The AMA Pro Racing Board of Directors has approved a preliminary set of rule changes for the 2004 AMA Flat Track racing season. Designed to reflect the evolving motorcycle marketplace as well as the objectives of increased participation, expanded OEM involvement and the reduction of costs associated with racing, the rule changes are aimed at the 505cc class.
Bruce Bober, AMA Pro Racing flat track manager, confirms the changes are specifically geared toward the equipment raced on TT and short tracks.
“The big twins used on the mile and half-mile tracks will be relatively unchanged,” said Bober. “Instead, we’ve focused on the area of flat track racing that offers the greatest opportunity for growth.”
The new rules are as follows:
350cc-450cc, 4-stroke, single-cylinder, multi-valve.
400cc-500cc, air-cooled, 4-stroke, single-cylinder, two valve.
Stock frames allowing limited modifications.
Exceptions: Buell Blast models can substitute with aftermarket frames due to the fact that this model is a true street bike never intended for off-road or racing use.
Swingarms may be changed or modified (all models).
Fuel tanks and bodywork may be replaced with aftermarket parts providing “stock appearance is maintained”.
Exceptions: Buell Blast due to the frame allowance.
Scott Hollingsworth, CEO of AMA Pro Racing, believes the implementation of these rules will be advantageous to the series and encourage increased participation and support from the major motorcycle manufacturers.
“One of the big obstacles to OEM support of flat track racing has been the disconnect between bikes on the track and bikes in the showrooms,” said Hollingsworth. “By consciously taking steps to make race bikes much more similar to those purchased by customers, we’re making it easier for the manufacturers to market their products as well as support flat track racing.” Hollingsworth points to motocross and road racing as the standard where the bikes seen on the track are visibly similar to those purchased by consumers.
Another added benefit is that racers can more easily modify their bikes to race and even use the same platform in different race disciplines.
“With relatively minor modifications, it will not be unreasonable to see the same bike used for flat track, motocross and even the emerging category of supermoto,” said Hollingsworth.
AMA Pro Racing licensed riders and credential holders may comment on the proposed rules changes during a 30-day comment period beginning Friday, Aug. 8, through Monday, Sept. 7. Comments can be made on AMA Pro Racing’s RIDERS ONLY website at www.amaproracing.com/ridersonly. After the 30-day comment period concludes, AMA Pro Racing will review any suggested changes before sending the package to the AMA Pro Racing Board of Directors for final ratification.
“In order for us to see positive growth in flat track racing, we’re going to have to address the various needs of the community,” said Hollingsworth. These rule changes are a key step toward building a more viable series that will benefit those who invest in it.”