First Bagger Road Race Sees Indian Challengers Claim Two of Three Podium Spots as Road Racer Tyler O’Hara Takes the Victory on the S&S Cycle Indian Challenger and Frankie Garcia Takes Third Place on the Roland Sands Design Indian Challenger
The inaugural MotoAmerica King of the Baggers race brought burly V-twins to Laguna Seca on October 24, and FOX-equipped Indian Challengers bookended the podium with #29 Tyler O’Hara (S&S Cycle) in first and #14 Frankie Garcia (Roland Sands Design) in third in a field of 11 Harley-Davidsons. Both Indians ran tuned FOX shocks with custom valving for the track.
MotoAmerica Drag Specialties King of the Baggers Race at Laguna Seca
Indian Motorcycle added to its racing legacy with a historic win at the inaugural Drag Specialties King of the Baggers invitational at Laguna Seca Raceway on October 24. Facing a field of 11 Harley-Davidsons, the S&S Cycle Indian Challenger, piloted by highly decorated motorcycle racing Champion Tyler O’Hara, captured the win, while veteran rider Frankie Garcia put his Roland Sands Design Indian Challenger on the box with a third-place finish. Claiming two out of three podium positions, the Indian Challenger dramatically showcased its superiority on one of road-racing’s most iconic and technical tracks.
Indian Motorcycle x King of the Baggers: Part 1
Indian Motorcycle x King of the Baggers: Part 2
Indian Motorcycle x King of the Baggers: Part 3
The historic race played out in truly dramatic fashion. Barely 24 hours after an accident where he “looped” his 600-lb. machine during qualifying, Garcia rebounded by taking the holeshot when the lights went green.
But it was O’Hara who immediately established a commanding lead through the first three laps. With five laps remaining, an off-track mishap sent O’Hara back to third and Garcia to second, allowing veteran rider Hayden Gillim to take the lead. From there, O’Hara began a patient, methodical comeback, working his way past Garcia and dramatically passing Gillim while diving into the famed “corkscrew” during the penultimate lap. O’Hara held strong for the final lap winning the inaugural race by 1.9 seconds and earning the title “King of the Baggers.”
“It’s an incredible honor for us to race on this historic track at this historic event, against a field of incredibly talented teams and riders, and we’re absolutely thrilled to come away victorious,” said Gary Gray, Vice President – Racing, Technology and Service for Indian Motorcycle. “Tyler, Frankie and the S&S Cycle and RSD teams did an incredible job and ultimately, they were able to show the world just how special the Indian Challenger is. We couldn’t be more proud of them or our bike.”
“The tune on the FOX shock was damn near perfect and with ground clearance being a major concern, (RSD fabricator) Aaron (Boss) fabricated an adjustable linkage for increased ride height,” Sands said of Garcia’s Challenger.
Race fans witnessed history, as the inaugural King of the Baggers reached social media viewers in record numbers – recording over two million views and more than 30,000 Facebook shares.
“Watching 13 baggers carving through Laguna Seca’s famed ‘Corkscrew’ was a special moment in motorcycle racing,” said Reid Wilson, Vice President for Indian Motorcycle. “That said, watching the new Challenger defeat 11 highly-modified Harley-Davidsons was a monumental achievement and dramatic validation for the work our product designers and engineers have put into developing the Challenger.”