At the turn of the 20th century, motorcycle races were held on board tracks with steeply banked corners. Using the laws of physics and more powerful engines, the turns became almost vertical, creating an entirely new entertainment attraction: The Wall of Death
It takes a potent vehicle to defy the laws of gravity. As speed increases, the G-forces on the bike and rider are increased exponentially. So in order to go faster, a much larger wall was required. Britain’s Channel 4 commissioned a new track with 382 feet for him to play with. Martin set about building a custom motorcycle for the attempt. Normal suspension would bottom out before he passed 45 degrees, so progressive rate coil springs were used in order to maintain control while horizontal.
The Wall of Death didn’t receive its name from an advertising agency. In the old days, life was slightly more difficult, so people paid money to watch brave performers risk their lives in crazy ways. Because any mistakes are bound to cause massive injuries, this form of motorsport has been relegated to side shows and old newsreels. Maybe one day someone will try to go faster, but the physical strength necessary to remain upright along with the forest of trees needed to build the track will make them think twice. Congrats to Martin and his team for their achievements.