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  #71  
Old 12th May 2019
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I'm convinced that without that red flag, Halbert would have won last night. Further, that He'd have won and Vanderkooi would have been on the box with him!

I'm not yet ready to say they've found something. It could have just been the track, but the XG's definitely had something going for them last night!!! The biggest challenge since very early in the project has been putting power to the ground. Anyone else notice Halbert regularly pulling the front wheel coming out of four? That wasn't anything he was trying to do, that was pure POWER.

Yeah, they seem to have found something to address power transfer and the chassis seems to be a whole lot better. This being the first track they could kind of stretch out, it's going to be interesting what happens at Sacramento. Have they built a bike that has the stamina to go the distance??? Whatever they're doing about transfer appears to be eating tires. Will that be an issue?

As exciting as the H-D thing is, the Indians are just as big a story. I hope everyone can agree that AFT's rule change favoring production based engines was the right move. The Indians are STILL competitive (and winning almost everything) but the field has definitely been leveled. The series has become much more about riders than machines. You gotta love that!

But hay, what about #3 on that (Hooligan) Sportster?
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  #72  
Old 12th May 2019
Akdawg Akdawg is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oupa View Post
I'm convinced that without that red flag, Halbert would have won last night. Further, that He'd have won and Vanderkooi would have been on the box with him!

I'm not yet ready to say they've found something. It could have just been the track, but the XG's definitely had something going for them last night!!! The biggest challenge since very early in the project has been putting power to the ground. Anyone else notice Halbert regularly pulling the front wheel coming out of four? That wasn't anything he was trying to do, that was pure POWER.

Yeah, they seem to have found something to address power transfer and the chassis seems to be a whole lot better. This being the first track they could kind of stretch out, it's going to be interesting what happens at Sacramento. Have they built a bike that has the stamina to go the distance??? Whatever they're doing about transfer appears to be eating tires. Will that be an issue?

As exciting as the H-D thing is, the Indians are just as big a story. I hope everyone can agree that AFT's rule change favoring production based engines was the right move. The Indians are STILL competitive (and winning almost everything) but the field has definitely been leveled. The series has become much more about riders than machines. You gotta love that!

But hay, what about #3 on that (Hooligan) Sportster?
But where was the crowd? Stands were empty for a national in SoCal? AFT working hard at promotion, dedicated big $$ sponsors, great machinery, some of the most talented riders ever. Back in the day we rode in front of packed stands. What gives??
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  #73  
Old 13th May 2019
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Originally Posted by Akdawg View Post
But where was the crowd? Stands were empty for a national in SoCal? AFT working hard at promotion, dedicated big $$ sponsors, great machinery, some of the most talented riders ever. Back in the day we rode in front of packed stands. What gives??
It rained earlier. It was calling for rain all day. It looked like rain. It's a wonder anyone came out at all as I'm sure everyone thought it was going to be canceled.

Traveling any distance at all is expensive today. Not just fuel but you can hardly get one meal at McD's for $10! Then there are tickets and ancillary costs at the track. If it's an overnight trip, more $$$$ Getting rained out after making that investment is a whole lot harder today than it was "back in the day."

Then of course, weather prediction is a lot more reliable today to! ...well except for the guy who said it was gonna rain in Perris Saturday.
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  #74  
Old 13th May 2019
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Do you think that low crowd counts are attributed to the other M/C events promoted today? Do you think people today would rather see some high flying Supercross or some type of Pastrana super show? I dont think most can relate to the thrill of a good FT race. On Tv, to the untrained eye, it looks like a few bikes going around in circles, hardly doing a live event justice.
Hopefully with good promotion, FT will make a well deserved comeback to mainstream motorsports.
My $.02
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  #75  
Old 13th May 2019
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Crowds at races are getting bigger the past few years The Red Mile has sold out the past two years and will probably sell out again, this year. You can't judge attendance at races based on one event. The crowd at Daytona was a lot bigger this year than last year. Another sell out last year was the Weedsport Half Mile. Traditionally, races in Upperstate New York haven't been as well attended as races in other areas. I bet it sells out again this year.

While I don't like all the changes that DMG has made to Flat Track, they are successfully increasing the size of crowds and popularity.
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  #76  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iron Mike View Post
Do you think that low crowd counts are attributed to the other M/C events promoted today? Do you think people today would rather see some high flying Supercross or some type of Pastrana super show? I dont think most can relate to the thrill of a good FT race. On Tv, to the untrained eye, it looks like a few bikes going around in circles, hardly doing a live event justice.
Hopefully with good promotion, FT will make a well deserved comeback to mainstream motorsports.
My $.02
Quote:
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Crowds at races are getting bigger the past few years...
While I don't like all the changes that DMG has made to Flat Track, they are successfully increasing the size of crowds and popularity.
Iron Mike, in a word, no. The answer is more complicated though.

This specific race turnout, I'm convinced was weather related. Nothing more. As for other motorcycle events competing for spectators (and participants!) I see it as totally opposite.
With the advent of flat track in The X-Games, it has become viewed on the same level as those MX-themed events for thousands of NEW fans. The billing of it by the suits as "America's First Extreme Sport" was brilliant! It highlights the thrill that is a flat track race. As you mention, for the uninitiated, it does look like follow the leader in a circle. B-O-R-I-N-G!!!!! Adding internet viewing with EXCELLENT commentating (especially now with Brad Baker in the booth with Scottie!) appeals to millennials. Not only is it available on their favored platform, but they are informed about it in a non-threatening way by people they can relate to. The fact that riders from EVERY other M/C discipline have become regular competitors in flat track not only reinforces the cross-over, but encourages it! Among the critical to survival "next generation," flat track has become cool again.

The downside to all this is those internet (and TV) spectators aren't traveling across several states to see races in person. They may come out to the ONE that is nearest to home, but they will not follow the circuit from track to track like the old days.

What many of them are doing though is RACING! Go to any local race and you'll see guys (usually in the vintage or Hooligan class) on some old clunker rescued from a field or basement running at the back of the pack - and having the time of their life! A whole industry has quietly taken shape around it. There are multiple people in the states and Canada running "Flat Track Schools" as businesses! The internet (often via "social media") is full of guys selling race parts, often for decidedly non-race bikes.

No. We are seeing a new life for flat track. It is not as visible only because we're looking where we've traditionally found it.

Crusty's mention of DMG/AFT is worth a critical look. Since they bought the series from AMA they've taken a LOT of criticism. Understandably I think, they've gone through a lot of growing pains for which the criticism may have not only been justified, but fruitful. In short, AFT has listened. Despite several serious injuries lately, the sport has overall become much safer. Track prep has seriously improved the last two years! This year (so far) especially, that aspect has been VERY noticable. The integration of airsuits from GP racing is stellar (though not necessarily AFT's doing). Chris Carr's introduction of airfence several years ago as AFT director of racing has probably saved a few lives.

Allowing Indian to enter the FTR changed the entire sport. Sticking to the agreement that allowed it and adopting rules that favored the "production based" bikes AFT originally said the series would emphasize, while not taking ANYTHING away from the Indian, has none the less leveled the field once again, avoiding a return to the one-brand racing that nearly killed this sport over the last 30 years. The one thing I wish AFT would do more about is one-line tracks. That's what creates that boring follow-the-leader specticle. There ARE clay tracks that allow multi-line racing that are being painfully avoided for whatever reason. A regular question on Scottie Deubler's pod cast is "what was your favorite track?" A regular answer is Hagerstown, MD! Yet we haven't been there in years. The track is there, racing (cars) and available. WHY isn't the series AFT???? I would personally like to see more cushion racing. Those (horse) tracks are disappearing fast though. It'd be nice to see the series cross the boarder to some Canada tracks! I don't know what logistics would be involved in that though.

I'm rambling aren't I?

I (gulp) give AFT credit for what they've done. Flat track racing is as exciting as it ever was. It is more available than it has ever been. Crowds are expanding. Most of those spectators however, never go to the track.
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  #77  
Old 4 Weeks Ago
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New blood is the key I think. I know whenever there is a local horse track race, my 11 year old gets his mx'er lowered and the brake lever removed and has a blast running the knobby tire class. I try to wrangle all his buddies to go out as well!
Long live the FT!!
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  #78  
Old 5 Days Ago
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Well I know it's been a few days but what happened to HD that last race?
They did ok in qualifying...it sounds like they either crashed or broke down.
BTW looking at the Harley Racing flat track web sight, they have not even bothered to take Brandon Robinson's name off the page...and they still claim 3 team riders.
Hate to say it... but that shows a total lack of serious commitment or respect to Sammy and Jerod.
Hope the best for them all but I can't believe they couldn't update this years team by now
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  #79  
Old 5 Days Ago
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Both of the XGs broke at the Red Mile. First, Sammy Halbert's bike didn't make the restart after the red flag, then Vanderkooi's bike first slowed dramatically in the turns (though he seemed to be just as fast on the straights) and after a few laps, he pulled off.

Watching the XG, I'm reminded of when Honda built their first 750 Flat tracker. They took a CX 500 engine, pumped it up to 750 cc and turned it sideways. It even won at Louisville Downs; but it really wasn't competitive. Honda eventually arrived on the scene with the RS 750 and, after a year of real world development, proceeded to clean up.

If Harley is going to stay in the game, they need to develop a real Indian fighter. A serious successor to the XR 750.

Either that, or maybe AFT needs to make Production Twins the Premier Class. Kind of like the AMA did with Class C over Class A back in the '30s; or when Superbike became the premier class over Formula 750 in Road racing in the '80s.

I've noticed that the field for the Twins has been shrinking considerably this year. They're only getting two dozen (sometimes less) entries at a race. Maybe it's getting too expensive to build and run a competitive twin? That's what caused Class C to become the top class over the factory specials. Maybe it's time for history to repeat itself.

Last edited by Crusty; 5 Days Ago at 11:30.. Reason: Added more.
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  #80  
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If Harley continues to loose: as was done in the past, cook the rules to give them a better 'competitive advantage'.
What happened to Suzuki? I thought they were going to campaign in aft.
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