Indian Motorcycle®, America’s first motorcycle company, today announced the all-star members of its 2017 Wrecking Crew. Named after the famed Wrecking Crew of the 1940s and 1950s, the three riders will make history in 2017 as Indian Motorcycle continues its bold and aggressive return to AMA Pro Flat Track racing with its first factory racing effort since 1953.
The three riders were announced at the American Motorcyclists Association Flat Track Awards banquet following the Ramspur Winery Santa Rosa Mile AMA Pro Flat Track race in Santa Rosa, California. Indian Motorcycle is committed to winning, signing three of the world’s top riders who will live up to the legacy of the Indian Wrecking Crew of the 1940’s and 50’s that included Ernie Beckman, Bill Tuman and Bobby Hill.
Indian Motorcycle 2017 Wrecking Crew Team Members:
“Flyin’” Bryan Smith, 33, from Flint, Michigan, began racing BMX at age six. He then moved to Flat Track and Ice Racing at age seven, and has been competing at the AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship level since 2001, gradually climbing the ranks every year. In 2015, Smith competed in his first X Games, winning gold in the Flat Track event. Smith earned his first Grand National Championship in the 2016 season.
AMA Pro Flat Track Expert Grand National Champion Brad “The Bullet” Baker, 23, originally hailing from Dryad, Washington, is the third youngest Grand National Champion in the history of the sport. Baker won his first two career victories at the Hagerstown Maryland and Pomona California half-miles and was also the 2011 GNC Expert Rookie of the Year. Baker took a dominating win at the Santa Rosa mile.
Ricky Howerton is the team manager for Smith and Baker.
Multi-time AMA Grand National Champion Jared “Jammer” Mees, 30, won the AMA Grand National Twins Championship in 2009, the AMA Grand National Singles Championship in 2012, and the unified AMA Grand National Championship (GNC1) title in 2012, 2014 and 2015. Mees also became a Gold Medalist in the X Games in 2016, won the Superprestigio of the Americas in 2015, and the Troy Bayliss Classic in 2014. Mees earned a second place in the 2016 season. Mees’ race bike will be handled by legendary flat track tuner Kenny Tolbert.
“Indian Motorcycle has a DNA in motorcycle racing. We will continue that push towards excellence on the street and in competition with the introduction of the Indian Scout FTR750,” said Gary Gray, Product Director for Indian Motorcycle. “AMA Pro Flat Track racing is highly competitive and we leaned on a global team for this factory effort and have engaged some of the best riders to exhibit our commitment to this legendary sport. That said, we are entering the series to do one thing – win.”
Having now successfully developed a lineup of nine award-winning models, Indian Motorcycle has fully dedicated its resources to a successful return to AMA Pro Flat Track racing with a purpose-built new race-only engine, a clean sheet design race bike, and world-class racing team that reflects the history and rich heritage of the brand. Indian Motorcycle was born out of competition, and throughout its history has used racing to develop and improve the product as well as expand the appeal of the brand.
The new Indian Scout FTR750 is powered by an all-new, race-only 750cc V-Twin that was developed in-house for professional flat track competition. The chassis and overall design comes from the team at the Indian Motorcycle’s Medina, Minnesota headquarters with input from highly experienced race team personnel. The #3 Indian Motorcycle FTR750 was piloted in its debut by AMA flat track racing legend Joe Kopp on Sunday, September 25 at the Ramspur Winery Santa Rosa Mile AMA Pro Flat Track race in Santa Rosa, California. Kopp’s debut of the Indian Scout FTR750 was highly successful with strong heat races that put him on the inside front row for the final race. After quickly locking in his position in “the show” he attacked the Dash for Cash race and won. In the final race, Kopp took a holeshot when the green flag flew, and led the first lap. Over the course of the race the rough track conditions slowed the veteran racer, yet he still earned a solid 7th place in the final.
“Our team worked hard and had a pretty confident feeling coming into the weekend,” says Reid Wilson, Director of Marketing for Indian Motorcycle. “Our goal was to make the main event, a great achievement for a 100% new motorcycle racing a highly competitive GNC1 class. Joe was outstanding on the motorcycle and taking a strong win in the dash for cash was an epic first AMA Checkered flag for Indian Motorcycle since the early 1950’s. With our performance this weekend, and the announcement of the new riders, we are showing our commitment to both the sport and the history and future of Indian Motorcycle.”
Learn more about Indian Motorcycle by visiting IndianMotorcycle.com and Facebook, Twitter and Instagram social media channels.
ABOUT INDIAN MOTORCYCLE®
Indian Motorcycle Company, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Polaris Industries Inc. (NYSE: PII), is America’s first motorcycle company. Founded in 1901, Indian Motorcycle has won the hearts of motorcyclists around the world and earned distinction as one of America’s most legendary and iconic brands through unrivaled racing dominance, engineering prowess and countless innovations and industry firsts. Today that heritage and passion is reignited under new brand stewardship. To learn more, please visit www.indianmotorcycle.com.
ABOUT POLARIS® INDUSTRIES
Polaris Industries Inc. (NYSE: PII) is a global powersports leader with annual 2015 sales of $4.7 billion. Polaris fuels the passion of riders, workers and outdoor enthusiasts with our RANGER®, RZR® and POLARIS GENERAL™ side-by-side off-road vehicles; our SPORTSMAN® and POLARIS ACE® all-terrain off-road vehicles; VICTORY® and INDIAN MOTORCYCLE® midsize and heavyweight motorcycles; SLINGSHOT® moto-roadsters; and Polaris RMK®, INDY®, SWITCHBACK® and RUSH® snowmobiles. Polaris enhances the riding experience with parts, garments and accessories sold under multiple recognizable brands, and has a growing presence globally in adjacent markets with products including military and commercial off-road vehicles, quadricycles, and electric vehicles. www.polaris.com
Text and images courtesy of Indian Motorcycle.