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Vance & Hines XR1200 AMA Racing Photo Gallery
Atlas confers with the team prior to qualifying for the AMA XR race in New Jersey.
MotoUSA tackles the all-new Vance & Hines XR1200 spec class at the AMA National from New Jersey Motorsports Park.
Cranked over with some serious lean angle, the key to going fast on the XR, believe it or not, is holding high corner speed!
Race Tech twin rear shocks grace the back of the XR. While old school in nature, the technology in each shock is quite modern.
The sheer size of the Harley took Atlas some time to get used to, though despite limited track time our Executive Editor was on pace right away, running up front all weekend.
Atlas challenged for the podium when race time rolled around. Although he came up ever so short, he still had to fend off fast young rider Travis Wyman (behind) to stay in the top-four.
Atlas had his hands full at the start of the XR race in New Jersey, leading a multi-rider pack in the early going, one which he would eventually pull away from.
One of the key attractions of the Harley class close racing throughout the pack and a very unorthodox sound.
Atlas decided to take a nap on the line, just to be sure and give everyone else a fighting chance.
A shotgun-style side-exit exhaust is part of the Vance & Hines hop-up kit, which one must purchase to participate in the XR spec class.
The front number plate, also in the Vance & Hines kit, is vented to allow air flow to the oil cooler which is relocated directly behind it.
The Vance & Hines gauge cluster shown here is allowed per class rules and features a digital tach and gear-position indicator, though most competitors run the stock unit as the analog tach is easier to read for some.
That's one massive air-cooled V-Twin of an engine; one which is rubber-mounted nonetheless. The end result is a motorcycle unlike anything we have ever raced.
The front fork must remain stock per the rules, though the internals can be re-valved. Race Tech did the units which we rode on and we came away quite impressed.
Coming into the weekend we had a general idea of what the XR would be like to race, having ridden it in stock trim at the press launch several months back at Road America. Upon riding the race version we quickly realized the two feel virtually nothing alike.
Hard on the gas exiting the final corner at New Jersey Motorsports Park, Executive Editor Atlas puts his head down in search of that elusive first career AMA podium.
Atlas gets interviewed on the grid prior to the start of the AMA Vance & Hines XR1200 race in New Jersey.
The key to straight-line speed on the Harley is being small in size and really tucking in tightly; the only wind protection the rider gets is from the tiny plastic front number plate.
The 2010 Harley-Davison XR1200 in full race trim as built by Vance & Hines.
As per the rules you are allowed the Vance & Hines hop-up kit as well as internal fork modifications and aftermarket shocks, plus rear-sets and a few other basic mods. Otherwise everything else must remain stock.
A lack of weight on the front end made for some seriously big front-tire slides when pushed hard, something that definitely took some getting used to.
Atlas was teamed up with Harley-Davidson PR guy Paul James for the weekend in New Jersey, the pair helping each other greatly in qualifying.
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