Chip Yates’ 240bhp electric superbike has smashed the electric motorcycle record at the 89th Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, beating the previous year’s time by over four minutes.
The American’s self-built and self-funded electric racer has also become the most power motorcycle of any kind to finish the gruelling 12.42 mile mountain course. Putting in a final time of 12:50.094 was enough for the SWIGZ COM Pro Racing team to overcome 2010’s 16:55.849 record set by HM ElectroCat by a considerable margin.
Yates was reportedly in 9th position during the opening paved section of the course, but suffered badly during a central 2.6 mile stretch of dirt track, delaying him by over a minute and resulting in a 30th place finish* amongst the 112 competing bikes.
*CORRECTION: 29.06.11 We had previously reported a 97th place finish. This was a measurement for the dirt section only, not the position on the final standings table.
Yates is confident that next year – when the once fully-off-road course is due to be fully paved – his team will be able to achieve a much higher finish.
He said: “These split times show that once again, we have put the gas-powered bikes on notice that we can be a serious threat to the results of a premier race event. Next year with the pavement on my side, I’ll be looking for a top 10 or better result in the overall standings.
“We are a team of 3 volunteer engineers with support from our wonderful sponsors but with no outside funding and yet we are taking on the established motorcycle manufacturers by pure determination, ingenuity, and the ability to accept personal hardship and extremely long hours as part of our normal course of business.”