First a quick reminder: American Flat Track is having another shake-up. The are reverting to just two main classes, SuperTwins and Singles. That means there is no more Production Twins, the class introduced to give bikes and teams who couldn't compete with the Indian FTR750 somewhere to race with a chance of a podium. The problem was, the SuperTwins class shrunk to just 12-13 riders per event, while there often wasn't many more than that in Production Twins. The idea is not to combine the classes, but to scrap Production Twins. One race, one winner - not two classes on track at once.
The fear is the plan won't see many more racers enter the SuperTwins class because the strongest riders are still dominating on FTR750s, but hopefully I'm wrong. 20-25 entries would be reasonable. 16-18 entries in SuperTwins will make many people wonder why Production Twins was scrapped, if those riders haven't migrated to SuperTwins. Time will tell.
Opening spread from our Sideburn 50 feature
So now to the good news part of the headline: Reigning, and perhaps last ever, AFT Production Twins champ, Jesse Janisch is joining Wally Brown Racing's WBR KTM team. We featured this 890cc KTM parallel twin in Sideburn 50 (available as a single issue or a 3-issue bundle). It won first time out in the Production Twins class, with another former Production Twins champ on board, James Rispoli. And it had a standard engine and road bike frame at that time.
Janisch (above) really came into his own on the Vance & Hines Harley XG750R in 2023, losing the tag of being a TT specialist once and for all with wins throughout the season, and he is likely to be a podium threat on the KTM in SuperTwins.
Now the bad news. WBR KTM are currently only scheduled for four events: Senoia Short Track: Red Mile, Kentucky: Bridgeport Half-Mile, New Jersey, and the Springfield Mile.
Also, adding further confusion, and expense, the team has to develop a 790cc KTM for the 2024 season if they want to continue in the SuperTwins class, because the upper cylinder capacity limits are changing at the end of this year. WBR say they will use some of this season's races to test the 790 engine.
Photo: Scott Hunter (bike), AFT (Janisch)