Indian Motorcycle Teams With S&S For King Of The Baggers
Tyler O’Hara to race S&S-built Indian Challenger at Laguna Seca.
By Morgan Gales
This October, for the first time in MotoAmerica history, baggers will line up to race at California’s WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. An all-new class, King of the Baggers invites 14 teams to race American V-twin touring bikes, and up until now, it looked as though they were all going to be modified Harley-Davidsons. But behind closed doors, S&S Cycle has been working with Indian Motorcycle, stripping weight and building power on a 2020 Challenger. The obvious question is: How do you modify an American touring motorcycle for the racetrack? These bikes, meant to cover long miles with comfort and ease, are great for that purpose but, as stock machines, have no business on a racetrack. So how do you make a bike that weighs more than 800 pounds go, stop, and turn like a racebike? We talked to S&S’s lead project engineer Jeff Bailey to find out.
“Our bike weighed about 805 pounds on our scales and I’m hoping we can take at least 200 pounds out of that,” Bailey says. “Instead of the engine, we’re focused on adjustability—so we’re doing adjustable triple clamps. Looking at the rear suspension. Ride height and ergonomics are really where we’re focusing most of our energy.” Which isn’t to say the engine won’t be modified. This is S&S, after all! For more on this story see page 31 of the new edition of WOG Mag.