Harley Vs. Indian… On Track?
What’s the last motorcycle you would expect to see on the racetrack? Honda Gold Wing? BMW GS? Maybe Harley Davidson Baggers? Welcome to 2021 where Harley Davidson Baggers are hitting the racetracks thanks to the genius of industry insider, Rob Buydos. You’ve no doubt heard Rob as the voice of the Lemans Corporation (Drag Specialties and Parts Unlimited) and as track announcer at AMA outdoor motocross races and TV commentator at Supercross events.
Rob saw a need for a racing series 100% dedicated to American V Twin motorcycles and he’s put that idea in motion as the Bagger Racing League. “There’s a fierce rivalry between Harley Davidson and Indian for new bike sales- now fans can see this battle on the track,” says Rob Buydos. “American V Twin motorcycles are by far the popular machines sold in the US- it’s not even close. The list of Top 20 motorcycles sold in the US does not include even one Sport Bike so why not put the most popular bikes in the US on the track?” Rob recruited the top names in the V Twin industry to participate as sponsors and race teams. Spectators at a BRL race can browse the pit area checking out the latest products for their bikes while taking in some great racing and entertainment- think Sturgis or Daytona with a race. For the final round at Sonoma Raceway, December 10-12th, 2021, the BRL will add Friday and Saturday night drag racing where anyone can ride up and join the fun.
A key element in the BRL success and Rob’s genius idea is to tailor the series to the unique needs of the V Twin industry and consumer. The races are 6-8 laps long meaning tire changes and fuel stops aren’t necessary. The tracks are iconic road race facilities selected to keep the racing competitive and entertaining. The BRL plans to grow the series to include even more stops in 2022 with breathing room and distance between rounds.
Tire choice is wide open in the BRL and Continental has joined the fray both as a series sponsor and competitor. BRL series competitors typically convert their wheels to 17” size so they can fit rubber suitable for track use such as the racing tires offered by Continental. Continental riders can choose the racing slick ContiTrack or the DOT approved ContiRaceAttack 2 both available in soft and medium compounds. According to Big Twin class racer, Ravi Patel, @ravi_savage, “The ContiTrack is like riding on Velcro, the grip level is mind-blowing.” Ravi is riding a race-prepped HD FXRL Low Rider and says “The longevity of the ContiTrack is amazing. Riders on other brands are getting 25-30 laps out of their tires while I can do 2 complete race weekends on the same set with no loss of grip.”
Other riders will be lining up on Continental racing tires including Hospital Administrator/ Stunt Rider, Daniel Spina, AKA @danny_ruthless . Danny is currently building a 2020 Harley Davidson Road Glide for next year’s BRL races. “I originally got the call from Rob to come out as a stunt rider but after competing in that first race on my stunt Bagger I was hooked, and the real race bike build began”.
The series has 5 racing classes so virtually anyone with an American V Twin motorcycle can compete.
- Lightweight Twins- for HD Sportsters
- Big Twins- for HD FXR, Dyna, M8 Softails and Indian Chief
- Pro Stock Bagger- for Road Glide, Street Glide and Indian Chieftain
- Bagger GP- the Pro rider class for Road Glide, Street Glide and the Indian Challenger
- FS Cup- Specifically for V Twins including the Indian FTR, HD Sportster S and Pan America models
Support the Bagger Racing League by attending a race when they come to your part of the country or better yet buy some leathers, put some Continental race tires on your Harley Davidson and join the action. The competition is fierce, and the fun is out of this world.