This week's news of Royal Enfield entering the DTRA reminded us that we had never covered the new Twins class, and we decided to do something about it. Compared to most American dirt track races and promoters, the DTRA has very few classes. There are no age classes (over-50s, Vets, whatever), no women's class, just 13 classes in total for everyone from the 7 to 77 year olds.
Current DTRA classes
Rookie, Intermediate, Pro: These are the 'skill' based classes. Open to all bikes, but dominated by DTX.
Vintage: Two-stroke and four-stroke. All engine sizes out together from 125 to 900 or bigger, but the results and podiums are split.
Thunderbike: For framers and road bike-based machines (that can enter the skills classes too)
Hooligan: Stock frame road bike based racers of 750cc and over.
Minibikes: Stock and modified.
Youth: Junior (7-11), Inter (10-15). Senior (14-17)
And now, Twins.
We conducted a quick Q&A with the DTRA's Anthony Brown to find out more about the Twins class.
Sideburn: Twins could already race in the Thunderbike class, so what's the DTRA's thinking about introducing a new class? Anthony Brown: The idea is to showcase the twins as a concept. In the UK we are really focused on the DTX bikes. We have had an option to run twins since day one but our end goal is to have a twins class in the same way that AFT run [theirs].
Originally, I thought the DTRA Twins were going to be on the same grid as hooligans, now seem to be with the Thunderbikes. Why? We didn't want to run the twins with the hooligans as we felt that there may be some confusion over which bikes fitted where. Our Twins class is for specific race builds and we want to encourage riders onto thoroughbred racers for this class. How many entries will you need before the Twins have their own race, separate from the Thunderbikes, or will you keep them together, like two-stroke and four-stroke Vintage? Once we are in double figures I am sure it will make for good racing. As with most of the classes we have added it won't take long I am sure.
What bikes do you know of that are going to enter the class? We are hoping to see Ross Sharp's Yamaha (Sideburn 37 cover bike) in the class along with Rick Forte's older XS650 (Sideburn 34 cover bike) and other than that I am waiting for the entries to roll in. Perhaps Harley will get there UK bike [the bike we dubbed the XG750R Evo, and featured in Sideburn 39] sorted to put up a good show against the Royal Enfield. There is a really nice Honda V-twin being built right now too [an RS750 replica]...
What do the DTRA feel about Royal Enfield entering with what is essentially an AFT-spec bike? It's fantastic news for the UK class. I hope that it will act as motivation for other riders and brands to jump on board with us. There are also plenty of bikes for sale in the USA that are dying to be used in this class in the UK.
Do you know of any other 'factory' entries? Not at the moment
. Can you imagine DTRA racers importing twins framers from the US to race? I really hope so. Can a hooligan bike do double-duty and enter the Twins class? We really want the twins class to be proper race bikes.
Can a vintage twin (two-stroke or four-stroke) enter the Twins class?
Four-stroke vintage bikes will be welcome for now at least. They may not be so keen if we had a full grid of AFT spec twins.
Are there any cc limits, low or high?
Minimim 600, maximum 1,000,000cc.
Can two-stroke twins enter?
We are keeping it four-stroke.
Will there be any Euro rounds for this class?
We have the Euros on hold for 2021, due to travel restrictions, but let's see how it goes and plan for 2022.
John Lee's Honda TransAlp-powered V-twin special from the early days of the UK race scene.
If you were going to build a Twin to race in the DTRA, what would be the main ingredients (engine and chassis)?
I would use a custom built frame (mine would, of course, come from Co-Built, but other are available). I would probably choose a motor that all all the guys in the USA know about tuning so I am not reinventing the wheel. A Kawasaki or a Yamaha.
Any else you'd like to add?
I am super-excited about this class. I am sure it's going to grow. I do expect it to be a little quiet to start with as it takes time for people to get on board with stuff like this, but if the Thunderbike class is anything to go by it will be an exciting addition to race days that we can really showcase.
See you at the Races! On a twin.
Visit dirttrackriders.co.uk for more details
Photos: Ross Sharp Yamaha by Braking Point Images; Royal Enfield; Sideburn