• Mar 10th 2010 at 6:31PM
  • 19
If you're into going too fast on two wheels, chances are the name Terry Vance has crossed your radar a time or two. The pilot of Need-for-Speed Duo Vance & Hines spread the word recently from Daytona International Speedway that a new spec series featuring the Harley Davidson XR-1200 will run this year along with select AMA road racing events.

The Vance & Hines XR-1200 Series, as it is officially being called, will kick off at Road America this June in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, coincidentally, very close to Harley Davidson's headquarters. Hmm. Question: How can one guarantee a Harley clad in Vance & Hines goodies will win races this year? Answer: You guessed it, the above-mentioned series is born. Looking on the bright side, at least the current economic state was taken into account when pricing the race kit.

For a mere $3,500, potential racers will get full exhaust and fuel management systems and race body work that includes a number plate, solo-seat and tail section, as well as the belly-pan valance. But wait, that's not all. A 17-inch front wheel and matching front fender, steering damper, oil cooler relocation package and race graphics is also on the menu. Now that's what we call a deal! Of course it will be available to the public as a street legal kit as well. The claim to fame is that anyone with an XR and a dream can get involved without significant investment.

Fact is, some top talent has made its way through the ranks as the result of spec class racing. Add to that, who doesn't like to watch a good Boxer Cup from time to time? It can be fun when the playing field is leveled a bit. Let's hope the action is strong and the series spreads beyond it's slated current boundaries (east of the Mississippi only) to give everyone a chance to hear the ever pleasant sounds of a big twin bouncing off the rev limiter at race-track near you.

[Source: AMA Pro Racing]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Because the V-rod engine is a heavy lump. You might be amazed how light the pushrod engine is.

      Serious move in the right direction for H-D. They have a lot of maneuver room now that their sporting stuff won't be branded "Buell."
      • 5 Years Ago
      The BMW R1200S and the Guzzi LeMans (iconic classic) are both wonderful bikes but neither can be purchased new.

      The closest thing BMW now makes to the R1200S is the R1200R. It is a great bike but not really sure.

      The BMW does have better numbers and will run around it on the track, but there is more to motorcycles than head to head comparison and spec sheets. Besides, its not like they are racing each other, this is a HD spec race.

      The XR compares favorably to its peers on a spec sheet, but spec sheets are for douche bags on the internet.The only way to determine if one likes a bike is to ride it.

      A great example of this is the Guzzi V7 - on paper it is a piece of garbage but when you throw a leg over and go for a ride it is sublime. Only 49HP but it is awesome.

      The XR is not suitable for everyone's taste but it is an excellent bike and really a fun ride. The specs are not bad either.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Well, AMA did have the 883 series back in the day.
      The reason that someone would race this as opposed to a WERA 600cc bike is that there are ten zillion HD dealers out there that would love to get some exposure, so you could get sponsorship as opposed to paying the way yourself (forget about any AMA purse anymore).

      The 883 series gave us some racers like Ben and Eric Bostrom and the Haydens. And trust me, it is so much more fun racing a slow bike against a bunch of other people on exact same bikes then it is to be on a fast bike against someone with 15 extra hp and 10 less lbs because they have more money to burn.
      • 5 Years Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      OrangeDog, you must have never heard the sound of a tuned Sportster (or better yet Buell Thunderstorm) engine at full boil. Does sound quite nice, and not like a "big twin", at least not a HD big twin. If you have the opportunity see a flat track mile race and let us know how the XR-750's sound. You might be impressed.

      As a Buell owner and huge fan I do find it amusing that HD is doing this after killing a brand that won the #1 plate just last year and ran in the top 10 in SuperBike.
        • 5 Years Ago
        ...they killed Buell because no one was buying them lol.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I have heard the flat tracker 750s... I can admit those sound pretty bad ass.
      • 5 Years Ago
      A flat tracker replica racer with it's own road race spec series. I don't know if that's ironic, pathetic, or brilliant.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I made the mistake of letting a dealer talk me into a test ride on an xr1200 and 30 minutes later I bought one
      I'm still smiling 6000km later
      it did need a power commander and mufflers to see 103hp at the wheel
      its an easy bike to ride fast on a twisty road and the torque will see you grunt out of tight corners easier than a superbike
      I was shopping for a ducati I dont know what happened
      • 5 Years Ago
      decent looking bike.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Do away with Buell, then bring out a race replica????
      • 5 Years Ago
      Spec racing with underpowered, overweight bikes - sounds pretty boring. Not to mention you have to buy the $11,000 bike first, then the reasonably priced race kit.

      The big question is why would any truly talented racer try this route instead of club racing to work their way up (WERA, AFM, etc.). A slightly used, decently built Japanese 600cc race bike would be cheaper.

      "...the ever pleasant sounds of a big twin bouncing off the rev limiter at race-track near you."

      Sure, if it's a Ducati or the old Honda RC51... those are what race-tuned big twins are supposed to sound like.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Gentleman ! Harley does have a race bike . It's call the champion pro-stock & is available from the factory as a complete ready to ride or race motorcycle . And I might add holds numerous records . Just ask the Suzuki boys over at NHRA .
        • 5 Years Ago
        Should we ask them about how NHRA had to change the rules to favor H-D so they would stay in the series?
      • 5 Years Ago
      IMO this will at least put HD and racing in the same thought...maybe.

      This should be a good publicity move for HD but it won't do much to further race tech to filter down into their street models because the racing will be too distilled.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I am not sure you understand the purpose of spec racing. There is no intent to develop new tech, it has nothing to do with that. IIn this case, t is about inexpensive and accesable racing for consumers, the spec requirments may keep costs low and generally keep competition about riding and not the machinery (keeps the bikes fairly consistent from rider to rider). I wont deny the marking angle as well.
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