Honda Africa Twin Riders Break Climbing World Record
Two world records set climbing South American volcano on the Africa Twin.
A team of Honda Africa Twin riders have completed a world record expedition climbing the Nevado Ojos del Salado Volcano, located between the border of Argentina and Chile. At 22,608 feet (6,891 meters) high, it is the highest volcano in the world. A climb that was made even tougher by adding the challenge of reaching the extreme height within 24 hours, without the support of oxygen.
Honda Africa Twin riders captured the following world records:
1) From zero to 19,357 feet (5,900 meters) above sea level in less than 24 hours
2) 19,554 feet (5,960 meters) as maximum height for a twin-cylinder motorcycle
The records were set using a new off-road tire from Metzeler — the MC 360. The expedition team was composed of Salvo Pennisi, Metzeler’s Head of Testing Department, Carlo Fiorani, Honda’s Head of Racing Communications, journalists Francesco Catanese and Karsten Schwers, and Fabio Mossini, the enduro champion now part of the Honda Sud America team.
The first record set was a real team victory: Francesco Catanese, Fabio Mossini and Karsten Schwers riding the Honda Africa Twin and Salvo Pennisi, riding alternately both the Africa Twin and a CRF450RX. The team managed to reach 19,357 feet (5,900 meters) after starting from sea level, in just 22 hours and 30 minutes.
The second success was an individual record claimed by Fabio Mossini, who managed to bring his Honda Africa Twin to 19,554 feet (5,960 meters) above sea level, the highest level ever reached with a twin-cylinder motorcycle.
Climb To The Top
Following five days of mandatory naturalization at increasing heights, where one of the riders and one of the technicians supporting the team were forced to give up due to symptoms of acute altitude sickness, the team left from the Pacific shore on March 3rd. After a challenging 186-mile (300 km) ride through volcanic ruble, endless stretches of sand and deep mud pits, the team reached the base camp of Laguna Verde at 14,107 feet (4,300 meters) elevation.
On the morning of March 4th, at the crack of dawn and 23° F (-5° C), the team left to climb towards the top of the volcano. After an exhausting 25-mile (40 km) ride from Murray hut to the 17,060-foot (5,200 meters) elevation Atacama hut, the four-rider team went through the toughest part of their journey. Fabio Mossini, Karsten Schwers and Francesco Catanese with the Africa Twin and Salvo Pennisi riding a Honda CRF450RX.
Following a dramatic climb to the 19,150-foot (5,837 meters) elevation Tejos hut and after riding through stretches of sand and ice sheets, the group had to deal with another challenge: at 19,357 feet (5,900 meters) there are some impenetrable icy sections, also known as “penitentes.” The penitentes, typical in this area with strong winds, obstructed the chance to climb any higher.
This is when Fabio Mossini and Salvo Pennisi decided to accept the challenge posed by the volcano and try for one last effort. Continuing ahead, Fabio Mossini with the big Africa Twin, managed to reach 19,554 feet (5,960 meters) to set a World Record for the highest altitude achieved on a twin-cylinder motorcycle. Salvo Pennisi managed to bring his CRF450RX to 19,610 feet (5,977 meters) above sea level and set the absolute record of height ever reached by a motorcycle in 24 hours.