One of North America’s oldest races has just banned motorcycles from competition. The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, long regarded as one of the hairiest events in the world of moto, says two-wheeled competition is discontinued.
“After two years of research, deliberation, thoughtful consideration and advice from colleagues in the motorsports industry, the Board of the Directors of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb has made the decision to discontinue motorcycle competition as part of the annual Race to the Clouds,” reads a statement on the PPIHC website. Followed by a quote by board bigwig:“Motorcycle competition has been part of the history of the race off-and-on since 1916, and has been both thrilling and tragic for competitors and fans alike. This has been a long process and a difficult decision, but we believe it is the right decision and one that is in the best interest of the organization at this time.”
It’s not the first time moto racing has been canceled at Pikes Peak; motorcycles didn’t compete from 1920 through 1954. However, the motorcycle class has long been a part of Pikes Peak, with the legendary Floyd Clymer winning two of the four motorcycle races the first year the Pikes Peak race ran, in 1916.
The PPIHC closed down the motorcycle categories after Carlin Dunne’s racing death in 2019, and at that time, the general consensus was that motorcycles probably wouldn’t be back. The motorcycle categories weren’t the main focus of the event, and the course was certainly sketchy for two-wheeled competitors. Still, there was always demand, with racers signed up from all over the world. Maybe they’ll be back someday, if Pikes Peak officials eventually change their decision.