MotoGP 2011: The good old days are here today

All too often you hear people complaining about the state of motorsports. They state that it’s too expensive, there’s no fan community left, the racing is too safe, too boring, etc., wishing for a “simpler time.” They can never nail down the exact “simpler time,” but it existed at some point. Some say it was the ‘20s , or the ‘60s, or ‘80s, and then some just pick one year randomly and stick with that, say 1996. However, if you want to enjoy motorsports at its best from a racing and social angle, there is no better place than the MotoGP at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

MotoGP is the major league of motorcycle racing. Here, a who’s who of manufacturers and riders compete with some of the most technologically advanced motorcycles on the planet. However, unlike F1, NASCAR or Indy racing, the bikes are closely related to what you can buy at a dealership. They may not be identical, or the same models, but there is much more similarity than say a Fusion NASCAR car than a stock Fusion on the showroom floor.

But MotoGP is not only about the bikes, but the riders and the community as well. The race brought in bikers from all across the country to Indianapolis. For two days, the main road was closed down to allow motorcyclists to park and socialize. Here you could see large cruisers next to the fastest of superbikes while their owners traded stories. It got a bit rowdy at times, and there was a healthy amount of obnoxious engine revving, but for the most part it was a big party.

Come race day, everybody suits up (albeit with little to no safety gear for some ridiculous reason), and heads to Indianapolis Motor Speedway. You may be familiar with this the track from its most popular event, the Indy 500, but it has a road course as well. Plus, since MotoGP isn’t incredibly popular, you have more freedom to move around and see the various attractions available. It feels much less constricting than an event like the Indy 500, where you are shoulder to shoulder to someone while breathing in the smell of cheap beer and perspiration.

Read the rest of this entry »

  

You can follow us on Twitter and Facebook for content updates. Also, sign up for our email list for weekly updates and check us out on Google+ as well.

First Drive: 2012 Harley Night Rod

Shrines are places so hallowed, so respected, that entering into them sends a chill straight up your spine. They become this way by being attached to events that are legendary and seem almost impossible. Indianapolis Motor Speedway is one of these places. For over 100 years, people have challenged the laws of physics to extract even more speed out of the vehicles they raced in. To ride here is to ride along with the many legends that have come before. This weekend, I had a chance to ride in this cathedral of speed as a guest of Harley Davidson.

When one thinks of Harley Davidson, racing is not the first thing to come to mind. However, Harley has a proud past and present in various racing leagues across the country, including its own class in AMA racing for the XR1200. Harley is not just chrome and loud pipes, but a significant part of the racing culture in the U.S. For our trip on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, they chose a bike that can trace its roots back to racing: the newest Harley V-Rod, the Harley Night Rod.

The original V-Rod is not a racer at first glance. It is by all respects a power cruiser. Back in 2001, it was meant to bring the attitude of Harley cruisers into the new millennium. To do this, they started with a brand new, water-cooled motor. And this is where the racing connection is made. The reason is that the motor of the V-Rod was not made specifically for the bike, it was meant for racing in a bespoke superbike. In fact, the motor was even developed with the help of Porsche. However, the racing bike was shelved, so Harley created the V-Rod instead, and as they say, the rest is history. 10 years later, Harley is celebrating the V-rod with two new versions: the Night Rod and the 10th Anniversary edition.

Read the rest of this entry »

  

Related Posts