20. July 2011
An Akrapovič exhaust system made an exemplary backflip in a very special style: on a Dakar Rally bike!
Riders who do every kind of airborne trick possible—and even some impossible ones—usually use special lightweight motocross bikes with 250 cc two-stroke engines. So nobody ever imagined that it’d be possible to do any of the hardest tricks on a 140 kg bike made for desert rally racing.
But that’s exactly what the Belgian freestyle rider Gilles De Jong did at the bullring in Madrid when he traded his light motocross bike for the desert bomber Marc Coma was riding when he won the two-week Dakar Rally in South America this year.
De Jong practiced this breakneck trick for many months by jumping into a large box full of soft foam: “You can’t compare the handling with an FMX bike. You really need to work it hard. Marc was a lot of help during the preparations. He showed me in Dubai in April that you can do tricks with a Rallye bike. I leaned pretty far out the window by betting that I could do a backflip with his bike.”
Marc Coma complimented the courageous twenty-seven-year-old: “I have to tip my hat to Gilles. Never in my wildest dreams would I have tried that. I’m glad my bike’s still in good shape.”
The Red Bull X-Fighters championship celebrated its tenth anniversary in Madrid at the famous Plaza de Toros de las Ventas, where 25,000 enthusiastic fans gathered to watch. They certainly had an experience to remember!
Photo: Joerg Mitter and Predrag Vuckovic for Red Bull X-Fighters