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Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

No Motorcycles At Pikes Peak Next Year

Following the tragic death of Carlin Dunne at this year’s race, the governing board for the event has announced that motorcycles will not be a part of the racing program next year.

“Motorcycles have been a part of the PPIHC for the past 29 years, and their history on America’s Mountain dates back to the inaugural running in 1916,” said Tom Osborne, Chairman. “That said, the motorcycle program hasn’t been an annual event. They have run 41 of the 97 years we’ve been racing on Pikes Peak. It’s just time to take a hard look at every aspect of the race, including the motorcycle program, and determine whether or not the event may change.”

No word on whether bikes will come back to the event following 2020. Perhaps changes will be made if they do — such as horsepower limits. The race organizers have, in the past, made rule changes to try to limit the speed of bikes on the hill climb.

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  1. HalfBaked says:

    What exactly does the nanny state have to do with this

  2. SVGeezer says:

    Read through the comments and not one on how the climb went from dirt to pavement. That alone brought a huge change in speed and safety, not to mention a loss of style and fun.

    Shame they can’t cover it in dirt again just for the race… (heh!)

  3. Mike says:

    Im not for banning bikes off this course but an interesting idea came to mind.

    If you want to limit motorcycle incidents on this race consider allowing only Supermoto motorcycles with a 120mph max gearing top limit. This will provide for exciting racing, similar lap times, and lower maximal speeds where the mistakes often turn into death

  4. Fred says:

    Honda Groms in 2020

  5. wjf says:


  6. Grover says:

    Yesterday I went for a fast ride on my Dualsport on the fire roads in the mountains around where I live. Some very steep drop-offs with no guard rails whatsoever. I went as fast as I desired and nobody around to tell me, “Hey, you can’t do that!” I believe it’s up to the racer to decide how fast he can go and to use good judgement, even in a racing environment. Self-preservation has to be considered whether you’re out storming fire roads or competing in a hill climb. Like the IOM TT, a rider should be the judge of risk, not the promoters.

    PS – Everyone on MH370 (239 people) knew the risk involved in flying but decided to go anyways. We challenge risk everyday and deal with it.

  7. bmbktmracer says:

    When good men die, lawyers thrive.

  8. EZMark says:

    Racing is dangerous and occasionally people are killed.
    If racing programs were cancelled every time one person dies, there would be no racing at all.

  9. fred says:

    Motorcycles are riskier than cars. It is risky to race. It is riskier to race motorcycles than to race cars.

    In an increasingly wimpy/risk-averse society, there are pressures on all sides from both virtue-signalers and honest people to address high-risk activities. I almost always prefer freedom to regulation, but we are fighting an uphill battle. Pun not originally intended, but I like it. 🙂

    Personally, I think you’d have to be nuts to race up Pike’s Peak in a car, and even more nuts to do it on a bike, but I am in favor of the race continuing. The human race is better off having people willing to put their lives on the lines for the people and things that they love.

  10. Tommy See says:

    We all take a chance and make a choice. Carlin would be so upset to know that this has happened. Bottom line we never tell a racer to slow down. Sad to hear this news. Life is beautiful behind handle bars.

  11. TimC says:

    More interesting info here. Note, Dunne’s mother makes an appearance in the comments, even.

  12. Donald Fraser says:

    Not a fan of racing on public highways. There have been many race tracks that sanctioning bodies have walked away from due to lack of run off and unsafe conditions. It’s not the 60’s or 70’s anymore. You can thank King Kenny for railing against unsafe conditions and unscrupulous promoters for the much better professional racing we have today. Nice to see our racing heroes live to a ripe old age.

  13. Bob K says:

    Don’t worry. Bikes will be back when they’re autonomous.

    • Kevin White says:

      Probably true. And then they’ll be gone again when those autonomous bikes achieve sentience.

  14. Dave says:

    It’s easy to jump to conclusions, but this might be a permitting or insurance thing. Small & dangerous event on a public road. Hopefully they arrive at good solutions.

    • paul says:

      good point.

    • Bob K says:

      I’m guessing it’s more likely a “public perception” thing at this time, in light of much of the public knowing what needs to be done to improve safety and also knowing that the organization also knows what needs to be done but is blatantly refusing to do so.

    • Jeremy says:

      The Hill Climb board has never been very warm to motorcycle involvement and have banned them several times in the past. It will be a pretty simple formula I think… If the 2020 event doesn’t suffer from the absence of motorcycles, we may not see them in the race for quite a while, maybe forever. Enthusiasts may petition to get bikes invlov d again, and perhaps they’ll make it work, single cylinder bikes only or a 100hp limit or something like that. But the really fast bikes are done for good I think.

  15. todder says:

    Time for the AMA to sanction their own pikes event.

    • Bob K says:

      Hmmm… doubt it would pass safety standards. Lots of runoff, but not the desirable kind.

  16. carl says:

    NANNY state taking over everything. Nobody forced Carlin Dunne to race, it was his choice. THOUSANDS of people die daily driving around in their cars, we know the risk and we are willing to take it. I say ban all cars to save lives.

    • Ralph W. says:

      Well said, carl.

    • Tommy See says:

      We all take a chance and make a choice. Carlin would be so upset to know that this has happened. Bottom line we never tell a racer to slow down. Sad to hear this news. Life is beautiful behind handle bars.

    • Mike Simmons says:

      The nanny state strikes again. Sad… so sad…

    • guu says:

      So this is a NANNY state government run race? Traffic on public roads most certainly falls under the jurisdiction of the state. If there is a “NANNY state” why does it allow the “thousands of deaths daily”?

      (actual US death-toll is about 100 per day. Worldwide its in the thousands. Is the a WORLD NANNY state that somehow doesn’t care about road fatalities but runs m/c races?)

  17. Tank says:

    Why are some of you upset that they want to make changes to save riders’ lives?

    • paul says:

      You do not have to eliminate an event in order to make changes if changes are required. Nobody is upset that they want to make changes.

    • Stuki Moi says:

      Because it sucks to be forced to wear a helmet in bed all night, just on the offchance you may fall out of bed.

  18. paul says:

    While taking a “Flight Safety” course we studied risk mitigation. The most effective way to eliminate risk is to not fly. Does not make any real sense, but there you have it. This is stupid.

    • Bob K says:

      However, out of all transportation today, flying is the safest way to travel long distances. Less time per mile = less risk.

  19. charlie says:

    I certainly don’t mean to throw any other group under the bus but, statistically, how do bikes compare in accidents, property damage and fatalities to other motorized vehicles at Pikes Peak. It’d be interesting to know how often motorhomes take a dive (sorry motorhome jockeys). I really hate to hear of what happened in this years race, but don’t we all “travel at your own risk” every day. Governing bodies everywhere are always trying to eliminate risk.

  20. Tank says:

    Good news.

  21. Anonymous says:


  22. endoman38 says:

    Good thing these guys aren’t in charge of the Isle of Man.

    • Tank says:


    • EZMark says:

      What endoman38 means is the Isle of Man would be cancelled.
      There have been 7 people killed racing Pike’s Peak, 3 on motorcycles.
      There have been 259 motorcycle racers killed racing the Isle of Man.

      • endoman38 says:

        Exactly. Virtually all motor sports have fatalities. The participants know this going into the activity. But, there are people that would like to see all motor sports done away with. I think more than 70 have died at Indy.

  23. mickey says:

    Guess this was to be expected.