Google+ Two-Wheeled Tourist: Independent Motorsports goes to the circus...

5.13.2011

Independent Motorsports goes to the circus...

With the circus in town here in Columbus, OH this week, I think it would be fun to share this story.

I had a customer come into Independent Motorsports on Tuesday carrying a rear wheel to a 2008 Honda Rebel to have two spokes replaced. When I asked him how soon he needed it, he answered, "I'll need it tomorrow to prepare the bike for my act."

It turns out that he was a performer for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus and his "act" involved riding a Rebel across a high-wire up to 70 ft. in the air! Since wheel spokes aren't a very common thing that's carried in stock at most motorcycle stores (they don't break often enough to justify it), I started calling multiple Honda dealerships in Ohio. After several calls and six shops later I came across the guys at Western Hills Honda Yamaha in Cincinnati who had four of the spokes in stock and were able to overnight the parts to our store where one of our awesome techs reinstalled and trued the wheel in less than an hour.

His "wheel" is a stock rim with a large strip of tire rubber riveted down to the inside. There is a deep groove in the middle to accommodate the high-wire that he rides on. According to him, his Rebel has also been modified with a large sprocket for extra torque for short, precise movements and his fuel tank plugged up for, well, just watch the video below to find out why.

This the Honda Rebel 250 wheel that rides across the highwire.
Close-up of the tire groove
So here's our customer, Alex Petrov, entertaining the masses on that high-wire bike. I'm proud to say that I helped get him back in the air again! This is probably the best use of a Honda Rebel that I've seen in a long time, and a very strange (and short) commute from point A to point B. I'm proud to say that, yes, we service motorcycles for commuters and circus folk alike!