Top 10 Hardest Rides Of All Time

The top ten riders who against injured continued battling on to inspiring acts of courage

Posted: 19 April 2010
by Gordon Ritchie

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Bike racing, in its dozens of forms and shapes, is always a hard man’s sport. By definition, merely covering yourself in cow skin, plonking a helmet on your head and then pushing the limits around every single corner you encounter on something with no safety whatsoever can hardly be a pastime for softies. Put the inhuman desire for championship wins and manufacturer tribalism into the mix and the pressure to perform, no matter what, makes the whole business even tougher again.

It therefore attracts people with the kind of grit, bravery and determination that in wartime would make them candidates for a Victoria Cross.

The 10 hardest rides of all time? Well shit, that’s a toughie. In placing only 10 rides out of tens of thousands of superhuman displays thus far in motorcycling history into a single feature like this is a tough task. For starters, were we all to name our most notable 10 hardest rides, we would all come out with different ideas, different eras and totally different results.

You will notice we have purposefully excluded some rides against the odds that resulted in riders paying the ultimate price, or suffering true career ending injuries. That, I believe, has no place in a feature meant as a celebration of the human spirit, its ability to overcome through sheer valour and endurance. Even if all some of them got for their gutsy displays was another step closer to losing over a season. So here they are, the 10 hardest rides of all time. Prepare to disagree!

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Discuss this story

Reading through this list gave me chills.  What is it to be a god or demi-god?  Individuals such as these have to be somewhere close... the untouchable forms of once mere mortals transcended through fire and brimstone, huh?  Well, in the least they give me inspiration and offer me something to aspire to.

 Great article!

Posted: 20/04/2010 at 06:28

Perhaps not hardest rides, perhaps hardest riders.  Jorge is well up there, an exceptional rider with massive talent who has no fear.

Posted: 21/04/2010 at 18:40

Fantastic article.  These guys are an inspiration  to men everywhere.

Posted: 16/06/2011 at 05:44

James Whitham gets my vote for trying to qualify when he was suffering from cancer .

Posted: 10/08/2011 at 21:16

@ Mr Butterscotch - Just a shame he's a dick...

Posted: 01/05/2012 at 16:03

Mr butterscotch didn't Jorge not ride last year due to a finger! I think Troy Bayliss lost a finger and rode the next race or day can't remember.

Posted: 23/08/2012 at 08:22

I hitched to Ettlebrock in 82 when Brad Lackey won his title for Suzuki but Carla was supreme going 1-1 for the day.If I close my eyes I can still remember him coming through the trees at enormous speed with this loud chainsaw Yamaha,unforgettable and just a brilliant,brilliant day.

Posted: 24/08/2012 at 16:51

The late AMA Pro Racing champion, Randy Renfrow deserves to be on this list: Renfrow lost a thumb in a race crash at willow springs and had the docs amputate one of his big toes and grafted it onto his hand so he could resume racing.

Posted: 24/06/2014 at 14:22

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