Setting the Guinness World Record for Fastest Wheelie On Ice… Again!

One-legged stunter Ryan Suchanek raises the bar and brings the Guinness title back to America.

Signature moves and custom-painted machines can set some of the high-profile tricksters out from the crowd, and for every familiar professional stunter on the lot, there are hundreds of others trying to wheelie into the spotlight.

When Ryan Suchanek busts a rear-peg wheelie you can spot him immediately. He's the one with the carbon-fiber prosthetic left leg up in the air. Losing a limb didn't stop him from entertaining crowds on asphalt, and it certainly hasn't stopped him from taking his wheelie expertise to the next level, on ice.

Circle wheelies, high chairs and stoppies must seem mundane compared to flying across a frozen lake on one studded tire at over 120 mph. Suchanek’s actual exit speed during his recent record run was measured at 122 but the new official record--for now--is 117.5 mph.

The hardest part about setting the Guinness ice wheelie record is how the speed is measured. It’s not as simple as just hitting a high-speed number. According to Suchanek, “The average speed is measured over a distance of 100 meters, so the key is coming in as fast as possible. However, after 8,500 rpm, the bike has a hard time lifting the front end because the torque levels off. On the 117.5 mph run my exit speed was actually 122mph!”

As for his competition, Suchanek had this to say: “I talk to Robert Gull (a Swedish racer who previously held the record) quite a bit via Facebook and he's a really nice guy. His tires are completely different than the ones I use but seem to work for him.  We get along very well and I’m actually really happy that he challenged [my 109.5-mph] record and succeeded because it added a lot to the entire event instead of me just breaking my own speed from last year.”

“Gull says that he plans on going after the record again next winter and I wish him the best of luck and success. Records are made to be broken.”

Suchanek rode a 2004 Kawasaki ZX-10R when he set his first ice wheelie record in 2011 (95 mph), and then again 2014 (click the link above to see video of his 109.5-mph record run). When Gull bettered his last record, it became apparent that he needed more horsepower to go faster. With the added weight and rolling friction of the requisite studded tires, ice wheelies are completely different from pavement wheelies.

Discussing track condition and entry speed prior to the run. Suchanek says that Guinness doesn't count peak speed; they measure average speed over 100 meters. The hardest part is lifting the front end at triple-digit speeds after the torque curve has leveled off.

Suchanek upgraded to a 2013 Ninja ZX-10R this year, gaining power, a better suspension and trimming weight in the process. A Brock's Performance Alien Head slip-on exhaust was installed along with a Brock's-reflashed ECU. A Thrust Company -1/+2 sprocket set and VP Racing MR12 race fuel helps Suchanek pull the wheel up in 4th gear.

But a properly modified literbike is only part of the equation for hitting record-breaking speeds on ice. About 60 percent has to do with the track and the conditions. Suchanek says, “The ice needs to be smooth and hard, which it was. Also, ambient air temperature of 30 to 36 degrees is optimal, which it was throughout the day.”

Discussing track condition and entry speed prior to the run. Suchanek says that Guinness doesn't count peak speed; they measure average speed over 100 meters. The hardest part is lifting the front end at triple-digit speeds after the torque curve has leveled off.