People tend to get caught up in their own little universe and nowhere is this more clear than in the cruiser market. Rolling around from event to event with blinders on, only seeing the next Sturgis or Daytona bike week, and all the while there’s a whole world of motorcycle events that just pass us by.
We started the weekend on Friday night where we had the opportunity to do a track walk before the race and were able to spend some time with the KTM crew. They gave us the lay of the land and we got to meet the KTM riders Mike Brown and Taddy Blauzusiak.
Saturday morning we hit the Indianapolis 500 qualifying rounds and cruised around to see the sights. The “sights” ended up being a garage tour of the Tech 3/Monster Energy team of Ben Spies and Colin Edwards. No doubt about it — these one-off million dollar machines are engineering masterpieces. The very pinnacle of performance, these bikes weigh in at less than 325 pounds and make well over 200 hp at the wheel! Capped by the American youngster Spies getting the pole position, the day was about to get even better as we slammed down some dinner and headed to the Indy Mile for some flat track racing!
If you haven’t attended a flat track race, find a local track and treat yourself to some down and dirty grass roots racing. The big boys were haulin’ the mail Saturday night with names like Chris Carr, Joe Kopp and Kenny Coolbeth slinging the bikes sideways at 130 mph through the dirt. We were fortunate enough to get close to the track and grab a quick video of the heart-pounding action:
On Sunday we headed back out to the track for race day, and once again we were treated to world class racing. Want to get your juices flowing? Just watch the MotoGP rockets blast down the straightaway and then get on the brakes in the nick of time and throw the bike over into a 65-degree lean angle then back on the gas to exit the corner. Little Danny Pedrosa put on an impressive performance to win the race, closing the distance in the points race between his second-place position and the overall, leader Jorge Lorenzo.
It was a great experience and it opened my eyes to that fact that it’s easy to get tunnel vision when it comes to our particular corner of the motorcycle world. There’s a whole universe of motorcycling out there that’s just waiting to be experienced, so do yourself a fat favor and travel outside your comfort zone. Expand your horizons a bit, go to a local race track, attend a hill climb or a drag race or maybe even a swap meet. You’ve got nothing to lose but your routine.