Pol Tarres inscribed his name into the Guinness World Record book by reaching the highest altitude with a twin cylinder bike – Tarres took the Yamaha Tenere 700 to 6.157,5m at the Cerro Mercedario in the Andes mountains.

“I have never felt so small in my entire life.” Says Pol Tarres of his epic climb in the Andes. “Outside you are nothing. Being very aware of each movement, I forgot about the cold, the thirst and the pressure of not making mistakes. But the truth is that the bike suffered much more than us. With all my knowledge of riding and mechanics, I would never have imagined that a motorcycle could withstand so much!”

We are used to seeing Tarres on his Yamaha Tenere 700 riding extreme terrain in videos, but the Spanish rider has gone the extra mile (high) up the Cerro de Mecedario in attempting to reach its summit with the T700.

Mercedario, one of the highest mountains of the Andes

Tarres and his Trece Racing Society crew, together with The Who video production company, went to Argentina in March to try to conquer the summit of the Mercedario mountain. A challenge that they went into without having any high mountain experience and just having prepped for three months.


“The main objective of our expedition was to put both the bike and the rider to the test, in the toughest conditions possible, following the mountaineering style all the way”, says Pol who is broadening his horizons literally, exploring paths where no one has ever ridden. Tarres says he opted for the Mercedario and not the Ojo Salado as it was a path that no one had ever tried to do on a motorcycle.

“On March 12, I took off from the base camp at 3,000 meters, did 10km and slept in the intermediate camp at 4,500 meters. On the 14th I reached the highest point ever reached by a two-cylinder, 6,157.5 meters.

“When I finally got a radio connection, I told my team that I couldn't continue. I noticed that they stopped breathing. They've never heard me say I can't. The rocky monster literally ate my tire and that was it.” Pol adds with a laugh.

Pol pushed the bike but also himself in having little acclimatation to the altitude in the Andes.

“I got tired from the lack of oxygen and while pushing the bike up that wall. I burned 2000 calories every day. Above 5,000 meters, temperatures dropped to 20 degrees below zero. I was sweating, but cold. Although then some impressive views that I cannot describe were revealed to me”, says Pol, marvelling at the mountain range shared by Argentina and Chile.

What did they do to the bike?

“We changed the stock injection map setting from 5500 to 8000 meters, but otherwise we just left the bike as it was. The engineers who participated in the project did not agree with each other. But of course, how can you predict something that had never been done before?” says Tarres.


His friend and 'alma mater' of Trece Racing Society, Javi Echevarría, points out that the challenge was not only for Pol, but for the entire team. “We had no idea about the mountain and its unpredictability. Even filming was very difficult, but what little material we managed to get was pure magic!

“The company Inka Expeditions made a contingency plan in case something went wrong (several assistance teams were placed along the way) and shared their knowledge with us, the 'rookies' of the mountain. We are immensely grateful to Pablo Tetilla, head of Inka Expeditions, and his team, Pol’s guide and Roxana, our doctor”, concludes the Echevarría.