motorcycle memo's w/Tom McCarthy

IDBL out, XDA in: Sanction chess anyone?

On November 22, 2017, the inevitable happened and the Pied Piper of motorcycle drag racing, Jason Miller, announced his return to the sport. A message in the form of a press release was circulated to all media outlets that a new sanction, the Xtreme Dragbike Association (XDA) would begin hosting all-motorcycle drag racing competitions during the 2018 season. Jason Miller and his brother Chris Miller, who comprise Miller Brothers Productions (MBP), have announced they will head up the XDA, run the events and the IDBL as a sanction is now dissolved and has evolved into the new XDA.


Jack Korpela, veteran journalist who owns and operates the website “Cycledrag” did his best to serve the sanction IDBL when he was recruited to do so and he did his best to serve the racers and IRGSE. The former President of the IDBL for the last two years is out of the new series and MBP has taken the reins of power.


Jack was asked about this development and he replied, “I would like to thank all of the great racers, sponsors and fans for making 2017 an outstanding year of motorcycle drag racing."


During a recent phone interview, Jason Miller revealed “There will be nine classes with the XDA, the only professional classes will be Pro Street and Real Street.”


A breakdown of the classes looks like this at the time of publication: P/St, R/St, Grudge, 4.60, 5.60, Crazy 8’s, Top Sportsman, Pro ET and Street ET. The focus of the XDA will be sharply on the sportsman racers.

MDIR prep is a great attraction to XDA racers. When the Miller Brothers prep a race track, it's a tight one that can hold all the horsepower that can be thrown at it. 


The inaugural 2018 season for the XDA has six races slated to go, all on the East Coast. The home track of Maryland International Raceway, long the bedrock of the series, will kick off the season on April 27-29 at MDIR. Then one event a month, spaced well apart, will follow, May 18-20 at Atco NJ, June 22-24 at Virginia Motorsports Park, July 27-29 at MDIR, August 24-26 at Virginia Motorsports Park, and September 21-23 at MDIR, to close out their season.


Jason Miller and his brother Chris own the series and will be putting their hearts into it, “It’s great to be back,” commented Jason. “Motorcycle drag racing is a passion for us and we look forward to that first event; can’t wait really.”


In other important sanction news, Jay Regan of the Man Cup series has announced that in 2018 the Man Cup sanction will be following the NHRA lead of not requiring a 1% back up of record runs. Both the Man Cup leadership and NHRA Tech department feel that with new-era technology, it’s rock solid to look at relevant data from a run, compare it to the time slip of record, and if the numbers dove-tale with the run data, then the run will stand as an official record. A “Tech Department review” and post-run Tech rules still apply, but the 1% rule will not be in effect in 2018. Racers are encouraged to keep an eye on the Man Cup home page for an official announcement with full details in early 2018.


Also points for Man Cup will be different in the new year in more than one way. Jay Regan stated recently, “We are looking at changing the points structure next year so that we can better serve our racers and not only reward the loyal racers, but keep it interesting. We will also have a dedicated statistician in 2018 whose sole job will be to tabulate points and get them up quickly after each event.”


Jay further commented, “I want to thank all our racers and series sponsors and supporters for a great 2017 season. We ended it on a high note with the World Finals. That was definitely one of the greatest motorcycle drag races in the history of the sport.”

Tak Shigematsu of Japan is leading the way into a new era of Top Fuel Harley racing with his supercharged creation. Will he be first in the 5's in 2018?


Top Fuel Motorcycle News: At the Man Cup, Mann Hill Garage World Finals held November 16-19, 2017, during qualifying Tak Shigematsu of Japan, on his Top Fuel Harley recorded a 6.02 pass, which included a 1.04 short time, a 3.88 at 196 in the eighth-mile and culminated with the six-oh time slip. Clearly this bike was on a five-second elapsed time pass before the handlebars broke and Tak had to abort the run and fight for his life. When the numbers are digested, not only is this proof of a historical run, it’s the entry into the new era of performance for the Top Fuel Harley motorcycles.


Tak has been pecking away at the performance of his ProCharger force-fed, nitromethane fueled for some time now. He’s suffered a lot of parts breakage and the usual teething problems one would expect for such a creation, but now he’s coming into the new era and he’s taking the entire class with him. Racers like Tak and Jason Pridemore have been working on bringing supercharged Top Fuel Harleys to the front and their time is now. Pandora’s box is opening and there’s no going back. This is a good-news, bad-news scenario for the Top Fuel Harley racers.


Once the bikes enter the five-second zone, the metal carnage and the complications that come with it will rear its ugly head. The sport, which is already frightfully expensive, is about to escalate. Stronger chassis to handle more horsepower, bigger clutches and fuel pumps, greater loads: the road ahead is about to get bumpy.


There are currently several new Top Fuel Harleys under construction to be equipped with belt driven ProCharger units. With the NHRA hosting 10 events that include the Mickey Thompson Tires, Top Fuel Harleys in 2018, it will be very interesting to see how many blown, injected, nitro T/F Harleys will invade the competition field. Will the sport of motorcycle drag racing be the better for it?  


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