Harley-Davidson Flat Track Racing Returns to X Games Austin for 2nd Year

AMA Pro Flat Track stars return to the stage for another year at ESPN’s Summer X Games in Austin, Texas for the Harley-Davidson Flat Track Racing event at Circuit of The Americas on June 2 – 5. The X Games will be broadcast live on both ESPN and ABC.

“The X Games is an outstanding festival for the world’s leading young extreme athletes and we are proud to once again have the AMA Pro Flat Trackers showcase our uniquely American sport,” said Michael Lock, CEO of AMA Pro Racing. “The action will be fast and furious and the redesigned track will deliver thrilling racing from start to finish.”

During last year’s Summer X Games, Kawasaki rider No. 42 Bryan Smith secured the inaugural flat track gold medal over top rival and reigning Harley-Davidson GNC1 presented by Vance & Hines champion No. 1 Jared Mees.

2015 Summer X Games Flat Track Race

Harley-Davidson is bringing pro flat track racing back to the Summer X Games in Austin for a second go-round. 

“It was great to win the gold last year,” Smith said. “It was pretty special. I was the first one and pretty lucky to win it. To be back there again will be cool and I’ll hopefully defend my gold medal and be the only guy with two flat track golds.

“I’m excited to be able to showcase what we have in flat track and how special it is and I hear the track will be better this year,” Smith continued. “In order to prepare, my team and I treat it just like any other AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National, which is what our whole careers and lives are based around.”

Bryan Smith Gold Medal Summer X Games Austin 2015

Bryan Smith is all smiles after winning the first gold medal for flat track racing at the Summer X Games in Austin.

After leading the majority of the 20-lap race, Mees suffered a mechanical issue on the final lap which forced him to leave the track and miss the win, allowing Smith to take home the victory. Mees has something to prove when he returns to the X Games in June, and is guaranteed to be a frontrunner in Austin.

“X Games for me was a little bitter,” Mees said. “Leading from start to almost finish and coming up a half of a lap short with a pretty comfortable lead was a bitter part of the season for me. It would’ve been cool to collect the very first ever gold medal, but unfortunately the gold medal is sitting on somebody else’s shelf. I’m looking forward to going back because I’m motivated to go to every race and win. All in all I’m excited to be returning.”

Sammy Halbert, rider of the No. 7 Harley-Davidson, finished second at the X Games while Factory Harley-Davidson rider No. 6 Brad Baker closed out the podium with his third-place result.

“Summer X Games was such an amazing experience,” Baker said. “It felt so awesome to be able to compete for an X Games medal just like the famous athletes I have grown up watching on TV. I’m really looking forward to this year’s event. I came up two places short of gold last year, so I’m really going to be pushing for gold this time. X Games is just an awesome experience whether you are an athlete or a spectator, so I’m pumped for many reasons.”

The purpose-built dirt track has been redesigned by seven-time Grand National Champion Chris Carr with the goal of providing additional racing lines.

“The purpose of the redesign was to create more drama on the race track,” Carr said. “The new track should provide more passing opportunities and will set the stage for a great show.”

Two months prior to the Summer X Games, a full field of the world’s best dirt track motorcycle racers will take on the newly re-engineered track at Circuit of the Americas on Saturday, April 9 during the Harley-Davidson Lone Star Half-Mile. Tickets for the April 9 event are now available and can be purchased at www.texasflattrack.com/tickets/. For group sales, contact the Circuit of The Americas Box Office at 1-512-301-6600.

For more information about the 2016 Summer X Games, please visit ESPN’s website at http://xgames.espn.go.com/xgames/.

Street 750 At X-Games: Vote #XGamesFlatTrack

Street-750-Flat-TrackerHarley-Davidson’s new Street family, spearheaded by the larger brother, the Street 750, has not only sparked a lot of buzz from fans, enthusiasts, and even from those outside the Harley market altogether, but is taking The Motor Company to new grounds even before being made available to the general public.

The Street 750 is currently being manned by Brad “the Bullet” Baker, AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National champion, to compete in ESPN’s X Games competitions, no doubt to show off its capability before hitting the market. The latest race featuring the 750 took place at ESPN’s X Games Aspen. That particular competition, where the 750’s rubber and shocks were tested in an arena of snow and ice, will now be showcased further to perform in a completely different environment — the dirt, set at X Games Austin, what Harley-Davidson has described as “an adrenaline-fueled Flat Track exhibition.”

In the same manner as how the US-based manufacturer originally approached this all-new platform (the first in 13 years) by reaching out to its fans, The Motor Company is, once more, asking for the general public to voice their opinion on whether Flat Track racing should become a future medal sport at X Games. Harley-Davidson encourages the public to take part by using #XGamesFlatTrack to participate officially.

Image by Tricia Szulewski

Image by Tricia Szulewski

As per Harley-Davidson, the manufacturer was influenced in regards to approaching what would inevitably become the new Street platform, after receiving input from 3,000-plus customers, riders, and dealers from all over the world, clocked in from over 10 countries.

The new Street 750 will make its debut at Harley-Davidson dealerships in the coming weeks around the world.

Again, for your voice to be heard, use the #XGamesFlatTrack hashtag when posting on any given social media outlet:

#XGamesFlatTrack for Facebook

#XGamesFlatTrack for Twitter

Check out the promotional video for the Harley-Davidson Street 750 at X Games Aspen.

For more information, go to H-D.com.

Harley Street Unveiled in X-Games Ice Racing Exhibition

Harley-Davidson-Street-ice-racing-2 ASPEN, Colo. (Jan. 23, 2014) – The world’s hottest new motorcycle hits the ice today at X Games Aspen. Harley-Davidson – one of the newest X Games sponsors – is teaming with ESPN to feature motorcycle ice racing as an X Games Aspen exhibition sport. Following Harley-Davidson’s customer-centric approach, fans will help decide if the sport is extreme enough for future X Games winter events via social media.

Taking center ice for the exhibition is the all-new Harley-Davidson Street™ 750 – the first all-new motorcycle platform from the company in 13 years. The new motorcycle will be available in dealerships nationwide later this year.

“While the Street was designed to handle urban environments, its instant throttle response, lean chassis and super-low seat height make it perfect to ride anywhere,” said Dino Bernacchi, Director of North American Marketing Communications, Harley-Davidson Motor Company. “We modified several Street motorcycles by adding steel screws to the tires and let the world’s best flat track racers tear up the ice at high speeds. We think fans will be captivated by the extreme attitude and beauty they’ll see on the ice.”

The Street 750 from Harley-Davidson features the all-new liquid-cooled Revolution X™ engine, designed to match the demands of stop-and-go traffic. The new engine is housed in a narrow and lean chassis built for agility, with a new suspension and a broad handlebar sweep that provides confidence and maneuverability when managing tight turns and fast moves. It also has a premium, minimalist style that serves as a blank canvas for riders to customize.

Harley-Davidson-Street-ice-racing-1Harley-Davidson-Street-ice-racing-3Fans to Decide if Sport will Stick
Harley-Davidson will showcase the ice racing exhibition during ESPN’s X Games Aspen today, Jan. 23. Fans will influence whether the sport comes to future X Games winter events by sharing their comments via the Twitter hashtag #XGIceRace. ESPN will share comments from fans during the last day of the games. Learn more at www.darkcustom.com/iceracing.

The exhibition race will feature Harley-Davidson Factory Flat Track Team rider Brad Baker, the reigning AMA Pro Grand National champion, AMA Pro star Jared Mees, winner of the 2012 AMA Pro Grand National Championship, and his wife and fellow AMA Pro flat track racer Nichole Mees.

“The attitude and capabilities of the Street were influenced by thousands of young adults in cities around the world,” added Bernacchi. “So while we think ice racing is hardcore, it’s only fitting that Harley-Davidson is having extreme sports fans around the world help decide the X Games fate of the sport.”

Motorcycle Racing on Ice
While it’s difficult to pin down when and where someone had the idea of putting a motorcycle on ice, the first records of ice racing date from Sweden in 1924. Today, ice racing is primarily on quarter-mile, half-mile and road course tracks setup on frozen lakes or indoor arenas.

The sport usually is divided into classes for full-rubber and studded tires with speeds regularly approaching 80 miles per hour on straightaways and 60 miles per hour in the turns.

“Harley-Davidson has been pioneering action sports before they were even defined as action sports,” added Bernacchi. “In fact, archive photos in the Harley-Davidson Museum show enthusiasts racing on frozen lakes almost a century ago, so it’s exciting to see us back racing on ice with a new generation of riders on the newest addition to the Dark Custom motorcycle lineup.”