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How the hell do you...Ride on water?

Published: 22 August 2016

Updated: 22 August 2016

The world’s leading professional nutcases, daredevils and racing heroes reveal their expert knowledge on the most ridiculous biking feats you can imagine in MCN’s 20-part, once a week special. Don’t try this at home!

Here's part 1

Answered by Robbie Maddison - Robbie is one of the world’s biggest nutcases, with a mile-long list of stunts and first feats to his name, from jumping Tower Bridge to the world jump record of 392-feet

Something inside me wanted to ride a bike across the sea. I figured that if I put two wakeboards under a bike I could probably ride on water. So I came up with a plan…

At first it was nothing more than a drawing of how to mount two skis to the underside of a bike, which I took to an engineering firm. Initially we went with skis from a snowmobile rather than wakeboards, but as soon as I hit the water I was out of control, it was actually bad enough to make me think ‘this isn’t going to work.’ But that night we screwed some sheet metal to the skis to make them wider and that did the trick.

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The next day I rode into the water and it took off like a bat out of hell, which is when I had to quickly learn to ride it. The bike has a sand tyre on its rear, which acts like a paddle, and I have to keep it full-bore or it all goes wrong! If you need to slow down you can’t shut the throttle, you change gear to let the revs control your speed. If you back off you sink, it’s that simple.

Controlling the bike is very hard as it doesn’t want to go straight. I keep as much of my weight to the back of the bike as possible. The bike is riding on the rear ski and by shifting my weight on the pegs and digging my heels into the bike I can make it turn… most of the time.

It may look slow on the video but my top speed is 58mph, and if you aren’t going over 30mph you won’t float, so it’s a pretty wild ride. Riding on water has been the biggest joy of my motorcycle career; it’s awesome – especially when you overtake a jet ski!

 

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