Chip Yates bringing electric monster to attack Pikes Peak *UPDATE

If you happen to be the holder of the Pikes Peak electric motorcycle hill-climbing record and wanted to successfully defend your title this year, you better start buffing up your bike now. Hell For Leather has revealed that Chip Yates is bringing his road racing monster to the mountain. But it's not the same bike you saw getting some podium action at a recent WERA event. It's now stronger, yet, more refined.

The awkward-looking box that sat on the pillion back then, looking for all the world like a pizza delivery setup with an attitude, is gone. Or rather transformed. Possibly into a shark-like dorsal fin. Power is now up to 240 horses and (hopefully) the delivery of all those lithium-bound ponies is delivered in a more poised manner.

While other electrics will have their Yates-beating work cut out for them, it's likely they're not his target. We expect Chip will be gunning for the gasoline burners while working the 12.42 miles of twisty, mostly paved road where he has an advantage of not losing power as he makes the 4,721 elevation change. The big question is, will there be enough energy in the battery to go all out over the entire distance. We only have to wait until the first weekend in June to find out.

*UPDATE: The actual racing happens on June 26, with that first June weekend reserved for learning the course and making adjustments to the bike. Also, Pikes Peak organizers have issued a press release which is now posted after the break.

View 3 Photos

[Source: Hell For Leather | Source Image : Charles Williams]

Show full PR text

Powerful, History-Making Electric Motorcycle Set For Pikes Peak International Hill Climb On June 26 In Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs, March 28-----The 89th Pikes Peak International Hill Climb will include the most powerful motorcycle to enter the historic event in history when it roars away on June 26.

Racer Chip Yates (Aliso Viejo, CA) will be racing his 240bhp, 365lb/ft electric superbike at Pikes Peak this summer in an Exhibition PowerSport Division showing when America's second-oldest motor sport event gets underway in Colorado Springs.

Yates' bike is currently set up for paved tracks, where he made history by placing second in a race against gasoline superbikes earlier this year. His entry on Pikes Peak this summer may also pave the way for bigger things in the future.

"The SWIGZ.COM Pro Racing Team is ecstatic to have been invited by Pikes Peak International Hill Climb officials to compete in this epic event, says Yates. " 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."

Chip and his team of engineers will participate in an official Pikes Peak International Hill Climb two-day closed test on June 4-5 in order to begin learning the complicated course and to test chassis setup, tire selection, and control software options.

Yates and his SWIGZ Racing team achieved the seemingly impossible in January at the Auto Club Speedway in California, with two podium finishes for their electric superbike during its global racing debut, competing against a competitive field of highly-developed gasoline-powered race machines, including Ducati 848s, NCR-Ducatis, Honda RC51s, and Suzuki SV650s.

Despite only six laps of pre-race testing, the privately owned and developed machine exceeded all expectations in its two race outings. Yates achieved an astonishing third place in the premier WERA Heavyweight Twins Superbike race, starting on the third row of the grid, and going one better in the WERA Heavyweight Twins Superstock race to finish second and post the fastest lap of the race at a 1:39.792. The all-electric machine was recorded at 158 mph on the straight and appeared visibly quicker to spectators, compared to even the 1,000cc Japanese superbikes from the other top WERA superbike classes.

"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 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb includes powerful autos, trucks and motorcycles racing up a 12.42-mile, 156-turn course. Traditionally, supermotos or other dirt-capable motorcycles enter the race, with Ducati MultiStradas piloted by Greg Tracy and Gary Trachy winning titles last summer.

Yates' bike won't be the first electric motorcycle to take part in Pikes Peak, but it will be the first with a serious chance of competing directly with ICE motorcycles. His point? To prove "electric motorcycles don't need to be slow and boring."

But how is a nearly 600-pound road racing bike going to fare on such a technical course? Pretty well, according to Yates. "Two key benefits of our electric power train will really help me climb from 9,390 feet all the way up to the 14,110 foot summit. First, our superbike makes 240 horsepower at sea level and 240 horsepower at 14,110 feet. We do not suffer any power loss due to elevation, while gasoline-powered vehicles will lose around 30% of their power at the top."

"Secondly, our 365 ft/lbs of torque is available from 0 rpm as soon as I open the throttle – with few straight sections, we don't have to wait for revs to build up in order to blast off the course's 156 turns and tight corners." In the run up to the Peak's two-day test on June 4th and 5th, the Yates team will be making wide-ranging modifications to the electric superbike.

Many within the sport have viewed the success of Yates and the SWIGZ team with complete astonishment. "We are a small and entirely self-funded team, and together with a small group of very loyal sponsors, are solely responsible for the development, patenting and building of this superbike," Yates said.

According to Hell For Leather Magazine, which broke the story last week about Yates and Pikes Peak, The bike has been developed with all new technology and software in less than one year, and after extensive simulation testing, worked right out of the box from day one to beat bikes made by the world's best known Italian and Japanese manufacturers.

Yates and his skunk works team of key engineers Ben Ingram and Robert Ussery have quickly developed an industry-leading understanding of electric power train technology and development, and the motorcycle is an absolute showcase of the team's specialist capabilities in extreme electric vehicle consulting as most of it was built in-house including the advanced lithium-ion polymer battery packs. The lap times achieved on the bikes first competitive outing validate the team's assertion that its bike is vastly superior in technology and performance to any other electric bike and can demonstrably take the fight to conventional gasoline machines.

About Chip Yates:

Chip Yates is a professional motorcycle road racer, team owner, and extreme electric vehicle designer. Since January 2010, Chip has led an all-American team to create, build, and race the most powerful and sophisticated electric superbike in the world.

Powered by a liquid-cooled electric motor from UQM Technologies (Longmont, Colorado), Chip's 240 horsepower superbike is a cutting-edge technology showcase, designed to compete directly against gasoline-powered road racing motorcycles in lap times, acceleration, top speed and handling. More powerful than a World Championship MotoGP bike, it can out accelerate and has a higher top speed than 1,000cc superbikes while delivering extremely competitive lap times.

In January, Yates and his team made history by entering the all-electric racebike in a pair of WERA Heavyweight Twins Superbike races at Auto Club Speedway in California, beating most gasoline powered superbikes to finish with 2nd and 3rd place podium positions. 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.

Chip's motorcycle racing career started in April, 2007 with his first roadrace at Las Vegas Motor Speedway as a WERA Novice, and he finished his rookie year 4th in the WERA West Championship.

For 2008, Chip competed in a full schedule of WERA and AFM roadraces as an Expert, wrapping up the season with another 4th place result in the WERA West Championship.

In 2009, Chip turned Pro with an AMA Pro Daytona SportBike license and then in May, 2009 he received his FIM World Superbike license. Chip competed in AMA Pro roadraces and FIM World Supersport during 2009, but broke his pelvis in a crash during the AMA Pro race at Topeka Kansas in August. While recovering, Chip redirected his remaining 2009 AMA racing budget to the design of a game-changing electric superbike.

Prior to motorcycle racing, from 1999-2002 Chip and wife Julie Yates competed in the SCCA Pro-Rally Championship in a supercharged Toyota MR2, winning the 2001 SCCA SOPAC Group 5 Championship.

Apart from racing, Chip Yates is a self-made entrepreneur and owns a U.S. Government contracting business as well as the SWIGZ® Dual Hydration System fitness bottle manufacturing business. Before starting his own businesses, Chip was a Boeing executive in charge of transitioning advanced aerospace technology to other industries such as automotive for racing and OEM applications. He is a prolific inventor and personally holds 7 U.S. patents on automotive drivetrain and other technologies and is an engineer with a master's degree in business from the University of Southern California where he is a frequent guest speaker. Before aerospace, automotive, and racing, Chip invented and commercialized more than 30 toys.

The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is the second oldest motorsports race in America behind the Indianapolis 500 and a long-standing tradition in Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak Region. It began in 1916, and this year marks the 89th running of the "Race to the Clouds."

The race is run on a 12.42 mile course with 156 turns that begins at 9,390 feet and finishes at the 14,110 foot summit of America's Mountain. As the drivers climb toward the summit, the thin air slows reflexes and saps muscle strength. The thin air also robs engines of 30% of their power at the summit. Competitors, vehicles and motorcycles must be in top shape simply to finish, let alone win!

The popular Fan Fest is scheduled for Friday evening, June 24 in downtown Colorado Springs, with a crowd of over 30,000 again anticipated.

Tickets, camping permits and all other information is available at the PPIHC website,

Prices start at just $40.00, a Family 4-Pack is an option at $125.00 and VIP ducats at $80.00.

A crowd of almost 5,000 spectators lined the Hill last year for the race.

Share This Photo X