In their third year, the MotoAmerica King of the Baggers series is positioned to become one of the most competitive divisions on one of the most unique looking bikes in competition. And they owe the tight battle to a dramatic come-from-behind run by Travis Wyman.
Stock car racing was built on the principle that fans wanted to see race vehicles that looked like the one they drove on the street. One equivalent in motorcycles is the MotoAmerica’s King of the Baggers series. That is not to imply these are stock bikes. Heavily modified engines, suspensions and other mechanicals make these true racing machines, but the Harley Davidson Road Glide and Indian Challenger that hit the track allow the everyday rider to visualize what their bikes would look like zooming around some of America’s iconic raceways.
The term baggers comes from the saddlebags each bike carries – and the bags are more than simply decorative. They change the balance of the bike and make for some twitchy corners, which in turn creates more passing opportunities.
Putting aside the uniqueness of these bikes, the proof of concept ultimately comes down to competitiveness. And that is where this division has exceled in its short existence.
Five riders have won in the first six rounds of the seven-race series. The rider with multiple wins, Kyle Wyman, was disqualified from the most recent race this past weekend for spilling oil onto Brainerd (Minn.) International Raceway. That effectively took him out of the running.
Meanwhile, his brother Travis earned his third consecutive podium finish and turned a one-point deficit entering Round 6 in the championship standings into a three-point lead.
For the new points leader, this has been a charge from behind. Finishing second to Tyler O’Hara in the season opener at Daytona International Speedway, Race 2 on that track cost him dearly. Wyman’s fifth to O’Hara’s second, left him with a 14-point deficit exiting the first pair of races. That grew to 20 points in April by the time the series tackled Road America.
Wyman’s first win of the season in Round 4 allowed him to erase some of the deficit. Three consecutive finishes of first or second gave him the lead and momentum.
With a five-point difference between first and second in the MotoAmerica King of the Baggers classification and another four points to third, Wyman’s late-season charge sets the stage for the finale in September at New Jersey Motorsports Park to be a winner-take-all race.
Just like threading a needle…a very big needle…Bobby Fong made an epic inside pass on @OHaraRacing in the @MissionFoodsUS King Of The Baggers race at @BIRrace. The overtake put Fong into the lead, and he went on to win his first Big Twins feature race of the season. #bagger pic.twitter.com/hAuXgHIP6U
— MotoAmerica (@MotoAmerica) July 31, 2022