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H-D XR1200 Spec Class? Comment!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009
AMA Czar Roger Edmonson
AMA boss Roger Edmondson has some new ideas for 2010. Let us know what you think!
It has been widely reported AMA/DMG head honcho Roger Edmondson is farming around a host of options for road racing spec classes next year, including a Harley-Davidson XR1200 spec class. According to Cycle News, he is also actively perusing a Kawasaki Ninja 250 class for youngsters and still trying to keep his single-make dirt bike-based 450 single dream alive. Though it’s widely believed none of the manufacturers have much desire to race a spec-bike based on something they don’t even sell. (Will someone please bring the Red Bull Rookies Cup back?)

But as for the XR1200 class, to this I say: Really? The H-D Sportster spec class has been done, played out, and was outdated 15 years ago. I don’t want to see old men on even older technology machines dragging pipes, footpegs and frames around the track at some ungodly slow pace. But that’s just me… maybe I’m wrong...

So, MotoUSA is very intrigued as to your opinions, thus please comment until you are blue in the face. We want to know what Motorcycle-USA.com readers think of a Harley-Davidson XR1200 Spec Class for 2010:
Post Tags: harley-davison xr1200 AMA spec class
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Mr. Opinion -XR1200 and Ninja 250's September 25, 2009 04:40 PM
250 class: A clever way to get more young riders into the great sport we love.

450MX class: Fun to talk about but expensive and illogical from both a promotional aspect and mechanical.

XR1200 Harley Class: Lame..... the sportster class failed in the past and will again. Big bikes that aren't race based or inspired trying to follow each other slowly around the track.... no thanks. It sounds like the coming year could even more of a side show then the rolling starts and ridiculous class names that came out this year. DMG …. are you doing your best to screw American road racing?

Guy -Trickle Down September 24, 2009 02:57 AM
To me "trickle down" technology is race derived. Not parts bin or what other manufactures have already developed. (i.e. inverted forks...) The New YZF 1000 R1 crossplane crankshaft is true race technology, derived from the Moto Gp YZR M1.
Jan -Procyon96 September 23, 2009 07:07 PM
"The European model also boasts a trick looking, blacked out exhaust system that's different from the USA's model. If that's not trickle down race technology to the showroom floor, I don't know what is".

If I paint my bike's exhaust black will it be trick or racy? Is that exhaust a trickle down or just a reworked parts bin special? Different looking doesn’t always mean better or racier. Besides, if anyone does not like the American XR1200’s exhaust there are many after market suppliers that will satisfy that need to replace it. Who leaves the stock exhaust on their Harley anyways?

The European bike comes with adjustable suspension because that is what the European market wants. Until about several years back the XL1200R had adjustable suspension, but most owners did not care for it, know how to use it, or even knew the bikes had it. So Harley stopped putting it on the bike.

Procyon96 -Xr1200 September 23, 2009 02:51 PM
As told to me by my local HD dealer, XR1200's are raced in Europe in their own spec class. The European XR1200's are delivered from the factory with fully adjustable forks and shocks. USA models are not. The European model also boasts a trick looking, blacked out exhaust system that's different from the USA's model. If that's not trickle down race technology to the showroom floor, I don't know what is. I say, bring it on DMG. If an XR1200 spec class produces the kind of racing and racers that the old 883 TwinSports classes did, then we're in for a treat.
Giles -Guys, think about it September 23, 2009 01:07 PM
Nobody would care what DMG does if there was another American road race series to watch. But there isn’t so that is why we are complaining. And there is no reason to see how this “pans out” because AMA had a sportster class before and it failed. History does not need to repeat itself!

I like all types of racing also. But if I want to watch amateurs racing average bikes I will go and catch a club race at the local track. If I am going to travel half way across the US get hotel room pay good money for tickets to see a “professional motorcycle race” then yeah, I want to see the best riders on the most tricked out bikes. Why do some race fans not understand this? Would the NY Yankees sell tickets if their players were all from the minor leagues? Would you go to an NHRA national event if the cars there made the same HP as the car you drove to race in? Would you look at Playboy mag. if it had average women in it…second thought we would all …look at it…but would you pay money for it?

Get my point. AMA is SUPPOSED to have expensive bikes, trick equipment and the most talented riders because it is a PRO series. How did this point get lost on some race fans?

Is it any coincidence that WSBK and MotoGP have the best riders and the best machinery and the largest fan base???

New York Axemen -Spec Class September 23, 2009 10:13 AM
I don't know about you guys but I personally will watch any kind of motorcycle road racing avail on TV. If I remember correctly some of the best racing I have seen was during the boxer cup series a few years back and that was done on big heavy air cooled twins. Factory teams and big money bikes don't always make for good racing....
Ted -XR Class September 23, 2009 10:12 AM
I say why do you guys use up so much energy and bandwidth complaining about something that you don't have to watch. Hell, it probably wouldn't even be televised. Edmundson is being creative and trying to get more people involved/interested in American racing. The biggest problem with American Roadracing is that NOBODY CARES about it except a small niche. Even those interested in racing in general aren't very interested - that is until they watch it a few times. You guys already are getting what you want, so let DMG try to attract more people to the sport and quit naysaying everything. Repeat after me: "Hmmmm, interesting. Not my cup o' tea, but let's see how it pans out". Besides, racing is racing. Whether your on a Big Wheel, a rental car or a superbike. Question is, what will it take to get someone on the track and have some fun. Only one thing worse than a Harley snob: a racing snob.
cggunnersmate -Edmondson September 23, 2009 09:24 AM
Why does he have such a hard on for Harley and Buell? You know that if Buell still made the blast then he wouldn't have suggested a Ninja 250 spec class it would have been a Buell Blast spec class. Anything to throw Harley/Buell in our faces.
Tim B -Spec Classes September 23, 2009 09:18 AM
Spec classes, as discussed here, are a joke and don't belong in any professional series. They keep costs low and let amatuers compete on an even playing field. But once a manufacturer gets their bikes into a spec class there is no competition and no reason for them to put any R&D into the bikes so they don't update and improve the bikes. Everybody loses.
Guy -Turning Left... September 23, 2009 08:16 AM
YZF Aaron - Hey Roger Edmondson, how about you run the Harley's on ovals so that they can only turn left?

They do, it's called Flat-Track.
YZF Aaron -The XR is not a race bike! September 23, 2009 05:55 AM
First AMA/DMG runs off Mladid, then Honda, now they're trying to rid them self's of sport bike enthusiast all together. Well good for them. Hey Roger Edmondson, how about you run the Harley's on ovals so that they can only turn left? That would be great!
Bernard -Classes September 23, 2009 05:20 AM
First off I have to say I'm not a big follower of Bike racing; I generally go to one race a year at the Barber's track in Birmingham (actually Leeds-I live down the road). So I'm far from being any kind of expert. But I say anything that AMA thinks will bring more people to the track go ahead and try it out. If it works great if not phase it out. The more people interested in motorcycles in general the better off we will all be; especially in this regulate things to death age we live in.
Guy -Figuring this out… maybe September 23, 2009 04:42 AM
Wow, I can’t believe what I’m hearing from DMG management. This is incredible… incredibly stupid. But I digress… Lets look at, what we, race fans want. To understand this, we have to know what types of riders there are. In my opinion, there are obviously two major classes or divided types of motorcycle riders. (Does Edmondson even ride? What class would he belong to if he did? Note: I am purposely leaving out many sub-culture classes. Please forgive me.)

There is the cruiser or Harley class, which are interested in form over functionality. They like chrome and a certain style over performance. They will buy anything if the masses think it’s cool. They most likely don’t watch Super-bike racing. They care more about the brand name winning in a race, even if the technology is not what they are riding. (i.e. see the Screaming Eagle Vance & Hines bikes, you will never be able to purchase these at a dealer)

Then there are the sport-bike or performance type riders. They are interested in form follows function. They will purchase only items that make their bikes faster, perform better, or make it more reliable. Are more interested in the latest technology and how it can be applied to motorcycles. Care more about the technology they are riding, not the brand name, and want to be able to purchase that off the show room floor. (They also understand that there is technology that they cannot afford or purchase. See Moto-GP. But also understand that this technology will eventually trickle down to them in the future from the manufactures.)

With the above said. What type of rider are you? What type of racing is most interesting? Is it about the name brand and bragging rights at the bar? Or is it about who has the most technologically advance piece of equipment? What type of bike do you think Edmondson rides? Or more importantly, who is he listening to?

I always thought racing was always about speed, technology, and pushing the limits of man and engineering. It's knowing, through racing, that the motorcycle we purchase tomorrow will be better than the last.

That is what racing is all about to me... Just my two cents.

Phil -xr1200 September 22, 2009 09:45 PM
AMA racing is a total "cluster" right now, we all know it. But I am going to say that in general the idea of an XR class is not a bad one. I have seen some of the XR racing video in Europe and the racing is close, as the old BMW Boxer Cup was. I think it will also bring in a different crowd to the races and expose them to road racing in general. Maybe some would leave thinking that the R1 or 1198 were awesome machines. Lord knows they would move alot quicker than the XR1200's, and I believe many would be impressed. I guess my point is I think more people would see the sport we love and leave with a broader appreciation of it.
wow... -simply speechless September 22, 2009 07:38 PM
waiting with bated breath for the announcement of the Buell Ulysses class...
Joplin -NorCalFilth September 22, 2009 07:14 PM
"What does "plus they are owned by NASCAR" mean?? Is that code for they got a ton of MONEY"?

Not sure what Steve means by that statement. But NASCAR to me is code for manufactured, BS, low tech, mindless, racing for challenged rednecks. Kind of what DMG is turning AMA racing into. And Edmondson is going to need all that stupid NASCAR money to replace all the revenue he has lost and is losing from his stupid mistakes.
Racephoto -NASBIKE September 22, 2009 06:35 PM
Everyone joked about it a year ago... and it's coming to fruition. Roger Edmondson is the biggest idiot in the world. I wonder how much money they're getting from Buell/Harley to pull this kind of crap, b/c it's painfully obvious the fans have no interest in it. The successful formula is no great mystery: 1000 Superbike, 600 Supersport; support class for the younger racers. Fans want it, riders want it, manufacturers want it, sponsors want it. Who loses? In DMG's mind, themselves, b/c they lose the ability to control who wins races... just like NASCAR and their "competition cautions."
DFH -Spec racing... September 22, 2009 05:28 PM
XR1200 spec class... snore. A 1200cc air-cooled twins class however could be fun. XR1200 vs Moto Guzzi Griso's vs BMW r1200r vs Ducati 1100 Monsters.... for additional fun mandate beards & paunches for all riders and brand specific rider wear. You know, only stuff out of the dealer catalogue. Ducati & Guzzi riders in retro styled Dainese leathers, BMW riders in uber-textiles complete with broom handle up the arse and of course the XR1200 rider in the latest pirate costumes, skull caps & chaps. It'll never happen however. DMG will never allow the Guzzis, Ducs & Bimmers to humilate HD with sheer class & performance...
NorCalFilth -Steve... September 22, 2009 05:01 PM
What does "plus they are owned by NASCAR" mean?? Is that code for they got a ton of MONEY? Everyone says NASCAR like its a bad thing. Does anyone remember Sears Point prior to the infusion of the stupid NASCAR money?? Steve did you steal some haterade from someone?
Steve Atlas -RE: Joe - ideas must be coming from... September 22, 2009 03:18 PM
Joe, I wouldn't be surprised if the fact that they are based in the heart of biker-land has a great deal to do with this! Not to mention they are owned by NASCAR...

Keep the comments coming readers...
Joe -ideas must be coming from... September 22, 2009 03:12 PM
I have a theory, and am interested in what others think. Roger works in Daytona, right? And probably thinks the Daytona 200 is the best race weekend for the AMA series. My sense, even though I've NEVER been to a Daytona bike week is that the people there are the cruiser crowd, not the sportbike crowd, and perhaps he's getting some of the ideas based on what the cruiser folks are telling him about motorcycle racing (rolling starts, spec fuel/bikes/etc.).

Has Roger ever asked the true sportbike racing crowd what they want to see? Why does he feel he needs to keeping changing stuff, instead of making things that work better?

For me, the AMA season doesn't really start until they're done with Daytona and Fontana... didn't like Pikes Peak either.
Fentner -XR1200 September 22, 2009 02:26 PM
First off, The AMA had a sportster class just before 2000-2001 or around there. I believe one or both of the Bostrom brothers came up racing in it. The class was dissolved for the same reason it shouldn’t be started again; nobody watched it or had any interest in it, not even Harley fans. Harley, not surprisingly, did not take any of the tricks or race data to improve their sportsters. I guess doing something like that must only be an Italian and Japanese thing.

But why a Harley-sportstrer class? It’s laughable. These bikes are NOT road race machines, maybe if this was 1960 it would be a different story. Everybody would laugh if DMG said hey; let’s start a Honda VTX1300C/1800C spec series or a Suzuki M109R class. But put the name Harley-Davidson in front of the bike model and suddenly it sounds logical.

Granted the XR1200 is a little sportier than the two other bikes mentioned above but not much. Honestly, in Mr. Edmondson serious? Or just completely clueless?

The Ninja 250 class is sort of a good idea, but I don’t really think it will bring many fans to the track. My sister owns one and it is very fun to ride and is a great bike, but who is really going want to watch a bunch of 12 yr. olds on Ninja 250s zipping around the track.

Maybe for 2011 DMG will have moped and 50cc scooter racing. Of course Harley’s 883 sportster will be allowed by DMG. But don’t worry it will have to carry and extra 20 lbs. and needs to be showroom stock. Close racing is expected and after all this is all that we racing fans want. Close racing at ANY cost.

On a parting thought I bet if these two classes do start DMG will have the two classes run at the same track on the same weekend but a slightly different course. This way when the 250 runs lap times as quick or quicker than the XR1200 it won’t be as obvious or easily compared.

Big Pig -Spec Class Racing September 22, 2009 01:44 PM
Please no XR class. If anything make a Buell spec class that features the air-cooled engines. That will give many a club racer the opportunity to compete in the US series at a local event and if the years of blatant self-promotion that Erik Buell has been preaching is true the low cost, rider friendly Firebolt series would be a hit. No gear changes, just run what you brung maybe. After that then the 250 Ninja cup with wide-open modifications would be the next logical choice for the same reaosns the Buell class would work. As faras the 450 singles go, they are as stupid as the DMG so thats probably the series they will pick anyway.
Steve -classes September 22, 2009 01:36 PM
Ninja 250 class: Great idea, cheap and simple for beginners
450MX based class: Not a great idea, much less cheap for beginners, too slow for advanced riders
XR1200 Class: sounds like Nascar on 2 wheels, old technology, heavy machines, and a general lack of interest from me!