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Motorcycles Who Won the King of the Baggers Race?

22:45  26 october  2020
22:45  26 october  2020 Source:   motorcyclecruiser.com

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The thought of a pack of V-twin baggers wallowing and scraping their way down Laguna Seca’s infamous Corkscrew section just didn’t seem to make sense to plenty of race fans at first. But as top names signed up to pilot the bikes and big-time aftermarket companies stepped up to offer support, MotoAmerica’s King of the Baggers Invitational turned out to be much more than a sideshow to MotoAmerica’s season finale. The eight-lap race on Saturday, October 24, was an intense, immensely watchable contest, and when the smoke cleared, it was Tyler O’Hara mounted on the S&S Cycle Indian Challenger who took the checkered flag.

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a group of people on a motorcycle in a parking lot: The sight of 14 race-prepped baggers going balls out toward turn 1 at Laguna Seca at the King of the Baggers debut was epic. © Provided by Motorcycle Cruiser The sight of 14 race-prepped baggers going balls out toward turn 1 at Laguna Seca at the King of the Baggers debut was epic.

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a man riding a motorcycle on the side of a road: Tyler O'Hara, riding an S&S-prepped Indian Challenger to first place at the invitational race. © Provided by Motorcycle Cruiser Tyler O'Hara, riding an S&S-prepped Indian Challenger to first place at the invitational race.

Of course there were mishaps and drama galore, including one for the eventual race winner. In an interview on MotoAmerica, O’Hara said, “Three or four laps in, I was going into (turn) two, and I didn’t have any moments [there] the whole weekend, and just ended up tucking the front,” resulting in his going all the way off the track and allowing second-place rider Hayden Gillim on the Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson to take the lead. “We didn’t have any rear brakes at all either, so that was a little interesting. We just did our homework and I was very fortunate that I was able to keep it on two wheels in the sand.”

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a group of people on a motorcycle in a parking lot: The sight of 14 race-prepped baggers going balls out toward turn 1 at Laguna Seca at the King of the Baggers debut was epic. © Brian J Nelson The sight of 14 race-prepped baggers going balls out toward turn 1 at Laguna Seca at the King of the Baggers debut was epic.

In addition to holding titles in motocross, flat track, and supermoto racing, O’Hara also had experience on V-twins, which no doubt helped him get comfortable in the KOTB. In an earlier interview, he said, “[My] racing XR1200 twins for five to six years I think is going to transition over as far as racing a two-cylinder and a heavier bike. I think it’s going to be unique, but when it comes to racing, the same techniques and fundamentals apply to whatever you’re riding.”

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a motorcycle parked on the side of a road: S&S modded the Challenger, shaving weight, making chassis tweaks, and ergonomically fitting it to O'Hara, whose past experience racing V-twins proved to be invaluable. © Provided by Motorcycle Cruiser S&S modded the Challenger, shaving weight, making chassis tweaks, and ergonomically fitting it to O'Hara, whose past experience racing V-twins proved to be invaluable.

As for prepping the Indian Challenger for the race, S&S focused on key refinements. S&S’s lead project engineer, Jeff Bailey, explained early on, “With just a little bit of tweaks I think we’re going to be very competitive. We’ve got a ton of experience with air-cooled, pushrod V-twins. It’s where our history is, which also leads us to knowing what their disadvantages are.” Which, loosely translated, likely meant they knew how to beat the Harleys on the track, though Gillim did secure the second slot on the podium with his Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Standard, and in fact swapped the lead position with O’Hara for much of the last few laps.

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a person riding a motorcycle down the road: O’Hara and Hayden Gillum (Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson) were battling it out for first and second place for much of the race. © Provided by Motorcycle Cruiser O’Hara and Hayden Gillum (Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson) were battling it out for first and second place for much of the race.

The other Indian-mounted competitor was veteran flat track and roadracer Frankie Garcia, on an Indian Challenger built and prepped by the Roland Sands Design team. Garcia also made a good showing, grabbing third place in the race, giving Indian two of the three steps on the podium.

a man wearing a uniform and holding a sign: O'Hara hoists the first place hardware for the Drag Specialties King of the Baggers race. © Provided by Motorcycle Cruiser O'Hara hoists the first place hardware for the Drag Specialties King of the Baggers race.

After the race, winning rider O’Hara summed up the vibe of the event: “It was just fun to put on a show with these guys. My hats off to everybody who rode a bagger this weekend because some of the bikes out there didn’t look too fun to be on. So hats off to the team.”

Of the 14 teams entered, 9 completed the race. The final results are as follows:

1. Tyler O’Hara, S&S Indian Challenger

2. Hayden Gillim, Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Standard

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3. Frankie Garcia, Roland Sands Indian Challenger

4. Travis Wyman, Trask Performance H-D Road Glide

a man riding a motorcycle on the side of a road: Tyler O'Hara, riding an S&S-prepped Indian Challenger to first place at the invitational race. © Brian J Nelson Tyler O'Hara, riding an S&S-prepped Indian Challenger to first place at the invitational race.

5. Cory West, SlyFox Performance H-D Road Glide

6. Eric Stahl, Alloy Art Mfg. H-D Road King

7. Tony Sollima, The Speed Merchant H-D Electra Glide Standard

8. Josh Chisum, Barnett Clutches H-D Street Glide

9. Logan Lackey, Arlen Ness H-D Road Glide

For more info see: motoamerica.com.

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usr: 6
This is interesting!