Acerbis break world record for single tank ride

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Acerbis and their AC50 project have broken the Guinness World Record for the greatest distance ridden on a single tank of fuel by a motorcycle prototype.

The 4183.8km (2599.7 mile) journey started in Albino, the home of Acerbis, and then took off to the Brenner Pass in the Alps, Austria, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway and finally reaching the North Cape, at an average speed of around 40mph. 

Acerbis 108-litre Honda Monkey tank

The record has been broken due, in part, to the construction of the largest motorbike fuel tank entirely designed and built in-house, with a capacity of 108 litres.

Three riders took turns riding the A50: Alicia Sornosa, Andrea Rastrelli and Maurizio Vettor and even after almost 2600 miles the team report there is still a bit of fuel left and the record will be extended until the last drop is used.

Acerbis’ birthday challenge: Firm mark 50th with internal combustion record attempt

First published 31 May, 2023, by Saffron Wilson

Acerbis Honda Monkey 125

Italian tank, apparel, and off-road part manufacturer Acerbis has revealed its latest market-stopping project in celebration of their 50th year. A team led by project manager Antonio Sironi will attempt to set a new Guinness World Record for the longest distance travelled using a combustion engine motorcycle without refuelling.

The project has been in the works for almost two years but Acerbis say they’re now ready to make the attempt, beginning on June 10. You’ll be able to follow their progress online via their website and social media channels.

The three riders Mauritzio Vettor (Italian Journalist), Alicia Sornosa (Spanish adventurer) and Andrea Rastrelli (Italian off road racer) will set off on from Albino in Northern Italy and hope to reach Nordkapp, Norway on one tank of fuel. They aim to hit at least 4300km, surpassing the previous record by 400km, but Antonio thinks that 5000km is possible.

Acerbis 108-litre Honda Monkey tank

The team at Acerbis have opted to use a 125cc Honda Monkey Bike for the challenge thanks to its simple shape and fuel economy claimed at 188mpg. To start the project, the Monkey Bike was taken in its original form to the Acerbis tech department to have a 3D scan.

The team then placed the potential tank volumes around the bike to calculate how many litres capacity they would need to achieve the record. After that, they took the idea to their clay department to construct the initial design for the tank and calculate the volume it could hold.

With considerations made for the additional weight and ultimate changes to the vehicle dynamics, a prototype was made with a 114-litre tank, and they tested it around a 1.9km circuit. The test ride lasted a massive 304 laps.

The Acerbis team pose with the Honda Monkey 125 record attempt machine

“It was from 7.30am until 5.30pm, with half an hour lunch break,” said project lead Sironi. “That sounds pretty good, but it was July and something like 35 degrees. But we needed to check the vehicle dynamics in different conditions.”

The team conducted the gruelling test to see how the bike reacted with different amounts of fuel in the tank to consider the effect of a large volume of liquid sloshing around inside.

To combat the issue, the decision was made to use sponges similar to those in Dakar bikes, and despite losing up to 7% capacity, it worked. The tank now holds a mammoth 108 litres, and even with the extra weight and size (260kg with rider) it reaches 140mpg. It also has Euro5 homologation and will run on Repsol biofuel – an alternative to oil-refined petrol – making it a carbon zero project.

Acerbis Honda Monkey 125 rear

With a top speed of 40-43mph the journey may take a while, but the best bit is that tank will be made commercially available to purchase afterwards.

The brand already supplies tanks to manufacturers all over the globe including KTM, Aprilia and BMW as well as creations for off-road sports and races like Motocross or the Dakar where they put a 63-litre tank on a KTM 950. But that wasn’t big enough for this challenge.