When the King of the Baggers (KOTB) racing series was unveiled for MotoAmerica’s 2020 season, crowds went wild. Here was a herd of 900-plus bikes muscling it out on the twisties in a way that supersport series couldn’t even fathom – it was addicting to watch, and purportedly even more fun to ride, if our interview with Patricia Fernandez was any indicator.
Today, the KOTB series has been expanded a second time, making way for a six-round format – and we get a better idea of how Vance & Hines’s support for the series will play out.
A recent press release from Vance & Hines tells us that the company, similar to their decision for AFT, will field two riders for the circuit, with both racers featuring Harley-Davidson Road Glide baggers from the Vance & Hines Racing Development Center.
Here’s the official breakdown of the team members slotted for this season:
James Rispoli (#43) – Bagger Racer
“Rispoli made a name for himself competing in the prestigious British Superbike championships for five seasons. He followed that with a return to his flat track roots, winning the 2020 AFT Production Twins title in dominant fashion with seven wins aboard a Vance & Hines-built Harley-Davidson XG750R.”
Taylor Knapp (#44) – Bagger Racer
“Knapp is one of the most seasoned veterans in the MotoAmerica paddock today, having competed for both factory and privateer teams in Daytona SportBike, AMA SuperBike, British Superbike and MotoAmerica 1000 SuperStock. He has established himself as one of the most versatile riders in road racing, and currently works as a test rider for Dunlop Tire Company.”
Gene Burcham – Road-Racing Mainstay
“Burcham is a long-time racer who started in motocross and moved to road racing on a variety of motorcycles, including competing in the AMA Pro Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson XR1200 Series. He’s a noted tuner and also served as team manager for the Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson factory flat track team in AFT.”
Matt Hines – Crew Chief
Technical leadership; former NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle champion and son of the company’s co-founder Byron Hines.
“Matt Hines has been working for Vance & Hines full time since 1994, but you can add another half dozen years to his seniority as he’s been working in the race shop since he was in high school. He is a three-time NHRA Pro Stock champion and was the NHRA’s Rookie of the Year in 1996.”
“After stepping away from riding, Hines moved to the crew chief role for the company’s NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle efforts where he guided the team to ten championships with riders Eddie Krawiec and Matt’s brother, Andrew Hines, on Harley-Davidson motorcycles.”
“We’re excited that the series has expanded to six races,” enthuses Hines, “and that so many of our customers are interested in seeing high-performance baggers on the track.”
Our very best to the team, and we look forward to seeing what they will be putting out for this season.
Drop a comment letting us know what you think, and as always – stay safe on the twisties.