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Monday, July 25, 2011

Royal Enfield Badger rides to the track, then races


A Royal Enfield café racer successfully rode to the track and competed in two races at the Mid-Ohio event this weekend. "Project Badger" is a success, Tom Lyons reported to readers on his Ace Performance Bullets forum.

"This isn't to say that there weren't any trials and tribulations, because there were some. Particularly related to the heat wave when we were making this attempt. It's difficult to break in a brand new air cooled performance engine at 108 degrees when you have to roll a brand new engine with zero hours on it out on the Interstate highway and ride for 11-plus hours to the track. So, the trip had some delays for letting the bike cool down, and for changing the oil, and fixing a couple of oil leaks that showed up along the way.

"But, nothing broke," Lyons wrote.

You can read his account of the adventure and its credible racing results in the competition for "vintage" (but still very fast) motorcycles on the Ace Performance Bullets forum. Lyons' is just the first account I've seen posted on the Internet, but I expect to read updates from the others at the Badger website and Facebook page.

"The guys from Team Badger are riding back home today, and I see no reason why they would have any problems with that. They endured the difficult stuff, and they can take their time on the way home," Lyons said.

Ace designed the Fireball motor that is the heart of the Badger. Lyons credits his associate Sumanth "Chumma" Janardhan with making the motor work for the Badger. The motorcycle itself was built by Leon Stanley of Cycle Icons in New Jersey, who dreamed up the whole Badger project.

It was piloted on the track by Stu Carter.

"The project did what it was intended to do. They rode a street bike to the track and raced it," Lyons wrote.

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