Harley Davidson enters the Snowquake 2018
What it is, is a Dirt Quake on Ice. As simple as it sounds, the dirt track race bikes challenge each other on Europe’s finest snow and ice race track in the Italian Alps.
For 2018, the event is in its third edition and has managed to grab a few eyeballs already. Including the folks of Harley Davidson, who have committed to giving 8 ice track-spec Street Rod 750s. They have invited journalists along with ex WSBK and MotoGP rider, Ruben Xaus to take their chance at each other on the ice.
Harley-Davidson is spearheading a move to bring flat track racing back to a national audience after announcing that it will sponsor a new flat track bike racing event at this year’s ESPN X Games.
Harley-Davidson marketing director Dino Bernacchi told the Los Angeles Times that the American bikemaker renewed its ties with ESPN a year after partnership with the sports network brought about an ice racing competition at the 2014 Winter X Games in Aspen, Colorado. This time, the two sides are creating a new event that will have a far longer shelf-life than the one-off ice-racing competition.
Naturally, flat track racing was the clear choice since Harley-Davidson already has a long and successful history in the sport and is still one of the few motorcycle racing events that the company regularly competes in. For those unfamiliar with flat track racing, it’s premise is pretty simple. Riders race with lightweight dirtbikes on one-mile long dirt ovals, hitting speeds in excess of 130 mph in the flat straightaways before going on long power slides, often with one foot skidding on the dirt to create the necessary support for both the rider and the bike.
It bodes well for Harley that the racing style is undergoing a renaissance of sorts as more and more competitions are starting to create their own versions of flat track dirt racing.
But the company, together with ESPN, isn’t settling for periodic races in a small number of race courses. It wants the racing style to have its moment in the spotlight, one that can only be provided by an event as big as the X Games.
As such, expect to see flat track races at this year’s games, which will take place from June 4 to 7, 2015. Word has it that the event will kick off the festivities on the first day of competition, giving Harley ample time to promote the sport to a national TV audience and in doing so, probably sneak in some time to showcase some of its track bikes like the XR 750.
The name Evel Knievel usually evokes images of a man who made a living off of death-defying stunts. With his trusty 1972 Harley-Davidson XR-750, Knievel did all sorts of things no rationale human would even attempt to do. The daredevil successfully pulled off some of the most breathtaking stunts in history. He didn’t always nail them, but for the damn sure, Knievel wasn’t afraid to try. One stunt that Knievel failed to accomplish was to jump over a line of 22 cars back in September 1972 at Sturgis. More than 40 years later, daredevil Doug Danger, an appropriate name if there ever was one, will attempt to what Knievel did back in 1972. And guess what, Danger will be riding the same 1972 XR-750 Knievel used over 40 years ago.
Danger’s stunt is scheduled to take place on August 6, 2015 at the Sturgis Buffalo Chip amphitheater as part of the Evel Knievel Thrill Show. In addition to displaying some of the legendary daredevil’s collection of curiosities, the event will also feature Danger will attempt to clear 22 cars using the iconic daredevil’s famed Harley.
Don’t be fooled by the spectacle of the stunt because at it’s core, it’s one of the most dangerous stunts anybody could ever try. Back in 2001, another daredevil tried to perform the same jump and that ended horribly for everyone involved. Danger, though, is unfazed about the difficulty of the jump, or at least he’s not showing it in front of everybody.
“This is the one jump Evel couldn’t make; he failed,” Danger said. “I know it’s dangerous, but death has had me by the throat twice in my life, and I spit in its face. When God’s ready, he’ll take me.”
Speaking like a man who has no problem admitting his lease on life, Danger’s going to attempt the stunt that not even the great Evel Knievel accomplished. Let’s all hope he succeeds because, quite frankly, any other result would be devastating for him.
Click past the jump to read more about Doug Danger’s stunt attempt at Sturgis.
Harley-Davidson designed and built the XR1200 as their very first roadster in an attempt to appeal to younger riders as well. The plan sounded good in theory and if they offered plenty of customization possibilities, the bike qualified as a success. Said and done. But I guess that nobody really thought at doing something like this. Why not when the Harley-Davidson XR1200 monster bike looks like one of the best ways to shake the stress away.
What’s best, this impressive motorcycle offers the unique opportunity of seeing a car crushed by a motorcycle and not the other way around. Revenge looks good!