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Old 01-27-2013, 05:16 AM   #1
HondaVsTheWorld OP
Joined: Sep 2011
Oddometer: 54
Irish World Record Attempt on the wee Honda Starts tomorrow in Chile!!

Hi Folks..

I am currently in Chile after coming 37,000km form Alaska on my C90. I have a few tales to tell about Peru and Bolivia, but I will have to back track to update you on that.

What I want to do now is fill you in on my world record altitude attempt on the Honda.

How high can a Honda cub go before it just can't climb any further or with just won't run? I became interested in this when I reached 5000m on the El Burrito in Peru. It was freezing cold, snowing and icey but yet the bike was still running and could have kept climbing if the grades weren't too steep.


I started doing some research and*didn't*find any record set by a Honda Cub and I found out the World Record for a motorcycle was broken last year in Chile. It was set by a very well resourced international team using 550cc Husaberg with a high compression engine. They reached 6,331m. They had to cross a glacier to reach this height. You can read all about that at, it was quite grueling, they had to use ropes to pull the bike up some sections!

The record was set In Ojos de Salado, around 150 km north east of Copiapó in Chile. Ojos de Salado is the highest active volcano in South America and its sides have a relatively gentle gradient.

So I have chosen this area to make my attempt. The highest motorable road in the world is in Tibet at 5,565m. My aim is to beat this and set a new altitude record for a Honda Cub.

Any reader of this will be aware of the Honda Cub's status in the world. It is the most iconic motorcycle in the world and holds the record for the most produced motorcycle (and vehicle) of all time having sold in excess of 60 million motorcycles! So a record should exist for it. I have applied to Guinness World Records to create a new category for the highest altitude Honda Cub.

Altitude and Risks

There are many risks associated with undertaking this. Firstly the effect of altitude on the human body. If proper acclimatisation is not carried out then there is risk of experiencing altitude sickness which can become serious plus there are risks of developing pulmonary edemas.
The reduced level of oxygen over 3000m means that ever action carried out above these height can be very physically taxing on the body. Any time spent over 5200m starts to weaken the body. Nobody lives above 5250m around the world.

To try an give us a good chance of making this we will be spending between two to 3 nights above 3700m.

Secondly weather conditions and the cold is going to be an issue. At these altitudes; any rain or snow and *things can very cold very quickly.

Thirdly, actually keeping the bike running at this altitude maybe difficult. Fuel needs oxygen to burn above 5000m the air density is around 50% of sea level air density. Therefore the bike will tend to run rich as all the fuel being sucked into the engine will not be combusted thus the bike being severely down on power and it simply might not fire up up much over 5000m.

Team Honda Vs The World
To undertake this challenge I have assembled a crack team of international experts, all experts in their particular field. My brother Gavin Dillon and Gordon Jackson. Gavin's is in charge of opening tight jars and tying ropes. Gordon is in charge of eating stuff and lifting heavy things. I'm in charge of balancing pineapples on my head and making the bike go.

The Expert Team

But seriously, Gavin is a trained crane operator and rigger and Gordon is a trained firefighter and first responder, he is also a stripper (though I'm not sure how that skill might come in useful on the side of the volcano).

I have been busy the last few days applying for permits to climb the mountain, I have put a lot of thought into the safety aspects of this as obviously it will be a risky undertaking. I will have my SPOT Connect GPS messanger with me also, I can send SOS and Assist Messages from this device. The messages are received by an international operations room who co-ordinate a rescue attempt with local emergency services.

The bike.
I have changed the front sprocket from and 15 tooth to a 13 tooth sprocket. I have also changed the rear sprocket from a 39 tooth to a 45 tooth. This should give me some great climbing ability. I will not touch the carb apart form opening out the air screw. The needle is already in its lowest position. I have got a smaller main jet which I may use if i cant get the bike going at high altitude.

I have also taken the clutch apart and cleaned the clutch plates to make sure they have good binding. As a trial run I stripped the bike down to the form it will be used on the mountain and relocated the back box. This will be put back to the old configuration for the ride out there to carry all the equipment and supplies and then put into 'mountain mode' again at Camp Murray.

We have no support vehicle so we have to carry everything with us on the bikes. Enough food, water and gas for 6 days, plus our camping and cooking gear and spare clothes.

I've managed to get my hands on 2 GPS's a Garmin eTrex 20 and a Garmin Colorado 400t. Thanks Omar and our buddy Darren from Darren&Eric otherwise know as Derik.



The Plan

Day 1-2- Copiapo to Luguna Santa Rosa *- Depart on Monday 28th January.
We will leave Copiapo and drive 120 km to Laugna Santa Rosa (3700m above sea level). We will stay there over night to acclimatise, do a spot of exploring and maybe some fishing. Here we will check over our gear and make any modifications to the bike. The bike will be stripped of everything unnecessary to lighten the load.

Day 2-3 We will make our move to Camp Murray. Camp Murray is located at 4500m. We will over night there and prepare for a difficult day the next day

Day 3-5 Ojos de Salado
These 2 days will be spent on the mountain side trying to bring the bike as high as it can go. Depending on our progress the bike may have to be abandoned on the side of the mountain over night and another crack made at it the next day.

Day 5-6
Time to make our way down the mountain. Hopefully sucessful with a new World Record under our belts!!. We may over night again at Laguna Santa Rosa on the way back.


You can keep and eye on our progress on the the "Where's Seán?" button on the website. The SPOT device will track us a update the map every time a location is sent I will also be able to post short messages on arsebook from SPOT GPS devise.. how cool is that eh?

Hopefully the *next time I write here we'll have be the holder of a new World Record for this recording breaking bike!!!

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Old 01-27-2013, 05:21 AM   #2
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What an incredible ride you've been on already, we'd like to read and see more of your ride... Good luck with your second adventure
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Old 01-27-2013, 05:42 AM   #3
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Go, go go! Great!
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Old 01-27-2013, 05:50 AM   #4
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Pretty slick...looking forward to,reading about this.
"Character cannot be summoned at the moment of crisis if it has been squandered by years of compromise and rationalization"
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Old 01-27-2013, 07:04 AM   #5
Frey Bentos
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Bejaysus bucko yer some man for one man.
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Old 01-27-2013, 03:43 PM   #6
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This looks like it could be good.

Husaberg FE 390
Borneo Equator Expedition - Jungle , Swamps and Heatstroke
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Old 01-27-2013, 08:26 AM   #7
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Thumb Who knew?????

Had no idea those old Hondas would last so long or do so much. The sheer lunacy of of attempting a record like that makes me stay to watch. Just like a train wreck, you know what is going to happen but you can't turn away. I think you are going to do it as crazy as that is. I truly applaud your efforts throughout this entire ride but to do this, my hat is off to you. Keep us all posted. I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one rooting for you to do this. Make us even prouder man.
Anywhere is home
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Old 01-27-2013, 08:30 AM   #8
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Less is more! Go for it!
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Old 01-27-2013, 11:02 AM   #9
Joined: Feb 2007
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Thumb Honda Cub Follies

This is terrific ! .

I'm one of those idiots who still loves long distance touring on my various Honda 90's....

I don't see the red button you said to click on but no worries , I'll just pop in here and keep abreast .

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Old 01-27-2013, 11:42 AM   #10
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I am friends with a couple of the guys from the "Husaberg adventure team".

If by some chance you beat their record on a honda cub... I will be able to give them so much crap!

When I was in Ireland this summer, on my RTW... People always wanted to talk about you. You are quite the celeb there!
Good luck! keep going!
Noah 08 KTM 690 ADV. 125,000 km. 42 countries. 5 continents and counting.
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Old 01-28-2013, 09:06 AM   #11
Studly Adventurer
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It is obvious from the resumes and picture of Gavin and Gordon that the most talented team has been assembled for this ascent since Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay were partners. The choice of equipment seems appropriate at 90cc and the weather isn't too outrageous considering you are in the upper atmosphere. Now, just be very careful about what shrooms you pick to eat and for God's sake do not talk to any Tuna playing an accordion. We are all waiting down here at base camp for your return.
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Old 01-29-2013, 02:27 AM   #12
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Awesome and hilarious at the same time.
Good luck!
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Old 01-29-2013, 04:07 AM   #13
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Best of luck on your climb to the top.

You're never too old to learn something stupid.
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Old 01-31-2013, 05:57 AM   #14
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Base camp to cloud climber.

Que pasa?
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Old 02-08-2013, 07:38 AM   #15
Joined: Aug 2009
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U know you're off your rocker.that means its gonna be a hell of a drinking session when ya get back!!! Will ya invite me. I won't tell ur Ma.
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