He’s one of Great Britain’s top roadracers, he’s a TV presenter whose specialty is setting wacky, offbeat speed records, and now Guy Martin is hoping to add the Pikes Peak International Hillclimb to his list of achievements.
Now that the world-famous course up Pikes Peak has been paved all the way to the top, Martin reckons it’s time he made the trip to Colorado to see if he can break the course’s all-time speed record this summer.
He’s not going to be riding an electric bike, which would make sense, as they don’t struggle with the change in air density from the bottom of the mountain to the top, like internal combustion engines do. Instead, he’s taking a machine he’s put together himself, with an early ’90s Suzuki GSXR1100 motor and turbocharger and a Martek frame. The reason for that project is probably because the PPIHC class system favours bikes with bolt-on handlebars and triple clamps, not clip-ons. That’s partly why the top riders are always aboard bikes like the Ducati Multistrada or Triumph Speed Triple. If Martin builds his own insanely powerful bike with a custom-built chassis, he can obey the letter of the rules.
Frankly, this is fantastic news for the Pikes Peak race, as long as Martin survives and doesn’t repeat a performance like his spectacular Isle of Man crash.
It will be tough for Martin to set the all-time to-the-top record at Pikes Peak. Carlin Dunne and Greg Tracy finished 1-2 last year on Ducati Multistradas, with 9:52.819 and 9:58.262 times respectively. They’re the only guys to make it up the mountain in under 10 minutes.
Martin will enter the race in the UTV/Exhibition Division. The 2014 races kick off on July 29.