BY: SINEAD MULHERN
François Gissy’s bike is a rocket-driven speed demon fast enough to make even the most fearless stunt-doubles squirm.
The 32 year-old former bus driver’s bike just set a new world record when it hit a speed of 207 miles per hour (333 kilometres per hour) at a racetrack in Marseille, France on Nov. 7 during the Circuit Paul Ricard event. It took less than five seconds for the machine to reach its top speed.
The bicycle is equipped with a concentrated hydrogen peroxide unit attached at the back. It was designed by a friend of Gissy’s – Swiss Arnold Neracher and is a product of Exotic Thermal Engineering.
Its official name is Kamikaze 5 (Spine Crusher is its nickname) and it has been used since 2011 in speed events hosted by the duo.
If this doesn’t already sound like the weirdest existing bike, think of how the cyclist looks while riding it. Rather than sitting in typical cyclist form, Gissy lies down so that he’s nearly horizontal while his legs kick back and up in the air. Riding a vehicle so exposed that can function at top speeds like this, one has to be incredibly brave. Gissy says it’s a terrifying ride and nowhere close to the experience of riding a motorcycle which one may be tempted to compare it to.
Although Gissy just set a world record – beating his 2013 record of 177 miles per hour – he’s already planning for next time. This daredevil is hoping to build an updated version which will run on a mix of hydrogen peroxide along with either vegetable oil or kerosene. He hopes it will be able to reach 250 miles per hour. This rocket bike will have 3-metre flames behind it as it whizzes along the race track says Gissy.
While building the bike would be expensive (he would have to raise funds in order to get started) it would be inexpensive to fuel compared to Kamikaze 5. It would have a similar design to the existing model.
This vehicle and its future offspring are a far cry from Herr Richter’s 1931 rocket bike. That machine, outfitted in 12 solid-fuel rockets hit 55 miles per hour on a Berlin race track before the rider was thrown off.
When Spine Crusher isn’t in rocket mode, it can be pedalled like a regular bike. Perfect for city commutes.
The original article appeared here: In less than five seconds, this man’s rocket bike reached speeds of over 200 miles per hour