Travis was supposed to be having his first practice on Pikes Peak last weekend, but the courier didn't deliver the bike in time, so he had to modify his own SV650 track bike and ask for permission to ride that. Jon Wallace /Brapp Snapps was there to capture the practice and shared these photos. Below is Travis's description from his own 747rider blog.
There are things in my head that I can not even begin to put into words. Saturday I found my self once again in my Ronin race leather suite passing the corner where Carl lost his life. The last time I went by was three days after his crash and while I was on my way to a 2nd place overall finish. In the two years that have passed things have changed. Out of respect for my friends and family I have acquired a new fear for the mountain. Also, the road between Carl’s corner and the finish line had become much more bumpy. My bike was blitzing the tarmac humps in the same way a motocross bike skims a whoop-de-do section. These cold hard bumps had solid frozen water in-between them. My bike had a stiff and well set up for smooth as glass race track rear Ohlins shock. The front forks however were the stock Suzuki SV units with no damping adjustment, marshmallows for springs and what felt like jello for fork oil. The day before I removed the proper Inverted GSXR forks that complemented the rear Ohlins as per request for the Pike Peak committee’s rule of only allowing bikes equipped with OEM one piece handlbars. Their attempt at safety.
The Thursday before I found out that UPS had had an “error” in shipping our special Bottpower race bike and it would not arrive in time to practice on. So, I called up the director of the motorcycle racing who would probably like to never see or hear form me again, and I asked him for permission to practice on my SV instead of the high profile Bottpower. He granted me the favor and there I was on the mountain at speed on my underpowered little Suzuki with shit for front suspension and DOT race tires I had never used before.
On my second run up I crossed the double yellow with more lean than I should have and lost the front. It was good that it was just a slow tight hairpin corner and I never let go of the bars. My confidence however was gone. Later in the morning as the snow crystals blew across the road making small drifts I again totally lost the front but at a much faster speed I was able to save the bike from what would have been a bad crash. I am addicted to danger and that danger is the road. I must respect.
Coming home from these mornings leaves a huge distance between me and the other people in my life. I want to tell them how much fun I just had but all they hear is how close I came to the edge. I want to share my experience but the only people who can even begin to understand are other self involved maniacs. In my head is a clumpy soup of pride and shame. It is a recipe of my own concoction that I am always cooking faster than I can eat. Hopefully today will see the delivery of the Bottpower and I can soon share a tasty feast of glory.