Harley-Davidson Steps Back From Direct Involvement in Racing
Ending Its Direct Involvement in NHRA and American Flat Track
Harley-Davidson is a massive company and a big part of its brand has been its representation on the drag strip and in racing. That direct involvement, however, will not be the future. Instead, Harley is going with a more grassroots approach. It wants to refocus its efforts by supporting dealer racing programs in 2021, according to Motorcycle.com.
This is a departure from the way things have been done in the past. Harley had partnered with Screamin’ Eagle/Vance & Hines for NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle racing and American Flat Track. These programs were successful. In the NHRA races, Harley’s team won 107 races and 10 championships. The flat track racing team won an AFT Production Twins racing championship for the 2020 season.
Harley will develop some contingency programs. For AFT, it will start with Latus Motors Harley-Davidson and its XG750R in the AFT SuperTwins series. Vance & Hines will continue to manufacture and support the sale of XG750R SuperTwins and Production Twins bikes to qualified teams.
Some folks will see this as a major misstep, but I think it’s just a sign of the times for Harley. The company is in the middle of a massive restructuring. Going this route will let them keep a toe in racing via dealerships, and HD can always rejoin in full force later on down the road once it has made its way through this transition period.