Friday, June 21, 2024

Royal Enfield racing draws attention

BTR racers on podium.
Cassie Creer on podium after BTR Race 1 at Road America, with Emma Betters, left, second, and Camille Conrad, right, third. Mikalya Moore missed Race 1 but won Race 2. (Photo: Steve Magargee/AP)

 Royal Enfield's Build Train Race program brought the brand wide attention in news outlets across the U.S. June 14. 

An Associated Press story by Steve Megargee appeared on the websites of newspapers and broadcast stations. 

Datelined "Elkhart Lake, Wis.," the story featured the BTR road racers at their appearance there during Road America competitions. 

The article explained that the BTR program "is designed to teach women how to build and race their own motorcycles. The women selected to compete in this initiative are given a Royal Enfield Continental GT 650 twin that they convert into a racing bike they use throughout the season." 

It opens with Mikayla Moore, the 20-year-old leader of this year's series, and last year's champion.

The article quotes Nathan Kolbe, head of marketing for Royal Enfield Americas.

“It seemed like female racing was underserved. There was a lot of demand and a lot of passionate individuals out there who had expressed interest in racing. So we just kind of said, 'OK, what would this look like?'’'

My Google feed shows that the AP article was at least carried on the websites of the Toronto Star, Seattle PI, Washington Post, Janesville Gazette, The Herald Journal, Spectrum News, AM 870, KSL News, and KXRA.

Since Elkhart Lake is in Wisconsin, it's appropriate that the story turned up in a chain of newspapers with such evocative names as Price County Review, Eau Claire Leader Telegram, Rice Lake Chronotype, Sawyer County Record and Spooner Advocate.

The AP headline focused on Moore alone; unfortunate, as the article and photos also included racers Shea McGregor, Lucy Blondel, Kate West, Holly Varey, Sonya Lloyd, Cassie Creer, Emma Betters, Camille Conrad, and BRT coach and veteran racer Freddie Spencer.

Build Train Race includes the 13 women road racers who ran at Elkhart Lake, and a separate series of 10 women running on flat tracks. Competitors were chosen from among 90 applicants, and the intention is that each will compete for only one or two years.

No prize money is awarded, but the women get to keep their motorcycles at the end of the season.

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