Indian vs Harley Flat Track Wars: The Next Generation

Discussion in 'Indian Motorcycle News' started by NickJ, Sep 13, 2016.

  1. NickJ

    NickJ Administrator
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    SantaRosaMile.jpg
    Photo: Harley Davidson

    In 11 Days and 6 some odd hours the Indian FTR750 will make it's official AMA Pro Flat Track Race debut at the Santa Rosa Mile. We posted the press release a few days ago. This marks the first time that Indian Motorcycle has fielded a factory-backed racer in the Pro series since the 10950's. We are super excited to see Indian and Harley Davidson face off on the starting grid at the pro level and rekindle a feud on the level of the Hatfields & McCoys.

    Flat track racing is essentially the first action sport in the US. In the early years of motorcycling, factory-backed teams strove to edge out the competition on dirt tracks scratched out of fields and back lots. The History of Flat Track Racing has a long and speckled past. From a literal grass-roots start, to nearly going bust during the World Wars, the AMA has seen manufacturers come and go.

    For years, the title was consistently held by the Harley Davidson, as they were among the few manufacturers that could consistently field machines. When the British could no longer send their Triumphs and BSA's over, and when Indian and Harley switched gears to help the war effort, Harley was able to stay afloat after the war ended and GI's came home looking for the machines that they came to love.

    Here we are all these years later, and we are on the cusp of the next generation of rivalry between these two storied companies. If you have read the Indian FTR750 Specs, then you know that the machine that Indian is bringing to this gun fight is going to be formidable against Harley's XR750. Both machines are race-specific rockets that are designed specifically to turn left and do it with great haste. Neither is legal for the street and both are built and tuned by the best in the business.

    All year, the Harley XR750 has been taking home a podium finish on the longer mile and half-mile races. The competition has been stout as well. Companies with huge racing credentials have been vying for the podium. Ducati has fielded a flat track machine modeled after their wildly popular Scrambler, but with a huge HyperMotard motor stuffed into it. Triumph has been competitive with their Bonneville, and Yamaha has made some waves with their FZ07 machine. However, it has been the Kawasaki Ninja 650 that has posed the biggest threat to Harley so far this season, taking the top spot on the podium at the Arizona Mile and the Sacramento Mile. However, Harley was able to take virtually every event during this season of Flat Track racing with Jared Mees taking 9 podium finishes for Harley.

    You might recognize that name, Jared Mees, as he is one of the test riders that Indian used to develop the Indian FTR750. It will be interesting to see what comes of that, as I am sure that Mees will bring what he learned with Indian to his team at Harley. One can only hope that Indian left a little to the imagination when working with Mees.

    Indian will have Joe Kopp sitting on the FTR750 in Santa Rosa. Kopp is an accomplished rider that is one of just 15 riders to have completed the dirt track "Grand Slam." This means that he has victories on short track, TT, half-mile, and mile courses. Among his long list of accolades, he is a championship level racer on dirt track, Pro Supermoto, V&H XR1200 Challenge, as well as a Pikes Peak International Hill Climb podium finisher. While Mees will be taking information to his team, Kopp has a fair amount of experience with Harley.

    I am looking forward to seeing what the FTR750 will do at the last AMA Flat Track race of the season. It is wise for Indian to field during the last race so that they can get a clear baseline for their off-season development and prep for the 2017 AMA season.

    The races will be streamed on FanChoice.tv for you to watch on Sunday 25th September at the Ramspur Winery Santa Rosa Mile. On Saturday, Indian will be sponsoring yet another RSD Hooligan Race in Santa Rosa as well. I plan on tuning in, and I hope you do as well.

    For Tickets and Information, click here: Ramspur Winery Santa Rosa Mile AMA Pro Flat Track Race : September 23-25 2016

    Schedule of Events: Ramspur Winery Santa Rosa Mile Schedule
     
    #1 NickJ, Sep 13, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2016
  2. sidecarsam

    sidecarsam Gold Member
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    That is gonna be Good! I can hardly wait! This is Really what the rivalry is all about! It's why the companies started meeting at Sturgis. May the best Machine with the best Rider win! :)
     
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  3. JayFL459

    JayFL459 Silver Member
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    Looking forward to this ..
     
  4. thumper

    thumper Gold Member
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    I would your permission to copy and paste this on the big H-D forum. The more interest in this, the better.
     
  5. Bobby Jesus

    Bobby Jesus Chainsaw God
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    This is gonna be fun.
     
  6. dregol

    dregol Active Member
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    There is a program on in the UK about Harley and in it im sure they claim to be the first have a team called the wrecking crew can any historians put the record straight get asked this allot
     
  7. Baldhead_J

    Baldhead_J Gold Member
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    2017 will see plenty of streaming in my house! Indian tailgating needs to be a thing.
     
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  8. SouthernProducer

    SouthernProducer Well-Known Member

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    I look forward to the races and get a tiny sense of being in a time machine. As a little guy, my Granddad used to take me to the Charity Newsies (Flat Track) races at the Ohio State Fairgrounds where Harley's and Indians (they were stilling them) would go at it. Later, the Flat Track races at the Lima, Ohio's fairgrounds were added to my list of races to attend (they are still going strong or were the last time I was in Ohio). Now...if we could just get some of that action in Tennessee!
     
  9. Chieftain_16

    Chieftain_16 Active Member
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    Question on watching the race

    I went to the fan choice.tv website and saw the race on the schedule but there is no information on how to watch

    Can anyone let me know how this is done?

    Thanks
     
  10. NickJ

    NickJ Administrator
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    I believe that there will be a streaming video window when they are actually streaming the races. It should all make sense day of.
     
  11. dregol

    dregol Active Member
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    Can anyone put the results on the forum if thats ok
     
  12. NickJ

    NickJ Administrator
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    If no one beats me to it, I will post the results.
     
  13. Chieftain_16

    Chieftain_16 Active Member
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    Thanks Nick - will definitely try to check it out in real time
     
  14. 1RSCOUT

    1RSCOUT Well-Known Member

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    I gotta get one of these...
    [​IMG]
     
  15. Drydock

    Drydock Well-Known Member

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    For Dregol:

    The term "Wrecking crew" seems to have originated in 1916, when HD decided to get into factory racing big time, for the 1st time. They came in with 8 valve hemi head engines and dominated that year. Since then the label has been swapped back an forth to whatever team was dominant that year.

    And yes, Indian came out with an 8 valve twin in 1911, but with the earlier flat cylindrical combustion chamber. The HD reflected wartime advances in aero engine design. Thus began a technical teeter totter that ended with the great depression.
     
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