In just a week’s time, Chip Yates and the SWIGZ.com Pro Racing crew will be headed out to Pikes Peak to compete in the famous Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (PPIHC). At 14,110 feet tall, and boasting over 156 turns, Pikes Peak features some of the scariest turns on the planet, no better exemplified than with the “Bottomless Pit” corner which boasts a 3,000 foot sheer drop down the mountain. Yates will of course be racing his 240hp electric motorcycle up the hill climb course, and will have a distinct advantage over his ICE competitors, as the extreme altitude won’t affect the fastest electric pizza delivery bike in the slightest.
We’re really excited here at Asphalt & Rubber for Chip’s participation in the 2011 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, not only because we like Chip’s mantra of taking ICE bikes head on with his SWIGZ.com racing machine, but also because we think the PPIHC is the ideal event to showcase how electric motorcycles have actual advantages over internal combustion engines. Starting at roughly 9,400 feet, ICE bikes will be already down on power at the start of the race, and will only continue to lose power as their engines struggle to breath on the 12.5 mile race to the clouds (electric bikes of course aren’t meaningfully affected by the thinning air at altitude).
Judging from the video clip that Yates sent us, he’s learning the course fairly well, despite only getting one practice run up mountain on Saturday and full day on Sunday this past practice week. “I’m extremely pleased with how well the bike performed this weekend right out of the box and this test gave us the invaluable chance to meet everyone and start a dialogue with the mountain based on respect, humility and preparation,” said Chip Yates. “As extreme and majestic as the 14,110 foot mountain is however, I was even more struck by the quality and camaraderie of the people involved.”
“Not only were we treated wonderfully by Race Director Phil Layton and his team despite being complete rookies with an unproven Pikes Peak bike, but on Saturday when I tucked the front tire on a white line and had a little crash, none other than Alexander Smith (Ducati factory rider and son of legend Malcolm Smith) pulled over on the course to help me lift my 585 lbs superbike out of a ditch. Shortly thereafter, I was warmly welcomed by Alex’s Ducati teammate and 6-time Pikes Peak winner and hillclimb legend Greg Tracy.”
Source: SWIGZ.com Pro Racing