The 2017 AMA Flat Track season didn’t turn out the way most of the participating manufacturers probably hoped that it would have. Indian Motorcycle was happy with the results but not so much the rest of them. The answer for the 2018 season to those woes has a lot to do with throwing money at the series in the form of contingency funds. The AMA just announce that with Ducati’s $180,000 contingency fund thrown into the pot, the total monies available to riders for the upcoming season is a whopping $2 million. The largest chunk is coming from Harley-Davidson who have pledged $562,500 towards the coffers of racers successful on either an XG750R (the newish liquid cooled Street variant) or the venerable XR750. This is the biggest single contingency offering in the history of AMA flat track racing.
Why the bucket loads of money? Keeping in the game. Last year was an almost total domination of the series by Indian Motorcycles. Many hopeful riders may think it necessary to ride one of the Indian race bikes to have a chance at victory or placing in the eighteen 2018 races. But with all that money sitting on the sidelines should a rider be successful on a Harley, Ducati, Kawasaki or Yamaha is sure to have some riders gambling that they can pull off a good race result and collect some of the cash on one of these brands. The other is exposure. Flat track is a growing sport. Barriers to entry are relatively low, the bikes are affordable and the tracks – well. they are made from dirt. Flat track is getting trendy exposure from the X-Games and that is a target audience every manufacturer would like to get a piece. So win on Sunday (and sometimes Saturday), sell on Monday.
Should you get an urge for a race effort yourself, there are a lot of rules to follow should you pass the checkered flag in a good spot – up to 10th for some brands. The rules are on the AMA Flat Track site. The 2018 AMA Flat Track season consisting of the Twins and Singles classes commences in Daytona this March with a TT race during Bike Week.