By Troy Siahaan
On the last Sunday in June, the famed Pikes Peak International Hill Climb will commence its 97th running. Taking to the mountain for the first time will be an official entry from Zero Motorcycles (not to be confused with my attempt in 2013 with a dealer-run effort with support from the factory) with its much acclaimed SR/F – a bike which, judging by the 424 comments (and counting) received on Evans’ Exclusive First Ride piece – is of interest to many people. Piloting the SR/F this year is Cory West, a very accomplished racer in his own right, and though he will be a Pikes Peak rookie, he’ll still be someone to look out for.
Of course, like any other motorcycle, getting the SR/F ready for competition duty requires some prep work. But getting it ready for battle is surprisingly simple compared to a traditional internal combustion motorcycle. Here are the 8 changes to turn a stock SR/F into a Pikes Peak racer – and four things that stayed the same.
Like most other production motorcycles, the subframe is engineered to be strong enough to support the weight of a passenger and/or luggage. For cost purposes, it’s usually made from mild steel, too. Sure it’s strong and cheap, but it’s of no use on a race bike with nobody sitting on the back. The Pikes Peak SR/F features a custom chromoly steel tail section which serves a couple purposes: First, it shaves off a little weight compared to the stocker. Second, at the request of West, it slightly changes the ergos by raising the seat height a little – 20mm to be exact.
One of the first things to go when converting a street bike to race duty is the bodywork, and the SR/F is no different. Gone …read more