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Pikes Peak could ban motorcycles

The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb could ban motorcycles from entering the race in the wake of Carlin Dunnes tragic accident earlier this month

The Pikes Peak Hill Climb organisers are having talks that could see motorcycles banned from taking part in the event in the wake of a crash that took the life of highly respected racer Carlin Dunne.

In emails obtained by the Colorado Gazette, it’s claimed that Race Executive Director, Megan Leatham states: “He high sided… but it just happened to be on Pikes Peak with no room for error.” She went on to say, “Also...between us… I think the end of the motorcycle program on Pikes Peak…. The last rider on the 156 turn [course]…”

The Gazette also spoke to Jack Glavan, Pikes Peak America’s Mountain manager, the organization that is responsible for maintaining both the track upon which the event is raced, and also the Summit House – the building that sits at the top of the mountain – and it’s claimed he has the power to discontinue the race if he believes it is unsafe.

It’s not the first time that motorcycles competing at the famous hill climb have been in doubt, for some years now a ruling has been in place, banning motorcycles from competing if they originate from a machine that has clip-on style handlebars. The move was sought to prevent street-legal sportsbikes – think Kawasaki ZX-10R Ninjas and Yamaha R1s – from competing. The organisers were worried that the ability of the bikes to hit near 200mph in a blink of an eye was too much of a risk given the 4,000-foot drop if things went wrong.

With that ruling in mind, it’s bikes like the Ducati V4 Streetfighter that came to the fore at the event, as they combine the power, grip and outright top-speed of a superbike with the upright riding position of a naked motorcycle, basically circumnavigating the rules.

Dunne sadly lost his life at the 97th running of the Pikes Peak International Hillclimb after his bike high-sided at the final turn of the 12.42-mile 156 turn course.

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