Racers race. The Harley-Davidson Screamin’ Eagle Street Glide Particular is the last word expression of the high-performance bagger pattern. (Brian J. Nelson/)
There’s no higher instance of American ingenuity than American motor racing. A mixture of cleverness and fervor drives the thought to construct one thing into what it’s not and ship it across the racetrack as shortly as physics enables.
Who would have thought that racing full-sized household vehicles would flip into one of all our nationwide pastimes? It wasn’t constructed to be, however that’s why it’s such a spectacle.
However although modern-day racing has advanced into contests for extremely subtle and specialized equipment, Individuals nonetheless nurture a grassroots ardor for racing absolutely anything. Living proof: The Harley-Davidson Screamin’ Eagle Street Glide manufacturing facility racebike.
It’s possible you’ll ask yourself precisely why such a machine exists, and honest sufficient. The reply is that that is the weapon the Harley-Davidson Motor Firm has aimed at the MotoAmerica King of the Baggers nationwide championship, an unlikely however thrilling race collection born from the underground high-performance V-twin bagger pattern that’s been gaining traction on American asphalt for a few years.
What began as a one-off exhibition grew right into a three-round championship in 2021, which noticed MotoAmerica superbike common and Daytona 200 winner Kyle Wyman and Harley-Davidson stamped their names into the historical past books as inaugural champions.
This year the collection expands to 6 rounds at venues starting from the forbidding excessive banks of Daytona Worldwide Speedway to the 4 attractive miles of Street America.
The Harley-Davidson Screamin’ Eagle Street Glide Particular factory-built racebike is an all-American superbike, simply constructed from a distinct platform. (Brian J. Nelson/)
The speedy progress of the King of the Baggers championship exemplifies the ingenuity and aggressive spirit of American racing. The run-what-ya-brung guidelines format is a breeding floor for all types of yard engineering, leading to bizarre, great racing contraptions together with turbocharged V-twins.
Any racing fanatic can respect the sight of riders hurling themselves down Laguna Seca’s corkscrew on these machines.
Inde Motorsports Ranch’s distinctive and undulating format left no capability left untested. (Brian J. Nelson/)
Kyle Wyman’s Harley-Davidson Screamin’ Eagle Street Glide is a touring rig turned factory-built superbike, the last word expression of efficiency out there out the backdoor of the Milwaukee manufacturing facility.
The bike challenge, which started final yr as an after-hours challenge for H-D workers, turns into a real manufacturing facility effort in 2022. Lap occasions are a precedence, so solely the basic components stay, complemented by huge quantities of unique supplies. It’s stunning, nevertheless, it’s no artwork piece, and it’s something however delicate.
The guts of the racebike are the Screamin’ Eagle Milwaukee-Eight 131 Efficiency Crate Engine, which is obtainable through H-D’s legendary components catalog. Though it’s been extremely modified for peak efficiency and optimized operating temperatures, and dubbed the 131R. (Brian J. Nelson/)
I lately had the chance to throw a leg over Wyman’s 2021 Screamin’ Eagle Street Glide and put in a couple of laps at Inde Motorsports Ranch. In King of the Baggers trim, the Street Glide is roughly 200 kilos lighter than the manufacturing mannequin.
But it surely’s nonetheless a behemoth of a motorbike, weighing in on the 2021 class minimum of 635 kilos without gasoline (2022 guidelines drop minimal mass to 620 kilos) and that includes a freakishly tall 36.5-inch seat peak.
That alone makes these some of the intimidating bikes I’ve ever ridden, particularly in pit lane. Add to that my lack of familiarity with the 21-turn racetrack, which options extra blind corners more than not, and viewers made up of the skittish engineers who constructed the bike, and you’ll think about my very own nervousness.
And let’s not overlook that after our taking a look at the bike were headed for induction into Harley-Davidson’s museum.
Opposite to spec-sheet spy speculations, the Harley-Davidson Screamin’ Eagle Street Glide Particular shreds corners with a sportbike prowess and composure. (Kevin Wing/)
However, when the Screamin’ Glide is in motion it doesn’t appear as heavy because the numbers point out or as nervous as I really feel.
Though the premise of the challenge is a manufacturing Harley-Davidson Street Glide, in Particular, the expertise is nearer to using a modern-day superbike than a touring rig. That’s simply probably the most spectacular facet. In fact, the racebike rides on Dunlop KR448 and KR451 MotoAmerica-spec racing slicks and is fitted with a top-shelf Öhlins FGR 250 superbike fork and particularly developed Öhlins shocks. Its trick billet aluminum swingarm is carved from a 400-pound chunk of stable metallic. Geometry is “not far” from the manufacturing fashions, say Harley-Davidson engineers.
Who may have imagined the irony of chasing MotoAmerica King of the Baggers champion Kyle Wyman round a racetrack aboard a factory-built high-performance bagger whereas he’s ripping a Harley-Davidson Pan America Particular? (Kevin Wing/)
Without using the Street Glide for your self it’s exhausting to think about simply how responsive it’s to steering inputs. The trouble required to smash side-to-side transitions, which the bike does with absolute confidence, is minimally greater than the exertion wanted on a supersport.
A modified cockpit performs its function right here; a large one-piece motocross-style handlebar provides critical leverage, whereas customized rear sets connected to the engine circumstances mimic a superbike’s ergonomic triangle.
All this enables riders 55 levels of most lean angle, each one in all which Wyman gladly makes use of.
Harley-Davidson went to work making a rider triangle intently resembling right now’s conventional superbike albeit with a one-piece handlebar for optimum leverage. A 3D-printed tank pad provides an important contact level for Wyman. (Brian J. Nelson/)
Powering the factory-built Street Glide is the almighty Screamin’ Eagle Milwaukee-Eight 131 Efficiency Crate Engine, modified to suit the duty. Peak efficiency isn’t the problem, however, Harley did it anyway.
The engine options 1,073cc pistons with a singular crown to extend compression ratio, extra aggressive cam profiles, and improved gasoline injectors for a claimed 150 hp and 150 pound-feet of torque on the rear wheel; over 120 of this pound-feet can be found at nearly any rpm.
Energy is silky easy; preliminary throttle response is delicate, with supply that quickly turns into tractorlike, making it readily usable at nook exit. That usability makes head-turning acceleration potential, spectacular contemplating there’s almost a 3rd of a ton of motorcycle hauling across the monitor.
It’s fast in a straight line too, as demonstrated by Wyman’s 161-mph prime velocity throughout Daytona testing.
Giddyap! An easy energy supply and pleasant throttle response mean depraved nook exits adopted up with head-turning prime velocity. (Brian J. Nelson/)
The true engine improvement problem is conserving all of its cool, troublesome when common race rpm is over 6,000 rpm—above the manufacturing bike’s redline.
To fight excessive engine warmth, there is a forward-facing-mounted oil cooler housed inside the Street Glide’s carbon fiber bodywork instead of its headlights; prolonged cylinder cooling fins on the left aspect of the engine; and a customized “horn fang” cooling duct, which replaces the horn and pushes air to the rearward cylinder.
Prime-shelf, superbike-spec Öhlins FGR 250 fork, and Brembo calipers are retrofitted to the Street Glide as a result of lap occasions are everything. (Brian J. Nelson/)
Stopping the Street Glide on the finish of India’s medium-length again straight seems to be a problem. The sheer power places the superbike-spec radial-mount Brembo entrance calipers to good use; a 300mm disc helps out on the rear. Habitually feathering the rear brake turns into mashing the lever in an effort to squeeze each out their ounce of stopping energy.
The rest of the rider’s psychological bandwidth is targeted on nailing downshifts; the bagger comes without an auto blipper, so deliberate, forceful footwork is required for easy shifting.
Carved from a 400-pound piece of stable aluminum, this swingarm provides the Street Glide’s racing DNA. (Brian J. Nelson/)
As with every purebred race machine, the tougher the Street Glide is pushed, the higher it performs. Extra really feel, higher composure, and a 131ci can of American kickass.
By the point the checkered flag flew on my two brief stints, I felt I had run the Harley exhausting sufficient to expertise it in its glory.
Changing the Street Glide’s conventional infotainment system is an AiM data logger, conserving tabs on the motorbike’s very important data. (Brian J. Nelson/)
Nonetheless, ultimately, I solely rode the Screamin’ Eagle Street Glide Particular at a spirited press-day tempo, so I might not be the perfect choice for its final capabilities. Then once more, I mustn’t be. Kyle Wyman’s file lap of 1:31.9 at Laguna Seca—a time proper on the sting of qualifying for a real superbike race—and the Screamin’ Glide’s red-white-and-blue No. 1 plate say all of it.
Cool temperatures and slick situations hindered the power to check the Street Glide’s 55 levels of lean angle. Or was it my bravery? (Brian J. Nelson/)