Harley-Davidson hits the ice at X Games Aspen
The world’s hottest new motorcycle hits the ice at X Games Aspen. Harley-Davidson – one of the newest X Games sponsors – is teaming with ESPN to feature motorcycle ice racing as an X Games Aspen exhibition sport.
The latest stunt involves bringing some of the 500cc and 750cc urban growlers to the upcoming ESPN X-Games. Kicking off today in Aspen, Colo., will be a series of ice races, featuring Streets outfitted with studded tires, chasing each other around a frozen oval.
X-Games fans will have the opportunity to vote on whether ice racing should be a regular feature at future events.
Ice racing goes back decades and is a big winter spectator sport in Russia, Sweden, Finland and Canada. While it’s difficult to pin down when and where someone had the idea of putting a motorcycle on ice, the first records of ice racing date from Sweden in 1924. Today, ice racing is primarily on quarter-mile, half-mile and road course tracks setup on frozen lakes or indoor arenas.
The sport usually is divided into classes for full-rubber and studded tires with speeds regularly approaching 80 miles per hour on straightaways and 60 miles per hour in the turns.
“Harley-Davidson has been pioneering action sports before they were even defined as action sports,” added Bernacchi. “In fact, archive photos in the Harley-Davidson Museum show enthusiasts racing on frozen lakes almost a century ago, so it’s exciting to see us back racing on ice with a new generation of riders on the newest addition to the Dark Custom motorcycle lineup.”
Harley reps say they have photos of Harleys racing on the ice that go back 100 years. “While the Street was designed to handle urban environments, its instant throttle response, lean chassis and super-low seat height make it perfect to ride anywhere,” said Dino Bernacchi, director of North American marketing communications at Harley. “We modified several Street motorcycles by adding steel screws to the tires and let the world’s best flat track racers tear up the ice at high speeds. We think fans will be captivated by the extreme attitude and beauty they’ll see on the ice.”
The sleeker Harleys, which for many years were dominant in the flat track and TT arena, are a logical choice for ice racing too. The Street 750 is Harley’s first new motorcycle platform in 13 years and will be available in dealerships nationwide later this year.
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