride; nothing can be compared to this feeling and the effects of actions on other people when they see you doing what you love.
Some years ago, when I found myself riding in the middle of the desert in a known Baja trail, I found a group of guys doing their lifetime ride on their bikes. I can clearly remember their unbelieving faces when they knew that I came there completely alone on a solo trip riding through the country.
I knew there was something inside of them telling them that the “impossible ride” for which they were afraid of was actually possible; and this is my greatest inspiration, to inspire others; to encourage them to believe that “possible” exists. “Impossible” is more commonly known as fear, and it is the wall that restricts your potential to see what is in the next corner. Next year, I found the same guys doing the trail in different solo riding expeditions. This is what is really wonderful about riding.
Bridgestone: Why was this record important for you to achieve?
Antillon: I have been riding and racing for more than 12 years and I consider the endurance races as the most challenging events of motorsport. I decided to do it because I believed I was capable of it and I felt myself properly prepared. My bike was in perfect condition and I was in good shape; it was the time to start the series of “crazy races” I planned for years. The “perfect moment” never comes. The best day to do it is today.
Bridgestone: Tell us about your experience with the Bridgestone Adventure Battlax A41 tires during your world record setting ride.
Antillon: This record needed the best performance from its components, and this included the bike and tires. Bridgestone is well known in the field for its racing spirit, and this is why I decided to go with them. I tested the tires before the race day; crossing the country in a weekend. My surprise was getting unbelievable performance from the Bridgestone ADVENTURE BATTLAX A41 tires in winter, wet, road and desert conditions. This was when I decided to stay with Bridgestone.
Considering the average speed, temperatures below zero centigrade during the night, high temperatures during the day, and nonstop riding of 24 hours, none of these facts limited our record. I never lost traction or performance. I can say that Bridgestone ADVENTURE BATTLAX are the most impressive tires, capable to adapt to any condition. My exhaust system broke down after 11 hours, setting on fire, but I didn’t have to worry about the tires! During the course of the entire record we only used two sets of tires. The previous record holder used a different tire company and had to use five sets of tires.
Bridgestone: Tell us more about how you were able to set the world record. What were some of the conditions, challenges and issues you faced?
Antillon: I can divide this into several categories, starting with me.
This was an experience that went beyond my expectations. It was more about a mental challenge rather than physical; my mind played an important role to stay focused during day and night. I decided to attempt this record back in 2016 after crossing the country when I knew that I could be the fastest man on a motorcycle. The feeling of freedom is what makes me put miles on my motorcycle, there is nothing else compared to it; then I decided to do this record to encourage new generations to follow their beliefs and let them know that the greatest travels starts with one single step. The most important part of this day was the encouraging support from family and friends.
The only issue was the video recording during the 18-hour mark; one of my GoPro cameras unexpectedly stopped recording and we never figured it out. There was an issue with the feeding cable which was fixed during the 2.5-hour range for refueling stops.
The Race Track - Bridgestone Texas Proving Grounds
The Texas desert is a place of extreme climate, full of wildlife. That day we had rain during the morning, extreme heat during the day and temperatures below zero centigrade during night. There is no time for quick reactions at high speeds, you need to be completely focused on you and the road.
There’s not much to say. My motorcycle ran perfectly; it was my BMW R 1200 GS Adventure Rallye 2018; a wonderful motorcycle for long adventures.
The Tires - Bridgestone ADVENTURE BATTLAX A41
After breaking the world record I used the same tires to ride back to Mexico; a 1,600 km trip. And I have a message for all the people from Bridgestone: I don’t know what you are creating inside these walls, but please continue doing it; impressive products!
Bridgestone: What’s next for you?
EA: Regarding my record, I think all planning went simply perfect. The asphalt gradient analysis, fuel consumption matrix, fueling stops, dates, volunteers, etc., but I think I was stopped a little bit because of the 230kph top speed of my bike; I am considering looking for a faster motorcycle to put more miles on this title. But honestly, this is not planned to be done in the near future.
New Records? Yes, there is another record on the list. I am planning to become the fastest man on earth to connect Alaska with Ushuaia, a 25,000 km trip through the American continent (Pan-American Highway). The current non-official record is 33 days; I am planning to do it in less than 20 days, hopefully in 2020, but I’m currently looking for sponsors.
When I’m not entered in endurance racing, I enjoy enduro racing. During this year, I am racing the national series with my KTM 450. It would be great to also test Bridgestone tires on this beast. I’m also entered in the Max Acceleration Rally. This is an annual rally that consists of crossing part of Mexico in less than 24 hours. This is a 2,400 km ride. It will occur in March 2020 and we are subscribed.
Of course, we will be using Bridgestone ADVENTURE BATTLAX tires.