Look at the photo above, it’s from the past weekend’s XR1200 race at Mid-Ohio which was won by Danny Eslick. It certainly seems like some great racing action, there’s nothing about it that indicates anything other than competitive racers fighting for position in this brand new series and that’s exactly what I would expect. The neat thing about it is the fact they’re on Harley Davidson XR1200s. Seeing a Harley based race series back on the track is great and, if anything, is probably one a lot of riders can relate to.
There’s always a portion of the spectating bystanders who can’t bring themselves to watch anything but the fastest pro classes, no matter the venue, to them, motorcycle racing doesn’t count unless it’s MotoGP or Superbike, and only the fastest streetbikes qualify as something worth modifying for the track, but the faster the bike, the fewer there are who can even dream of riding at that level. As we’ve said so many times here, the average 600cc inline 4 is so far beyond the capabilities of the buyers who proudly park them in their driveways it makes you shake your head.
The XR1200 is a lot of bike and itself, probably beyond the capabilities of many who look down their noses at the V-Twin, but getting somewhere close to the performance possibilities it offers is something an owner could actually think about doing. Someone could buy an XR and reasonably imagine himself getting on the track and getting his knee down, and having a helluva lot of fun in the process, firing up the bike in your garage, knowing guys are racing it on weekends and thinking, “Hey, maybe I could do that.”
Maybe racing XR1200s is “reality racing,” racing on a level where more riders might realistically be able to participate. It won’t appeal to the inline 4 crowd, but I think it may have a strong appeal to potential or current owners of Harley Davidsons, even those who don’t ride Sportsters. That’s a positive and I like it.
Link: Harley Davidson