Bottpower are busy preparing the XR1R Pikes Peak Special for Sideburn's own Travis Newbold to race at this year's event. After two motorcycle fatalities in recent Pikes Peaks International Hillclimbs (PPIHC) the organisers have seriously limited the amount of bikes that they allow to compete, excluding racers who have made the pilgrimage to race for ten years or more, so the first success for the team was to have their entry accepted. The organisers have also banned bikes with clip-on handlebars.
So, an accepted entry wasn't a foregone conclusion, because Travis had previously been excluded after being outspoken about the organisation. Thanksfully, his love of the event has overcome and the organisers have allowed him back in.
The Bott racer will use an engine from the track only XBRR, not the regular Buell engine their road bikes rely on. It has downdraft throttle bodies that Bott needed to make new intake manifolds for, because the XBRR has a beam frame and the Bott has a very large diameter spine. The intakes were computer modelled, then prototyped on a 3D printer, before being milled from billet.
This is what Bott's David Sanchez says about the XBRR engine, 'The XB and XBRR engines share the same front and rear mounting points, but the rest is quite different. We had to design a new right side footpeg, because the one we use on the XR1 doesn’t fit in the XBRR engine. Because we do not have the XBRR engine in CAD, we are using the 3D printer more than what is usual for us. Before machining the footpeg in aluminium, it is well worth to print a prototype in plastic just to check that everything fits properly.'
Travis did a great job in 2015, racing the Buell/ EBR-powered Ronin to second overall, but he is giving away a lot of power to some of the new generation supernakeds. The clip-on ban has forced the 27 competitors to consider other bikes. The official entry list shows KTM SuperDukes, Z1000, Monsters, Aprilia Tuonos, Yam FZ-07s, and older Kawasaki and a C&J Triumph, plus the 'lightweight' 450 supermotos. Travis and the Bott are in the 'Exhibition Powersport Class', but can compete for the overall motorcycle class win.
Sanchez says, 'In Pikes Peak we will race against motorbikes more powerful than the XR1R. The XBRR engine gives around 150 HP, while most of the top bikes racing there are above 200 HP [not sure where this figure comes from. GI]. This is a problem, but it is not an insuperable problem. It would be a very serious issue if we were racing in a closed track with good asphalt, but in Pikes Peak there is not too much grip, and the asphalt is normally quite cold. For this reason it is very difficult to apply all the power to the tarmac. If we want to compensate this lack of power, it will be very important to transmit the power in an effective way, and also to have a very light bike. Weight reduction is more interesting than power, because power is useful only in acceleration, while weight reduction is useful accelerating, braking and cornering.'
The race takes place on 25 June 2017. If you would like to support the Bott PPIHC, you can do so by buying Kriega special edition Bott kit, from as little as £25 for a special edition tool roll, up to £120 for their 10-year guarantee R20 backpack, with all takings (not just profit) going to this tiny team's big Pikes Peak dream. These special editions are the same price as the regular Kriega kit and I can't recommend it highly enough. I've been using it for well over ten years. I still have, and regularly use, my original R25 I've had for all that time.