Watch Chris Fillmore's Record Breaking Run Up Pikes Peak Aboard The KTM 790 Duke

Troy Siahaan
by Troy Siahaan

In honor of Independence Day here in the U.S. of A., we thought we’d bring you this incredibly exciting on-board footage of Chris Fillmore flying up America’s mountain – Pikes Peak. The 2018 edition of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb marks the 96th running of the event, and this year Fillmore chose to tackle the mountain aboard the all-new KTM 790 Duke, which is slated to come to these shores later this year. And what better marketing for the 790 Duke than by setting the middleweight course record at a 10:04.038 – smashing the previous record by more than 30 seconds! Fillmore’s time was also good enough for third place overall.

If you remember, Fillmore came to the mountain last year – as a rookie – aboard the almighty 1290 Super Duke R and set a new motorcycle record of 9:49.265, bettering the previous lap record held by Carlin Dunne (the overall motorcycle winner of the 2018 race) of 9:52.819. As Fillmore explains in this KTM interview, the 790 Duke is a different animal compared to the 1290 Super Duke.

watch chris fillmore s record breaking run up pikes peak aboard the ktm 790 duke, Photo Brapp Snapps Media
Photo: Brapp Snapps Media

For starters, there’s the obvious displacement difference. You need all the power you can get at Pikes Peak, as the elevation and thin air saps power from internal combustion engines the higher you go (not to mention the toll it takes on the rider). The switchbacks at Pikes Peak demand torque on exit to get a good drive and to achieve fast lap times. This is where the 1290 Super Duke shows its greatest strength over the 790.

Moreover, the 790 wasn’t designed to be a track weapon, but with a mantra like “Ready to Race,” having carte blanche access to the KTM Power Parts catalog meant Fillmore could turn the bike into the scalpel he needed. Surprisingly, the 790 Duke engine internals remained entirely stock. The upgrades basically amount to the same parts your average (fast) club racer would throw on their bike: exhaust, suspension, some weight reduction, and slick tires. The results clearly speak for themselves, as Fillmore destroyed the previous lap record on a course all of the top competitors this year said felt so dirty and greasy they thought their tires were going flat.

Nonetheless, enjoy Fillmore’s lap below, brought to you on a 360-degree, gyroscopic camera. It’s a bit disorienting at first, but becomes rather breathtaking the higher up Pikes Peak Chris goes.

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4 of 24 comments
  • Mrguven1 Mrguven1 on Jul 05, 2018

    Great ride ! Does any body know what kind a camera he was using ?

  • Patriot159 Patriot159 on Jul 06, 2018

    Watching these guys run this and the IOMTT makes me clinch my butt cheeks. Amazing guts! I did not think the 790 would have enough grunt to post those times considering its up hill and high elevation. Very impressed. Got to take a closer look at the 790 adventure when it comes out!