It was only two weeks ago (in a post about AFT's 2019 rules) we described AFT's Production Twins as a 'somewhat half-arsed stepping stone class for AFT Singles riders to get on twins'. Today the series announced that the class will grow from a frankly pitiful two race 'championship' it was in 2018 to a full 11-round series for 2019.
AFT Production Twins is aimed at younger racers, brought up on 450 production bikes to get a taste of twins and custom built flat track framers before entering the full-blown twins class. The 2019 series is being sponsored by Vance and Hines and will be contested at all the AFT's mile and half-mile races in the 2019 season.
AFT Singles riders can race Singles and Production Twins in the same day, but an AFT Twins rider must choose to ride (pro, elite) Twins or Production Twins, so it might suit the smaller budget privateers. This way and team with more modest ambitions and resources can go for a National twin championship, with smaller engines that have a lower level of tuning, over only 11-rounds and in a class that XR750s and FTR750s are excluded from. The Harley XG750R, being based on the 750XG Street is eligible, so it has the chance of winning a championship. Perhaps that's why V&H, the team behind Harley-Davidson's factory effort, are backing this class. There could be a factory backed 'junior' team. Shayna Texter on a Harley XG750R, racing exclusively on half-miles and miles, so non of the TTs and Short Tracks she struggles with. Perhaps her and brother Cory in a dream team? Yes please!
We interviewed Brandon Robinson, who has spent two years on the XG750R, for SB35 (out on 3 December) and he has some interesting things to say about the bike. Could this be the path to Harley regaining some flat track pride after two bruising seasons?
UPDATE: After speaking to an established AFT Twins rider, it seems unliley that a stock
It also opens up a market for all the privateers who bought FTR750s to sell their Kawasaki 650-based framers that were shelved when they moved to Indians. Their seems to be no downside to this, except perhaps putting even more scheduling pressures on a series were track time is minimal. Again, go back to our post of 1 November to read the opinion of David Lloyd, of Lloyd Brothers Ducati, on track time for the pro teams. He is an advocate for more track time. Compared to what elite road racers get, it makes sense.
So Texter x 2 for the Harley team? Biggest story of the close season. Start campaigning now.
UPDATE: Just after posting this original story we spoke to an established AFT Twins rider who said he thought that an essentially stock XG750R would not be competitive in a class of Kawasaki and Yamahas. The 2018 XG750Rs were converted to run DOHC heads and had large amounts of time and money lavished on them.
Photos: American Flat Track