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Quigley’s Corner: Motorcycle Sprint Racing

The last year, 2020, was certainly one for the history books.  In earnest, I thought that the 2020 race year would be truly a bust.  I was surprised when sprint racing happened, and people I know were thriving in this environment. 

It may surprise you that people race Harley Davidson Motorcycles.  Well, maybe you would not be surprised but I was when I first learned of it.  Harley Davidson Motorcycles have been racing since 1905.  Harley Davidson motorcycles have been around for more than a century.  Plenty of time and experiments to learn and to develop what we see today in the modern motorcycle.  This racing experience ranges from hill racing, to drag racing and started before V-Twin engine.  When it comes to any competitive endeavor, we want to get every allowable advantage while performing within the confines of the rules and regulations of the racing sanctioning body, and a solid vehicle platform is the best place to start.

It does not matter whether the product is for road vehicles, off-road vehicles or in this instance, for racing, to win requires an attention to the engineering details.  Those details depend upon the vehicle, application, or the details of the competition.  Racing heavy trucks is much different than cars or motorcycles.  There are different sets of expectations from each of these vehicle types.  The manner we approach the work is perhaps similar, especially at the philosophical level, as in our generalized approach to the work.  We mean no disrespect to electronics hobbyists; they build what they are comfortable building.  However, there is a difference between building a product for yourself and perhaps some very tolerant friends and producing a product in mass to many paying customers on a wide array of vehicle platforms.  Especially when there may be wagers on the events.

A company need not be a huge entity to produce great products.  Curiosity and attention to detail are not the sole provinces of large companies.  The tools for engineering great products are relatively inexpensive, some are even free.  We work with a company that develops performance vehicle products. This includes drag motorcycles and cars.  In a year when one would think racing would disappear, not permanently but due to Covid, we saw something interesting.  For example, Branon White with Mad Monkey Motorsports uses Raptor Performance products on their motorcycles and won the AHDRA National Championship while setting the National Record in Draggin Bagger class.  Similarly, Travis Groff of Soda City Racing took second place in the same class and was less than a tenth off Branon’s record.  He earned the Rookie of the year award in that same series. Each of these riders uses Raptor Performance’s soft kill and shift lights.  Both riders went 1 and 2 and were the only ones using Raptors Performance products in that class.  Coincidence? Maybe.  

The winning riders use both the Raptor Performance Shift Light as well as the Sport Bike Ignition Soft Kill products.  Now, we are not suggesting the only reason for those wins, was Raptor Performance, but we do know that well designed and capable equipment can provide an edge at the track.  

You may be aware of investments by a variety of vehicle racing teams to gain a performance benefit at the track.   This In addition to these wins, we have noticed increasing number of Harley Davidson Riders are using Raptor Performance Shift Light and Soft Kill products.  These products are performance designed, get the bike down the track faster than the competitor’s bike.  

Winning requires exploration and creativity.  We must push the envelope of what we know.  We experiment, run trials, compare performances of situations holding key variables as we know it constant.  We hold these things constant so we can learn the impact of the one thing we are exploring.  Success requires constant exploration, from product development to racing.  We cannot be afraid to consider odd ideas.  To that end we leave you with this quote we really think applicable:

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable man persists to adapt the world to himself.  Therefore, all progress depends upon the unreasonable man.

. – George Bernard Shaw

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Mon. July 22nd, 2024

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