Monday, October 3, 2011

Royal Enfield racer makes it all the way to the track

Royal Enfield Badger looks strong in practice.
Project Badger's Royal Enfield Bullet made its debut as a flat-track racer Sept. 18 at Oakland Valley Speedway in Cuddebackville, N.Y.

It made it all the way to the race track.

Project Badger is a team effort to race a Royal Enfield the way it was done in the old days: after first riding the motorcycle to the track. The ride to the track would start at 6 a.m. after a sleepless night preparing the motorcycle.

Once there, builder Leon Stanley stripped the lights and side stand from the bike. It was entered in the "750 Ironman Brakeless" category, so brake cable and pedal came off, too.

The Badger circled the track in practice but didn't make the first race, because the clutch disappeared.

"I'm thinking between no brakes and no clutch... that's a little much to deal with. We're done for the day," Leon wrote on his Project Badger blog.

An autopsy showed that the clutch had burned up. The ACE Fireball motor apparently earns its name when it comes to getting power to the clutch.

What's next for Badger?

"We were giving serious thought to going to the Barber vintage festival for some more road racing," Leon wrote me.

"The next event that has really captured my imagination is the Maxton Mile: speed trials on a retired airstrip in Maxton, N.C. Something completely different, yet again, that I think would be too cool. They have one more meet the end of October.

"If we haven't had enough by then, there is indoor short track racing at Timonium, Md.

"Sponsors? Man, wouldn't that be nice!"

Sponsorship information is on the Bulletproof Badger site, where you'll find updates on racing plans as well.

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