Get ready for a pleasant and exciting announcement. Indian Motorcycle, which we remember as America’s first motorcycle company, announced its entrance (or rather, return) in AMA Pro Flat Track racing. It is a return because the team called the Wrecking Crew made history in the ‘40s and ‘50s. There will be three riders, a strong return, since the last official team dates back to 1953. The announcement was made at the American Motorcyclists Association Flat Track Awards banquet following the Ramspur Winery Santa Rosa Mile AMA Pro Flat Track race in Santa Rosa, California. The three riders will strive to live up to the legacy of the old "crew" that included Ernie Beckman, Bill Tuman and Bobby Hill. In short, not only big and lumbering customs, but also a true competitive beating heart, this is the new face of a company that has been working hard and well for several months. But let’s have a look at the riders who will be trying to ride the bike to the podium.
BRYAN SMITH - “Flyin’” Bryan Smith, 33, from Flint, Michigan, began racing BMX at age six. He then moved to Flat Track and Ice Racing at age seven, and has been competing at the AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship level since 2001, gradually climbing the ranks every year. In 2015, Smith competed in his first X Games, winning gold in the Flat Track event. Smith earned his first Grand National Championship in the 2016 season.
BRAD BAKER - AMA Pro Flat Track Expert Grand National Champion Brad “The Bullet” Baker, 23, originally hailing from Dryad, Washington, is the third youngest Grand National Champion in the history of the sport. Baker won his first two career victories at the Hagerstown Maryland and Pomona California half-miles and was also the 2011 GNC Expert Rookie of the Year. Baker took a dominating win at the Santa Rosa mile.
JARED MEES - Multi-time AMA Grand National Champion Jared “Jammer” Mees, 30, won the AMA Grand National Twins Championship in 2009, the AMA Grand National Singles Championship in 2012, and the unified AMA Grand National Championship (GNC1) title in 2012, 2014 and 2015. Mees also became a Gold Medallist in the X Games in 2016, won the Superprestigio of the Americas in 2015, and the Troy Bayliss Classic in 2014. Mees earned a second place in the 2016 season.
Gary Gray, Product Director for Indian Motorcycle, had this to say: “Indian Motorcycle has a DNA in motorcycle racing. We will continue that push towards excellence on the street and in competition with the introduction of the Indian Scout FTR750. AMA Pro Flat Track racing is highly competitive and we leaned on a global team for this factory effort and have engaged some of the best riders to exhibit our commitment to this legendary sport. That said, we are entering the series to do one thing – win." For now there are just nine bikes, powered by an all-new, race-only 750cc V-Twin that was developed in-house for professional flat track competition. The chassis and overall design comes from the team at the Indian Motorcycle’s Medina, Minnesota headquarters. The first to ride the bike for its debut in AMA flat track racing on Sunday at Santa Rosa was racing legend Joe Kopp. The result? A series of wins... although in the final heat he finished seventh overall. Now all that’s left is to wait for the street version...
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