Putting his battery-powered trans-Atlantic airplane endeavors momentarily on hold, Chip Yates is coming back to the race to the clouds to defend his 2011 electric motorcycle record. With his own custom machine now in residence at the Peterson Automotive Museum, his steed of choice will be sourced from the stables of Lightning Motorcycles; builders of the fastest two-wheeled destroyer of electrons.
His main competition is to come from Greg Tracy, someone with more than a passing knowledge of the super-twisty 12.42-miile course. With six Pikes Peak wins aboard various gas-powered motorcycles, Tracy is now going to try his hand at kicking amps aboard the Amarok P1A.
What makes this match-up perhaps even more interesting is the completely opposite approaches of the two efforts. The Lightning Motorcycles superbike is all about more, while the machine from the Canadian upstarts is all about less. The Amorak relies on fewer than 100 ponies from a pair of DC air-cooled Agni motors within its super-light monocoque aluminum chassis while Yates will be astride a much heavier AC-powered beast with about double the power.
The Lightning Motorcycles superbike is all about more, while the machine from the Canadian upstarts is all about less.
No doubt the P1A will prove more nimble through the 156 turns up the now fully-paved Pikes Peak, but will that advantage be enough to keep it ahead of the wheelie-prone Lightning? We'll find out June 30th when the event is live-streamed on Redbull.tv.
If neither of these bikes manage to somehow not make it to the finish line, it won't mean an electric motorcycle won't complete the course. Hollywood Electrics and Zero Motorcycles are also teaming up to send six riders astride various Zero models in search of hill-climbing glory including the Electric Cowboy, Brandon Nozaki Miller and TTXGP competitor Jeremiah Johnson.
Scroll down for the official press releases from the both Chip Yates and Amarok Racing.
Stage set for epic electric showdown between Yates, Greg Tracy
Colorado Springs, April 16, 2013-----The 91st Pikes Peak International Hill Climb will feature an electric head-to-head battle between current electric motorcycle record-holder Chip Yates (#89) and 6-time Pikes Peak motorcycle champion Greg Tracy (#555), guaranteed to be a fan favorite highlight of the week's race activities.
The two professional motorcycle racers will face off June 30, 2013 with Yates selecting an American-made Lightning Electric Superbike to ride, and Tracy choosing the Canadian Amarok electric motorcycle.
CHIP YATES: "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! 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."
Yates is an electric vehicle pioneer known for risky record-setting adventures in extreme electric vehicles of his own design. This year's Pikes Peak race marks the first time Yates has put his trust in an electric manufacturer to build and supply his race machine. Lightning also supplies the lithium-ion batteries that power Chip Yates' world record breaking electric airplane.
"The amazing thing about the Lightning bike, is that it's a full-on 180 horsepower electric superbike, faster than a Suzuki GSX-R1000, that anyone can buy – it's actually in production up in Northern California" added Yates.
Yates first took on the legendary Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in 2011. On the paved section of the course, his rookie split times landed him 9th overall among 112 motorcycles before the ensuing 2.6 miles of bumpy dirt roads in the middle of the course slowed his final result to a 12:50.094. With the course being completely paved this year, Yates' aggressive knee-dragging style learned from his FIM World Supersport and AMA Pro Daytona SportBike racing background makes the American a favorite to deliver a top result at the summit.
The legendary race is the second oldest motor sports race in the United States behind the Indy 500. With 156 turns over 12.42 miles, sheer drop-offs and an elevation that increases by more than 5,000 feet from the start line to the 14,110-foot summit on a fully-paved public highway, Pikes Peak is the perfect proving ground for the Lightning Electric Superbike, which uses an innovative electric powertrain to defy the thin, power-sapping Colorado mountain air.
About Lightning Motorcycles
Lightning Motorcycles was founded by Richard Hatfield in San Carlos, Calif. in 1999. By 2009, the company had created the Fastest Super Bike in the world and set the land speed record in 2010 at 215.960 mph. The team broke its own record in 2011 with a top speed of 218.637. Since then, Lightning Motorcycles has established its dominance competing and winning in multiple internationally recognized superbike races. The company's mission is to develop the most innovative competition race bike and use that technology to produce and distribute affordable two wheel electric vehicles to commuter markets worldwide. For additional information, please visit www.lightningmotorcycle.com
About Chip Yates
Chip Yates is an American inventor, superbike racer, and electric vehicle pioneer whose hair-raising adventures have netted 11 world records in electric vehicles of his own design. Most recently, he designed, built and flew the world's fastest electric airplane under his company name "Flight of the Century". He is a frequent motivational speaker and part-time Discovery Channel host who thrives on pushing limits and meeting interesting people. Chip will be on hand in the Lightning Motorcycle booth to chat with race fans during "Fan Fest" in downtown Colorado Springs, scheduled for Friday evening, June 28th. Additional details of Chip's electric airplane and racing programs are available at: www.flightofthecentury.com www.yateselectrospace.com www.chipyates.com www.youtube.com/chipyates
Amarok Racing Rider Announcement
April 9, 2013 - Amarok Racing, the competition arm of motorcycle design specialist Amarok
Consultants, is proud to announce that 6 Time Pikes Peak International Hill Climb Champion,
Greg Tracy, will be racing the Amarok P1A at this year's Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.
Pikes Peak is the second oldest race in the United States behind the Indy 500. With 156 turns, no guardrails, sheer drop-offs and an elevation that increases more than 5,000 feet in 12.4 miles, to a finish of over 14,000 feet at the summit, Pikes Peak is challenging proving ground for the Amarok P1A.
"It is truly exciting to be racing with Amarok. After talking with Amarok co-founder Michael
Uhlarik, I knew this was a team of innovators who have pushed the limit building an electric
motorcycle that I believe can set a record at Pikes Peak. I have been honoured to race for the best factory team, for Ducati, and honestly I had planned that my next Pikes Peak pursuit would be in an enclosed vehicle." said Greg Tracy.
As one of the elite Team Hot Wheels drivers, Greg Tracy, captured a Guinness Book of World
Record when he performed the Hot Wheels Double Loop Dare at the 2012 X Games. Tracy is
also one of the top stuntmen in Hollywood. Greg has been providing stunts for movies and
commercials since 1991, in blockbuster movies such as: Act of Valor, The Avengers, GI Joe,
Wanted, Talladega Nights, The Fast and Furious and in The Bourne Ultimatum for which Greg
won the elite World Stunt Award. He has also won the Baja 1000, raced Formula 2000, Indy
Cars and has gone over 210 mph on a motorcycle at the Bonneville Salt Flats during several
World Record Attempts. At last year's at Pikes Peak, Greg and his teammate were the first
motorcyclists in history of race up the famous mountain in under ten minutes with the Ducati
"We are absolutely thrilled and very proud to have Greg ride for us." said Amarok co-founder
and chief designer Michael Uhlarik. "As a small, family run operation, our main objective is to
work with people we like and who share our values. Amarok is about making up for big, by
leveraging craft. After talking with Greg I felt like we had a lot in common."
Tracy was connected to Amarok after the team's promotional film "Why Less is More" appeared
in a write up in My Life at Speed, one of the largest motor sport culture websites.
"I have always been intrigued by the Makers Movement and how alternative energy will impact
my life and ultimately, my children's lives. We need to be aware of the guys who are
representatives of where our futures lie. Pikes Peak has always been about pushing the limit,
showcasing new technologies with the best racers against the most extreme environment. When
you combine all of our passion for the race, new technology with a couple of guys building one
of the most interesting electric motorcycles in 140 year old barn...well, I knew I just wanted to be part of this program. " Said Greg Tracy.
Amarok and Tracy will be racing the P1A, an advanced electric motorcycle concept
demonstrator developed over the past three years. The P1A boasts a hand crafted aluminum
monocoque design that dramatically reduces weight and improves handling. "The 147kg (325lb)
Amarok P1 concept is about making the best handling motorcycle on the planet. There are
electric bikes with much more power, but we want to own the corners. The 156 turns of Pikes
Peak represent to us the best opportunity to prove our core belief that in vehicle design, you can do more with less." Said Michael Uhlarik.
The ongoing story of Amarok and Greg Tracy will be followed up on MyLife at Speed, in Cycle
Canada magazine and on Amarok Racing's Facebook page and Twitter account.
Amarok Consultants is a leading motorcycle industry consulting firm. Founder, award winning
motorcycle designer Michael Uhlarik, has served major international OEMs including Yamaha,
the Piaggio Group, Bombardier and numerous others to deliver bespoke design, product
planning and R&D support. In 2010, Michael co-founded Amarok Racing with Kevin O'Neil,
with the purpose of developing the paradigm shifting, all electric P1 experiment.
Amarok Racing is generously supported by major sponsors from many areas of motor sports,
including industry leaders (listed below) and fans across Canada, the US and Europe.
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