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Pol Tarres breaks own bike altitude world record

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Credit: Yamaha

In 2022, Pol Tarrés and his Yamaha Ténéré 700 set the Guinness World Record for the highest altitude reached by a motorcycle when he climbed 6,157.5 metres up Cerro Mercedario in Argentina. Two years later, on 7 March, he returned to the Andes to crush his own record, this time ascending the Nevado Ojos del Salado volcano in Chile to a height of 6,677 metres on the Ténéré World Raid.

Tarrés was joined by Yamaha’s Javi Echevarria (project manager), Miguel Echevarria (film crew), Ahikar Azcona (Yamaha ambassador), and Joan Espasa (film crew) for the adventure. Gerardo Bauty, Thomas Caballero, Juan León, and Cristian Órdenes served as his guides on the mountain. His crew, dubbed the Trece Racing Society, also had support from RAM Trucks.

After spending two weeks getting used to the mountain atmosphere, Tarrés and the team battled through snow and impassible routes from Refugio Murray to the volcano’s summit and main crater. They successfully achieved the goal in fifty minutes.

His Ténéré was equipped with the GYTR competition kit, which replaces the stock ECU with a rally raid-style setup and has more fuel capacity, the latter of which was a concern during the 2022 effort. He also brought a Yamaha YZ450FX with rally trim, which climbed to 6,767 metres while scouting out the route.

“Above six thousand metres, everything seems to go super slow,” said Tarrés. “The physical exhaustion is indescribable and there is no room for mistakes. Even walking is a challenge, let alone riding a Ténéré at this altitude.”

Ojos del Salado is the highest volcano on Earth and the highest point in Chile. Four months prior to Tarrés’ run, fellow rally raider Romain Dumas climbed the dormant volcano in a modified Porsche 911 to 6,734 metres to set the four-wheel altitude record.

In his usual day job with Yamaha, Tarrés leads the Ténéré Yamaha Rally Team alongside Alessandro Botturi. In January, he won three stages and finished third overall at the Africa Eco Race that follows the original Paris–Dakar Rally route. Tarrés scored his maiden raly raid win at the 2023 Transanatolia Rally in a 1–2 finish for the team.

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Justin is not an off-road racer, but he writes about it for The Checkered Flag.
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