On a '79 Vespa 50, refueling like fighter planes and without stopping, Valerio Boni travels more than 1,200 km

A new record, the sixth in three years, adds to the unique collection of Valerio Bonijournalist 65 years specialized in engines, especially those of small displacement. The last of the series is the one that, with 1,233.075 km (766.19 miles), marks the maximum distance traveled in 24 hours on a 50 cc Vespa, conquered from noon on March 6 until the same time the next day on the historic Terramar route.

A result that not only raises the record bar by 305 km, but also represents personal satisfaction for having repeated and surpassed what was achieved 45 years ago. In 1979, Valerio Bonionly 20 years old, had traveled 940 km (584,089 miles) in 24 hours on his Vespa 50, a considerable distance considering the speed limit of 40 km/h (24.85 mph) imposed by law at the time. .

Valerio Boni comments: “It was not an official record because, despite the presence of an official timing service, I had not thought about the possibility of obtaining Guinness certification. I simply considered it one of the little two-wheeled follies of my life, but I also saw it as a small defeat, since my goal in 1979 was to reach 960 km.”

Keep going: “To do this, I planned a 24-hour non-stop tour, using an innovative refueling technique inspired by the “air to air refueling” method used by fighter jets, but a drop in engine performance during nighttime hours made me lose about twenty kilometers.”

Concludes: “In times of Covid, I discovered that in the Guinness database there was a category “longest distance traveled in 24 hours on a 50 cc scooter”, and it belonged to the Australian Mark Brown, who in 2005 had not exceeded 928 km, 12 less than mine.”

The refueling technique used by Valerio Boni

From that moment on, the idea of ​​recovering the record that morally belonged to him was born unconsciously. The Vespa 50 was still in the box, restored in 2015 and entered in the IMF historical register, but in the meantime 45 years had passed for both the scooter and the driver, an element that should not be underestimated at all.

The final push came by chance, during the presentation of a book, “You never forget your first Vespa”, in which the author Paola Scarsi collects in 208 pages the testimonies of more or less famous people linked to the most famous scooter in the world. The meeting with Denys Maiorino, owner of the Epoca Motors workshop in Trezzo sull'Adda, specialized in the restoration of scooters, ignited the desire to accept the challenge.

Valerio Boni achieves his 6th Guinness record on a 1979 Vespa 50

Valerio Boni with the Vespa 50 restored in 2015

One of the fundamental elements when organizing a record attempt is always related to the choice of the ideal circuit, which must combine the layout of the track with the economic aspect. If in 1979 the 24 Hours were organized on the Pirelli Track in Vizzola Ticino, after careful evaluation, the Spanish Terramar circuit, not far from Barcelona, ​​was preferred.

A ring 2,005 meters long, with two impressive elevated curves, one of the oldest in the world, born in 1923 and much loved by Tazio Nuvolari. Valerio Boni comments: “I saw the Terramar circuit for the first time in 2018. You can feel the weight of time and in some places the concrete slabs at the bottom are very uneven, but given the reduced speed I considered taking the risk and facing the long trip.”

Valerio Boni achieves his 6th Guinness record on a 1979 Vespa 50

Concludes: “It must be said that an important part of the choice was made by the “round” numbers: a 45-year-old scooter, a track that has just celebrated a century of life, 55 years since the presentation of the first Vespa 50 Special, 100 years of the Pontedera plant, where the Vespa is always built, and finally my 65 years.”

In the initial planning phase of the attempt, there was some confusion between aiming for the original target of 960 kilometers or going for 1,080 (671.08 miles). The first was the original target, which could be reached by traveling at 40 km/h, the legal speed limit in 1979, while the second represented the maximum distance travelable at the current maximum legal speed for a moped in Europe: 45 km/h. h (28 mph).

Valerio Boni achieves his 6th Guinness record on a 1979 Vespa 50

The answer came from Guinness guidelines, which set the displacement limit at 50cc, but with no speed limits, as long as the engine conforms to a mass-produced one. Thus, the Vespa was freed from the blockages that limited its performance, increasing its speed to about 55 km/h (34.1 mph).

Supported by the Época Motors team and friends Ivo Viscasillas and Cristian Noguera, expert endurance motorcyclists, who also lent the competition Vespas used for refueling on the move, Valerio Boni managed to maintain an average speed higher than that necessary to overcome the finish line.

Valerio Boni achieves his 6th Guinness record on a 1979 Vespa 50

In this way he broke the old record of 928 kilometers long before 5 in the morning. The only drawback was some eye irritation caused by the dust, which required a brief pause to apply some eye drops, by which time the record was already in the bag.

This made it not possible to do a strictly non-stop 24 hours, but this did not affect the final result, as it was an extra challenge added by the rider eager to exactly replicate the 1979 test. In fact, the guidelines do not set any limits. at stops, which can be managed entirely at the rider's discretion within the time frame of the attempt.

Valerio Boni achieves his 6th Guinness record on a 1979 Vespa 50

The certainty of the result came in recent days, after all the required documentation was sent to London for verification and approval, otherwise it is not possible to use the name “Guinness record” in communications. The record achieved in Terramar is currently the only one that has a Vespa among the more than 53,000 registered in the Guinness database.

Other Guinness records by Valerio Boni

  • May 2021: Castelletto di Branduzzo (Italy), longest distance on a pocket scooter in 24 hours
  • May 2022: Brembate (Italy), longest distance on a motocross bike in 24 hours
  • October 2022: Zuera (Spain), longest distance on an electric scooter in 24 hours
  • February 2023: Cremona (Italy), fastest towed asphalt ski
  • November 2023: Cervesina (Italy), longest distance on an electric scooter in 24 hours by a team

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