Harley-Davidson and Vance & Hines Hit the Track Running

March 3, 2011 | By: Patrick Garvin

In 2009 Harley-Davison debuted the XR1200 in the United States after originally planning to sell the bike overseas. But a public protest from this side of the pond prompted H-D to bring the bike stateside — a decision that delighted hooligans (including myself) everywhere. The XR is a mix of old school flat track and modern super-moto, wrapped up into a package that begs to wheelie, stoppie and otherwise be flogged.

With all the excitement that the bike was stirring, V&H and Harley decided to put together a five-race series in 2010 with the emphasis on rider ability and having fun at the racetrack. It was definitely not about creating a one-off race machine costing incredible amounts of money. What it boiled down to was putting a bike on the track with bolt-on parts that the average Joe could install and showcasing the ability of the XR.

Just in case you’ve been in a cave for the past year, you need to know that Vance and Hines and Harley-Davidson teamed up last year to start a new AMA racing series called the AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 Series. The race features Harley’s XR1200, and is a spec class that’s really more about the rider’s ability than about deep pockets. The rules are pretty simple:

You take a box stock XR1200 and bolt on a Vance and Hines race kit, which consists of a Widow Exhaust system, Fuelpak, steering dampener, a 17-inch front wheel and some race plastics. There are a few optional things like upgraded suspension (internals only on the front fork), brake lines and adding rearset controls. Plus, all competitors must run on spec Dunlop tires and Sunoco 260 GTX fuel. That’s pretty much it — the rest is up to the riders.

Danny Eslick was the series champ last year, following up his impressive 2009 AMA Daytona SportBike championship win on a Buell. Coincidently, Danny also finished 2nd in the AMA Daytona SportBike class in 2010 on his Suzuki. Following the tremendous success of last year’s race, rumors abound that this year’s event is drawing more teams and big-name riders. With $10,000 in purse money going to the winner of each race, the action is sure to be intense. The number of races has also been increased from five to nine this season. They’ll be run on the AMA Superbike Series weekends with the XR1200 races to be aired on the SPEED channel. You can check out the full schedule along with the rules right here.

Don’t wait too long — the action kicks off in Daytona March 10-12!

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