21,909 Feet on a Volcano in Chile

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As reported on GearJunkie last week, Pol Tarrés set a new altitude world record on March 6, riding a lightweight (233-pound), single-cylinder Yamaha YZ450FX dirt bike up the slopes of Ojos Del Salado, the world’s highest active volcano in the Chilean Andes range.

After such a stunning achievement, you’d expect Pol and his expedition team to descend the mountain and revel in a well-deserved celebration party. But extreme enduro and rally racer Pol Tarrés is wired differently.

Instead of celebrating after the wheeled vehicle world altitude record, the nephew of seven-time FIM World Trial Champion Jordi Tarrés rode up the volcano again the next day. He did so not only to attempt to break his 24-hour-old world record but also to do it on a Yamaha Ténéré 700 World Raid, a beast of a twin-cylinder adventure (ADV) motorcycle.

Adventure Motorcycle World Altitude Records

GPS showing Pol Tarrés ADV motorcycle world altitude record
Two GPS units showing Pol Tarrés’ new world record; (photo/Yamaha Motor Company)

Pol Tarrés, in his youth the FIM European Trial Junior Champion (2009 and 2010), had already made history in March 2020 when he rode the same twin-cylinder ADV motorcycle to a world record altitude of 20,202 feet on the slopes of the Andes’ Cerro Mercedario.

But this time, he wanted to set the bar even higher by breaking his altitude world record for a twin-cylinder ADV motorcycle only 24 hours after setting a new world record for a wheeled vehicle. To do this on an ADV motorcycle twice the weight of the dirt bike he rode a day earlier is much more physically demanding feat.

Pol Tarrés' expedition team for world adventure bike altitude recordPol Tarrés' expedition team for world adventure bike altitude record
The expedition team for the adventure bike world altitude record; (photo/Yamaha Motor Company)

On March 7, 2024, Pol Tarrés rode himself into the Guinness Book of World Records for the second day in a row by reaching 21,909 feet aboard his Yamaha Ténéré 700 World Raid, breaking his previous ADV motorcycle world record. Whereas he carried an oxygen tank in his backpack during the 2020 ascent, this time, he rode “naturally aspirated,” upping the ante on the new big bike altitude record.

Tarrés wasn’t able to best the wheeled vehicle record he set the day prior, which still stands at 22,165 feet.

Getting to Know Pol Tarrés

Pol Tarrés play riding on an adventure motorcyclePol Tarrés play riding on an adventure motorcycle
Pol Tarrés showing his adventure bike riding skills; (photo/Yamaha Motor Company)

I got to know Pol Tarrés when he raced his first rally, the 2022 Tunisia Desert Challenge, for the Yamaha Tenere World Raid Factory Team. It was part of my job to interview him at the end of every day, and apart from his world-class riding talent, he impressed me with his passion, strength, friendly demeanor, and fun-loving nature.

While most racers retreated after dinner, I enjoyed hanging out with Pol and a few Yamaha team members every night at the Bivouac Bar in the middle of the Sahara desert. But he was up early every morning, heading to the breakfast tent, cheerful and ready to ride motorcycles over great distances on super-demanding terrain. Being a true professional, you could never tell he’d been partying the night before. It was clear that Pol has an incredible zest for life.

Pol Tarrés in the 2022 Tunisia Desert ChallengePol Tarrés in the 2022 Tunisia Desert Challenge
Tarrés in the 2022 Tunisia Desert Challenge; (photo/Yamaha Motor Company)

Upon saying goodbye at the end of the rally, I knew Pol was destined for continued success. I’m certain he will inspire and entertain the motorcycle world with his extraordinary exploits for years to come, just like he did with the short movies “The Seeker,” “The Seeker 2,” and “The Seeker 3: Unleashed and Unbound.” Don’t skip watching these sensational movies; you can’t even begin to imagine the acrobatics Pol can do with a big ADV motorcycle.

Also worth watching is the 19-minute documentary on Pol Tarrés’ First Altitude World Record with a twin-cylinder Yamaha T700 on Cerro Mercedario in the Andes in 2022. A documentary of the new 2024 world record is in the making. You can soon watch it on his YouTube channel and follow his exploits on his Trece Racing website and Instagram accounts.

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