Zero Motorcycles and Hollywood Electrics have owned the production electric motorcycle class at the 2015 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. This year, the company made it three-in-a-row when rider Jeff Clark successfully defended the team’s title with a blistering time of 12:06:346.
If Clark’s decisive victory wasn’t enough to stamp Zero Motorcycle’s dominance in this class at the world’s most prestigious hill climb event, teammates Nathan Barker, and Brandon Nozaki Miller also posted impressive lap times of their own, finishing the gruelling course in 12:37.161 and 13:10.894, respectively. Then there’s Yoshihiro Kishimoto, who posted a staggering time of 10:58.861 in the modified electric category, good for 29th overall among all the vehicles that entered the race. Care to guess what bike model he was riding? Yep. Zero SRs.
Zero Motorcycle’s impressive run at the 2015 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb also points to a more important tipping point that could reinvent the way we look at motor racing in the future. Electric vehicles dominated the conversation at the Race to the Clouds and it won’t be long before we see more electric rides, be it cars or motorcycles, show up at Pikes Peak in the near future.
Even pro driver and rally car connoisseur Rhys Millen made history with an electric vehicle, powering his Latvian-built Drive eO PP03 racer around the 12.6-mile course in just 9:07.222. In the process, Millen set a record lap time for battery-powered cars and became the first driver to post the fastest lap time around the track while driving an EV.
Zero Motorcycles and Hollywood Electric were hot subjects in the aftermath of the event and if their current forms hold up, they could end up writing more of their names in the Pikes Peak record books.
Continue reading to read more about Zero Motorcycles’ successful run at the 2015 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.
Why it matters
It’s hard to convey how important this third straight electric motorcycle title is for Zero Motorcycles without sounding like I’m exaggerating myself. Here’s what I think: Zero Motorcycles is one of the few American motorcycle companies that have dedicated itself to the electric motorcycle segment.
In a lot of ways, this is validation for the hard work the company, together with Hollywood Electric, have put in to develop its technology. It’s one thing to claim to have one of the best electric motorcycles in the market. It’s another thing entirely to back that up by winning the most gruelling hill climb race in the world for three straight years.
That’s the kind of cache no amount of hype and publicity can buy.
But this isn’t just Zero Motorcycle’s victory; equal praise must also be given to Hollywood Electric, which once again proved to be an invaluable asset in the chase for the three-peat. Even the riders - Jeff Clark, Nathan Barker, and Brandon Nozaki Miller - contributed to the cause, setting blistering lap times to put a resounding stamp on Zero Motorcycles’ dominance of this specific class.
Moving forward, I hope that more companies focus more on this class. Nothing against Zero Motorcycles, but I prefer to live in a world where more and more companies are producing electric motorcycles. That future isn’t too far away as far as I’m concerned.
Here’s to hoping that I’m right.