Glen Helen HillNAHA Round 2
Hillclimbing is considered the oldest form of motorcycle racing, but in areas of the U.S. and smaller parts of Europe, the sport continues to thrive.In the western U.S. the North American Hillclimber's Association has the premier professional series, and it returned to SoCal in 2007 for the first time in many years. Glen Helen Raceway is the location of the relatively short but rough and technical climb.When the dust had cleared, for the 2008 round second generation hillclimb star Robie Peterson (DR's guest hillclimb expert at its 2008 Torture Test) had swept all three classes - the second time on record a rider had accomplished that feat. He used highly modified KTM machinery in all three classes including the open exhibition class where he piloted a 950 V-twin running on nitro methane and methanol.In addition to the three normal classes - 450, 451-700 and 701cc and up, there was a King of the Hill challenge for the top riders in each class. Utahan Brandon Whitlock captured that title.There was a cross-over challenge as well, and it was for riders from other aspects of motorcycle sport, and KTM ISDE and WORCS star Kurt Caselli took on former pro motocrossers David Pingree and Chad Pederson.This was the first climb for Pederson, and he had a grin a mile wide. We asked him about the toughness of the hill, and he responded, "When we walked the hill this morning, I assumed a motorcycle couldn't climb this, and speculated I'd make it about a third of the way up. Then the first guy went over the virgin hill! Then I went over. These extended bikes make hills possible that would be impossible on a normal bike."