The MythBusters The MythBusters

MythBusters Episode 202: Motorcycle Water Ski

Premier Date: June 5, 2013

A motorcycle moving at freeway speed can ride across the surface of a lake, as demonstrated in a viral video.

confirmed (but not recommended)

Adam and Jamie started with a small-scale test using a remote-controlled toy motorcycle and a small pond of scaled depth. They thought it was working but the high-speed camera revealed that the motorcycle was mostly riding on the bottom of the pond. Their next idea was to see if a real motorcycle wheel could stay atop water with enough speed. To test this, they built a rig that held a motorcycle wheel off the side of a speedboat, and despite some initial difficulties caused by the extra drag, they eventually got the tire to skim the surface of the water at 60 miles per hour (97 km/h).

Next, they brought in a supercross motorcycle racer (Eric McCrummen) for a full scale test; he successfully rode across 50 ft (15 m) and then 100 ft (30 m) of open water with a depth of 3 feet (0.91 m), confirming the myth. Finally, Jamie attempted to ride across a very long stretch of open water to determine if the motorcycle was merely skipping across the surface from existing momentum or if it could actually generate power while on top of the water; he sank after riding about 300 feet (91 m).

A criminal holed up in a hotel room could have constructed a parachute from materials in the room in 3 hours and jumped to safety from 20 stories up.


The Build Team began by attempting to construct their own parachutes. They each had access to typical hotel room materials and 3 hours to work. Each of them successfully built a differently shaped parachute out of different materials within the time limit. However, when Buster was dropped from a 20-story height by a crane, none of the parachutes were able to slow his impact below a lethal g-force of 100 g. The team followed up by measuring various materials’ weight and air resistance, and using the results to construct a “best case” parachute out of shower curtains from 24 rooms and duct tape. With this parachute, Buster landed after a 30-story drop with a g-force of only 4.2 g, meaning a person would survive without injury. The team declared the myth busted because the final parachute required far more material and construction time than the criminal supposedly had available.