Once again the combination of Dougie Lampkin and his factory Vertigo Combat has created a new record with this time the British rider becoming the first person ever to wheelie the entire 37.7 mile TT Course on the Isle of Man continuously. Lampkin has been training and preparing for the last seven months for this unique project that was broadcast around the World live on Red Bull TV.
The daring and demanding challenge has tested Dougie’s determination and resolve throughout and the actual day of the event proved no different with gale force winds causing Lampkin’s potential history making attempt to be delayed until the following day.
Whilst certain factors remained testing to manage, Dougie knew that he could rely on the performance of his fuel-injected two-stroke machine that ran perfectly throughout his eventual attempt. Lampkin’s factory Combat was modified heavily for his one-wheel passage around the iconic mountain course with the British engineering company Hope Technology making the necessary adaptions with the support and close supervision of Vertigo Technical Manager Francesc Romani.
In order to keep the front wheel spinning during the almost forty-mile journey a 36v electric motor was added to the front hub. Additional footrest plates were added to the rear spindle to create a new and suitable riding position whilst a special two rear brake caliper set up was developed to cope with the heat build-up during the long downhill sections of the course. The two-separate brake systems were operated by Dougie by a foot pedal and a hand lever mounted in the position where the front brake lever would normally be found. Finally, a huge handmade carbon fibre auxiliary fuel tank was needed to give the extra capacity to make it the whole way around the famous island course.
Although twenty-four hours later than planned, Dougie was cheered on by thousands of local fans and watched by a global TV audience as he battled his way around the 37.7 mile undulating road whilst having to contend with oncoming traffic as he took his place in the rolling convoy that protected him through his historic passage. Strong winds on the elevation section of the course did their best to wreck Lampkin’s chances and kept TV viewers glued to their screens.
Finally after over one and a half hours of some of the most tense and gruelling riding of his long and illustrious career Dougie finally crossed the famous finish line to etch his and Vertigo’s name in the history books yet again having already claimed a record extending tenth Scottish Six Days Trial victory earlier in the year, also aboard a Combat.
Speaking afterwards, Dougie said. “That felt incredible and was one of the toughest things I have ever done. In terms of achievements this ranks right up there with the best of them. The fuel injected engine never missed a beat and produced exactly the smooth power needed to get the job done. I would like to thank Vertigo and the other partners for supporting this project and for helping make history once again.”