It’s hard to take the AMA/DMG seriously sometimes, and today is one of those days. This time it is the latest musing from the bastard-child of road-racing that has use fired up: spec classes for the Harley-Davidson XR1200 and Kawasaki Ninja 250R. While not necessarily bad ideas at first thought, the proposed two new series seem like a step in the wrong direction for AMA road-racing.
The Ninja 250R class starts with a good premise, get kids 12-15 racing on motorcycles. Get them excited about the sport, and start grooming talent for the higher ranks. With viewership already dropping faster than an Acme anvil, we have a hard time imagining how a slow-paced, but evenly matched 250R class really will really grab our attention, at least not any more so than a well run 125cc GP class would. Never mind the fact the 250R isn’t really a race bike (don’t let the “R” fool you).
While DMG seems well-intended in the 250R spec class, the XR1200 class seems a bit more contrived. AMA Pro Racing President Roger Edmondson was very blunt on the motivation behind the proposed class, saying:
“The Harley category is quite clearly because we think it’s ludicrous that that the largest selling brand in this country and the largest body of motorcyclists in this country are totally ignored when it comes to road racing,” explains Edmondson. “Those folks need a reason to buy tickets and help support our events.”
Let’s assume that’s proper english and head straight to the part where Edmondson has seemingly forgotten that the largest selling brand in the United States (we question that metric by the way), and the largest body of motorcyclists (we question this metric too), are centered around the cruiser market. Apparently in Edmondson’s world, SUV’s and soccer mom’s should be racing in a NASCAR series.
Never-the-less, DMG seems set on making the XR1200 work as a race bike, and hopefully with its pseudo-flat-track-esque roots it will be able to act the part it was designed to look. However, the real motivation behind the XR1200 series still seems to be the continued skewed-promotion of all things American in AMA racing, like the blatant favoritism already shown Buell in AMA Pro Daytona Superbike.
As usual, DMG seems hellbent on cheapening what it means to be an American brand in motorcycle racing, rather than creating a platform where these companies can compete on their own merits.
We look forward to not watching either series.