2020 KING OF THE BAGGERS
How it all began

 


 

Editor’s Note: we first received notice in early July of 2020.

 

Indian Motorcycles Press Release

 

INDIAN MOTORCYCLE AND S&S CYCLE TO RACE AT INAUGURAL  ‘KING OF THE BAGGERS’ INVITATIONAL AT LAGUNA SECA

 

Armed with the Indian Challenge & Piloted by Road Racing Champion Tyler O’Hara, Indian & S&S Take on An Entire Field of Harley-Davidsons

 

MINNEAPOLIS (July 13, 2020) – Indian Motorcycle, America’s First Motorcycle Company, and S&S Cycle today announced a collaboration to race an Indian Challenger at the inaugural Drag Specialties King of the Baggers invitational at Laguna Seca Raceway. The modified Indian Challenger will be piloted by the highly-decorated racing champion Tyler O’Hara.

 

Among the 14 teams invited to the first-ever King of the Baggers race, S&S is the only Indian Challenger entry. Set to face off against a field of 13 Harley-Davidson baggers, the appropriately-named Indian Challenger boasts superior out-of-the-box performance, including a best-in-class 122 horsepower, an inverted front suspension, and a hydraulically-adjustable FOX® rear shock.

 

“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,” said Paul Langely of S&S. “That said, we’re leaving no stone unturned when evaluating the modifications needed to be successful at Laguna Seca.”

 

At the helm of the S&S-modified Indian Challenger will be road racing veteran Tyler O’Hara. A highly-decorated, and seasoned rider, O’Hara brings a diverse racing background – having won titles in supersport, supermoto, motocross and flat track racing. O’Hara also brings significant experience at Laguna Seca.

 

“I’m thrilled to not only be racing in the King of the Baggers event, 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,” said O’Hara. “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.”

 

“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.”

 

The King of the Baggers event will be part of the MotoAmerica Superbike Speedfest at Monterey on October 23-25. The inaugural race will join the premier MotoAmerica Superbike, Supersport, Liqui Moly Junior Cup, Stock 1000, Twins Cup and Heritage Cup racing.

 

Facing a field of nothing but Harley-Davidsons, King of the Baggers serves up a compelling extension of Indian Motorcycle’s Challenger Challenge program, a mobile demo tour and dealer test ride program that encourages motorcyclists to test ride the Indian Challenger, head-to-head against the Harley-Davidson® Road Glide® Special.

 

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“We’ve seen incredible consumer response to the superior features and benefits of the Challenger when compared directly against the Road Glide,” said Gray. “King of the Baggers takes that comparison to an entirely different level, as we face off against the field at Laguna Seca.”

 

For more information and ticketing for the Drag Specialties King of the Baggers, visit MotoAmerica.com. Learn more about S&S Cycle at SSCycle.com, and Indian Motorcycle at IndianMotorcycle.com, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

 

ABOUT INDIAN MOTORCYCLE®

 

Indian Motorcycle Company is America’s First Motorcycle Company®. Founded in 1901, Indian Motorcycle has won the hearts of motorcyclists around the world and earned distinction as one of America’s most legendary and iconic brands through unrivaled racing dominance, engineering prowess and countless innovations and industry firsts. Today that heritage and passion is reignited under new brand stewardship. To learn more, please visit www.indianmotorcycle.com.

 

INDIAN and INDIAN MOTORCYCLE are registered trademarks of Indian Motorcycle International, LLC.  Always wear a helmet, protective clothing and eyewear and insist your passenger does the same.  Ride within the limits of the law and your own abilities.  Read, understand and follow your owner’s manual. Never ride under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

 

ABOUT S&S CYCLE

S&S Cycle was born from a passion for racing and has spent over six decades building performance for the powersports market. Their unwavering focus on quality, reliability and top shelf power has made S&S Cycle the absolute leader in high performance on the street and track. 

 

 

 

 

Editor’s Note: We received this press release on September 15, 2020

SEPTEMBER 15TH UPDATED PRESS RELEASE

 

As we’re just over a month until the inaugural King of the Baggers race, we wanted to provide you with an update on the S&S Indian Challenger entry. Early last week, the team’s rider, renowned road racer Tyler O’Hara, was able to throw a leg over the modified Indian Challenger race bike at the team’s first testing session. Though rain limited the full testing that was planned, the team was able to gather valuable information around rider ergonomics, suspension and more. As a reminder, King of the Baggers will join the MotoAmerica Superbike Speedfest at Monterey Oct. 23-25.

 

 

Editors Note: Ten days later on September 25, 2020 we received this press release.

SEPTEMBER 25 UPDATED PRESS RELEASE

 

INDIAN MOTORCYCLE & ROLAND SANDS DESIGN ANNOUNCE INDIAN CHALLENGER ENTRY FOR INAUGURAL ‘KING OF THE BAGGERS’ INVITATIONAL

 

RSD Joins S&S Cycle as the Only Two Indian Challenger Entries Against a Field of Harley-Davidsons; RSD Calls Upon Veteran Racer Frankie Garcia to Pilot Modified Indian Challenger

 

 

MINNEAPOLIS (September 25, 2020) – Indian Motorcycle, America’s First Motorcycle Company, and Roland Sands Design® (RSD), the popular and innovative custom motorcycle, apparel and lifestyle brand, today announced its Indian Challenger entry for the inaugural Drag Specialties King of the Baggers invitational at Laguna Seca Raceway. Piloting the RSD Indian Challenger will be veteran motorcycle racer Frankie Garcia.

 

With its entry, RSD joins S&S Cycle as the only two teams to enter an Indian Challenger against a field of 12 modified Harley-Davidsons. Featuring a best-in-class 122 horsepower with a race-tuned S&S exhaust, RSD race wheels shod in Dunlop super sport tires and a hydraulically-adjustable FOX® X RSD rear shock, the Indian Challenger provides a superior base for RSD to transform Indian Motorcycle’s high-performance American bagger into a race-ready machine capable of pushing heavy bike limits at historic Laguna Seca. 

 

“There’s something both absurd and awesome about racing baggers at Laguna Seca, and it’s exactly the type of craziness we live for here at RSD,” said Roland Sands. “The Indian Challenger is an incredible platform, and we definitely will be competitive. But make no mistake, our priority is to have a great time, and how can you not at an event like this? Hats off to the gang at Moto America and Drag Specialties for bringing this event to life.”

 

Piloting the RSD-modified Indian Challenger will be veteran motorcycle racer Frankie Garcia. As a member of the Indian Motorcycle-RSD Super Hooligan race team, Garcia is no stranger to RSD’s ability to transform stock motorcycles into high-performance, racing machines.  Coming from a motorcycle racing family, Garcia has been riding since he was two and racing since he was four. He brings diverse experience in nearly all forms of racing, including flat track, supermoto, motocross and road racing. In 2006, at 15 years old, Garcia become the youngest athlete to compete in an X-Games motorcycle event.

 

“It’s a real honor to have the opportunity to not only participate in the inaugural King of the Baggers race, but to represent RSD on one of only two Indian Challengers in the field,” said Garcia. “I’ve had the opportunity to spend some time on a stock Challenger, and believe me, this bike wants to go fast and handles like a bike half its size. It’s the perfect platform for something as radical as knee-dragging baggers at Laguna Seca.”

 

“Of course, Roland and the RSD team wouldn’t miss out on an opportunity to race baggers on a historic road racing course,” said Gary Gray, Vice President – Racing, Technology and Service for Indian Motorcycle. “It’s going to be a ton of fun, and we cannot wait to see what Roland and the RSD team put together.”

 

The King of the Baggers event will be part of the MotoAmerica Superbike Speedfest at Monterey on October 23-25. The inaugural race will join the premier MotoAmerica Superbike, Supersport, Liqui Moly Junior Cup, Stock 1000, Twins Cup and Heritage Cup racing.

 

-MORE-

 

For more information and ticketing for the Drag Specialties King of the Baggers, visit MotoAmerica.com. Learn more about S&S Cycle at SSCycle.com, and Indian Motorcycle at IndianMotorcycle.com, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

 

ABOUT INDIAN MOTORCYCLE®

 

Indian Motorcycle Company is America’s First Motorcycle Company®. Founded in 1901, Indian Motorcycle has won the hearts of motorcyclists around the world and earned distinction as one of America’s most legendary and iconic brands through unrivaled racing dominance, engineering prowess and countless innovations and industry firsts. Today that heritage and passion is reignited under new brand stewardship. To learn more, please visit www.indianmotorcycle.com.

 

INDIAN and INDIAN MOTORCYCLE are registered trademarks of Indian Motorcycle International, LLC.  Always wear a helmet, protective clothing and eyewear and insist your passenger does the same.  Ride within the limits of the law and your own abilities.  Read, understand and follow your owner’s manual. Never ride under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

 

ABOUT Roland Sands Designs 

 


 

 

2020 KING OF THE BAGGERS

For me the 2020 King Of The Baggers race began with an email notification. I opened it and read these words “ Indian Motorcycle, America’s First Motorcycle Company, and S&S Cycle are partnering together to compete with an Indian Challenger at the inaugural King of the Baggers invitational at Laguna Seca Raceway later this year. The Indian Challenger will be piloted by racing champion Tyler O’Hara.” 

Well, I was very excited and as soon as I read the rest of the email I opened the photos link, downloaded them and replied that yes I am interested in knowing more about this!

These are just a few pictures of the build in progress and I was already hooked. The email had also mentioned “Among the 14 teams invited to the first-ever King of the Baggers race, S&S is the only Indian Challenger entry going up against a field of 13 Harley-Davidson baggers for an all-out track battle to see who’s the best.”  Of course we now know that just days later Roland Sands Design had begun redesigning a Challenger and teamed up with rider Frankie Garcia. So in fact, at that point there would actually be two Indians in the  race against all the other Harley Davidsons.

So, just like the old days but in new ways it was to be Davey taking on Goliath once again. Since Indian’s return to American Flat Track racing they have been dominant in that arena. Then they issued the Indian Challenger Head To Head Tour which pitted the two brands against each other face to face, back to back in the real world with real customers on real competing baggers. Often the very real results were in favor of the iconic Indian Motorcycles Brand.

And now Indian was going for the heart punch. Yes,yes of course I want to know more. Much more.    

Arguably the H-D Baggers are the epitome of bagging. At any sizeable event the Harley baggers outnumber every other brand in this category by a noticeable margin. A win in this race would be very big for either side. Or a loss of this magnitude would be very hard. It’s one thing to take your motorcycle to a race track and challenge The Motor Company to a race, but it’s an entirely different thing to issue a challenge for the title of King. This was to be a race for the crowning glory. The King Of The Baggers.

The plot twist comes out like this. Neither manufacturer had an actual factory race bike in the race. Indian partnered with S&S Motors and Harley Davidson partnered with Vance & Hines. However, as far as actually having factory race teams and resources on hand no. Not yet anyway.

This is an interesting way to get the preliminary jousting out of the way, test the reactions and interest of the fans and gauge the validity of the publicity and the event itself. No matter who won, America has always loved a comeback story and either way the potential was there and would practically pre sell the next season. A nice tidy package pitting well known major brands and top privateers against each other on the starting grid. Just like NASCAR in the early days. Let’s hope it takes off just as fast and lasts twice as long.
Editor

 

2020 KING OF THE BAGGERS LINKS

PDF OF THE RULES 

Courtesy of MotoAmerica and Dunlop Tires

 

MotoAmerica and Dunlop Logo

UNDISPUTED: INDIAN CHALLENGER OFFICIALLY KING OF THE BAGGERS

DRAMATIC VICTORY AT LAGUNA SECA

 Inaugural Bagger Road Race Sees Indian Challengers Claim Two of Three Podium Spots as Road Racer Tyler O’Hara Takes the Victory on the S&S Cycle Indian Challenger & Frankie Garcia Takes Third Place on the Roland Sands Design Indian Challenger

 MINNEAPOLIS (October 27, 2020) – Indian Motorcycle, America’s First Motorcycle Company, added to its racing legacy with a historic win at the inaugural Drag Specialties King of the Baggers invitational at Laguna Seca Raceway. Facing a field of 11 Harley-Davidsons, the S&S Cycle Indian Challenger, piloted by highly decorated motorcycle racing Champion Tyler O’Hara, captured the win, while veteran rider Frankie Garcia put his Roland Sands Design Indian Challenger on the box with a third-place finish. Claiming two out of three podium positions, the Indian Challenger dramatically showcased its superiority on one of road-racing’s most iconic and technical tracks.

The historic race played out in truly dramatic fashion. Barely, 24-hours after an accident where he “looped” his 600-lb. machine during qualifying, Frankie Garcia rebounded taking the holeshot. But it was O’Hara who immediately established a commanding lead through the first three laps. With five laps remaining, an off-track mishap sent O’Hara back to third and Garcia to second, allowing veteran rider Hayden Gillim to take the lead. From there, O’Hara began a patient, methodical comeback, working his way past Garcia and dramatically passing Gillim while diving into the famed “corkscrew” during the penultimate lap. O’Hara held strong for the final lap winning the inaugural race by 1.9 seconds and earning the title “King of the Baggers.”

“It’s an incredible honor for us to race on this historic track at this historic event, against a field of incredibly talented teams and riders, and we’re absolutely thrilled to come away victorious,” said Gary Gray, Vice President – Racing, Technology and Service for Indian Motorcycle. “Tyler, Frankie and the S&S Cycle and RSD teams did an incredible job and ultimately, they were able to show the world just how special the Indian Challenger is. We couldn’t be more proud of them or our bike.”

Race fans witnessed history, as the inaugural King of the Baggers reached social media viewers in record numbers – recording over two million views and more than 30,000 Facebook shares.

“Watching 13 baggers carving through Laguna Seca’s famed “Corkscrew” was a special moment in motorcycle racing,” said Reid Wilson, Vice President for Indian Motorcycle. “That said, watching the new Indian Challenger defeat 11 highly-modified Harley Davidsons was a monumental achievement and dramatic validation for the work our product designers and engineers have put into developing the Indian Challenger.”

The inaugural King of the Baggers race could not have been more appropriately timed for the Indian Challenger. In a year that saw Indian Motorcycle introduce the new bagger with the Challenger Challenge – a dealer test-ride program that invited riders to compare the Indian Challenger head-to-head against the Harley-Davidson® Road Glide® Special – the inaugural race created a dramatic extension of the marketing program in a full-fledged competitive racing format.

The victory at “King of the Baggers” also came on the heels of Indian Motorcycle Racing earning its fourth consecutive Grand National Championship and Manufacturer’s Championship in the American Flat Track racing series.

For more information about Drag Specialties King of the Baggers, visit MotoAmerica.com. Learn more about S&S Cycle at SSCycle.com, Roland Sands Design at RolandSands.com, and Indian Motorcycle at IndianMotorcycle.com, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

 ABOUT INDIAN MOTORCYCLE®

Indian Motorcycle Company is America’s First Motorcycle Company®. Founded in 1901, Indian Motorcycle has won the hearts of motorcyclists around the world and earned distinction as one of America’s most legendary and iconic brands through unrivaled racing dominance, engineering prowess and countless innovations and industry firsts. Today that heritage and passion is reignited under new brand stewardship. To learn more, please visit www.indianmotorcycle.com.

INDIAN and INDIAN MOTORCYCLE are registered trademarks of Indian Motorcycle International, LLC.  Always wear a helmet, protective clothing and eyewear and insist your passenger does the same.  Ride within the limits of the law and your own abilities.  Read, understand and follow your owner’s manual. Never ride under the influence of drugs or alcohol.