A little over five years ago, I showed you the S&S T143 bagger, with a monster V-Twin engine shoehorned into the frame of a Harley Davidson Road Glide Ultra, a bagger that clocked 6.82 seconds and 106.58 mph in the eighth mile and something in the nines for the quarter. Fun stuff and it changes your perspective about what those big baggers are capable of if you have your heart set on going fast. Of course, that was straight line racing, no need to worry about turns at high speed. Well, fast forward to last year and the idea popped up that racing baggers on a road course might be a pleasant diversion for the fans between Superbike races at Lagina Seca. The thing is, you invite some guys to do a little exhibition race and it takes about three seconds for someone to say, “Laugh if you want, I’m here to race!” and so it began.
That one race has turned into a three round “King of the Baggers” series this year and Harley Davidson is putting up a factory effort with a Road Glide Special powered by a race modified Screamin’ Eagle® Milwaukee-Eight 131 Performance Crate Engine. It looks like the Motor Company has finally embraced racing everywhere in their lineup, and as we pointed out, they should.
You can race too, for cash!
Harley-Davidson will offer a nearly $30,000 cash contingency program for qualified Harley-Davidson racers competing in the three-race King of the Baggers series. … The series is open to all qualified AMA license holders, with championship points being tallied at each round and a National Champion crowned at season’s end.
The MotoAmerica King of the Baggers series kicks off April 30-May 2 at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta, and continues June 11-13 at Road America Elkhart Lake, Wis., and July 9-11 at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, Calif.
So there you have it. Maybe with all of those letter designations for the various models in the Harley lineup, they could add another one, like Road Glide-RR. Hey, why not?
Press release follows:
A new Harley-Davidson® Screamin’ Eagle® factory racing team will compete in MotoAmerica King of the Baggers, a road racing series held in conjunction with the 2021 MotoAmerica HONOS Superbike Series. The team is preparing a Harley-Davidson Road Glide® Special powered by a race-modified Screamin’ Eagle® Milwaukee-Eight 131 Performance Crate Engine for pro rider Kyle Wyman. In addition to its factory team effort, Harley-Davidson will offer a nearly $30,000 cash contingency program for qualified Harley-Davidson racers competing in the three-race King of the Baggers series.
King of the Baggers successfully debuted as a one-off MotoAmerica invitational exhibition event at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca last October and, after an exciting race, received a positive reception by fans and racers. MotoAmerica will host a three-round King of the Baggers series in 2021 for race-prepared, American V-Twin touring motorcycles equipped with a fairing/windscreen and saddlebags. The series is open to all qualified AMA license holders, with championship points being tallied at each round and a National Champion crowned at season’s end.
“Competing in the King of the Baggers series gives Harley-Davidson an opportunity to showcase our Screamin’ Eagle performance products in the heat of competition,” said Jochen Zeitz, chairman, president, and CEO Harley-Davidson. “Nobody knows more about building Harley-Davidson performance than our Screamin’ Eagle engineers. Harley-Davidson created the first factory hot rod baggers, the Road Glide Special and Street Glide Special models, for riders craving performance and touring comfort.”
The Screamin’ Eagle Milwaukee-Eight 131 Performance Crate Engine is the most-powerful street-compliant performance engine offered by Harley-Davidson. Built from the bottom up in Milwaukee, this street-tuned, 131-cubic-inch (2147cc) Screamin’ Eagle crate engine delivers 131 ft-lb of torque to the rear wheel as soon as the throttle is cranked, and may be installed in 2017-later Harley-Davidson Touring models.
Veteran road racer Kyle Wyman, 31 from Macedon, N.Y., formed Kyle Wyman Racing at the age of 21 to compete at the highest level of professional road racing in the United States. He started racing Harley-Davidson XR750s in flat track at the age of 15. Wyman was a contender and won six races in the AMA Pro Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson XR1200 series, he won the Daytona 200 in 2019 and placed seventh overall in the 2020 HONOS Superbike series, the premier MotoAmerica road racing class. Wyman is the son of Kim Wyman, owner of Harv’s Harley-Davidson in Macedon.
“I am very excited and honored to be the rider of the Harley-Davidson Screamin’ Eagle Road Glide Special,” said Wyman. “To be a Factory rider for Harley-Davidson is something I’ve dreamed of since I was little, watching my hero Scott Parker win Grand National Championships on the Harley-Davidson XR750. I look forward to our first race at Road Atlanta and competing aboard this amazing machine.”