Video: Onboard with Zef Eisenberg at 176mph on ice
Ultra-speed record racer and Maximuscle founder, Zef Eisenberg managed a top speed of 176mph on ice at the Arsunda Speed Weekend in Sweden.
He and the MADMAX Race Team were aiming to break the 200mph speed barrier on ice, which would have broken the current world record of 187.5mph but tyre problems hindered the attempt.
Eisenberg rode the team’s supercharged Suzuki Hayabusa specially adapted for the challenge with hundreds of handmade titanium spikes bolted into stainless steel carcasses in the tyres.
Unfortunately, the steel structure in the tyres broke on the first practice run of the weekend, puncturing both inner-tubes. Despite having two flat tyres, Eisenberg still managed an astonishing 160mph on that first run.
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Following several more punctures and now using a front tyre with no steel banding, he headed back onto the ice. The lack of a steel structure in this tyre meant that it expanded far enough for the spikes to rip of the front brake hoses, causing a big wobble at 143mph.
The tyre blew again after the 176mph run, slicing the bike’s radiator open and bringing a premature end to the record attempting runs.
"The bike was performing in the cold weather really well and there was an easy 300kmph (187mph) and more awaiting, but without strong enough tyres or a working radiator, it was game over," says a post on the MADMAX Race Team Facebook page.
Unwilling to call it a day, Eisenberg borrowed a 1000cc ice racer. "On the first run with 260kmph (161.5mph) on the clock, the rear tyre exploded, hitting me in the back with tyre, bolts and shrapnel," he said.
"I managed to control the bike well and brought it to a stop, without coming off or dropping it. Then the emergency vehicles and ambulance arrived. Fortunately, due to a very strong Dianese back protector I was uninjured and was dropped off back to the race start to everyone's relief and applause.
"It's been the craziest, maddest race event ever. I love the people, they are super friendly. Next year team MADMAX will be back with far more knowledge, insight and bullet proof tyres and radiator, so we can hit the big 300kmph (187mph) speeds and beyond."
Zef Eisenberg's speed record attempts in 2018
The supercharged 350bhp Hayabusa managed 230mph on tarmac back in September 2018 before bad weather scuppered a speed record attempt at Pendine Sands. This will be the team’s first attempt at a high speed run on ice.
"Arsunda presents a whole new set of challenges," said Eisenberg before the event, "but we’ve put a lot of time and effort into the preparations – even my girlfriend (Mirella) has been helping put the titanium spikes into the tyres for nights on end! We are excited to get out there and see how the bike performs."
The pursuit of speed records almost came at the ultimate price in 2016 when Eisenberg crashed a jet turbine-powered motorbike at 230mph. He broke 11 bones in the crash (the fastest ever on two wheels) and spent three months in hospital followed by a further three months in a wheelchair.
"I’m well and truly a speed addict," concludes Eisenberg. "It’s in my blood. Those who are addicted to speed, will understand – it’s all about the quest to overcome the challenge and battle the laws of physics."