When the King of the Baggers race was first announced, many people thought it was a joke. Who in their right minds would ride a bagger in competition around a road racing circuit? As it turns out, there will definitely be competitors at the Drag Specialties King of the Baggers battle at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca on the weekend of October 23-25. Taking the race seriously is Indian Motorcycle and S&S Cycle, as they are teaming up to challenge for the victory.
An invitational race, 14 teams are competing in the King of the Baggers. Thirteen of the teams are using Harley-Davidson motorcycles, with a lone Indian Challenger modified by S&S Cycle taking on the Milwaukee iron.
What those modifications will be is yet to be determined. S&S President Paul Langley said, “When the Indian Challenger was released last October, it set a new standard for performance-oriented, stock baggers and offers the ideal platform, from which to base our race modifications. That said, we’re leaving no stone unturned when evaluating the modifications needed to be successful at Laguna Seca.”
Motorcycle racing veteran Tyler O’Hara of Petaluma, Calif., will be racing the S&S-modified Challenger. O’Hara is an all-arounder who has had success in road racing, flat track, motocross, supermoto, and road bicycles.
“I’m thrilled to not only be racing in the King of the Baggers event,” O’Hara said, “but to be piloting the only Indian Challenger in the field. It’s an incredible opportunity for me, and I expect it will be a ton of fun. The Challenger is a remarkable machine in its stock form, but I know the S&S team will be working its magic to give us the best chance to be successful come race day.”
Part of the MotoAmerica Superbike Speedfest, the King of the Baggers is on the same racing menu as the MotoAmerica Superbike, Supersport, Liqui Moly Junior Cup, Stock 1000, Twins Cup and Heritage Cup classes.
“Just like the rest of the racing community and motorcycle industry, we cannot wait to see 14 baggers ripping around Laguna Seca,” said Gary Gray, Vice President – Racing, Technology and Service for Indian Motorcycle. “That said, we’re extremely proud to be the lone Indian motorcycle in the field, partnering with our friends, the elite innovators at S&S.”