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John McGuinness is a motorcycle racing legend. He has won the prestigious, terrifying Isle of Man Tourist Trophy (TT)—in which racers sustain triple-digit speeds across sinuous public roads—on 23 occasions. More recently, with his long-time racing outfit, Mugen Motorsports, McGuinness made the switch to electric superbikes in the TT Zero class, where he took fastest lap with a neutron-crackling 119.28 mph average speed. But beyond being a world-class racer, McGuinness is also a Brit, with all the jolly appetite that implies. He craves a banger and loves a lager, and as such, does not have the jockey-esque physique of other competitors. He is a champion, he is a clotted-cream aficionado. He’s a bloke in all the best ways.
But, in racing, every pound matters. If engineers spend a month prying an extra 2 horsepower from an engine and, in that same month, the rider goes on a muffin binge, all that hard work goes up in… crumbs. With that reality in mind, Mugen Motorsports has made a wager with John McGuinness: Lose 10 kilos (22 pounds) by this year’s Isle of Man TT, and Mugen will set him up with gorgeous, carbon-fiber, all-electric TT zero bike for his private collection.
According to MotorcycleNews.com, McGuinness is considering grave measures to secure the limited-edition, Shinden Yon superbike: “I worked it out though and it’s only about £8,000 for liposuction, so if I get stuck it’s a lot cheaper than losing a million quid bike!”
That may well be in jest, but the math is striking.
Should Honda start chastising obese families—I’m sorry ma’am, but our models didn’t account for your family’s girth—for killing the new Civic’s 42-mpg highway rating? Probably not. But using a zero-emissions superbike as a carrot to tempt John McGuinness, world racing champion and apparent chip enthusiast, into giving up some grub? Yeah, he can take it.