This 268-MPH Quarter-Mile Pass Is the Fastest in Drag Bike History

Larry “Spiderman” McBride says 270 mph is on the table after his record-breaking pass.

byPeter Holderith|
This 268-MPH Quarter-Mile Pass Is the Fastest in Drag Bike History
NHRA via YouTube

Motorcycle drag racing is as sketchy as it looks, but the danger of ripping a bike down a quarter-mile has never dissuaded brave souls from trying to set a world record pass. Indeed, that's exactly what happened over the weekend at Virginia Motorsports Park. Larry "Spiderman" McBride, aged 64, set the fastest pass ever in motorcycle drag racing, at 268.38 miles per hour.

To be clear, McBride's pass was the fastest ever, not the quickest in terms of total time spent on the track. There have been other, quicker passes—the racer's ET was 5.61 seconds—though McBride's 268-mph pass was the highest top speed ever recorded over that distance. If you're curious what the previous record was, it was 265.95 mph... also set by McBride.

The pass itself is pretty wild. McBride is all over his bike trying to keep it stable, which is actually how he earned the "Spiderman" nickname in the 1980s. Also, his helmet is Spiderman-themed. Really ties the whole bike together, if you ask me.

Speaking to Phil Burgess of the NHRA, McBride said the pass wasn't even that clean either. The rider noted he had to manipulate the bike quite a bit to get it down the track. "It got a little bit loose, and I had to pedal it a little bit—you know, just grabbed the rear brake—to get it caught back up, and, boy, really run a good back half," he said. "I knew I went awful fast. I didn't really realize I went 268, but I knew it was really fast."

And as if all of this wasn't enough, McBride thinks going faster is entirely possible. Yes, the 270s are on the table, and he seems confident in his ability to take his bike to those speeds. "I'll be honest with you. If we were to get another run tonight, I think we would probably run to 270, 271. If I hadn't had to pedal it on that run it would have been 270 that pass."

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