I have never in my life been so amped for a brand new class of motorcycle racing. MotoAmerica’s Drag Specialties King of the Baggers inaugural race at Laguna Seca looked awesome from the word go, and thankfully the on-track product lived up to every bit of the pre-game hype. There is something so appealing about watching a dozen big beef boys with giant thumpy V-twins hauling ass around a legendary motorcycle race track. America, Fuck Yeah, indeed.
(Full Disclosure: Harley-Davidson saw how excited I was about King of the Baggers and asked if I’d like to attend the race in person. The Motor Company shipped me a nice bright orange Street Glide with the upgraded 131ci Screamin’ Eagle motor. Harley organized my media passes and a campsite at the track for me. I paid for my own food and fuel, and brought my own tent and sleeping pad for accomodations. A full review of the motorcycle is coming soon.)
Back in 2014 motorcycle legend Wayne Rainey met with a few of the higher-ups at the Petersen Museum to discuss the state of motorcycle racing in the U.S. market. AMA was previously owned by the Daytona Motorsports Group, or put more succinctly, the France family, which had driven the series into the ground with no tv package, half the rounds as it had enjoyed the previous decade, and very little fanfare. MotoAmerica was formed and a plan to save AMA Superbike was developed.
The road has been long, but the series has seen a resurgence in recent years. After a short stint on Al Jazeera’s sports network beIN Sports, MotoAmerica found itself in a position to instantly double its audience by inking a tv deal with the triad of NBC Sports Network, Fox Sports, and MAV TV. And according to Jeff Nasi, senior vp of marketing for the series, not only did 2019 see viewership double, but 2020 tune ins have tripled over last year. Not only is the series delivering a superior product with more tracks, more teams, and more riders than just a…