Royal Enfield Empowering Women with the Build, Train, Race Road Racing Series
First build the bike, then practice, then race it!by Harry Fisher, on LISTEN 04:27
Royal Enfield is really trying something different and inspirational with the BTR (Build, Train, Race) Race Series, solely for women. Each participant is given a Royal Enfield 650cc bike which they have to wrench on themselves, before taking part in training sessions and then racing.
Royal Enfield Build, Train, Race Is great news For Women in Motorcycle Sport
Royal Enfield is blazing new trails in motorcycle sport with its Build, Train, Race (BTR) initiative, which is bringing more women into motorcycle sport. BTR is the first all-woman initiative teaching women to build & race their own motorcycles. The program celebrates women and motorcycle culture in North America through a unique format that brings together riders from different backgrounds to compete in several different track events.
Every rider receives a Royal Enfield 650 Twin: Flat Track riders receive an INT650 and Road Racing riders receive a Continental GT 650. Each woman is supported throughout the program by Royal Enfield & its partners to build a race-ready motorcycle.
Each discipline is then given time for training with Royal Enfield’s mentors to sharpen their track skills and develop the race bike. The final element is a series of races, where the riders and their teams will then face off to test their hard work, dedication, and racing skills.
A total of fifteen women of all ages and backgrounds will participate in the six-round race series, with the first race weekend being 20-22 May at the Virginia International Raceway in Alton, Virginia.
“This is a landmark year for Build. Train. Race.,” said Breeann Poland, Marketing and Communications Lead – Royal Enfield Americas. “Last year was incredible; we received such support from fans and the industry. And this year, everything is twice the size—our field of riders, our schedule and our presence in the MotoAmerica paddock. We’re really going to wow people with a full grid of riders from all levels of experience. Among our new and returning riders, we can already see that the level of competition has come up. These ladies are going to put on a great show this season.”
Each woman has been assisted in the “Build” phase of the program. Sponsorship comes from Parts Unlimited, S&S Cycle, Harris Performance, Dunlop, Maxima Racing Oils, BOXO USA, Öhlins USA Suspension, and Arai Helmets.
Each of the 15 participants received a Royal Enfield Continental GT 650 motorcycle that they then spend three months designing and building. The “Train” phase included a recent test session at Barber Motorsports Park with Sportbike Track Time, where the BTR Road Race women all got on the track together for the first time. With guidance and mentorship from Melissa Paris, all the racers got some serious track time in preparation for the series, not to mention dialing in their individual motorcycles.
At its core, the Build. Train. Race. the initiative is all about support and encouragement for women racers, nurturing talent, and inspiring both new and experienced riders to get out on the track.
“We are very happy to see the return of the Royal Enfield Build. Train. Race. program to MotoAmerica for the 2022 season,” said MotoAmerica COO Chuck Aksland. “It’s an innovative program. From the application process to having the participants build their own race bikes in three months, to training, getting licensed, and then going racing—that’s a lot of commitment from the BTR women.
“Last year the program was a big hit with the fans. Bike builds were very creative and it was cool to see the racers’ personalities come out in the look and design of their Continental GT 650 motorcycles. Having Melissa Paris as their mentor means that the women have the right person to go to for advice on how to hone their skills. Last year we could see the riders improve race by race and with more bikes on the grid this year, I’m sure competition will rise to another level. We look forward to watching the first round next weekend at VIR.”
This is an important initiative by Royal Enfield, and it would be great to see it expand and involve other manufacturers. Even if it doesn’t and remains solely Royal Enfield, it is still something that is worth your support.
For more information, head to the Royal Enfield BTR website here