SWIGZ.COM Pro Racing's Chip Yates Sets New Pikes Peak Record
American superbike rider and electric vehicle pioneer Chip Yates has delivered another stunning race result with his homebuilt 240 horsepower electric superbike at the 89th Pikes Peak International Hill Climb on Sunday, June 26th. Overcoming high winds, red flags, oil on the track, and 2.6 miles of bumpy dirt, Chip achieved two new world records with his surprising run of 12:50.094 while finishing 2nd in the Exhibition Powersport class behind Grand National Champion Joe Kopp.
With 240 horsepower and 400 ft/lbs of torque on tap from the UQM Technologies PowerPhase electric motor, the SWIGZ.COM Pro Racing Electric Superbike has become the most powerful motorcycle of any kind to ever finish the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in its 89-year history.
More importantly, Chip and his team have claimed a new course world record for electric motorcycles at Pikes Peak, beating the previous time of 16:55.849 set by John Scollon in 2010 on an HM ElectroCat by a convincing 4:05.755 margin.
In addition to the impressive results shown by the team this year, the real story to come out of the weekend is the potential the electric superbike showed for a top finish next year when all 12.4 miles of the iconic 156-corner public highway will be paved. This year Chip had to contend with tip-toeing a nearly 600 pound roadracing superbike through 2.6 miles of bumpy dirt road, where he lost significant time (over 1 minute) to the race leaders, highlighted by the split times of the race.
In the first section of the course, which is paved asphalt, Chip’s split time was an incredible 9th out of 112 motorcycles as he demonstrated knee-dragging superbike racing techniques to more than 5,000 fans that lined the lower section of the mountain road. However, in the dirt section, Chip predictably suffered badly, and was 97th out of the 112 racers. This huge time disparity hints at the potential for a great 2012 result once the course is completely paved.
“These split times show that once again, we have put the gas-powered bikes on notice that we can be a serious threat to the results of a premier race event,” said Yates. “Next year with the pavement on my side, I’ll be looking for a top 10 or better result in the overall standings.”
In this first paved section of the hill climb, Chip’s electric superbike was only beaten by eight top riders: Carlin Dunne (race winner), Greg Tracy, Gary Trachy, Mark Cernicky, Stuart Sinclair, Joe Kopp, Mike Ell, and Davey Durelle.
“I want to thank our new sponsor Eidos LLC and my incredible team, and none more than my key Race Engineer Robert Ussery, who is responsible for a massive amount of work and personal sacrifice to prepare our electric superbike for this epic adventure,” said Yates. “We are a team of 3 volunteer engineers with support from our wonderful sponsors but with no outside funding and yet we are taking on the established motorcycle manufacturers by pure determination, ingenuity, and the ability to accept personal hardship and extremely long hours as part of our normal course of business.”
UQM Press Release
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- The SWIGZ.COM Pro Racing team did much more than kick up dirt at the 89th Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (www.ppihc.com) with its all-electric motorcycle powered by a UQM Technologies, Inc. (NYSE Amex: UQM) high-performance electric propulsion system. The team shocked the Pikes Peak organizers, competitors and motorsports community with a 2nd place class finish while also setting a new electric motorcycle record time of 12:50.094. The previous Pikes Peak electric motorcycle record of 16:55.849 was set in 2010.
“In this high-elevation venue, Chip’s UQM-powered superbike demonstrated two key advantages of an all-electric powertrain: instant torque for great corner exits and the ability to produce the same power at the 14,110-foot summit as it does at sea level.”
“Once again, we congratulate Chip Yates and the SWIGZ.COM Pro Racing team for exceptional performance with their all-electric superbike,” said Eric Ridenour, President and Chief Executive Officer of UQM Technologies. “In this high-elevation venue, Chip’s UQM-powered superbike demonstrated two key advantages of an all-electric powertrain: instant torque for great corner exits and the ability to produce the same power at the 14,110-foot summit as it does at sea level.”
Chip Yates is both the rider and the designer of the SWIGZ.COM Pro Racing motorcycle. At 240 horsepower, the SWIGZ electric motorcycle is the most powerful motorcycle ever entered in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.
“This was one of the most exciting and extreme races I’ve competed in,” said Yates. “The course is 12.42 miles long, has 2.6 miles of dirt, and is littered with 156 difficult and sometimes highly dangerous turns. The ability to come out of corners with 400 ft-lbs of torque on tap made a significant difference in our performance.”
The real story to come out of the weekend is the potential the electric superbike showed for a top finish next year, when the course should be fully paved. This year Chip says that he tip-toed a nearly 600-pound road-racing superbike through 2.6 miles of dirt road, where he lost significant time to the race leaders. In the first section of the course, which is paved asphalt, Chip was 9th out of 112 motorcycles and demonstrated knee-dragging superbike racing techniques to more than 5,000 fans that lined the mountain road.
“The split times from the race show the incredible potential of our electric superbike when the entire course is paved in time for the 2012 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb race,” said Yates. “Once again, we have put the gas-powered bikes on notice that we can be a serious threat to the overall results of a premier race event. Next year, with the pavement on my side, I’ll be looking for a top 10 or better result in the overall standings.”
Yates and the SWIGZ.COM Pro Racing team have earned considerable performance achievements with the UQM-powered all-electric superbike. Highlights include:
- Pikes Peak Electric Motorcycle Overall Record (beating the previous record by 4:05.755)
- Placing 2nd in class in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb
- Being the most powerful motorcycle to ever enter the Pikes Peak race
- Two podium finishes in the first Gas vs. Electric superbike race in January 2011
- Setting a world record for the world’s fastest electric motorcycle (190.6 mph) during the Mojave Mile Shootout
- Finishing third place after starting the race on the third row at the Auto Club Speedway in California in the premier WERA Heavyweight Twins Superbike category
- Then finishing second in the WERA Heavyweight Twins Superstock division of the race
- Posting the fastest lap of the race at 1:39.792
- Achieving a top speed of 158 mph during the race, despite having only six laps of pre-race testing
About Chip Yates
Chip Yates is a professional motorcycle road racer, team owner, and extreme electric vehicle designer. Since January 2010, Yates has led the all-American team of Ben Ingram, Robert Ussery and Jimmy Summers to create, build, and race the a powerful and sophisticated electric superbike. Yates holds a Master’s Degree in Business from the University of Southern California. For more information and to request photography for publication, please visit www.chipyates.com.
About UQM Technologies, Inc.
UQM Technologies is a developer and manufacturer of power-dense, high-efficiency electric motors, generators and power electronic controllers for the automotive, aerospace, military and industrial markets. A major emphasis for UQM is developing products for the alternative-energy technologies sector, including propulsion systems for electric, hybrid electric, plug-in hybrid electric and fuel cell electric vehicles, under-the-hood power accessories and other vehicle auxiliaries. UQM headquarters, engineering, product development center and manufacturing operation are located in Longmont, Colorado.
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