You need four different motorcycles to road race, motocross, trials, flat-track, and hillclimb…right? There was a time, not so long ago, when it was possible to have just one motorcycle, and race in any event with a chance of success in all of them. Those days have passed in the world of serious competition, but with Vintage events cropping up all over the world, it’s still possible to have serious fun – with a chance of winning – in every category, with a single bike.

Dimitri Coste headed up Pike’s Peak on his Triumph. [PPIHC]
That’s the vision of photographer Dimitri Coste, who is gradually traveling eastward in the US with his Triumph special, competing in events along the way, in his own version of ‘Then Came Bronson’ (a 70s TV show in which Bronson’s HD Sportster magically became a Husqvarna when it touched dirt!). Dimitri has already won first in his class at the Catalina Grand Prix last year, and today, he’s in Colorado, competing in the Pike’s Peak International Hillclimb.

Dimitri with his Universal Racing Motorcycle, a 1970s Triumph Bonneville with a few customizations for every possible type of conditions. [Dimitri Coste]
The organizers of Pike’s Peak made a special exemption for Dimitri to ride, not because of his bike, but apparently the Vintage class refers to the riders! As he is under 50 years old, it took a bit of string-pulling to get an entry, but he’s already there, and had practice blasting up to the 14,110′ peak, which is still covered in snow.

Pike’s Peak with fresh pavement, and Dimitri leveraging his motocross handlebars.

The first Pike’s Peak Hillclimb was a bid for publicity, after the first highway to the top opened in August 1916; a race was staged for cars and motorcycles over the tortuous, snaking dirt track with dramatic views and vertiginous dropoffs in many areas – the race is not for the faint of heart. The road is 12.42 miles long, partially paved (at the bottom), with graded gravel and dirt towards the top, and the weather can change dramatically from the 9400′ start, over the 156 turns and 4700′ climb.

The tech inspector commented, “I haven’t seen drum brakes in a long time…” [PPIHC]
Dimitri’s gear is worth noting; as his brother Jérome Coste is the designer of Les Ateliers Ruby, most of his riding gear is a Ruby prototype; they will shortly launch a line of leather jackets, and ‘I spy’ a Ruby badge on that full-face helmet…something they will release next year.

Achingly beautiful custom leather gear from Ruby, which is intended for production in the near future. [Ateliers Ruby]
Dimitri hauling up Pikes Peak in Colorado. [PPIHC]
The new Steve: Dimitri wheels his vintage Triumph out of the van in Colorado. Note the 1970s CZ magnesium motocross hubs! [Dimitri Coste]
 

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