New Flying Mile speed record for Zef Eisenberg at Pendine Sands

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Ultra-speed motorbike racer and founder of sports nutrition brand Maximuscle, Zef Eisenberg, has set a new 'Flying Mile' speed record at Pendine Sands.

Riding a 400bhp supercharged Suzuki Hayabusa prepared by his own Mad Max Racing Team, Eisenberg set a two-way average of 182.40mph on Saturday, April 6 - breaking the previous record of 180.361, set by actor Idris Elba in 2015. 

Elba set the previous record aboard a 650bhp Bentley Continental Super Sport twin-turbo W12, however Eisenberg needed just one run on his 'Green Monster' to surpass that benchmark.

His rear tyre showed signs of falling apart after just one run and so the team switched it for a new one for the return journey, insuring a record. Not satisfied with this, the team then changed to a harder compound to attempt a 200mph record.

Unfortunately, after around three miles at maximum revs with constant wheel spin, the bike's engine blew up at 195mph, covering Zef in a spray of engine oil. Thankfully, he was able to bring it safely to a stop, however the damage curtailed any hopes of a faster speed.

"The bike had been spinning the rear wheel for two miles at 240mph. We were using a GP racing tyre, too – the best you can get, but I assume it’s not used to that much power or wheelspin. That’s why these records are so hard to achieve. You’re pushing human and engineering boundaries," Eisenberg said.

"I was doing 195mph approaching the end of the mile and my helmet visor and leathers were sprayed with black engine oil, obscuring my vision. I lost sight of the finish flags, but I couldn’t just slam on the brakes due to the sand. Fortunately, I managed to keep it straight and bring it to a stop."

The team will now return during Speed Week on May 18 and 19, with Zef driving their 1200bhp Porsche Sand Racer, which was developed from a 2015 911 Turbo.

Being the fastest-ever

Zef Eisenberg at Pendine Sands

Zef Eisenberg also wants to break his own land speed record of 201.5mph to set a new benchmark for the highest speed ever achieved at Pendine by a wheeled-powered vehicle. He previously attempted to do this over between September 22 and 23 last year. Unfortunately, bad weather prevented him from topping that speed.

Despite the rain and cross winds, Eisenberg still managed an incredible 142.4mph on the Saturday, which represented the fastest speed of that day. By the time the conditions improved on the Sunday, Eisenberg's Suzuki Hayabusa had developed a problem caused by sand getting into the supercharger.

"Pendine Sands has such an illustrious history of land speed racing, it’s a real test of man and machine against the elements," said Eisenberg after the event. "Racing on sand is notoriously difficult at the best of times, let alone when you have the weather to contend with.

"The motorbike behaves very differently than on tarmac and at higher speeds you risk bike losing grip or the wheels digging into the sand which can throws riders off. What’s more you also have the conditions of the course to contend with - when that tide rolls out it leaves behind debris of seaweed, giant jellyfish to even bullet shells. But if record breaking was that easy, everyone would be doing it."

Eisenberg set the record for the fastest road bike on sand at Pendine in May riding a 350bhp supercharged Suzuki Hayabusa run by his Mad Max Race Team.

Zef Eisenberg riding his 350bhp Suzuki Hayabusa on tarmac

The bike's engine was rebuilt ahead of the Pendine attempt and it was put through its paces on tarmac at Elvington airfield the weekend before to make sure everything worked. It was a successful trial run, the team managed to set four ACU speed records and a personal best top speed of 229.8mph.

MCN spoke to Zef and asked him what travelling at over 200mph on sand feels like.

"Scary! The bike is dancing underneath you, it’s wagging the rear like a dog and the front is doing a sort of continuous, gentle tank slapper so you just let the bike do what it wants and go with it. To the uninitiated, it’s terrifying."

The beach at Pendine (photo: Kevin Trahar)

Before the 201.5mph run on sand in May, the bike managed 217mph on tarmac. Since it has now managed almost 230mph on tarmac, the team is hopeful that they can beat the record if the conditions allow but it’s not a sure thing.

"You can have all the power in the world but if you can’t put the power down on the sand because you just have wheel-slip there’s no point. It’s going to require a lot of control with the throttle. Traction control doesn’t work at all on sand, so there’s no electronic rider aids on the bike, you just use feel."

Zef Eisenberg on the start line at Pendine

Despite the fact the Hayabusa is so fast and powerful, it is still completely road legal, a fact that Zef and the team are proud of.

"We love the fact that we can nip down to buy a paper on a Sunday and then, the very next day, break a land speed record. We don’t mind the extra weight of lights and switch gear to keep it that way, it’s all part of the magic of land speed racing."

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Ben Clarke

By Ben Clarke

Staff Writer, hick for life, two cylinders max