Pikes Peak


The future of motorcycles competing at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb continues to be a precarious situation after this year’s death of Carlin Dunne.

As such, the Board of Directors for the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb recently convened and decided that for next year’s event, no motorcycle racing will take place as part of the hill climb.

In a press release, the race organization says that it needs to “gather data and analytics to review more thoroughly the impact on the overall event in the absence of this program.”

The future for motorcycles racing at Pikes Peak is under question, according to local reports about the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.

The news comes from the Colorado Springs Gazette, which says that Executive Director Megan Leatham told the city and US Forest Service in an email after the crash that she thought the race would be the last for motorcycles on the mountain.

As one would expect, the discussion about the future for the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, and whether motorcycles would continue at the event, is far from a definitive conclusion, but the possibility of the motorcycle race ending is very real.

This video of Rennie Scaysbrook (resident fast man at Cycle News) racing at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is insane and must be watched, as his Aprilia Tuono V4 1100 Factory summits in a time of 9:44.963.

This video showcases what it takes to set a new Heavyweight motorcycle record and the fastest time ever for a motorcycle at the iconic Race to the Clouds.

Be sure to watch all the way to the end though, because Rennie’s elation at finishing the race in record time is easily worth the price of admission.

The 97th edition of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb has finished for the motorcycle riders, and with it comes a new outright two-wheeled record at the iconic race.

Rennie Scaysbrook took the heavyweight class win, and along the way (we interviewed Rennie on the MOTR Podcast  just a few weeks before the race), he pushed the outright motorcycle record at Pikes Peak to 9:44.963 on his Aprilia Tuono V4 1100 Factory.

It is with a very heavy heart that we have to report the passing of our friend and colleague Carlin Dunne, who died today while racing at the 97th Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.

Carlin was on his way to a record-setting lap with his Ducati Streetfighter V4 prototype, and according to eyewitnesses (which we should preface have been very unreliable throughout the day), he had just passed the final turn on the course a small distance from the finish line when his bike encountered a bump, crashed, and went off course.

In Episode 6 of the MOTR Podcast, I sit down with Rennie Scaysbrook, the road test editor at Cycle News magazine, and also one of this year’s competitors at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.

In this short show, Rennie and I discuss what it is like to ride on “America’s Mountain” and what goes into creating a successful Pikes Peak racing program.

Shot on location in the Pacific Northwest, we finally get to see the Ducati Streetfighter V4 in its natural element: rippin’ and tearin’ on the asphalt.

At the helm is Pikes Peak racer Carlin Dunne, who aims to take the Streetfighter V4 to the summit of Pikes Peak faster than any motorcyclist has ever gone before. That means a time of 9:45.624 or faster.

There are 156 turns between Carlin and this goal though, along with thousands of feet in elevation change. As the Santa Barbara native once told me, you don’t race your fellow competitors at the Pikes Peak – you race the mountain.

When men name their motorcycles, it is usually with a feminine name. This is a tradition that dates back to early mariners, who were often away from their loved ones for incredibly long periods of time, and remembered their wives and girlfriends by naming ships after them.

It is an interesting tradition we do now though – this naming of motorcycles – especially as the horsepower figures have climbed higher and higher and the curb weight measurements have dwindled lower and lower.

Names like “Heartsbane” or “Widow’s Wail” would seem more appropriate for modern motorcycles, especially if you feel the night is dark and full of terrors.

So, when you consider the hours that Michael “Woolie” Woolaway has spent in his workshop slaving over the next iteration of his Pikes Peak race bike away from his loved ones while creates the ultimate motorcycle for the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, the name “Beastie” seems far more appropriate than something like “Samantha” – our apologies to the Samantha’s in the crowd, of course.

All the rumors and speculation can now stop. Here it is. Here is the Ducati Streetfighter V4 prototype that will be racing at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.

Record-holder Carlin Dunne will pilot the Streetfighter V4 prototype for Ducati, in a bid to set a new outright motorcycle record on the Mountain. 

In the announcement, Ducati acknowledges that we will see the Streetfighter V4 properly debut at the EICMA show later this November, and that the production model will be in dealerships by March 2020.

We have already told you as much as this headline conveys, so apologies to our more loyal readers if this story seems redundant, but we wanted to definitively tell you that the Ducati Streetfighter V4 will debut later this month, at Pikes Peak.

The news comes fresh after a teaser that Ducati posted, which says to us that “the gloves come off at Pikes Peak” and then gives the date June 13th, which is the day of the motorcycle tire test for the historic hill climb.

“The gloves” is surely a nod to the “Streetfighter” name, though we have seen more than a few hints from Ducati and its CEO that we should expect such a model before the year’s end.

Earlier this year we spotted something interesting in the Pikes Peak entry list, as Ducati was listed running a bike in the exhibition class, with Pikes Peak expert Carlin Dunne at its helm.

That Ducati would team up once again with Dunne is not a surprise. The former outright record holder for motorcycles at Pikes Peak, Dunne has brought Ducati victory on every outing of his to the Colorado mountain.

What was interesting in the entry list though was the choice of running in the exhibition class, which would only be done if Dunne & Ducati were electing not to use the Multistrada 1260 platform once again.

Our suspicion was that Ducati intended to use a stripped down version of the Panigale V4 R superbike, or perhaps even a Streetfighter V4 prototype. It would seem that our first guess was correct.