Pikes Peak Airfence News

Honda Partners with AMA to Provide Pikes Peak Airfence
Honda associate Jeff Tigert in action at the 2013 edition of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. For the second consecutive year, Honda will be partnering with the AMA to provide soft-barrier technology for the event.

Ascending 14,115 feet in 12.42 miles, the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (PPIHC) provides the ultimate rush for both competitors and fans. Part of the excitement is the fear factor – there’s not much room for error on most of the course’s 156 turns.

One of the largest safety measures at Pikes Peak is the use of Airfence barriers, which are crucial for rider safety – especially at the most dangerous sections of the course that contain steep drop-offs.

This Airfence soft barriers are expensive, and once again three organizations have partnered to provide them – Honda, the American Motorcyclist Association and the Roadracing World Action Fund.

Last year’s partnership marked the first time in the 92-year history of the PPIHC that a competitor worked with a sanctioning body—the AMA sanctions the motorcycle portion of the event—to improve the overall safety of the race.

“Safety is a top priority in everything that we do at Honda, and working with the AMA and the Roadracing World Action Fund to provide a measure of safety for the competitors is something we are excited about doing,” said James Robinson, Principal Engineer, Engine Research, Honda R&D. “We saw firsthand last year how well these Airfence barriers work in protecting a fallen rider and while we hope nobody tests them, we feel strongly about having them in place.”

The fencing played a major part in determining the outcome of the Open Motorcycle class in 2014, saving eventual class champion Jeremy Toye (Kawasaki ZX-10R Ninja) after a fall during practice. Toye lost control in a tight turn and landed in the barriers, and later credited them with saving him from injuries that could have prevented him from competing in the race.

“Thanks to a financial contribution from Honda, we’re able to fund deployment of soft barriers from the Roadracing World Action Fund at the 93rd running of Pikes Peak,” said AMA Director of Racing Bill Cumbow. “AMA-sanctioned events strive to put safety first and these barriers can help reduce rider injuries in the event of a crash.”

Honda is currently finalizing its lineup for the July 28 race, which will see the manufacturer campaigning a number of different types of vehicles including motorcycles, automobiles and side-by-sides. Full information on the team’s lineup will be released in the coming weeks.