Harley-Davidson Announces New Team for 2018 American Flat Track Season

The Harley-Davidson XG750R also received some updates.

byEric Brandt|
Racing photo

With an American Flat Track season coming up that’s promising to be one of the most competitive ever, Harley-Davidson is stepping up its game in an effort to get back on top. The 2017 season was owned by the Indian Wrecking Crew and the Indian Scout FTR750 which took home not only the Grand National Championship with rider Jared Mees, but the team swept the top three spots in the rankings for the season.

Harley-Davidson just announced its team of riders for the 2018 flat track season. The team consists of 2006 AMA Ricky Graham Rookie of the Year Sammy Halbert, Brandon Robinson returning for his second season with Harley, and 2015 GNC1 Rookie of the Year Jarod Vanderkooi. These riders took fourth, seventh, and ninth place, respectively, in the 2017 AFT Pro Twins standings. Harley-Davidson is combining “veteran savvy with youthful potential” in this three-rider lineup according to a press release.

An updated version of the Harley-Davidson XG750R returns this season, the bike that replaced the XR platform in 2016 that was in service for over forty years. In order to be more competitive on the track, the bike has been tuned in partnership with Vance and Hines to deliver more power to the rear wheel and to make the engine, suspension, and chassis all work harmoniously with the riders to bring the best possible performance to the track. The XG750R is powered by a modified version of the liquid-cooled, 60-degree, 750cc Revolution X v-twin engine found in the Harley-Davidson Street 750. “We wanted to build our future around a production based motorcycle that we actually sell,” said Harley-Davidson Marketing Director Scott Beck in an interview with The Drive.

Harley-Davidson XG750R, Harley-Davidson

Harley-Davidson has some tough competition against an American rival not only on the track but in the showroom. Harley has a strong bike, a diverse team of riders, and a pretty good shot at winning back its dominance in the sport it’s been consistently participating in for over a century. It will be exciting to watch Harley, Indian, and other manufacturers duke it out on the track in what AFT is calling “America’s original extreme sport.” The season starts in Daytona March 15.