Video of Rollerman Racing Against 600cc Sportbike (Spoiler: He Wins)

Illustration for article titled Video of Rollerman Racing Against 600cc Sportbike (Spoiler: He Wins)

Rollerman, aka Jean-Yves Blondeau, a crazy Frenchman whose Buggy Rollin' suit effectively turns him into a 60-mph trolley, was pitted against a racing motorcyclist for a TV show earlier this year. Check out what happens at 1 min 10 secs in [Updated with more info about it.]

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—for a moment, I thought there was going to be a 33-wheel pileup. Blondeau chose the racetrack, but it was a close run thing.

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[Updated 9:10AM EST]

Before anyone calls "foul" or "trick," this TV program is a contest in which participants bet they can do something amazing. They do it live, on camera, after demonstrating to the producers they can do it before they are selected. Of course, the risk is that the feat may or not turn out OK during the program. Many people fail.

The program exists in many countries (Spain, Italy, France and apparently South Korea) and money changes hands because people bet on them, and the most amazing successful feat wins money for the participant. For this reason, there are notaries who observe every single test to make sure everything is legit.

Could the motorbike pilot hold himself? Looking at how he drives, I doubt it. He's going as fast as he can, but there are a lot of dangerous curves in which he has to slow down or risk an accident. Blondeau, on the other side, takes the curves a lot more aggressively, probably because his suit allows him to do so. He did an almost 90

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turn at 1:10. That's quite impressive and that's why he ends up winning (by very little, but wins).

Below is what Rollerman can do when he's not racing bikes.

That's one way of seeing Paris, I suppose. [YouTube via <a href="http://spluch.blogspot.com/2007/08/human-luge-in-buggy-rolling-suit.html

">Spluch]

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DISCUSSION

It does seem that the rider wasn't leaning as much as he should have, but that's possibly a matter of confidence with the track. As a result, he's probably losing more speed on each turn than necessary. Rollerman, by comparison, doesn't rely on countersteering or lean as much, can lift wheels to reduce rolling resistance on straightaways, and can ADD wheels on turns to improve his traction, thus giving him greater control. The motorcyclist is stuck with a constant size for his contact patch, which is actually a bit of a disadvantage. More contact = more grip = more control at high speeds. It's why a motorcycle can't outperform a well-designed car in a high speed turn. The car can take the turns at a higher speed, so even if the motorcycle has a lower turning radius, it has to give up too much speed in the process.

Additionally, I have to wonder how Rollerman's doing, drag-wise, compared to even a fully-faired superbike.

In short, Rollerman vs. this rider? The victory clearly goes to Rollerman. Rollerman vs. a more seasoned rider who's done a couple of test laps? I'll place my money on the motorcycle.