Honda Superbike Two-Seater Ride with Chris Ulrich

Published On July 17, 2014 » 2848 Views» By Cassie Conklin » Blogs, IMS Staff Stories, MotoGP, Red Bull Indianapolis GP

I have very vivid memories of sitting in the IMS Media Center, overlooking the front stretch and watching motorcycle two-seater rides during Red Bull Indianapolis GP weekend. Person after person would climb on the back of a motorcycle and be driven around the road course at 150+ mph. “They’re actually crazy,” I’d think to myself. “Never in a million years would I do that.”

But this morning, I found myself like this:


Suited up before my ride on the Superbike

The IMS Public Relations team had invited members of the media to the Speedway for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. They would be taking laps around the road course at 160mph on the back of a Honda Superbike. When there were a few spots leftover, they asked if I would be up for the opportunity. Apparently I seem crazier than I thought…

The day began with a quick introduction by the team at GEICO Motorcycle Road Racing and rider Chris Ulrich. They assured us that Chris was the best there was! He’s been giving two-seater rides for over 10 years without any kind of incident. Of course, there were still a few butterflies fluttering around my stomach as we began suiting up.

We were given professional-grade safety gear. Helmets, full leathers, gloves, and boots – just like the real MotoGP riders.


Professional-grade helmets

Once on the bike, I wrapped my hands around the grab handle, placed my feet on the pegs, took a deep breath and we were off!

Before I knew it we were leaning into the first few corners. And when I say leaning I mean pavement glaring you right in the face! We were inches from the blue and white curbs. I tried my best to lean into the turns to make things easier for Chris, but I’m not sure I was much help!

Then came the straights. I ducked my head behind Chris, as instructed, to minimize the g-forces pulling my helmet up and back. And then I learned what it really, REALLY means to hold on for dear life! The bike was reaching speeds of 160mph on the front straight. I had never experienced anything like it!


My reaction after the ride

It was such an awesome feeling when I got off the bike. Such an adrenaline rush! “You’ll be buzzing for a while,” Chris said. He was right – I think I’m still “buzzing”.

This year during the 2014 Red Bull Indianapolis GP as I watch the two-seater rides from my usual spot in the Media Center I think I’ll be a bit envious of the riders. I’d truly recommend the experience to anyone. Maybe I am actually crazy…


About The Author

Cassie Conklin

I've been with IMS since 2010 and I can surely say my love for this place continues to grow! I'm the Digital Content Strategist and love to hear your feedback on our digital presence. Leave comments on our posts and let us know how we're doing. Follow @IMS on Twitter and 'Like' Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Facebook. See you at the next event!