View Full Version : Chip Yates enters Pikes Peak Hill Climb

25 March 2011, 0054
I'm not too familiar with the Pikes Peak Hill Climb, but I guess all the torque Chip's bike has might be suited to it?

Becoming the most powerful motorcycle of any kind ever to enter the race, we’re exclusively revealing that Chip Yates will be racing his 240bhp, 365lb/ft electric superbike at Pikes Peak on June 26. Chip’s bike is currently set up for paved tracks, where he made history by placing second in a race against gasoline superbikes back in January. With the help of a friend, we uncovered this news yesterday, but Chip’s now agreed to go on-record.

Subscribers to Hell For Leather (http://hellforleathermagazine.com/2011/03/chip-yates-enters-pikes-peak-hill-climb/) can read the rest of the story online.

I'm not sure what division he will be entered in. Chip's name isn't showing up yet in the registered racers. A division for electric cars was added last year and they also have an "exhibition" division.


Looks like a brutal road course.

Map of Pikes Peak Hill Climb (http://director.usacracing.com/ppihc/files/pdfs/map.pdf)

25 March 2011, 0714
Pikes Peak is all up hill. Just having the biggest motor isn't the answer. Having the highest energy density, highest C rate battery pack, and a high rpm, liquid cooled motor to match is. Once you have that figured out, you just scale them both up until your wallet is empty. :-)

25 March 2011, 0817
Pikes Peak is hard for a bunch of reasons, climbing 4700 ft and 156 turns, most of which are hairpins. So like Warren said, power to weight is the key, and good driving. Drivers drift most of the corners. Electric can have an advantage because it's not affected by altitude (thinner air).

There is also talk of paving the last part (which has always been dirt)...but I don't think that's supposed to happen until 2012. I think people set up for pavement, since that's most of the course, and then just try to manage the last dirt part.

It's about 2 hours from my house. If Chip Yates is there, I'll be there.

25 March 2011, 1033
What was Eva's time last year? I can't find it on her site, just the announcement she was going to run. I'm sure she did, didn't she?

ETA: Found it. Looks like John Scollon ran it on her bike in 16.55.8 according to PPIHC site.

ETA again: Which is exactly the same time that he clocked on a KLE650 in the 450cc SuperMoto class. Sounds like something's screwed up to me. Can anyone confirm the correct time for ElectroCat?

25 March 2011, 1047
I don't think Chip will have any problem beating Eva's time. Should be interesting to see.

25 March 2011, 1054
I don't think Chip will have any problem beating Eva's time. Should be interesting to see.
Well I don't think so either, although the 1205cc's didn't post much different times than the 250cc bikes. Anyway, that's not why I posted.

25 March 2011, 1355
What was Eva's time last year? I can't find it on her site, just the announcement she was going to run. I'm sure she did, didn't she?

ETA: Found it. Looks like John Scollon ran it on her bike in 16.55.8 according to PPIHC site....... Can anyone confirm the correct time for ElectroCat?

I can't give you the time, but I can shed some light. Eva intended to do the climb, but spilled on a practice run and broke her arm. Bill & Eva recruited a rider. John, I guess. I don't think Eva's bike had a fast run at all, but was the only (& therefore first) electric bike to do it. It made it to the top. Kudos to her for having the bike to do it. Richard Hatfield had the other electric bike there last year (not the #80 TTXGP but a different one). Rider was Paul Thede. He was at a much faster pace than Eva's bike, but had a mechanical near the top, so DNF.

Never been there myself. So good luck to Chip, or anyone who tries it, especially electrically ;-)

25 March 2011, 1402
Thanks for the info! Do you know if either of them plan to be there again this year?

25 March 2011, 1548
Just reviewed the PPIHC site (http://www.usacracing.com/ppihc)again and found emcs listed in the Exhibition Powersport Division.

New for 2010, this division includes Utility Terrain Vehicles (UTVs), Quads 750cc-up and electric motorcycles.

Here (http://www.usacracing.com/ppihc/ts/2010) are the results in this division from last year:


So far, only three riders are listed in this years Competitors List (http://director.usacracing.com/ppihc/files/pdfs/competitor_list.pdf) for the Exhibition Powersport Division and none of them are electric.

25 March 2011, 1605
What's with the Lightning guys? I had no idea that they did the PP last year. Even if they were a DNF it's nice to know what they're up to. A secretive bunch it seems. :)

Pikes Peak? Oh yeah, we've done that.
Electric vs gas? Yeah, we did that too.
Paris-Dakar? Maybe next year.

25 March 2011, 1803
What's with the Lightning guys?

I don't know for sure, but it seems like they just want to get out there and go fast. Yeah, no facebook, twitter or any of that crap, just a TTXGP championship, LSR, and PP attempt. You got to look hard to follow them :-)

25 March 2011, 2022
Just for kicks, I checked out the 250cc class. Fastest in 2010 was 12:27 on a KX 250. That bike is about 220 lb dry, 21 ft-lb of toque and 43 HP. They were averaging just over 60 mph.

Bear with me while I think out loud...

An el moto would need at least 4 kWh to make it to the top - probably more since there are so many turns, so let's call it 5 kWh. You can get that with 120 Headway cells, say 96V with a 30s4p pack. That's about 132 lb. Add a motor/controller, up to about 160 lb. (Let's say you could over-volt an Agni to get close to 40 HP and light weight). 70 lb left for the chassis.

The Zero MX weighs about 200 lb with a 1.7 kWh pack. If you did Headways, getting up to 5 kWh adds 100 lb. So call it a 300 lb bike. That's about a 7:1 power/weight ratio. The fast 250cc was about 5:1. But maybe the el moto is faster because of it's better torque curve.

Anyway, seems possible you could beat 13 min with a reasonable build (at least in theory). Hmmm....

25 March 2011, 2026
You've got plenty of time to get ready and enter Noah. :D

25 March 2011, 2043
You've got plenty of time to get ready and enter Noah. :D

It's seriously tempting...but I'd need to start a "get Noah to the PP hillclimb" fund. Entry fee is $1100. Oh, and I'd need to build a race bike. I'm not racing my baby up dirt roads.

26 March 2011, 0103
Yup, its all power-to-weight. Half the weight of this plane is the 6 kWh pack!


28 March 2011, 2251
Yates is featured on the home page of the Pike's Peak International Hillclimb (http://www.usacracing.com/ppihc)website and there is an accompanying article, "History Making Electric Motorcycle to Test Pikes Peak." Here's a couple of quotes from the article. (http://www.usacracing.com/ppihc/news_ppihc/4382.html)

"We are thrilled to have Chip on the Hill this year with his amazing bike,” said Hill Climb motorcycle referee Sonny Anderson. “Our Exhibition PowerSport Division is designed for new technology, and what he brings is exactly that. Our fans are in for something special.”

The course is almost completely paved, but I will be challenged by several miles of dirt in the middle of the climb and I’ll be calling on my previous SCCA Pro Rally driving experience (photo) to get safely through the lower grip sections. Our engineers are busy developing new traction control software and mapping that will automatically adapt based on my position on the mountain.

I know some of y'all will get a laugh from the following question posed in the article:

But how is a nearly 600-pound pizza delivery bike going to fare on such a technical course?

Whether or not Chip can make good on his response will be fun to watch.

29 March 2011, 1057
Wired.com's Autopia blog (http://www.wired.com/autopia/2011/03/electric-superbike-to-attack-pikes-peak/) just added their article, "Electric Superbike To Attack Pikes Peak"

Chip Yates is hell-bent on proving electric motorcycles can run with the best machines on two wheels. Now that’ he’s spanked a bunch of race-ready rides on the track, he’s taking his campaign to the mountains with a 240-horsepower beast.

Chip Yates plans to attack Pikes Peak on his electric superbike during the 89th running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb on June 29. He won’t be the first e-moto to join the Race to the Clouds — John Scollon competed last year on a bike built by Eva Håkansson. But he’s the first with a shot at embarrassing some gasoline machines...

SportRider.com (http://www.sportrider.com/industry_news/146_1103_chip_yates_to_race_in_89th_pikes_peak_int ernational_hill_climb/index.html?loc=interstitialskip) also added a complimentary article.

...Since then, the superbike has literally become world famous, with coverage by BBC World Service, NBC Bay Area Television, Wired Magazine, Popular Science Magazine, Cycle World Magazine, Motorcyclist Magazine, Performance Bikes Magazine, Roadracing World Magazine, radio shows, podcasts and numerous other motorcycle and electric vehicle magazines.

Props to Chip & his team for the positive emc press.

01 April 2011, 2310
More press each day on Chip entering this event. I tried to edit the title of the thread to take out the reference to "Hell For Leathers" magazine and make this thread a place for updates from all press, but maybe only mods can do that? Anyways, I see Top Gear (http://www.topgear.com/uk/car-news/electric-superbike-pikes-peak-chip-yates-2011-03-31)just picked up the story. Here's an interesting quote that will surely stirr some controversy:

The superbike, the most powerful bike to compete at Pikes Peak, is powered by a liquid-cooled electric motor with 240bhp and 365lb ft of torque - more powerful than a MotoGP bike. Something certain to change the colour of Rossi's hair...

The Wall Street Joural (http://blogs.wsj.com/drivers-seat/2011/04/01/electric-motorcycle-to-race-up-pikes-peak/?mod=google_news_blog) also ran the story.

The event marks another step toward the mainstream for electric motorcycles, which have turned up in a range of surprising places in the last year, from police department fleets to the classic Isle of Man TT race.

26 June 2011, 1208
Well - I'm not there :( But you can watch it live right now. I think motorcycles go last, and exhibition (which I think is Yates' class)


26 June 2011, 1239
Any TV coverage?

26 June 2011, 1245
Don't now of any TV coverage.

Monster Tajima just set an unofficial 9:51. New world record - first time under 10 min on PP. (not moto or electric but still awesome).

26 June 2011, 1250
10 minute barrier broken.

Edit: Noah beat me to it! :)

26 June 2011, 1407
Bikes are set to start next, within the next 20 or 30 minutes. Yates is lined up & his division "Exhibition Powersports" is set to go next. Brief race delay right now. Very gusty winds.


26 June 2011, 1438
Ready to start any minute now! They just took Chip's bike off the stands. LOL, they are warning race watchers to be on the alert because you won't hear what's coming.


26 June 2011, 1455
Announcers just said the electric bike went by them, they didn't notice because it was so quiet.

26 June 2011, 1459
Looks like Chip made it to the top. Just waiting for the time.

12:50.094 Very respectable!

26 June 2011, 1500
They said this was Chip, but can't tell by this pic.


26 June 2011, 1506
This is from the Live Timing page for the Exhibition Powersport:
Exhibition Powersport
Pos. Driver No. Halfway Picnic Glen Cove 16 Mile Summit Finish Time
1 Joe Kopp 3 01:59.652 03:34.063 --- 05:52.815 11:26.530
2 Chip Yates 489 02:03.762 04:19.192 --- 06:27.140 12:50.094
3 Douglas Siddens 111 01:55.579 03:21.264 02:47.275 03:03.751 03:33:11.684
- Edward Smith 529 02:50.945 04:37.840 --- --- 07:28.785
- Aaron Butler 195 02:38.167 03:48.365 --- --- 09:10.538

26 June 2011, 1508
Times should really fall when it's paved from top to bottom.

26 June 2011, 1511
Nice interview of Chip at the summit. He says he's hooked and will definitely be back next year.


26 June 2011, 1520
12:50 is a damn good time. It would have put him 6th (of 16 finishers) in the 750 class.


And hats off to Ikuo Honawa for a 12:20 in an electric car. Another record!

27 June 2011, 0654
That's the 2010 results - the USAC racing site doesn't have 2011 results up yet.

Here's the live results.

Someone took a (stock?) Nissan Leaf up the mountain with a 14:33. Pretty neat, would have liked to have seen video of that : p

27 June 2011, 0754
Yup, sorry - I had 2010 results up, then they put up the 2011 timing for 750 class but I forgot to update the link.

6th in 750 class is from 2011.

No video of the run, but this is the Nissan Leaf. Pretty cool.


27 June 2011, 1235
Chip seems very optimistic about his chances for next year if the entire course is paved.

HUGE potential for a top finish in 2012 when its fully paved: First paved splits I'm 9th out of 112! On the dirt section 97th out of 112!


Shattered previous Pikes Peak electric motorcycle time by 4:05.755 and next year we're going after the top guys for the overall results!


I hope there won't be any scheduling conflicts with the ttxgp and other emc racing teams will choose to compete in the PPIHC next year.

27 June 2011, 1238
An all paved course will really mix things up a lot. Looking forward to it!

28 June 2011, 0250
Yates' picture gallery from his fb account (50 photos): "Pikes Peak International Hill Climb 2011 - RACE PHOTOS!." (http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/media/set/?set=a.2066644400124.111202.1665217309)

Chip says video of his race will be posted soon.

28 June 2011, 1050
UQM Press release:


28 June 2011, 1609
Amazing video of Chip's race up Pike's Peak! R-E-S-P-E-C-T-!


28 June 2011, 1653
Need to get that boy some dirt tires!

Or more pavement :D

That was AWESOME

28 June 2011, 1747
Damm that was awesome! Some of the views from the vid were stunning. First time I have ever seen a Pikes Peak Vid.

28 June 2011, 2027
loved the video, couldn't watch it at work.... thank!

28 June 2011, 2336
Awesome race video. Thanks Bonefire!

Square Wave
29 June 2011, 0603
That is pretty incredible. I think we need to spread the word and make this America's TT. Well done Chip!

29 June 2011, 0826
So no one else is freaked out by the fact that Chip can disappear at will?

29 June 2011, 0905
So no one else is freaked out by the fact that Chip can disappear at will?

OK, yes.

I just wasn't sure if anybody else saw that. :O

(where's that nurse?)

29 June 2011, 0911
I was more put off by him reappearing.

29 June 2011, 0928
He's magic.

29 June 2011, 1403
... I think we need to spread the word and make this America's TT....

Great idea! The PPIHC has a great history and it's "fear factor" makes for incredibly dramatic racing, even if it's against the clock/mountain.

Any suggestions for a concerted effort to ensure all the top emc racing teams will be there next year? Maybe an online petition to them? Perhaps a cc to the ttxgp to support the PPIHC by not scheduling events that are conflicting?

30 June 2011, 2030
Asphalt and Rubber (http://www.asphaltandrubber.com/racing/chip-yatess-track-notes-pikes-peak/) got a shot of Chip's PPIHC playbook! (http://www.asphaltandrubber.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/Chip-Yates-track-notes-Pikes-Peak-International-Hill-Climb.jpg) Looks like he did his homework. A+

06 July 2011, 1300
Chip posted data (http://twitpic.com/5m6454) for PPIHC. I'd like to see this overlayed in real time on his video.

Top speed 124.7 mph, Pulled 520 amps, 419.4 volts, Used max of 395.7 nm torque (292ft/lbs), Max motor 4887 rpm!