The 93rd running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb offered a lot of surprises, including the first electric-powered overall winner, a modified Buell with a girder fork and a snow and hail storm that shortened the race for some competitors. The official times remain to be confirmed because of the shortened course, but all of the motorcycle entries were done before the weather set in.
Honda test rider Jeffrey Tigert led all 62 motorcycle entries with a time of 10:02.735 on a CBR1000RR. Tigert’s time put him tenth overall in all classes, and nearly a minute behind the overall winner, Rhys Millen who completed the climb in the eO PP03, an electric car from Latvia.
Second place among all motorcycles (and also in the heavyweight motorcycle class) was Travis Newbold on the Ronin Oishi Yoshio, with a time of 10:18.514. The Ronin (pictured below) is one of 47 motorcycles produced by firearms maker Magpul based on Buell motorcycles it acquired after Harley-Davidson shut down the brand in 2009. While the other 46 Ronin are based on old Buell 1125R, the Oishi Yoshio is based on an Erik Buell Racing 1190RX. Like the other Ronin, Newbold’s motorcycle used a girder front suspension with an integrated radiator. The Ronin is a radical machine, but it’s hard to argue against a second-place finish among all motorcycles.
The middleweight motorcycle class was led by JD Mosley with a time of 10:48.839 on a Triumph Daytona 675, followed by Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R rider Joseph Toner. Codie Vahsholtz won the lightweight motorcycle class on a KTM SMR, an impressive result considering he finished ahead of all bu the lead two middleweight bikes with a time of 10:50.421.
Yoshihiro Kishimoto took the modified electric motorcycle class with a time of 10:58.861 riding a Mirai TT Zero 13. Jeff Clark was the winner of the production electric class, clocking in at 12:06.346 on a Zero SR.
It was a disappointing result for Don Canet and the Victory Project 156 prototype. Despite crashing during the second section of the course, the Victory was still leading the UTV/Exhibition class in the fourth and final section before retiring with less than two miles to go. Canet was running at a good pace, with a split time of 1:51.423 in the first section the second fastest time among all motorcycles behind Tigert.
“We may not have ended up with the result we all wanted today – but I can say that the Project 156 represents the two things that Victory stands for – performance and exhilaration,” says Gary Gray, Polaris Motorcycles Product Director. “We got the bike back down to the pits after the race, and were able to fire it up. It looks like the crash may have resulted in an electrical issue that ended this run for Project 156. The team is investigating to find the specific issue, and we want to bring Project 156 back to the race again.”
In other two-wheeled results, Keith Speir won the vintage motorcycle class on a 1969 Triumph while Nick Robinson and his CRF250R won the Pikes Peak 250 class.
[Source: Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, Victory, Ronin, Honda]