You may remember that six month’s ago we published a rumor that AMA Pro Racing was considering the idea of adding a Harley-Davidson XR1200 spec racing class. Today, that rumor became reality as AMA Pro Racing announced at the Daytona Bike Week that it would be adding the AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 Series to its calendar. The painful press release and our colorful commentary after the jump.

Press releases by their nature are one-sided and often approach things from the most rose-colored points of view. If writing press releases was a competitive event, the writer of this release would be our gold medal favorite, putting some of the most positive spin on a series that examplifies the AMA Pro Racing’s continued spiral into the darkest corners of hell. We’ll take it on paragraph at a time:

Daytona Beach, FL – March 4, 2010 – AMA Pro Racing and Vance & Hines are pleased to announce the launch of the new AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 Series, a spec-bike five race championship featuring specially modified Harley-Davidson XR1200 motorcycles.

Translated: Vance & Hines and Harley-Davidson paid AMA Pro Racing a whole lot of money, and possibly have photos of various AMA Board Members playing golf with the Devil.

This exciting new series will provide loyal Harley-Davidson owners, dealers and enthusiasts a chance to join the action at selected AMA Pro Road Racing weekends throughout the country.

Translated: We have to tell you this series will be exciting, because you’re likely not going to attribute that word to this announcement. We also do want you to realize that this “race” series is aimed at a market that centers around cruisers, and is comprised of middle-aged dentists, accountants, and guys who couldn’t afford Corvettes.

As the presenting sponsor, Vance & Hines will also serve as the official race kit supplier for the class.  The kit will consist of a Vance & Hines XR1200 exhaust system, a Fuelpak fuel management system, race bodywork including number plate, single seat tail section and belly pan, 17-inch front wheel with matching front fender, steering damper, oil cooler relocator and race decal package.  The cost for the complete kit will be $3500.

Translated: Ch-ching! ch-ching! We’ll be laughing all the way to the bank while you try and make the XR1200 look like a road-racer.

“We have racing in our DNA, Harley-Davidson has racing in their DNA and we are truly thrilled to bring Vance & Hines and Harley-Davidson back into AMA Pro Racing,” Terry Vance, a prolific champion as both rider and team owner, said of the new series.  “The XR1200 has proven to be an exciting platform for spec racing in Europe and this class will be a perfect cost-effective platform to showcase new talent on a national stage.  Many of the finest motorcycle racers all over the world got their start in the AMA Supertwins class of the 1990s.”

Translated: We’re going to just lie for a minute and then justify this series with some loose mentioning of racing in the company’s past, which an entire generation doesn’t remember because it happened before they were born. First one to mention flat-tracking loses the argument.

As in all AMA Pro Road Racing series, Dunlop will provide the spec tire for the class and Sunoco will fuel the racers with their Sunoco 260 GTX fuel.  In addition to the Vance & Hines supplied kit parts, teams will be allowed to upgrade their suspension, hand and foot controls, brake components and instrumentation.

Translated: Blah, blah, blah. We were going to allow teams to use their own frames and motors, but our marketing intern advised us otherwise.

AMA Pro Racing Chief Operating Officer David Atlas welcomed the new series, “Adding another element to our events with a series of this caliber will be a great benefit to our sport.  The specification of the XR1200 package will put the premium on the rider’s ability and will provide a great new class of racing that has ties to the past.”

Translated: We’re actually telling the truth now. This series will really showcase a rider’s skill, especially while they try and maneuver a 600lbs motorcycle through chicanes with some of Milwaukee’s finest engineering from the 1950’s.

Vance & Hines is also pleased to announce that the XR1200 Series will feature a $5,000 purse payout at each of the five rounds, $2,500 going to the race winner, $1,000 to the runner-up and $750 for third.  Fourth and fifth place finishers will receive $500 and $250 respectively.

Translated: If you win, it might cover your travel costs.

For the 2010 season, the AMA Pro Racing Vance & Hines XR1200 Series will race at five rounds of the AMA Pro Road Racing Championship.  The first race will be just north of Harley-Davidson’s Milwaukee headquarters at Road America in Elkhart Lake, WI.  Next up will be the classic Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, moving on to Virginia International Raceway and New Jersey Motorsports Park. The season finale will be at Barber Motorsports Park.

Translated: We won’t even bother crossing the Mississippi River with this race series, despite the fact that’s where over 50% of the American motorcycling community resides. Hey, at least we know where our core demographic lives.

For more information, please contact Paul Langley, Vance & Hines Motorsports at (317) 852-9057, email to or

Translated: Please whatever you do, don’t call the AMA…we have no idea what we’re doing.

Source: AMA

  • JR

    Very funny and well-done. I wish every news outlet did this sort of translation as a public service.

  • Skip HD’s press release, your “translation” tells the true story!

    Ha! Harley Davidson racing. An oxymoron if I’ve ever heard one!

  • Maytrain

    Professional road racing in the US is so messed up right now that any new corporate involvement is a blessing. Please stop projecting your hatred for all things American onto H-D and go to bed. This never ending pathetic self loathing will destroy our sport our lives and our nation.

  • joe

    yeah, look at nascar, or flat track. are these things going to turn right?

  • Lee

    Aside from the funny translation and AMA boilerplate press release, this will most likely end up a fun and exciting series…even if only a handful of races. The question is, what is the cost of setting up one of these “spec” racers?

    Those that remember the 883 class back in the early 90’s, the class was extremely competitive (though not as fast or hi tech as other classes) and had many racers that went on to be very successful. The Bostrom’s, Scott Zampach, Mike Barnes (I think) and a few other names we know.

    I can see a Chris Carr, Springer and a few other notables getting on one of these. That surely won’t be boring.

    Could be good. Give it a chance.

  • Blake

    Very funny! The part about testing the riders ability seems very honest. In a way it will be interesting to see how they are able to will the bike around the corners at speed.

  • Maytrain: Harley-Davidson brought on this kind of criticism themselves!

    Since age 12, when I bought my first motorcycle, I wanted to buy an American bike. However, in my life time, HD has yet to build a competitive bike!? I’ve also been of fan motorcycle racing going way back, yet NEVER had an “American dog” in the fight!

    Buell was a glimmer of hope, but who killed them? Harley-Davidson!

    And the thing that galls me most: HD actually does have a racing heritage. Granted, ending some 60 or 80 years ago, but somewhere in HD’s collective balance sheet focused DNA, there’s actually a PERFORMANCE bloodline. So where are the performance bikes???

    Harley-Davidson has already done tremendous damage to racing in America and motorcycling in general. Just because they’re the ONLY American motorcycle manufacturer doesn’t mean they’re a competent manufacturer.

  • Dr. Gellar

    Wonder if next year’s Daytona 200 will be officially run with this class, as it will almost certainly be named the premier class of AMA/DMG roadracing by the end of this year…

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  • Dan

    We AMA racers always hated going out on the track after the 883 series or any class with a Buell in it…oil on the track is scary.

  • Looks like fun to me. Old tech bikes set to a spec banging aroung a race track, what’s not to like? Should be pretty cheap to get in on. Me likey.

  • Ryan

    For me, it is just another political HD/AMA move. HD can’t compete with anyone, so they just race against themselves, or have the rules changed in their favor. And they call themselves a “Motor Company” and claim to make the best bikes in the world, with all others being inferior. Everything they do (R&D, marketing, killing Buell, etc) is pathetic, imho.

    Why kill Buell, the bike with a future (since it has no HD engine), and start racing an irrigation pump on wheels? To have the American Buell program axed, only to have the axing company return with this crap is absurd and insulting.

    Look at what BMW and KTM have achieved in such a short time with S1000RR and RC8. Real motorbike companies trying to catch up the Japanese and Italians, not just hide in the weeds racing themselves.

  • eric

    It won’t be the official class to run the 200 because the motors won’t last the race at full revs.

  • Bjorn

    I can sympathise with Dan, bikes that disgorge their lubricants on the track are a menace.

    However, set up with an appropriate catch system to counter any regurgitation (bellypan, catch bottle, incontenence sheet), these things will make for a great spectacle for the general public. Like it or not, Harley Davidson bohemoths with sit-up-and-beg riding positions are what many non-motorcycling people think about when motorcycles enter their conciousness.

    If there is close racing, lurid slides and bikes tying themselves in knots it will be popular. In Australia the 883s were great in the ’90s for getting people who wouldn’t know a superbike from a swordfish out to the track, spending money at the gate and the food stalls and bars.

    In order to survive as a viable business and attract sponsors, motorcycle racing needs to attract a wider audience than just motorcyclists. With the death of closed road racing that took the sport to the masses, anything that brings bodies through the gate and places motorcycles in the general public’s mind can only be a good thing.

    You can always stand by the fence and laugh.

  • Jessee

    What a joke. That bike is so out of date it would really be funny to see one in a race. It would give the crowd a good laugh. Harley should stick to making a new “Sturgis Bike” or something like that. The beer drinking geezer Harley rider is not interested in racing and the younger bike riders are not interested in a out of date Harley. I don’t care how much money you throw at it that bike will not win any races but it will get a few laughs.

  • Bjorn

    “Jessee says:

    I don’t care how much money you throw at it that bike will not win any races but it will get a few laughs.”

    I predict it will win every race it enters. After all it’s a single make series.

  • Wow, pigs do fly, don’t they!

  • Steven

    The only way a Harley can win a race is to race against themselves as everything else on 2 wheels will blow those antiques off the track. I am sure the Harley crowd will watch these pretend races though.

  • Skipper

    Oh boy, now the Harley Davidson R&D department will have to design a “all new” line of Harley Racing Clothes. The Harley R&D department has nothing else to do except design clothes, jock straps, nose picker gloves, ash trays, beer can holders and everything else with the Harley name on it – except a decent modern motorcycle. The only way a Harley can win a race is to race against themselves. I am sure the race would be crowded with the pirate dressing Strugis crowd standing around drinking beer and bragging about Harley’s.

  • Ecosse

    xr1200 spec racing is/was pretty popular in europe last time i checked. and if the euro bike snobs gush over this bike i don’t see the point of the pile on. well, except to pick on an easy target (hd). at least give harley credit for a much improved sportster and one closer to the original concept introduced in ’57. everyone’s a critic, geez.

    me? i wouldn’t mind owning one of these 1200’s. as for the ama being a shadow of what it was… oh look, a baby wolf!

  • I think you’re snark is a bit misplaced on this one. This is essentially the same type of series as the old Speed Triple spec class races back in 95/96. While it was a limited run it was no failure. It accomplished what it set out to do which was highlight what was essentially an overweight, ill handling pig of a bike in it’s own spec race series.

    Ecosse has it right. This is already a pretty successful series in Europe and deserve a shot over here. The 1200 is probably at least as bad as the first gen Speed Triples (I owned a 95 so I CAN say that) and look at how that bike improved. Quit being such a snark. Since when is more racing a bad thing? sheesh!