The provisional calendar for the MotoAmerica AMA/FIM North American Road Race Championship has been released, and it features a 10-stop tour for American road racing.
The 2017 calendar looks like an improvement over the 2016 schedule, with fewer gaps between races and no repeat venues. Fans will also welcome the return of Sonoma Raceway (that’s Sears Point to you locals) to the calendar, as well as the debut of Pittsburgh International Race Complex (one of my personal favorite tracks).
Geographically, the 2017 MotoAmerica calendar makes a lot more sense too, with more of a logical progression across the map between races, a benefit for teams and logistics personnel.
Fans from around the USA should be able to get to at least one round within a day’s travel by car, which should help attendance numbers.
Overwhelming, but in a really good way. That’s the best way to describe the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum. Officially categorized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s largest motorcycle museum, the collection at Barber contains over 1,400 motorcycles with over 650 on display at any one time.
Over 20 manufacturers are represented, and the collections spans over 100 years of motorcycling’s history. This is truly a destination that no motorcycle enthusiast should miss.
Founded by George Barber in 1995, the museum started in downtown Birmingham, Alabama before moving to its current location in the Birmingham suburb of Leeds in 2003.
The 144,000 square foot museum comfortably rests on the grounds of the Barber Motorsports Park, with the entire back half of the building overlooking the popular 2.38 mile track.
George Barber started as a car racer, racing Porsches and racking up 63 victories. From that background, he began collecting cars, but quickly realized there were numerous world-class car collections that already existed.
On the other hand, there really wasn’t a world class motorcycle museum that truly captured the history of the sport. Barber saw an opportunity, began collecting motorcycles, and the rest is history.
This past weekend, the largest gathering of Britten Motorcycles occurred at the Barber Vintage Festival at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. As many of you know, John Britten was a brilliant motorcycle designer from New Zealand who built a total of ten Britten V1000 racing motorcycles before his untimely death from cancer in 1995, at the age of 45. These bikes were definitely ahead of their time and Britten’s engineering genius has been admired, even well after his passing. Nine of the ten Brittens ever produced were at the event; the most ever gathered in one place, at one time. The only Britten not present was number three, which is owned by the people of New Zealand and is proudly displayed at the Te Papa Tongarewa Museum of New Zealand.
Beautiful weather, rolling green hills, and a world class facility; all punctuated by a crowd of thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts. Welcome to the Barber Vintage Festival at Barber Motorsports Park.
This year marks the 11th anniversary of the event and the crowd was as big as ever. Last year, over 65,000 people attended during the three day event and this year didn’t seem any different.
Of course, the highlight of this year’s event was the largest gathering of Britten V1000 motorcycles ever (which we’ll cover in-depth in a separate article), and as always, there was great vintage motorcycle racing by the American Historic Racing Motorcycle Association (AHRMA).
Everywhere you looked, there were motorcycles. The amazing thing about this event is the variety. Unlike many events where the focus is on one type of motorcycle, Barber focuses on a little bit of everything.
The long-awaited AMA Pro Road Racing calendar for the 2014 season has been released, and motorcycle racing fans will be shocked to hear that America’s premier series has been reduced to just five race weekends this year, with the hopes of a sixth weekend being added to the mix.
As usual, the season starts in March at Daytona, and features the Daytona 200. AMA Pro Road Racing will then take a month and a half break, until it reconvenes at Road America at the end of May / beginning of June. Barber, Mid-Ohio, and NJMP then follow, with Laguna Seca hopefully being added to the list once that whole mess is resolved.
Another update from those southern boys at Motus, this time showing off their MST & MST-R American sport-tourers hitting some track time at Barber Motorsports Park. Obviously still in the development phase of their production process, we see that the MST-R has gotten some carbon fiber clothes (yum!), while the MST looks very fit and polished with its touring bags on-board.
We’re still not sure about how the Motus MST and MST-R will fare in free market, as we’ve seen so many American motorcycle companies generate a lot of buzz with little substance. However, one thing is for certain about the Motus project: the company has the right amount of cowbell in that KMV4 1,645cc GDI motor that should make any motorcyclist with a pulse grin ear-to-ear. Check the video out after the jump…yes, it’s ok to watch it several times.
AMA Pro Road Racing officials dyno tested the 10 motorcycles that qualified for Friday’s Superpole session at Barber Motorsports Park, in an effort to maintain a more competitive balance among the hodgepodge of bikes competing in the series. In their study, they found that the bikes range in power-to-weight ratios from 2.65lbs/hp to 3.14lbs/hp, with a .28lbs/hp gap between first and second ranked bikes. What is interesting about the report from the AMA is that they never named which bikes were making how much horsepower, thus leaving it a mystery who had the supreme power-to-weight advantage. Never fear, math and common sense are here. We crunched the numbers to figure out what the likely results are in this report. Our conclusions may astound you, and/or confirm your suspcions about the series, and maybe AMA road racing as a whole.