Parity in the NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle class has been an ongoing issue all season.
At the season-opening event for the class in the Gatornationals in March, reigning world champion Eddie Krawiec established new NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle national records with a 6.750-second elapsed time and a 199.26 mph speed aboard his Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson.
The second fastest elapsed time by a manufacturer other than Harley-Davidson at the Gators came from Hector Arana Jr.
Arana Jr., clocked a 6.812-second pass to qualify second on his Buell.
On March 20th, the NHRA addressed the issue of parity in the Pro Stock Motorcycle class by increasing the minimum weight for the Harley Davidson 160-cid, 4-valve combination by 20 pounds, from 640 pounds to 660 pounds.
Since Gainesville, Harley-Davidson bikes have weighed 45 pounds more than a Buell and 65 pounds more than a Suzuki.
The added weight did nothing to slow down Krawiec and his Vance & Hines teammate, Andrew Hines. Krawiec (six) and Hines (five) have combined to win all 11 of NHRA’s Pro Stock Motorcycle national events this season.
Dating back to the Las Vegas fall race in 2011, Hines and Krawiec have won 13 races in a row.
Krawiec and Hines are the only Harley-Davidson riders and Harley-Davidson is also the official sponsor of NHRA.
The NHRA has not been ignorant of the domination of the Harley motorcycles.
“Basically, we are just working diligently on a plan for 2013 at this time for Pro Stock Motorcycle, and we hope to be able to announce something for 2013 very soon,” Glen Gray, NHRA’s Vice President, Technical Operations, said in a phone conversation with Competition Plus on Tuesday. “We have a Pro Stock Motorcycle Technical Advisory Committee and we started talking with them back in Chicago in June. We have continued those discussions. I talked to not only them, but other teams and other members of teams and we are trying to, again without getting into details, we are trying to let them know we are working on this very hard and trying to come up with a good plan as we go forward for 2013.”
When asked if NHRA’s 2013 Pro Stock Motorcycle plan would give access to Harley-Davidson motorcycles to other competitors than just Krawiec and Hines as is the case now, Gray didn’t offer any specifics.
“I do not want to get into the details of it (the 2013 plan) right now because we are still working out all the details for 2013,” Gray said. “Right now I do not have anything to comment on as far as the details go.”
Gray did address the on-track numbers of the Harley-Davidson motorcycles.
“The numbers between the Buells and the Harleys are within thousandths of a second of each other right now,” Gray said. “I just looked at these ETs. Now the race results have been different, obviously. But, on Sunday the performance data, the ET and even the mph ... have been very, very close between the Arana's Buell and the Vance & Hines' Harley-Davidson. Yes they (the Harley-Davidson) have won a lot of races, but the performance data, what they run ET-wise and the mph data, like I said is very, very close.”
Hector Arana Sr. and Hector Arana Jr. race the Buell.
Krawiec, Hines, Arana Jr. and Arana Sr., are the top four riders in the point standings.
Although the Harley-Davidsons are undefeated in 2012 national events, Gray said nothing has triggered an NHRA parity review since Gainesville.
Following the NHRA national event in Sonoma, Calif., on July 29, the year to date average run for Harleys was 6.914 seconds, while the Buells came in at 6.919 seconds. Suzuki had a 6.968-second average time.
“There have not been any triggers since Sonoma with respect to the Buells and the Harleys; they have almost been running identical numbers from an ET standpoint,” Gray said. “Suzukis are continuing to have issues with parts. It is not so much that the Buells and the Harleys are running faster than the Suzukis, the Suzukis are not performing as well as they did last year. It is because of their part issues and stuff; and they are still working on that.”
Like Top Fuel, Funny Car, and Pro Stock, the Pro Stock Motorcycle class has five remaining 2012 races in the Countdown to the Championship, with the next race the Texas Fall Nationals in Dallas.
“We have made parity changes in the Countdown before,” Gray said. “A couple of years ago in 2010 I want to say, we took some weight off the Buells at that time. Historically we have, and we will make changes in the Countdown (if they have to do so).”
Gray also discussed the issue of the possibility of Viper Motor Cycle Company requests to be approved for use in NHRA’s Pro Stock Motorcycle class starting in 2013.
“All they need to do is contact the (NHRA) tech department and submit a detailed design of what they want to do,” Gray said. “It would go through a review process within the tech department and we would just work hand-in-hand with them like we would anyone else through the process. We do not have anything submitted from them (the Viper Motor Cycle Company) yet. We haven’t seen anything from the Erik Buell Racing bike either. Basically the body (on those motorcycles) would have to be approved and then whatever engine (on those motorcycles) they want to run would have to be approved. It is really two pieces with the body and the engine. That would be the case for these two motorcycles or anyone who would want to come participate.”
All articles and photography published in CompetitionPlus.com are protected by United States of America and International copyright laws unless mentioned otherwise. The content on this website is intended for the private use of the reader and may not be published or reposted in any form without the prior written consent of CompetitionPlus.com.
|< Prev||Next >|