There are a lot of truly exciting things happening in the world of motorcycle racing these days, from flat-track racing to motocross and everything in between the competition is seriously fierce and innovative across the board. Thanks to MotoAmerica, there’s a new game in town for the folks who love to ride the big bagger bikes, they can root for one of fourteen teams in this fall’s King of the Baggers invitational at Laguna Seca.
Could you imagine riding a Harley-Davidson Road Glide or Indian Challenger around one of the toughest motorcycle road courses in the world? The American V-twin wars are heating up, and that legendary northern California race course is the next big battle ground for performance supremacy. There will be fourteen teams putting up their custom built baggers for the road race competition, and only one team—S&S Cycle—is entering an Indian. The other 13 will be hauling Harleys.
There is nothing I love more than a motorcycle that is woefully out of its element. Earlier this year I had the pleasure of seeing a class of street literbikes take on the challenge of dirt flat track racing, and it went about as horribly as you might imagine. I look forward to seeing how these big burly bikes handle the rigors of a legendary motorsports course. I want to know how you mentally prepare for taking a near-thousand-pound bike over the crest of the infamous Corkscrew. Golly gee.
The photo at the top of this page is the Indian Challenger in mid-build at the S&S shops. Obviously the bike has retained its central chassis structure and massive V-twin engine, but almost everything else has been changed out in anticipation of this race. The suspension, brakes, wheels, tires, and bodywork will all be optimized for maximum lean into the corners and the engine and gearbox will be built to whatever the somewhat-vague rulebook will allow.
In talking with Cycle World, S&S lead project engineer…