Guy Martin Tried to Set a World Record on the Wall of Death

Many will enter. Few will set records.

byWill Sabel Courtney|
Motorcycles photo

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It takes a fair amount of bravery just to try to ride a motorcycle along the centrifugal carousel commonly known as the Wall of Death. But to set a world speed record, like Guy Martin did on March 28? That takes testicular fortitude of a whole different magnitude.

Martin, an accomplished motorcycle racer and TV presenter who walks the line between "badass" and "certifiably bonkers" the way most of us walk the sidewalk to the coffee shop, hit a top speed of 78.15 mph on his Triumph while circling the 382-foot circumference circular track. That annihilated the previous record of 70.33 mph—which, incidentally, had been set by Martin earlier that day.

Still unimpressed, somehow? Well, consider this. At Vmax, Martin and and his motorcycle were being pushed against the wall (or the road surface, depending quite literally on how you look at it) with a force of around 6G's. That's not quite Alonso-level stress, sure, but it's still more than twice as much as you'd feel standing on Jupiter (assuming you could find a place to stand on a gas giant).

Yet while Martin's stunt was obviously aided by the low center of gravity endowed to him by his enormous brass balls, we're equally impressed with little-known rider Shanaze Reade, who also set a record on the Wall of Death that day. She managed to hit a top speed of 26 miles per hour—riding a bicycle. Balls of Brass versus Quads of Steel—almost sounds like a Zach Snyder movie.