New York to California in 32 hours and 52 minutes, riding the 2014 Yamaha FJR1300 over 2800 miles at an average of 87 miles per hour, to set a new Cannonball record on a motorcycle. Alex Jones, wherever you may be, you are an absolute mad man.
You read that right. Texan motorcyclist Alex Jones has set a new Cannonball speed record, crossing the entirety of the United States after purchasing a Yamaha FJR1300 (from 2014 with over 80,000 miles on the clock) for $4,000, setting off on the morning of the 17th of October.
The start and finish lines used were the traditional Cannonball Baker Sea-To-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash, as reported originally by Road And Track, setting off from Red Ball Garage in Manhattan at 6:24 AM and arriving at Portofino Hotel in Redondo Beach at 12:16 PM.
Why choose the Yamaha sports tourer for the job? He said that “I couldn’t afford [a high-end German car]. But then a couple years ago I read about one run on a motorcycle. I could do that on a budget. So I found the right motorcycle with 80,000 miles already on it, and bought it for $4000.”
Certifying the feat by submitting hourly screenshots of the GPS system he used alongside notarised statements, Jones was able to keep a steady 87 miles per hour average by only stopping 7 times for fuel, and (allegedly) hitting a top speed of 120 mph along the way, somewhere. Not advised to attempt yourself, of course.
For reference, Google Maps it estimates a point-to-point ride is 2800 miles and will take around 42 hours under normal non-stop riding conditions.
The FJR1300 was kitted out for the trip with a 32L auxiliary fuel tank, radar detectors, laser jammers, extra lighting, and two mounted phone units – all completely above board, I’m sure. To ensure his constant progress, drank from a camelback water unit, made use of protein bars and caffeine pills to keep him on the ball, and used a condom & catheter system to direct passing fluids onto the road.
For the most part, Jones said the route was uneventful, with clear weather and a bit of wind.
But he did say that: “During the ride, cruise control stopped working and there were some issues with the electronics that did not go as planned. The auxiliary lighting failed right as night hit, and the rear tire was nearly bald on arrival, due to wind and road conditions.”
Speaking again to Road And Track, Jones said “I wouldn’t rule out doing this again,” and that “This was kind of a pet project. Right now, I’m going to sell the bike and go into some other hobbies.”
It’s an achievement well worthy of an Iron Butt award, and then some. I thought we did well on our Lands End to John o’Groats (with detours) tour in 3 days, that was only touching over 1000 miles!