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Old 12-18-2015, 07:51 AM   #1
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Pikes Peak brings back bizarre bar rule

Sports bikes banned in the name of safety

A section of the Pikes Peak course

THE Pikes Peak International Hillclimb has been growing in popularity over the last few years and seen some big changes to its format including the introduction of a fully-paved surface and the decision to allow sports bikes to enter.

Now one of those changes is being effectively reversed with the reintroduction of a strange rule that says: 'Only motorcycles manufactured with one-piece handle bars as original equipment will be permitted. Only OVM one-piece handlebars will be permitted. This Rule does not apply to bikes in the Pikes Peak Challenge Sidecar Class.'

The same regulation was applied for many years, but was dropped a couple of years ago, effectively opening the doors to sports bikes originally sold with clip-ons.

In the last two years there have been two fatal accidents involving bikes, first when Bobby Goodin crashed his Triumph Daytona 675R after crossing the finishing line in 2014, and then when Carl Sorensen crashed over a cliff at the 2015 event on his Ducati 848. Deaths at the event have been rare in its 100-year history despite the fearsome nature of the track, so it’s no surprise that there have been questions asked following two fatalities in two years. Goodin had modified the Triumph to fit straight, one piece bars. reports that the rule change comes after pressure from the event’s insurers and that there was discussion among the organisers about banning motorcycles entirely this year

While banning bikes originally sold with clip-ons will eliminate some high-performance machines from the running, the change doesn’t seem likely to lead to a reduction in speeds. The current record is still held by Carlin Dunne’s 2012 run on a Ducati Multistrada at 9:52.819, and that bike would still be legal under the new regulations. While the 2014 and 2015 events were both won by superbikes, neither managed to beat Dunne’s record time.

Does it make sense to ban the most capable, best-handling bikes on the planet in the name of safety?

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