Ben Felten determined to achieve Guiness World Record

Ben Felten has all his fingers and toes crossed.

Next week he will attempt for the third time to break the Guinness World Record for the fastest motorcycle ever ridden blindfolded. The current record is 265.33km/hour.

The Blaxland man, aged 50, has a degenerative eye condition. He raced motorcycles until he was 23, and went totally blind at 37.

On Friday he flew to Adelaide in preparation for Speed Week on the dry salt lake of Lake Gairdner in South Australia.

Conditions are already looking promising for a fast run.

“The salt is the hardest it’s been in 25 years. The harder the salt the less resistance it has. The harder the track the quicker I will go,” Mr Felten said.

During Speed Week, from March 12-16, Mr Felten will take to his motorbike on the salt aiming to break his record of 251.46km/h set last year and aiming for a 270km/h target speed. This was a one-way run, and for the official world record a two-way run with the average speed calculated is recorded.

“To ride that fast is really difficult. You have to steer with your feet. It’s so sensitive. I’m totally focused,” Mr Felten said.

He’ll have a crack at the Guiness World Record during the World Speed Trials from March 17 to 19. 

In between the directional change, an hour is provided to prepare the motorbike for the return journey which can pass very quickly when the radiator has filled up with salt and needs to be cleaned out.

“The wind, humidity and temperature will play a big part in the performance,” Mr Felten said.

“Practice builds confidence, and being relaxed and focused is a big part of riding the bike to its capabilities.”

Former MotoGP racer Kevin Magee will guide Mr Felten down the track using an analogue radio, in addition to the support of radio communications expert Paul Simpson.

​“To get on the bike and finish is the greatest adrenaline rush for ages,” Mr Felten said.

“It’s an intense, incredible feeling. It’s so empowering for me to go out there and race a motorbike.”

Maybe this year Mr Felten’s dream to become the world’s fastest blind man riding a motorcycle will become a reality.

 “We are really confident, we’ve got excellent equipment, the bikes are brand new. This is our year,” he said.

Mr Felten has represented Australia on many occasions over the years in blind cricket and rowing, and last month he was one of the Commonwealth Games baton bearers as the baton made its way through Penrith.


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