|2013 Zero S|
This year is the first time a production electric motorcycle class has raced the PPIHC. While a few electric bikes have made the run in previous years, they were all conversion bikes rather than production bikes. As we saw with the 2012 TTXGP series, that was the first year where production electric motorcycles could credibly race. At the 2012 Portland TTXGP race, the 2012 Zero S's ran against a grid of 250cc gas bikes, performed well, but were proved to be slightly slower as they fell behind a little each lap. The 2013 Zero S/DS bikes are dramatically more powerful, thanks to a better motor, should do very well in the whatever-the-series-is-to-replace-TTXGP-and-e-Power, and do well on Pikes Peak.
As we noted a few weeks ago, several electric cars and electric motorcycles are running the PPIHC this year. Entries in the production electric motorcycle class include:-
- Aaron Frank, Editor of Motorcyclist magazine, who has 15 years of competitive roadracing experience and has shown an increasing interest in electric motorcycles over the last several years
- Jeremiah Johnson who, as we noted a couple weeks ago, is an AMA Pro racer, has run in a few TTXGP races, and will be riding his own 2013 Zero S, customized in partnership with Hollywood Electrics
- Brandon Nozaki Miller, who is racing a customized 2012 Zero S on which he set a land speed record last year, is racing this year in the M1GP and other club racing events, and is working his way towards having an AMA racing license while never having ridden a gas bike
- Jeff Clark has participated in the San Felipe 250, Baja 500 and 1000 and will be riding his own modified 2013 Zero FX.
- Nathan Barker hails from Australia and is looking forward to his first professional road race to the top of Pikes Peak aboard his own 2013 Zero FX.
“We are breaking new ground with electric motorcycle racing; it’s the involvement and competition between the teams and riders that makes it fun. We’ve put together a great team of riders from various motorsports backgrounds and skill levels. It will be interesting to see how each combination of rider and bike tackles the Peak,” said Harlan Flagg of Hollywood Electrics. “At such an early stage of competitive electric racing, the low cost of entry makes it appealing as even the stock bikes are very competitive and there is little maintenance and incidental costs, a significant consideration for racers on a budget. We intend to show fans, other racers and the public at large that it is easy to get involved in one way or another.”