Freewheeling Eric

Zero to 60 in 3.5 seconds. A top speed of 120 miles per hour. State of the art suspension that pre-vents wobble as the speedometer climbs. Sounds like a sweet car for sure. But Eric Hoenshell doesn’t drive cars that go that fast. He rides motorcycles that go even faster. And sometimes he uses both wheels.

Soft-spoken and unassuming, this humble, 25-year-old stunt rider pulls tricks on a Kawasaki Ninja 636 at speeds most people will never drive. Hoenshell started his unusual career and de-veloped his obsession with speed and stunts at the age of 2. As a child, he rode motocross before most kids his age figured out how to ride a tricycle.

Hoenshell stuck with motocross for 18 years, until a near-fatal accident almost derailed his ca-reer. “In 2000, I was in an accident that crushed my right leg,” says Hoenshell. “I lost two inches of each of the bones in that leg. I was out of the sport for two years, and it was the worst two years of my life.”

But after two years of a hellish recovery, Hoenshell returned to the saddle. “After I recuperated, my parents bought me a Yamaha R6,” says Hoenshell. “It was my first street bike. I’d go out with friends and pull wheelies on the highway. I did that for awhile and then one night it hit me — this is what I want to do for a living. So I ran with it. Now it’s what I do and it’s the best job a guy could have.”

Hoenshell’s parents lost their minds when they found out what was on his. They couldn’t believe he was serious about a career as a stunt cyclist. When they realized he wasn’t joking, they laid down the law: if he pulled any stunts on the cycle they’d sell it.

But his conviction won the day. After b