Honda’s top 5 Guinness World Records
Honda vehicles have been involved in more than their fair share of Guinness World Record victories. Here are some of their biggest, fastest and weirdest moments ever…
(All of these records were carried out by professionals in a controlled environment. Please don’t try them at home – and always wear safety clothing and equipment when using any of these products.)
01 Longest UTV wheelie
Ten years after setting the somewhat “niche” world record of doing a quadbike wheelie with the most passengers onboard – a feat that covered a distance of 164 ft using an unmodified Honda 350 Fourtrax ATV and 16 very brave people – Canadian daredevil Roger LeBlanc was ready to step things up for his next record. This would involve a UTV – otherwise known as a Utility Terrain Vehicle – that was not only larger – and heavier – than a quadbike, but far harder to wheelie. Unbowed, and following a lot of practice balancing, LeBlanc and his team of four committed passengers succeeded in pulling off the world’s longest UTV wheelie, set on a Honda 700 Pioneer UTV. They covered a total distance of 3741.14 ft at Moncton International Airport in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada, on 23 August 2014 during that year's Atlantic Canada International Air Show. While you wouldn’t think that such a specialist stunt had ever been attempted before, the Guinness World Records management team confirmed that LeBlanc’s effort had in fact beaten a previous bid at the UTV wheelie distance record that had stood for over six years.
02 Fastest motorcycle rider swap (on a single motorcycle)
For Finnish motorcycling enthusiasts Lantinen Jouni and Pitkänen Matti, this was a record they simply had to achieve. On 3rd July 2001, along a closed-off section of the Paimio to Muuria highway in southern Finland, they set off on a Honda CBR600 F2, then swapped places while travelling at a record average speed of 86.9mph. The swap-over manoeuvre, which took just 4.18 seconds, hasn’t been attempted since, which isn’t very surprising. However, if you really feel the need to challenge this most unusual record, using a CBR600 F2 is sage advice. With its comfortable seat, great high-speed stability and concrete solidity, it’s definitely the most sensible choice for a silly stunt!
03 Largest parade of Hondas
The ‘Meet the Beat!’ event, on 9th May 2010, saw 569 Honda Beat roadsters – the company’s 656cc, rear-wheel drive, mid-engined ‘kei’ car – gather to take part in the largest parade of Honda cars ever assembled in the same place at the same time. The parade, which took place at the Twin Ring circuit at Motegi in Japan, was beautifully colour-coordinated by the event organisers: yellow cars first, followed by hundreds more in red, silver, white, turquoise, blue and green. ‘Meet the Beat!’ has occurred every year since 1994, and continues to this day, but the 2010 turnout has yet to be beaten. Fun fact: the Beat was the last car to be personally approved by company founder Soichiro Honda before he passed away in 1991.
04 Fastest lap of the Isle of Man TT race
Just driving the course of the legendary Isle of Man TT race in a car, at normal speeds, can be on the challenging side. So take a bow to Honda racer Bruce Anstey. On 6th June 2014 the New Zealander set a mind-boggling 132.298mph average speed over one lap of the TT’s fearsome 37.7-mile Mountain course onboard a Valvoline Honda CBR1000RR, setting a new lap record. Despite his record-breaking run, which was set on the sixth and final lap of the Dainese TT opening race, Anstey only finished fourth overall. In subsequent interviews he claimed that he would have preferred a win, although he was happy to have set a lap record. Surprisingly, he had no plans to achieve such a rapid time. It was only after his second pit stop during the race that he really got a turn of speed. “The bike felt really good,” he said. “So I wanted to really push it to see how it was handling in preparation for the Senior race later in the week. You never find out what a bike's capable of until you really start pushing things.” His high-speed feat would not be bettered for the next two years, when his record was snatched by Michael Dunlop who beat his time by a mere 1.6 seconds. Anstey’s 2014 time, however, ousted the previous record of 131.671mph set by Honda’s very own John McGuinness in the Senior TT race in 2009 – also onboard a Honda CBR1000RR. Funny, that.
05 Heaviest Honda riders
While not strictly a Honda-specific record, Billy and Benny McCrary have passed into company lore as being the heaviest riders to travel across the USA – from New York to LA – on Honda Mini Trail 50s. Confirmed by Guinness World Records as the world's heaviest twins in November 1978 – Billy weighing a sizable 743 lb and Benny coming in at a slightly less sizable 723 lb – the twins’ fames saw Honda sponsoring their cross-country trip to highlight the durability of the bikes under the weight of the dual McCrarys. It took the brothers 30 days to complete the journey, averaging 100 miles per day, and they worked out a publicity deal with the Holiday Inn hotel chain, which provided rooms for the duration of the journey. The whole expedition was completed without incident; the Honda mini-bikes remaining totally reliable throughout. The twins went on to enjoy successful careers in pro wrestling, where they were renamed the McGuire Twins. Sadly, both Billy and Benny have now passed away, but even in death they continue to be record breakers. The headstone above their graves in Henderson, North Carolina, is said to be the largest granite gravestone in the world. Complete with depictions of Honda motorcycles, it proudly proclaims the brothers as “world record holders” and “the world's largest twins”.