Kenny's a wheelie special world champion

It's a stunt young boys often practise on their pushbikes, but for one Norfolk man the art of the wheelie was no mean feat as he reached speeds of more than 170mph on his motorcycle.

It's a stunt young boys often practise on their pushbikes, but for one Norfolk man the art of the wheelie was no mean feat as he reached speeds of more than 170mph on his motorcycle.

Kenny Bye, 29, from Lakenheath, put his fears to one side and his life on the line to become victor at the World Wheelie Championships which require a rider to hold up the front wheel for one kilometre at as fast a speed as possible.

Mr Bye travelled to Elvington Airfield near York, the same track Richard Hammond crashed his jet car in 2006, to compete against 30 other riders from across Britain and Europe.

He performed more than 40 wheelies over two days on his Suzuki GSXR-1000 K7, to be crowned winner with a speed of 171.4mph.


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Mr Bye, a bricklayer, who lives in Grove Lane, and who has competed since 2005, said: “One of my friends asked me if I wanted to go with him and seeing as I always ride off road, I thought 'why not'?

“I went along and did really well. I think it's the adrenaline rush at the end that keeps me going back, and the speeds you're travelling.

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“It's phenomenal but it's very dangerous. The slightest mistake could cause major injuries or loss of life but that's the rush; being so close. When it goes right it's great.”

The event is held annually, over two days, and each rider can take part in more than 40 wheelies by the end.

But Mr Bye said he struggles to find a way to practise because of a lack of spare time and suitable land.

He added: “I don't get to ride very often. I do the odd track day but I've only done three this year. So I turn up and don't have practise and to win is great.

“A lot of the others have airfields they practise on. It all came from my father who rides, and my brother and sister ride and so I was just sort of pushed onto a bike at about the age of three.

“It's one of those things you're born with really.”

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