This is a story that will inspire mental and physical toughness, unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. Meet Zef Eisenberg, a millionaire businessman who founded the sports nutritional product company called Maximuscle, and who also happens to be a diehard motorcycle enthusiast with an unbelievable need for speed. He is on a mission to become the fastest man in the world on a motorcycle and is willing to lay his life on the line in order to achieve that goal. When I say lay his life on the line, I mean that literally because almost exactly one year ago today, Eisenberg suffered a ferocious wreck after coming off his bike at a mind-boggling 234mph. It was so brutal that he was actually pronounced dead at the scene but miraculously was brought back to life at a local hospital.
Let me say that again because it’s almost too hard to believe; this man crashed his motorcycle at 234mph, was pronounced dead at the scene and then miraculously was brought back to life. And this happened almost exactly a year ago at the Straightliners “Top Speed” event held at the Elvington Airfield in North Yorkshire, England. He was competing for the Madmax race team in what’s called the “Omega Class” with his one of a kind turbine powered motorcycle. Apparently, Eisenberg has dumped more than $350,000 into this bike, not including the countless hours designing and building the thing. To call it a monster, might actually be an understatement because providing power is a Rolls-Royce helicopter turbine engine that’s estimated to produce a staggering 560hp.
Eisenberg was attempting to break the record over a 1 mile stretch of runway when he passed the braking point at approximately 234mph. Describing that very moment, he said “your tunnel vision narrows until it’s like a sniper rifle,” and “because of that, I didn’t see the finish flags to the right. And I was traveling at 400 feet per second.” Even though it was only two seconds, he had lost 1,000 feet of stopping distance and was rapidly approaching the grass at the end of the runway and the last thought that went through his head was “oh shit.” What do you do at that point? If you slam on the brakes you’re surely going to wreck and wreck hard which would give you one hell of a road rash, even with leathers. The only other option was to hit the end of the runway and pray that mother nature is more forgiving than the hard concrete.
The next thing he remembered was waking up three days later in a hospital intensive care unit full of pins, plates, and all sorts of hardware holding his badly beaten body together. As you can imagine, his injuries were significant, a cracked pubic bone, snapped femur, sheared ankle bone, broken pelvis in two places, and a destroyed shoulder. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, the horrific head trauma left him temporarily blind for days following the accident. But nonetheless, he was alive. Doctors told him it was very unlikely that he would ever walk again and certainly would never ride a bike again.
It’s a good thing those doctors told him that too because he used that as motivation to go out and prove them wrong. Which is exactly what he did. It was a long, hard road but Eisenberg managed to do just that. He was back on a motorcycle before he could properly walk. He told reporters, “I decided I needed that, for my mental strength and recovery.” He picked up a small, lightweight 200cc bike and fabricated a holder for his crutches, and he rode as much as possible. As he got stronger and further along in the recovery process he gradually increased the size of the bike with the end goal of throwing his leg over the 560hp turbine powered monster that nearly killed him, a recreated one that is because the bike was destroyed in the wreck.
Here we are now, just over a year later, and Eisenberg plans to return to the Elvington Airfield and get back on the turbine powered bike to make a high-speed run. He has no intentions of breaking his own record because this is more for his mental state than an attempt to break records. The goal is to reach 200mph, “slowly and safely” just to make sure that the bike, the body and maybe most importantly the mind, is all functioning like they should. Once he accomplishes that, he feels confident that he’ll be back again next year and that’s when he will be shooting for records again.
Stories like these make you feel good about being a moto enthusiasts because there are very few types of people that are passionate enough about something where they will come running back to it, even though it literally tried to kill them. I applaud Eisenberg for his extreme mental toughness, and of course his giant brass balls and wish him the best of luck at this weekends event. Hopefully, all goes according to plan so he can come back next year and potentially break the 250mph barrier.
Here’s Eisenberg setting the 234mph record: