Acerbis conquers its first GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS®! The AC50 project led to the construction of the largest motorbike fuel tank entirely designed and built in-house, with a capacity of 108 litres, which made it possible to cover the distance from Albino (Italy) to Cape North (Norway) -4,183.8 km on a single full tank-, thus obtaining the award for the greatest distance driven on a single tank of fuel by a motorcycle (prototype).
The journey was possible thanks to the entire technical team of ACERBIS ITALIA SPA. The schedule took the motorbike through an specific route which enhanced fuel saving. From southern Europe to Northen Europe, the journey started in Albino, the home of Acerbis, and then took off to the Brenner Pass, Austria, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway and finally reaching the North Cape, at an average speed of around 70 kph. Three drivers took turns driving the vehicle: Alicia Sornosa, Andrea Rastrelli and Maurizio Vettor.
Guido Acerbis, CEO of Acerbis, is proud of accomplishing this challenge: “As a child, I admired the Guinness World Records book that my grandparents had given me and dreamed of entering it. Today, thanks to a determined and motivated team, the dream has become reality. Thanks to all of you who made it possible, and there are many of you.
The project was also possible thanks to the invaluable help of our partners: Garmin, Honda Red Moto, Repsol and SKF. The contribution of our supporters was also fundamental: CMV Meccanica s.r.l., Digital Communication, Domenico Carminati & c. Snc, Drudi Performance, MEFO, Moto Macchion, Pagani s.r.l., Sella Race, Verniciatura d’Arcore.
The journey continues and will only end with the last drop of fuel, but it will not extinguish our desire for adventure. We are constantly looking to the future, always ready to take on new challenges.
To those who have only dreamed of Ithaca,
to those who do not yet know where their own Ithaca is,
to those who are able to feel that emotion that takes their breath away,
to those who are able to recognise the purity of an idea,
to those who feel invincible because they have a destination and know they will reach it.
To all of you who have followed us and will continue to do so. To all of you.
Set out with us, towards our Ithaca.
Reaching the North Cape with only a single tank of fuel is the thrilling project launched by Acerbis to celebrate its 50th anniversary. More than just a challenge for the company, overcoming physical and technological obstacles, it is also an attempt to challenge a GUINNESS WORLD RECORD®, carefully chosen and studied down to the smallest details, consistent with the company spirit of courageous decision-making, adventure and passion for motorcycles.
To go down in history, the chosen feat must be the greatest distance driven on a single tank of fuel by a motorcycle (prototype). The destination is more than 4000 kilometres away from the Acerbis headquarters in Albino: it is the North Cape, the most extreme tip of Norway and universally symbolic of adventure.
Once there, the journey will not be over, but will continue to the last drop of petrol, in the heart of Sweden.
The Acerbis brainchild to make history: in order to challenge the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS®, Acerbis has created and homologated a tank with an augmented capacity, which contains 108 litres of petrol, installed on a Honda Monkey 125, allied for the occasion with other industry partners to achieve the goal.
The momentous day is set for 10 June when the motorcycle will leave the gates of the company’s headquarters and follow a route that has been optimized in advance, passing through Brenner, Austria, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Norway.
The wait is almost over. Now it’s time to step on the gas and leave everything behind.
“We’re probably the first tourists they’ve had since the war”
“Tunner, we’re not tourists. We’re travelers”
“Oh. What’s the difference?”
“A tourist is someone who thinks about going home the moment they arrive, Tunner”
“Whereas a traveler might not come back at all”.
From The Sheltering Sky, B. Bertolucci (1990)
This is the dialogue that introduces us to Maestro Bertolucci’s poignant film, bringing with it the profound essence of the Journey.
But what is the Journey of AC50?
The question is simple. The answer not so much.
Each protagonist of this adventure, those who have worked hard and will continue to do so, will add to it. Thus, the Journey begins with a visionary thought, which spreads and gradually involves many experts as they begin to share in the Dream.
Each will have a personal Journey but all together, they will experience the great Journey collectively, sealed by a sense of belonging.
From the instant when the spark of an idea appeared, Time has marked and modelled the Journey. A Time that has accelerated to the point of becoming frenetic, pressing, inclement in the timetable of countless deadlines but which, at first light on 10th June, will dilate to welcome the personal and shared emotion of the Journey, on the road to Cape North …
… and beyond.
Then, when the fuel runs out, the Journey along the road will end but each of the travellers in Team AC50 knows that they won’t be returning at all.
The calculations, mathematical model, estimates invariably reach the same result: the tank to be designed and built for this enterprise must hold at least 100 litres. Never seen anything like it but the excitement of this challenge is enough to trigger a shared thought: it can be done!
In its Vall’Alta plant, Acerbis produces 5000 tanks a week, each with its own features, its own design, its own critical issues. Each item includes the capacity and professionalism of men who can combine the most refined technology with manual skills and passion. Without their ability, the AC50 tank challenge would have just remained a marvellous dream.
A motorcyclist knows that an Adventure bike has a 20-23 litre tank. Those who dreamt of the Dakar in the golden years know that the great Meoni raced his KTM950 at 200 km/h with just over 60 litres of fuel, split between 3 tanks.
So now you have the AC50 tank with its 108 litre nominal capacity, its sinuous, yet functional, design, its brazen colours. Each aspect denoting just one thing: uniqueness.
4328 km: is the distance between Albino and the North Cape; the distance between the factory dream and achieving it; the distance where our Itaca is to be found.
In just a few weeks, before dawn on 10 June, the AC50 project Team, novice Argonauts, will be accompanying the launch of a bike to cover that distance. Andrea will be the first of three riders on a vehicle not to be fuelled until it reaches its goal.
Starting the attempt to achieve the World Record of the longest distance travelled by an ICE proto motorbike with just one full tank.
Alicia will be riding it when the North Cape cliff Globe appears, illuminated by sunlight not hiding under the horizon, a witness awaiting the AC50 Team.
No traveller, no adventurer stops, not even having reached the goal dreamed of and long desired: Maurizio will take the bike beyond that dream, beyond Itaca, until the very last drop has fuelled the engine. Where will this happen? That place, unknown to all, will appear suddenly welcoming the silence of the engine and intimate emotion of each one involved.
The beauty of landscapes. The feeling of freedom. The narrow and winding roads. Weather conditions that vary without warning. The large unspoilt and deserted areas. Seas, mountains, fjords, forests, rivers, lakes. A journey by motorcycle from Italy to the North Cape, the extreme tip of Norway, is the dream of every motorcyclist voyager.
It is said that after thousands of kilometres, reaching such a wild landscape – populated by reindeer and elk, grazing freely – is an unforgettable experience. It is also said that reaching that place and looking out from the cliff, which offers an incredible panoramic view of the Atlantic Ocean, is breathtaking.
That is why the AC50 journey will be pushing to reach that place. We want the attempt at a world-record to reach an unforgettable place, as unforgettable as the first 50 years of Acerbis.
The itinerary chosen by the Acerbis team to reach the North Cape (Nordkapp in Norwegian), will cross through Austria, Germany, Denmark, Sweden. Norway. A road already travelled by who knows how many motorcyclists but, this time, the journey will be different.
We have chosen a destination that is symbolic of worldclass motorcycling because we want to tell the story of the passion of Acerbis, not only for racing but also for challenges and adventure. The decision to reach the furthermost point in Norway is dictated by our passion for exploration: that which is emotional, which regards our work, which fills the eyes and the heart.
A long journey awaits us. You will soon understand where the difficulties, risks and dangers lurk; overcoming them will make this venture even more epic and extraordinary.
A journey such as the one we are about to embark on, a journey through many different countries and landscapes, requires meticulous planning and a great deal of preparation. Many parts of northern Norway are almost uninhabited, so it is important to bring sufficient food and water to face any emergencies.
The three AC50 riders will take turns driving daily stages of around 800 km. Following them are two technical support vans and a staff of engineers, videomakers, and photographers. The CEO of Acerbis, Guido Acerbis, will also be on board.
The departure from Albino, home of Acerbis Motorsport, is scheduled for sunrise on Saturday, 10 June 2023. We will arrive at North Cape on 14 June where, however, our journey does not end. That’s right. Having reached this point, we must now tell you that we are turning around and heading back south again, to keep our odometer working as long as the strength and energy of our AC50 prototype will allow. We will reach the point where the last drop of petrol disappears from our tank, the largest rotational tank we have ever made for a motorcycle!
Madrid, September 2011: ‘My motorbike was so loaded up that I didn’t dare move my head to left or right when I reached the last slip road before the motorway. I shifted into first gear, gently released the clutch and let the 300 kilos under me slowly start to move forward. Third, fourth, fifth… in the rear-view mirror I could see what I was leaving behind; everything I was familiar with grew smaller and smaller, and everything became a blur as the kilometres sped past, with me on my motorbike: my home for the next 17 months. Ahead – a whole world to discover on my two wheels, and hundreds of kilometres of unknown roads. A myriad of new experiences, with some fear and lots of excitement mixed in. This is how I started my round-the-world tour on my motorbike, which I completed a year and a half later, and during which I got to know five different continents.
I’ve always relished excitement and moving out of my comfort zone, and the phone call from Acerbis set my heart racing:
“Males or females sought for a long, perilous trip. Extremes of heat, cold, wind and rain guaranteed. Long periods on the road on your motorbike. Return: only after covering many thousands of kilometres, and hopefully with a world record!”
This was made for me! I thought to myself. Once again, a challenge had entered my life – a trip featuring many different experiences, with a little fear and loads of excitement thrown in.
I could already see myself on the AC50, setting out on this big adventure: pushing the righthand lever and gradually engaging the clutch: first, second, third… I knew that the journey to this new Ithaca would be very different to any of the great adventures I had experienced before. I was so excited to be part of this arduous, unique, incredible, fun trip!’
Alicia Sornosa is the first woman in Europe, and the first Spanish-speaking woman, to have completed a solo round-the-world motorbike trip in the twenty-first century. She spent a year and a half on her trail motorbike, travelling more than 170,000 km (105,630 miles) over five different continents. Since then, the journalist has covered many more kilometres on her Ducati Scrambler, travelling to different parts of the world. She has received several awards for her trips, which are always linked to social causes, and has authored two books.
Dreams do not come true by chance: not only do planning and attention to detail make the difference, but tips the scale towards success. AC50 is not just a visionary idea. It is also a tank made with rotational technology. Matteo Gelmi and Samuel Ghilardelli, Acerbis Quality department technicians headed by Luisa Romano, guarantee the final product.
Quality is a kind of guardian angel, present in every single phase of technical and productive development. It is the friend you can always count on, the person who will not abandon you in the moment of need, is the one who makes sure that there is always everything you need in your backpack to better deal with any inconvenience, because you never know what will happen on such a long trip. Acerbis, with the AC50, is taking a new step forward, starting from consolidated know-how, but pushing beyond its limits. Among the activities envisaged by the validation process, the Leak Test is essential: putting the tank under pressure verifies its integrity and the absence of leaks, and the Thickness Measurement. Matteo Gelmi supervises every single phase, paying attention to every detail.
Leak test successfully passed.
Only the last green flag is missing.
We are in the Acerbis Quality laboratory, the AC50 tank is on the table, waiting for the final verdict.
Samuel Ghilardelli, Quality Technician with more than 100,000 controlled tanks in his career, begins his meticulous check. The people around him are watching, waiting.
Samuel finishes and puts away the Magna Mike 8600 tester.
He turns to the Team with a smile.
Now we can really start.
We’re ready, finally!
After ideas, dreams, calculations, style drafts, modelling, tests, validations, meetings, many hours of work, the time has come. The mould exits the Acerbis Workshop, like a new Apollo 11 towards its launch pad. This shimmering 3D puzzle, built of aluminium from the ground up, it embodies Acerbis’ vision.
The N8 machine awaits it to create the first piece.
In front of the machine, waiting for it, there is a number.
There are many years of experience of the Acerbis staff who will carry out the first moulding test of the largest motorcycle tank ever built. Donato Argentiero, Production Manager, Mario Russo, Process Technologist, are ready to set the mould on the arm. Shift foremen Cesare Pezzotta, Claudio Roncelli and Simone Zanga, professionals who know every single aspect of this technology, Mara Fiammarelli, chemist, completes the staff: it is she who is in charge of the Acerbis PA6 specifications. Right, Acerbis PA6, because Acerbis does not buy the raw material, Acerbis creates it, to its own particular specification.
The climatic chamber is set, the angular velocities defined, the assumed casting points, the amount of raw material calculated. If a standard motorcycle tank stops the scale needle between 4 kg and 6 kg, with AC50, also in this case, is setting a new record: PA6 weighs 15.2 kg.
A vision is becoming reality. The tool to achieve a World Record is ready to be built for the first time.
“BY ENDURANCE WE CONQUER”.