Bikes and burgers...for a lot of people Mondays don’t get too much better than that but thanks to MotoAmerica, for a select few lucky individuals, this past one did! A private track day at Willow Springs International Raceway, movie stars, rock stars, celebrities and of course bikes and burgers made for a real treat of a “test day” for the RSD crew. “Test day?” You might ask...well, to make matters even more epic we took one of our Superhooligan Indian FTR’s to the road race track for a little shake down on the asphalt.
Cam Brewer gave me a call earlier in the week to check my availability and gave me the low down on what they were trying to accomplish...Superhooligan Road Racing. Of course I was going to be there! I could hardly wait. As soon as the guys got the bike in it’s new trim an array of photos from both of them came piling in my inbox and I must say, seeing the FTR with fresh slicks mounted got me even more fired up.
Now before you get ahead of yourself don’t think that we just took a Superhooligan flat tracker to the road race track without some handy work to prepare it for a road racing track. A long weekend of swapping parts and getting the bike dialed for its road course debut was in order. Cameron Brewer and Roland started with the shoes, swapping the 19” wheels and Dunlop DT4 dirt track tires for some 17’s with sticky Dunlop racing slicks were mounted up. Up front, big 320mm dual disc brakes were refitted to the FTR. As far as suspension and geometry, we stiffened up the Fox shocks and GP Suspension forks and raised the bike up as much as possible for ground clearance. The boys found that with these tweaks it would be a good start for us come Monday morning.
Bikes and Burgers.
As we entered into Rosamond, California’s Willow Springs International Raceway we were greeted with unusually perfect weather. No wind, clear skies and perfect temperatures. It wasn’t like what we remembered from any of our past experiences of the iconic Southern California race track. After some math calculations we determined that it had been approximately 23 years since Roland had ridden the 9 turn WSIR circuit and about 7 years for myself.
The pits were packed full of race team semis, industry leaders and some pretty recognizable celebs with the likes of Orlando Bloom, Billy Morrison, and Steve Caballero just to name a few.
First and foremost was registration, signing all those fun papers but also, choosing which mouth watering burger you wanted for lunch. Of course, I went with the Bagger Burger for obvious reasons. For those wondering, it was like a western bacon cheeseburger. From there we hit the riders meeting where we got the lowdown on how the day would be ran and what kind of things to expect and after some bench racing it was time to gear up and get out for the first session.
I jumped into my leathers as fast as I possibly could, Cam and I set sag on the FTR and adjusted the tire pressures and levers and we set out for the first session of the day. After one shakedown lap on the bike it was pretty quick to realize that the guys got it pretty damn close from the get go and it was on. By lap two I was already ripping through turn 8 without even the slightest roll off of the throttle. What a bike! The FTR was made for road racing. With just the small tweaks the RSD crew made to the already proven SuperHooligan bike I felt right at home.
After a good handful of laps I noticed some things needed to be changed for even better performance. The front forks were pretty stiff and rigid and I was struggling to turn the bike at high speeds under load so we sent Roland out for some laps. He concurred so we got the back on the stands with some tire warmers and Cameron got to work. We took some spring out of the front end to allow the front end to dive and help the bike turn, this also helped lessen the rigidity we were feeling.
For the rest of the day it was just about seat time. Roland and I went back and forth on the FTR Superhooligan Road Racer and even spun some laps on a brand new stock FTR for comparison to find that other than ground clearance the production bike worked great as well. We spent the day riding with all of our friends, hurting feelings, passing liter bikes around the outside and of course eating burgers.
Superhooligan Road Racing is a thing of the very near future. Mark my words!