Texas Man Sets New Motorcycle Record Riding Across America’s Heartland

by Matthew Memrick

Texan motorcycle rider Alex Jones set a new record last week riding across America’s heartland.

According to the website Motorbiscuit, the man had heard about cannonball records for years and saw New Jersey man Calvin Cote make history two years ago. 

Cote, now 32, raced from Redondo Beach, Calif. to New York City in less than 36 hours. 

Jones bested Cote with a time of 32 hours and 52 minutes last week. He had an average speed of 87 miles per hour while topping out at 120 mph.

The cannonball run is a modern-day unsanctioned and illegal speed record. When it became famous as a protest to a 55 mph speed limit nationwide, auto journalist Brock Yates named it the Cannonball Baker Sea-To-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash race.

The racing started in the 1970s, and many racers like to keep up with their records and attempts. There are categories such as electric vehicles, diesel vehicles, and motorcycles. 

Motorcycle Record-breaker Found Right Bike

First, Jones has to find the right bike for his quick trip. He said that the perfect motorcycle turned out to be a 2014 Yamaha FJR1300.

“I found the right motorcycle with 80,000 miles already on it, and bought it for $4,000,” Jones said.

The Dallas resident had to put on some extras. He added a 7-gallon fuel cell on the rear fender to increase range. Then, he put on some auxiliary lighting with a radar detector, a radar jammer, and two phone mounts. 

Other extreme measures included protein bars, caffeine pills, and a Camelbak water canteen. When he had to pee, Jones used a catheter designed to dump out urine on the road. 

Motorcycle Rider Had Some Trouble

Jones knew he had to be on his game and determined to beat Cote’s mark.

By the way, Cote did his run in 35 hours and six minutes and spanned 2,772 miles. His average speed clocked in at 89 miles per hour.

Jones’s trip didn’t come without some difficulties. Most cannon ballers work to avoid construction and predictable traffic.

The record-breaker left Manhattan’s Red Ball Garage at 6:24 a.m. on Oct. 17. After that, his motorcycle’s cruise control broke. Then, at the end of the first night, his auxiliary lights failed. Talk about bad luck for the motorcycle rider.

Despite good weather with lots of wind, his rear tire wore faster than he had expected. Jones said it was “nearly bald” by California. 

He pulled into the Portofino Hotel and Marina, the “race finish line” in Redondo Beach at 12:16 p.m. local time the next day.

After breaking the record, Jones left the Golden State for his home. When asked about his next adventure, Jones said he was selling the bike and getting into some other hobbies.