We’re partnering with the BMW Motorcycle Owners of America to build a custom S1000XR to race at the Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb! Our plan is to set up the mighty XR for a comfortable cross-country ride from our headquarters in Rhode Island to Colorado, then strip it down and race it up the mountain.
2016 marks the 100th anniversary of the Pikes Peak Hill Climb, America’s second oldest motorsports race (the oldest being the Indy 500). Located on America’s Mountain in Colorado Springs, CO, this is one of the most grueling road courses known to the racing world: the 12.4-mile route begins at 9,390 feet and finishes at the 14,115-foot summit, with a whopping 156 turns in between (that’s about 12 turns per mile). This year’s race takes place on June 26, and the field of motorcycles is limited to just 33. We’ve submitted our Request for Invitation with longtime Isle of Man TT racer Thomas Montano as our rider — we’ll hear by mid-February whether we get invited to race. Keep yer fingers crossed!
Meanwhile, we expect the XR to arrive (courtesy of MOA) within the next couple of weeks. With a little custom fabrication, some outside help with motor/chassis work, and a few key Twisted accessories, we’ll build something that will probably look a lot like the sick custom race bike you see here.
One of the most intriguing parts of this project is that it’s uncharted territory for us at Twisted – and it gives us the opportunity to test and tweak existing products. The build may even spark ideas for new kinds of accessories to develop, for the XR and other sport/adventure bikes. It’s the kind of challenge we can sink our teeth into: how to transform a touring bike into a race bike, one that can perform on a race course and haul your stuff across the continent.
Preparing for the cross-country part of this adventure is what we do best. We’ll focus primarily on luggage and wind protection, likely adding a set of SW-Motech TRAX Adventure panniers, an SW-Motech tank bag, and an MRA windshield extender. We may even add a few easily removable farkles, like a Garmin GPS with a handlebar mount. We’ve got a catalog full of accessories for touring – that’s easy.
It’s the racing part that’s a challenge, and Pikes Peak is formidable. Expert engine tuning, crash protection, and weight savings will be key to setting up the bike. Fortunately, we’re starting with a champ – 999cc of tenacious power in a nimble chassis, a sportbike in ADV clothing. We’ve also got an ex-racer on staff, the inimitable Dave P., who can help with strategy and prep. (Dave runs our factory store, so if you’ve ever stopped by Twisted HQ, you may have spent some time with him.)
We’ll start by removing parts to reduce weight wherever possible. That may mean chucking the passenger pegs and stock fender, switching to a lighter chain setup, and possibly fabricating a few carbon-fiber pieces. In addition, the rule book has a list of technical requirements we must adhere to, including removing nearly all lighting equipment. Our design team is contemplating the creation of superbike-style headlight blanks, a concept that appeals to the rest of us.
Crash protection will come in the form of R&G Racing engine case covers, frame sliders, and axle sliders. R&G radiator and oil cooler guards will protect those precious parts over the entire journey. As for the motor, we may work with an experienced shop to fine-tune power delivery…or we may leave it alone. This might come down to the racer’s preference. But an aftermarket exhaust is definitely on our list of mods, providing both weight savings and power enhancement.
We’re anxiously awaiting the arrival of our bike, so we can start the tear down and design of custom parts. In the meantime, we’re dreaming and scheming…stay tuned for updates here and on our Facebook page.