Ducati is in Colorado this weekend, taking part in the 90th running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. The second oldest motorsport race in the United States (the first being the Indy 500), 2012 is the first year that the Race to the Clouds will take place on a fully-paved road course, which is sure to bring a new chapter in this historic race.

Asphalt & Rubber made the great trek out to Colorado (braving the far-too-early mornings), and we are here mostly to heckle our boy Carlin Dunne, who won the race last year in his rookie debut (setting a course record no less). Riding with the Ducati Spider Grips Team this year, Dunne will be joining Greg Tracy, as the pair will again ride the Ducati Multistrada 1200 S up to the 14,000+ foot finish line.

Ducati hopes to continue its dominance on the mountain this year, and the Ducati has rolled out another iteration of its Multistrada 1200 S race bike, which we gushed over last year. It is hard to believe that the previous bike feels a bit dated now (though, we still wouldn’t mind a Pikes Peak edition MTS 1200 in our garage), but this year’s machine brings added refinery to the race bike, as well as an understated and classy, yet beautiful paint job.

Despite what you will hear from the privateers, the Ducati team is running fairly stock machines. All the street-legal pieces have been removed of course, with Tracy’s #555 machine getting a bit more attention to its modifications than Dunne’s #5 machine. Both bikes benefit from upgraded brakes, which feature Brembo MotoGP radial master cylinders and brakes pads, as well as the Ducati Superbike 1198’s monoblock brake calipers.

Suspension is stock, but has been massaged by Paul Thede at Race Tech, while Akrapovic has built a special Evolution exhaust for the Ducati Multistrada 1200 S Pikes Peak race bikes (six were made for the team, with only 50 units built for consumers worldwide, 20 of which will be coming the US). Glossy aluminum superbike wheels are courtesy of OZ Wheels, while the subframe and bodywork have also been modified by the team.

Both bikes feature a full-band auto-tuning ECU system, which should help the Multistrada’s deal with the massive altitude change over the course of the race (the starting line is at 9,300, while the finish line is at 14,100 feet). Ducati won’t talk openly about modifications to the motor, though it was suggested that not much work has been done to the machines internally. We can imagine that both the #5 and #555 bikes have had their engines blueprinted, and that none of the major components have been altered.

With Carlin Dunne looking to backup his record-setting rookie victory last year, he will have tough competition from his teammate Greg Tracy, not to mention a field comprised of some stout PPIHC veterans. We’ll bring you the qualifying and race results as the 90th Pike Peak International Hill Climb gets underway.

Photos: © 2012 Jensen Beeler / Asphalt & RubberCreative Commons – Attribution 3.0

  • kostritzer

    Now that it’s fully paved, I wonder how long it will be until there are full blown superbikes racing to the top? John McPint, are you listening?

  • ktmrider

    Dry clutch conversion?

  • Forgot to mention the dry clutch. Yes, a custom team conversion from the stock wet clutch.

    There are a couple sport bikes taking part in the race this year, but it’s not the big influx that people were expecting. Also, there’s a lot of talk about rules being implemented to keep the superbikes out, e.g. flat bars, no fairings, etc.

  • kostritzer

    That’s ridiculous! It’s ok to run a spaceship (Tajima’s Suzuki) but not a production based motorcycle?

  • 2ndclass

    Those pipes are gorgeous. How loud is it? Must make quite the racket.

  • Richard Gozinya


    Fear. Fear that the cagers would be utterly embarrassed by competition that spent far less money than they did.

  • kostritzer

    That’s just a fact of life, though I doubt that even a superbike could beat Monster’s Suzuki with its excess horsepower, grip, and downforce. Still, I think a top level TT rider could get within 2 minutes of the quickest 4 wheel time, and what a spectacle that would be.

  • Fibbs

    such a shame The peak doesn’t have a dirt stretch anymore. I’d imagine these bikes will be a thing of the past in years to come. As someone mentioned above.

    Not a fan of the Multi as a bike but that thing looks great, love those pipes. squat it down like a road bike and that’s what the Diavel should ‘ave been.

  • OldBoy

    @ 2ndclass the pipes make 116 dB. Not MotoGP loud…but loud.

  • Confused…If i am not wrong..PPIHC is in its 96th year..not 90

  • never mind..got it :)

  • Ken

    Why a multi and not a pagniale this time around?

    Still kinda disappointed its all tarmac now. I dig the the pavement to gravel set up. Turns up the pressure as you get closer to the top

  • Man, that Akrapovic is sick!.

    Wonder why they not make for sell to people. I wonder how beautiful this would equip on a Fireblade, a ZX10 or anothe superbike,.

  • subframes save a little less than six lbs. i’m they guy who made ’em. if only you could see more that one inch of it peeking out of the bodywork! someone get a picture with the bodywork off!

  • RobG

    I like the bike, but like others I’m not a fan of the MultiStrada. I also hate it that the course is fully paved now. It’s gone from a very special race to nothing more than a hillclimb, since any vehicle can now do it. Let’s hope they tweak the rules to keep it special.

  • Spamtasticus

    Let me start by saying that Ducati is doing something right. The last 5 stories on this blog alone are about Ducati. On a more pertinent note. Here are the rules for Motorcycles in Pikes Peak. If I’m reading them right, the only class that currently allows sport bike (clip on) bikes is 250cc. Nothing is stopping someone from putting handlebars on a BMW S1000RR though. I wonder if this is how they plan to enter those bikes:

    Motorcycle/Quad/Sidecar/Vintage Division- The number of competitors allowed in each class and/or overall may be limited by the promoter and subject to change at any time prior to the final deadline (see Part II, 2.4). Any motorcycle in the 450, 750, 1205 or vintage divisions must be equipped as an OVM with one piece handlebars attached with triple clamps. No motorcycles manufactured as an OVM with two piece clip- on style handlebars would be allowed to compete in the 450, 750,1205, Or vintage classes
    A. Vintage Class – 650cc-750cc 4-stroke twin cylinder that would qualify for current AHRMA events. In keeping with the historic aspects of this class of motorcycle racing, the minimum age limit for a rider is 50 years of age.
    B. Side Car Class: 450 cc or above. Machines and riders/passengers will be subject to the same basic requirements of safety, workmanship, and appearance as all other competitors. Specific conditions are listed below. Rules will be supplemental.
    C. 250 cc 2-stroke & 4-stroke single or twin cylinder. D. 750cc Class:
    1) 501cc-700cc 4-stroke single cylinder 2) 650cc-750cc 4-stroke twin cylinder
    E. 450cc 4-stroke single/twin
    1) 251cc-500cc 2-stroke single cylinder.
    F. 751cc – 1205cc 4-stroke twin or triple cylinder G. Quad Modified: (Rename of old division)


  • Spamtasticus

    Whoops. I just noticed that the bike must be equipped from the manufacturer with bars

  • If short travel, stiff suspension were an advantage, you’d see streetfighters and tuonos rolling to the line.

  • kostritzer

    @ Marc F

    I think its only a matter of time before they do.

    Without dirt, I’m sure they will definitely have an advantage, although a Tuono V4 may run out of gas before it reaches the top ;).

    TT bikes have suspension set up for bumps and jumps, I don’t see why the Pikes Peak course would be any different.

  • MikeD

    Man……..are we Ducati’s MAIN SQUEEZE OR WHAT ? LMAO They seem to be neck deep on this N/A Event.

    I say, if is all paved………why not let full blown bikes besides the ChickenStradas give it a try too ? Total B.S and feels like “I know yours is better than mines, i don’t want the world to know how much i suck” Deal.

    This could be our very own Isle of Man on the Mountain…let the others strut their stuff, scrap the ancient rules.

    To the Chris Dude who made the Lite sub-frames…good work…(^_^)

    116db is LOUD…is it louder than a TopFuel Car ? I have been very close to those…hehehe.
    I would make sweet love to that xhaust too…the welds and the bends are just too clean.

    What’s wrong with the stock WET Clutch ? if it’s only for the ease of changing burnt clutch plates, then…i understand….otherwise, what gives ? !

  • MikeD


    LMAO…the Tuono comment…..too much…….ROTFLMAO.

  • Gareth

    Presume this is next years updated Multi then with next year pikes peak version paint job

  • Israel


    I like the Pikes Peak race, and right now I have an EU Multistrada 2012, and I would like to know what footrests have you mounted on the race bike, I like them but I can’t found where to buy them or someone like them.

    Also, I would like to know if changing the footrests you needed to change the brake or shift changer levers by another ones or only adjusted their positions.

    PD: Greeting for your victory and great work ;)


  • jon

    From what I read there was a SF848 entered in the event.

    The Akrapovic exhaust is amazing, I saw the bike at Laguna Seca and talked with one of the reps at the Akrapovic display and he took the full system off the display and had me hold it, incredibly light, I think at 3.5lbs. I don’t know what system he SF848 bike was running but I would love to see the same one available for us on the street.