The MythBusters The MythBusters

MythBusters Episode 111: Motorcycle Flip

Premier Date: October 29, 2008

Throwing a wooden pole into the spokes of a motorbike’s front wheel will cause it to flip.


The MythBusters first obtained a bike similar to the type used during filming of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. They built a mechanized rig that could fire a pole at human-like speeds. During a full-scale test with the bike moving at a speed of 40 miles per hour, the bike snapped the wooden pole without stopping, busting the myth. Undeterred, The MythBusters decided to redo the test with a steel pole. Although the steel pole did stop the bike, it skidded instead of flipping, definitively busting the myth. The team analyzed the movie scene and discovered that explosives were used to flip the bike. They then built a mortar and used it to flip the bike in an elaborate recreation of the movie scene.

(This myth is based on a scene in the movie Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.)

While escaping prison, you could climb down a wall using a rope made of toilet paper.


To compensate for toilet paper’s low tensile strength, Tory twisted it into multiple yarns to create rope. After creating the rope, Tory found that it was strong enough to support his weight. During a test climbing down a courthouse, Tory had difficulty keeping a firm grip on the rope. Nonetheless, the Build Team declared the myth plausible.

While escaping prison, you could climb down a wall using a rope made of bed sheets.


Grant found that making his bed sheet rope was very easy and quick in comparison to the toilet paper and hair ropes. During the test, the rope held Grant’s weight and he successfully descended to the ground.

While escaping prison, you could climb down a wall using a rope made of hair.


In order to make a rope, Kari braided numerous ponytails together, with some difficulty. Despite initial doubts, she managed to successfully climb down the hair rope. The Build Team declared this myth plausible since getting the necessary amount of hair to create a rope would be extremely impractical.