A Spec Harley XR1200 Class For AMA Racing?

Paul Carruthers | September 19, 2009

AMA Pro Racing President Roger Edmondson visited with the four Japanese motorcycle manufacturers last week and a least a portion of the talks centered around Edmondson’s desire to have two spec classes added to the existing American Superbike, Daytona SportBike, Supersport and Moto-GT program.The two classes? At this point, the frontrunners are a Kawasaki Ninja 250 class – aimed at riders aged 12-15 – and a Harley-Davidson XR1200 class that will be open to everyone.”I am actively pursuing the Harley XR1200 program,” Edmondson said on Friday. “And I am actively pursuing the Ninja 250 program and we had a desire to do a 450 conversion program, but in a different way. And that was looking for one company that wanted to be a single-brand supplier.”Of the four manufacturers that Edmondson and Co. visited, only Yamaha seemed at least mildly interested in the 450cc class.”This was our first go around in talking about it with the manufacturers and nobody jumped on it,” Edmondson said of the 450 proposal. “One absolutely didn’t want anything to do with it and I think the three who weren’t 100 percent against it were willing to listen, but I certainly couldn’t begin to tell you today that next year or even two years from now that for sure we will have a Yamaha 450 spec class or anybody else’s spec 450.”It’s the Harley program that has Edmondson the most excited.”The Harley category is quite clearly because we think it’s ludicrous that that the largest selling brand in this country and the largest body of motorcyclists in this country are totally ignored when it comes to road racing. Those folks need a reason to buy tickets and help support our events. That’s the concept.”Edmondson is hopeful that the Ninja 250 class could be the way to bring younger riders into road racing. In the past, the AMA has backed away from allowing road racers under 16 to compete.”The Ninja program would be aimed at 12-15 or perhaps 13-15,” he said. “I’m not sure yet because it depends on the attitudes of the insurance companies. It will absolutely be an entry level age group.”

Paul Carruthers | Editor

Paul Carruthers took over as the editor of Cycle News in 1993 after serving as associate editor since starting his career at the publication in 1985. Carruthers has covered every facet of the sport in his near-28-year tenure at America's Daily Motorcycle News Source.