Whether your poison is World Superbike or AMA Pro Racing, this weekend provided some excellent motorcycle racing. Out of all the memorable moments where we yelled at the TV this race-day Sunday (and there were more than a few), our favorite, hands-down, has to be “the pass” that Tyler O’Hara pulled on Michael Barnes coming down the final stretch at NOLA.

Full-throttle on the Harley-Davidson XR1200 race bikes for the win, a race that would also who would win AMA Pro Racing XR1200 Championship, O’Hara pulled a classic move on Barney — no really, he pulled Barnes back by the arm just ahead of the finish line.

It is debatable whether O’Hara would have caught Barnes on the drive to the finish, and both riders have a good on-track rivalry, and off-track sense of humor, but Barnes was clearly not pleased with O’Hara’s race shenanigans (we think it is sort of winning, in the Charlie Sheen sense of the word).

Nonetheless, the AMA ruled it an “avoidable contact” and displaced O’Hara from 1st to last in the race, which sent him into third place for the Championship points.

In other words, Tyler O’Hara lost $4,500 dollars in prize money ($2,000 for second in the race, $2,500 for the drop from second to third in the Championship), while perpetrating one of most awesome/punk-kid moves we have ever seen in motorcycle racing. The video of “the pass” is after the jump. Leave your thoughts in the comments.

Source: SPEED; Photo: © 2012 Kevin Warren / DigitalPressImages – All Rights Reserved

  • Trent

    Does anyone know if this will be a continued racing series, as it looks like Harley has stopped production on the XR models.

  • I went to high school with Tyler, have to say that was pretty hilarious.

  • Simon

    Boo.. cant watch the video from New Zealand :( can anyone find a youtube version of this? Ive looked and looked!

  • Iron Butt

    Boo boo.. cant watch the video in Belgium :( can anyone find a youtube version of this? I’ve looked and looked!

  • Classic… I think it was classic. Did he deserve the win? NO, but he did make a race memorable that most folks don’t give a crap about. Now the video is viral and AMA is getting great promotion and they demote him to 3rd in the Championship.

    WRONG AMA – once again.

    He deserves to not get first, but needs to be moved to 2nd place and warned. Really!!! AMA; use your nuts to make this decision because obviously your brain does not work well…

  • Cord

    Boo.. cant watch the video at work on this steam driven turd of a computer :( can anyone find a youtube version of this? Ive looked and looked!

  • toby

    Boo… cant watch the vid here in Uganda, etc….

  • James Sharpe

    UK, can’t see it, want to..

  • Ken C.

    Cheating is cheating. Might have been fun for Tyler O’Hara, but not for Michael Barnes. I think Tyler O’Hara probably could have beat him to the line without the shenanigans. That’s just plain stupidity.

  • shallwedance?

    nope not in the uk

  • meatspin

    To those who cant see:

    vid is of two guys on XRs going at it at NOLA, a tight little track in Louisiana. Last lap and o’hara is coming on the inside on the run to the finish line. Barnes is on the outside and both look like they are at full throttle. The XRs look slow and lumbering. O’hara reaches his left hand over and grabs Barnes’ shoulder and upper arm standing Barnes up . Barnes is mad, gesticulating wildly across the line as he is beat to the line by O’hara. Barnes is mad on cool down. He shakes his head and points at O’hara. He is still mad.

  • tonestar

    fuckin hilarious! bunch a rednecks on harleys! god i love it! bring these guys to laguna seca!

  • MxDork

    Reminds me of the time in the late 90’s at a pro flat-track race where the decision was made to make the Dash For Cash a race on PW50s. All the pro class qualifiers for the Dash had to borrow a bike from one of the peewee support class kids and use of the left arm to block/push/yank the competition became rampant. Quite possibly the most hilarious races I’ve ever seen.

  • KFG

    LOL!! Lets be honest… he deseves to be punished. BUT…. this is awesome!!!

  • JTA

    Stupid – dangerous – cheater… It’s so NASCAR….

  • Rob

    I was at the track watching them as this happened live and let me tell you, the fans were literally laughing their asses off. Sure it needs to be revoked, and it was stupid, but certainly entertaining lol.

  • shawndoh

    ah hahah. Funny. Of course he does not deserve to win, but that was great anyway.

  • More like, $21,000! O’Hara would’ve/could’ve won the Vance & Hines XR Showdown prize for first in the championship ($25,000), plus, $3750 (Vance&Hines/Harley-Davidson purse) he would have collected for the race win, minus the $7500 he will earn for finishing third in the championship.

    Tough pill to swallow for Tyler I’m sure, he is a standup guy, so not a malicious move. I don’t agree with “The Pass”, but I love to see the battles even if it crosses the line every now and then.

  • AK

    WTF, they need to ban him from racing.

  • These shenanagins used to happen all the time back in the single make series over here. Grabbing brake levers on the straights was commonplace! Although brakes were a bit weedier on LC et al back then!

  • Spamtasticus

    This kind of thing should be kept in pit bike races in the damn parking lot or press events at a go-cart track. It was dangerous, childish, and bad sportsmanship. If I were the official at the AMA I would throw the book at him. Motorcycle racing is dangerous enough as it is without morons doing stupid crap like this. Can you imagine what would have happened if he had shoved his brake level by accident and cartwheeled down the straight?

  • David

    LOL…that’s awesome.

    Now if they would just let the riders carry sticks with them, so they can beat each other as they go down the straights, then we would have a new hit racing series to watch.

  • That was a “STUPID MOVE” im sorry you can’t put someone in danger like O’Hara did just to win a stupid Harley race…. Punishment was well deserved..

  • KK

    This just shows how much the riders in this class really think its a joke. The past couple yuears they have had this race when i got down to the race in NJ i have heard many of these riders mocking the bikes they have to ride so harley can go on with its PR stunt.

    but in the end i think it was a joke taken a little too far considering that he could of gotten himself or worse others hurt on the course… still pretty funny though

  • Halfie 30

    Everyone here making this out to be too dangerous does not understand motorcycle racing I the slightest. These two were racing Harley’s. Not MotoGP machines. What the AMA did was fair. That is in no way a “career ending” move in any sense though.

  • @David

    “Now if they would just let the riders carry sticks with them, so they can beat each other as they go down the straights”


  • Pingback: adrian cockcroft()

  • Craig

    Really??? Ban them? You must be under 20, raised in a time when you were punished for touching the kid in the line in front of you. It’s too bad because we could fight and just quit before the teachers arrived and all was good. Problems solved and we all moved on… without UTUBE and parents feeling their kid is being picked on.

    It was simply hilarious, last race / last corner move and he should have simply been moved to 2nd… I am sure he did not expect it to be a “race winning move”, just something hilarious.

    Lighten up folks and do a stoppie… you’ll feel better!!!

  • buellracerx

    ahahaha NICE! All I can say is people turn into something completely unlike themselves when they get on track. I’ve seen it quite a bit – influence of the adrenaline.

    for those of you saying “it’s too dangerous” you’re obviously not comfortable enough on your own bikes. This comes with track experience, which both of these racers have in great supply.

    but seriously AMA?? dead last? obviously trying to make sure the series doesn’t turn into the old 883 class of yesterseason – these kind of shenanigans happened a lot, without any b.s. penalties!

    JENSEN – if you want to see some awesome racing like this, watch some old 883 footage

  • TexusTim

    I think tht has to be the funnest thing in racing I have seen in a long time…lmao

  • wavex

    ROAD RAGE!!! lol awesome…

  • neil foreman

    When Mike Barnes beat me to 3rd in a wera race last year on his XR i didn’t feel the need to go grabbing him. Bit of a D bag move if you ask me

  • MikeD

    OMG, that was friggin HILARIOUS. Im sure he was just clowning around.

    I would have given him second place…if anything. I think the ruling party made a storm in a glass of water over some stupid JOKE b-twin fellow racers.

  • “cant watch the video from”

    publicvpn.com is your friend.

    As for the pass, pure douchebaggery. We are not amused.

  • JoeD

    That was tame compared to a race on YTube from Thailand. Was it professional? NO. Dangerous? Yes. Funny as crap though and in keeping with road racing an HD. You have to be joking, right?

  • Jake F.

    Is it funny? Only to a spectator. No racer wants that kind of crap pulled on them. Did the AMA do the right thing? Yes.

  • Rob S.

    It is pretty clear most of the posters here don’t race. That wasn’t some one off tug of the arm. It is an old flat track move of which Barnes is all too familiar. He and Tyler have flat track backgrounds so it made it more funny to racers. Barney just didn’t want or expect it there, road racing.
    No one got into this kind of uproar when douchey Danny Eslick tried to flip Gabe SantaColoma’s kill switch coming out of T11 at Infineon in 2010 (or was it 2009?)
    It was really stupid but Tyler probably just thought it was funny. Poor choice on his part. A bit extreme on AMA’s. As it has been said, they reap the benefits in publicity.

  • LOL, awesome video.
    Not sure I agree with the penalty but I am not up on the rules in regards to grabbing a rider during a race. Definately extreme though. Definately got my attention and I normally only follow drag bike racing.

  • Emma


  • JCOC

    The series was extended for another two years, can’t wait to see them race again next year.

  • singletrack

    “Full-throttle on the Harley-Davidson XR1200 race bikes for the win” Funny :) Those bikes are so slow, they have time to a) think about doing stuff like that, and b) actually do stuff like that.
    From Barnes’s reaction, it was a complete surprise and he sat up. But To penalize O’hara to last… that’s dumb. Is there room to interpret the rules differently for “avoidable contact”?

  • cb150r


  • Tyler Champ

    Tyler is the Champion . If you can stick out leg or arm and you in lead , you good . It would be other way if you came from behind . Its normal in racing stick out leg for safety avoid stuffing ,which has nothing to do with our racing but demolition derby in car bussines.If you stuff someone in F1 , you done gentelmans .AMA needs to give Tyler title back.

  • “Tyler is the Champion . If you can stick out leg or arm and you in lead , you good . It would be other way if you came from behind .”

    And that explains coming from behind, grabbing a rider’s arm and pulling him behind you for the pass?

    Uhm, no. I think not.

  • Trane, don’t feed the trolls.