X Games Aspen Hillclimb

Electrifying performances at X Games Aspen

Find out why X Games superstar Jackson Strong ‘flipped’ when he tested the Harley-Davidson® concept bike

This year’s winter X Games saw the Harley-Davidson® Snow Hill Climb grab the headlines, while its electric concept bikes turned heads around town

January’s X Games Aspen in Colorado once again proved to be a resounding success, not least thanks to plenty of Harley-Davidson® action happening in and around the event.

Taking centre stage in the competition calendar was the spectacular Harley-Davidson Snow Hill Climb, which debuted last year.

Sitting alongside traditional X Games winter action events, including world-class skiing and snowboarding, the discipline saw riders going head-to-head on the face of the Big Air jump, with the first to the top claiming glory.

Each modified Harley-Davidson Snow Climb race motorcycle featured an extended swing-arm, widened frame and high torque, twin cylinder motor. Harley-Davidson Snow Hill Climb specialist Josh Mueller said: “The snow is definitely different than dirt, rock and mud. It’s a real challenge!”

The initial 16 competitors were whittled down through a bruising elimination process on the final day. Taking the top spot was Logan Mead, who blasted his way to the finish line in 10.5 seconds, beating last year’s victor Travis Whitlock into second place.

Also competing at the event was X Games legend Jackson “Jacko” Strong, who landed the first front flip, previously written off as too difficult and dangerous to include in competition, at the 2011 event. This feat earned him the first of four Best Trick X Games gold medals.

This year Jacko came fourth in the Enduro competition before an accident curtailed further involvement. He had also been out sampling Harley-Davidson’s innovative electric concept bike concept during the event.

“My key driver is always to push the envelope in motocross freestyle, to create new moves and help redefine what’s possible. That’s why I was so excited to work with Harley-Davidson. They’ve always been industry leaders,” says Jackson.

He admits that he hadn’t paid a lot of attention to electric technology, having dirtied his hands with two-stroke engines from tender age of six. “I didn’t know what to think of electric motorcycles at first, but my preconceptions have completely changed after riding several, and in particular the Harley-Davidson concept bike.

“The level of torque you can access immediately is phenomenal. It’s definitely an exciting time in the motorcycle industry. Whether it be dirt or street, the electric movement is going to take over in the next few years.”

As for the future, Jackson’s not resting on his laurels and will continue to push the limits of his sport. “There are still some combinations I’ve yet to debut, though I’ll be keeping them under wraps until the time is right.”

Also whizzing round Aspen’s snow packed-roads was Harley-Davidson’s electric scooter concept, ridden by X Games host Jack Mitrani. Commenting on the performance, Jack was more than impressed with the instant oomph it provided. “I hopped on and it was like BOOM! So much torque. It was easy to manoeuvre, lightweight, and everywhere I went people were stopping and taking photos. The most surprising thing was just how quiet and smooth it was.”