Chip Yates to Defend Electric Motorcycle Record at Pikes Peak International Hill Climb with Lightning Motorcycles

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As the kids in the arcade used to say, it’s on like Donkey Kong. Upon hearing the news that Greg Tracy and Amarok Racing would be making an appearance at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, Chip Yates has set aside his tinkering with electric airplanes for the time being, and come out of two-wheeled retirement to defend his title.

Trading in the world’s fastest pizza delivery bike for the Richard Hatfield’s Flying Banana (there really is no good way to write that, sorry Richard), Yates will compete on one of Lightning Motorcycle’s electric superbikes at the 91st running of the Race to the Clouds.

Rivals on the salt, Yates and Hatfield have come together outside of electric motorcycles, as Lightning is providing Yates with battery packs for his Flight of the Century electric airplane challenge. Making a return to Pikes Peak, Yates will compete on the now completely paved course, something he did not do his first time around.

“The Lightning electric superbike is the only electric motorcycle to ever show a higher top speed than my electric bike, which is enjoying retirement at the Petersen Automotive Museum right now!” said Yates. “When I heard Greg was coming to the mountain on an electric bike this year, I realized my Pikes Peak record time was at risk and so I turned to Lightning Motorcycles to help me raise the bar and hang on to the title.”

Showing himself to be 9th fastest on the paved sections in 2011, Yates should be stiff competition for six-time winner Greg Tracy, who will compete on the much lighter, but also less powerful, Amarok P1A. Also in the mix are a field of Zero Motorcycles, including one which will be ridden by Ted Rich for Hollywood Electrics, and we doubt at this point in time that the list of entries is complete. Our tickets to Colorado are booked.

Source: Chip Yates



  1. Is the superstructure on the back a spoiler or extra battery capacity?

  2. He’s actually bringing a pizza lunch to the summit for all the other riders…

    Sorry, yes…that’s the battery pack.

  3. No wonder that rear tire looks like it is working hard. If they put pedals on then then they could reduce the weight.

  4. Gutterslob

    If I ever live in a highland area and want pizza with a low carbon footprint delivered to my doorstep, I now know who to call.

  5. kids in the arcades BITD never said it’s on like donkey kong… that’s a recent saying brought about by the rise in profile of Donkey Kong, brought about by the fantastic documentary ‘The King of Kong’ and also ‘Chasing Ghosts’ – and the resulting ‘Kong Off’s’ that now happen annualy between the top players like Steve Weibe, Hank Chien, Billy Mitchell.

    I’m a pedant.. I admit. Sorry. ;)