Following the (eventual) success of the Harley-Davidson XG750R in AFT's Production Twins class, Harley, in conjunction with Vance and Hines, have launched a limited run of the XG750R race bikes available to buy and race in the 2020 Production Twins class. Vance and Hines are handling the sales. The bikes are $36,000 and are, V&H say, ready to ship immediately.
Photo: Scott Hunter/ AFT
Some things to note.
1. Gauthier won two races on the XG750R in 2019 Production Twins class, the Sac Mile and the Springfield Mile 1. He also took second at the Williams Grove Half-Mile. His teammate, James Rispoli, scored five podiums from ten races in the same class.
2. The Vance and Hines-supported Black Hills team (virtually a factory team in the Production Twins class) also suffered a handful of engine breaks. Notably twice in the same day at Springfield Mile 2. Gauthier's bike blew in the semi (reason not shared, naturally), the team did a full engine swap in a very short time and the engine blew when Gauthier was leading the main, having made the main thanks to a provisional start card. Perhaps these issues have been sorted before series production. If not, which privateer team can swallow two engine breaks in season, never mind in one day?
3. Maybe because of point 2, the bike is being prioritised for purchase by Harley dealers who wish to race (or put on a plinth in the corner of their showroom, I guess). Dealers have the experience to deal with the bikes, they can be trusted with inside info and it's not in their interests to be brutally honest about the reasons for any breakdowns, should they occur. They have a vested interest in the success of the brand, in a way a true 'brand agnostic' privateer does not.
4. The bike being offered is the SOHC XG750R, the Production Twin, not the DOHC one Vanderkooi and Halbert raced throughout 2018 and 2019. Gauthier was faster on some tracks, in some sessions, than the 'Expert' Twins riders, but that could be put down to specific track conditions at that point of the day, because they never shared a session.
5. Harley are putting up a big contingency fund for the Production Twins class. This is what H-D say 'With $7,500 awarded to XG750R riders for each AFT Production Twins race win plus a $25,000 championship bonus on the line, the contingency package offered by Harley-Davidson is sure to heat up the on-track action next season. A total of $15,000 will be up for grabs to XG750R riders at each AFT Production Twins round in 2020, broken down as follows:
6. We've heard solid rumours Gauthier will be in the SuperTwins class, so he won't be winning any Production Twins races in 2020. Carlile, who also won two of the 11 rounds will be in SuperTwins too. I'd say it was likely Rispoli will stay on the Harley. He has a decent chance of the season win. Shayna Texter on a the 'factory' Harley Production Twin? There are no TT races in the Production Twins class. She could get an AFT #1 plate, but I don't know her deal with KTM. Perhaps it was a multi-season deal. She has told us in the past she is keen to prove herself on a twin.
7. We interview Terry Vance, cast an eye over the DOHC XG750R and also have George Pickering test an XG750R Evo (full AFT chassis, stock engine) on his very own Lincolnshire Greenfield short track in the brand new Sideburn 39 - ready for order NOW.
Photos: Braking Point Images
8. Email Vance and Hines to buy your XG750R. Say Sideburn sent you.