“The Nine” Prove Drag Bike Racing is Alive and Well and Now Face New Challenges

Comments (15)
  1. Great work, Jack.

    Motorcycle drag racing here in the US has a long-standing heritage and worldwide Internet following, so I for one was not interested in just letting it slip away into obscurity, that being said… I really don’t believe it was (or is) in jeopardy of doing so. Our culture is simply too strong. I personally have Facebook friends and customers with slammed and stretched race bikes in Canada, South America, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, South Africa, Australia (you get the picture,) and they all watch our racing here in the states as a gauge as to how to do it well. We aren’t going anywhere, but just like the rest of the US economy, we are experiencing a bit of a ‘reset’ which will take a while to sort out. Patience and controlled growth is the key from this point forward, and the companies who are in it for the long haul will continue to do their best to support our industry/sport in the best way they know how.

    Brock Davidson

  2. Shawn says:

    Good article. I hope The Cup takes off.

  3. Billy Folsom says:

    Billy Folsom A lot of good points in this article. The old all Harley Drags at LA Raceway would draw from a 500 mile radius while the imports would only draw from 200. Lets hope now that motorcyclists in general are more cross- branding that the marketing people will see the advantage of having all the bikes all the time at their events. Long Live motorcycle Drag Racing. PS it’s working in Flat Track.

  4. Dan Rockey says:

    Brass tacks, finally. Promising stuff !

  5. Dragbike USA says:

    The Nine understand dragbike racing better than any previous group. While I remain concerned about the possibility for conflict of interest as they host races for the very racers they sell parts to, I also believe strongly in the men and wo……men who make up The Nine. My late father and I have known most of them for decades, and I understand their dedication to dragbiking. As many of them also have a strong background in traditional dragbikes like myself, I feel the slow slide towards national motorcycle dragbike events becoming dominated by streetbikes has now been arrested. Just in time, in my not-so-humble opinion.

    Good luck to the Cup, and yes…bring it back to Gainesville!

  6. Chris Jones says:

    This is a great article that covers all of the negative impacts that are among the racing community as a whole. Motorcycle Drag racing right now is impacted by the current economic state of the nation. Many families simply can’t afford to spend the extra funds on non-critical activity such as racing, amusement parks, or even a simple night out. However, there is a certain group of fans, racers, and enthusiast that are going to take part in racing or whatever it is that lights their fire. I am one of those individuals along with many others. Those are the people we need to appeal to, along with the younger crowd to insure the promotion and future growth of the sport. I will attend races to promote my business of building and modification of late model sport bikes. With regards to Gainesville raceway, it was a great convience for me, Im only twenty-five miles from that track. However, it is a track that follows strict NHRA rules with regard to liscese, guidelines, and expensive to use. And on a personal note, they are not exactly motorcycle friendly. I was told by an employee at that track a few years ago to shut up and go home if I did not like the way things were run. This was after I spoke up after sitting in the lanes and watching three rounds of cars run before bikes were even called. He told me to look around, stating that the cars out numbered the bikes more that 20 to one. I remembered that comment well and I let those high price competition NHRA liscense expire and took my business elsewhere. During that time the track was prepped like crap for a bike anyway. Fortunately, they recently got new management at that track that are trying to appeal to everyone. I actually do most of my testing in Valdosta,GA and Bradenton,FL. The Manufacturers Cup race was a great event and I hope that it will continue to grow and thrive. The people involed with this event recognize what is needed because they are directly involed with the industry. Thumbs up to them all, sincerely, Chris Jones.

    1. Roy Johnson says:

      I also live near Gainesville and it is been my home track for 30 years. I know where your coming from.
      The thing about Gville is it is owned by NHRA. They have to go by their own rules.
      Recently they have been making an effort to provide the opportunity for bikes to compete. Alowing bikes to compete against cars for money is one example of this.
      Its a great faciity, it should be taken advantage of.

  7. Phyl Joynson says:

    I totally agree Billy .Bike’s Rule …..

  8. Jack Korpela says:

    @Chris Jones – Thanks for the post. That comment made to you by a track official is a classic example of one that will, and did in your case, cause a racer to not return to a track. It happens all the time. I sympathize with the stress track personnel are often put under, I’ve felt it first hand. Sometimes it’s due to their boss yelling at them. But it’s that kind of comment and tone that needs to be avoided at all costs in my opinion. If the man told you, “I’m sorry sir, this is the run order we have to go with due to the high number of cars here,” instead of “shut up”, my bets says you may still run a few races at Gainesville Raceway. People come to the races to have a good time, no one wants a hard time.

  9. Jack Korpela says:

    @Brock Davidson

    Nice take, thanks. You are right. There are many more high-performance motorcycle enthusiasts in this world than most people realize. Thanks for being one of “The Nine” who are trying to get them to the track.

  10. Aaron Green says:

    Right now everyone is “judging” things off of one race, which I am glad the one race did well. Sometimes things work best the first time you do them though, and then fade later. There are plenty of “road maps” to steer by given the past history of motorcycle drag racing. Hopefully, enough people have paid attention to not repeat the mistakes of the past.

    “Governing by Commitee” is often easier said than done. We need look no further than Washington D.C. to see that, right here in the United States.

    It is good to see that some people are keeping motorcycle drag racing going. There are some experienced people involved. While I do have my own “opinion” I will keep it to myself for now.

    Just one thing, it is not a “rule written in stone” that everything has to be a “touring series”. Think about it!

    Good luck to everyone involved.

    1. Jack Korpela says:

      Good point. Governing by a committee will certainly be no easy task. That’s what I meant by “Get Along at all Costs.” The Nine must make sure they do not implode.

      C’mon Green, no need to keep that opinion to yourself. Let’s have it!

  11. Tom McCarthy says:

    Jack nice job on “The-Nine” story, well done. It was a good tour of who they are, what they’ve done and a glimpse of where they may be going. I would like to offer up 3 points for consideration worthy of note for discussion. 1) Growth and development of the sport is everything. Growth takes money and cultivation. If this sport is to grow, it needs to attract solid sponsors and to earn their advertising dollars a great show must first be present. For motorcycle drag racing to grow it must first prove itself as entertainment for the spectators, without spectators no sponsors will invest their advertising dollars. No Bucks-No Buck Rogers! Treat all customers with respect, you build a business like a brick wall, one brick at a time and every component of that wall is just as important as the next.
    2) The “World Finals” at Gainesville once upon a time was a world renowned race in motorcycle drag racing. It was the 1 event that racers from across the pond and from as far away as the “Land Down-Under”could count upon to attend & mix it up with the biggest and baddest motorcycles on planet earth. When done right, this event can be the “Super Bowl” of motorcycle drag racing as well it should be for ALL classes. Make the first weekend in November OUR STURGIS at Gainesville Florida. Hear me oh nifty-nine: If you build it, they will come.
    3) A formal sanctioning body with boiler-plate rules is a must! There can be no records set for speed or E.T. without a valid sanction. Without a valid Tech Dept enforcing rules and standards, no performance in any class can really be regarded as a valid world record. See you in Valdosta if your there, I’m working on Elmer Trett’s biography, I will be there conducting interviews. Hope to see you soon. TMc.

  12. Roy Johnson says:

    Good article. Promoters often forget that it takes more than a fuel bike to attract spectators. Spectators are what makes a race profitable for everyone.
    It takes somone willing to put feet to the ground and get the word out to the media in the area.

    As a veteran dragbike racer, the worst thing a promoter can do for the fans is take a long time to send one bike down the track. Do it fast, and keep them going.

  13. David Blackwelder says:

    Thank You Nine. I am 28 miles from G-ville I Have Been to Many, Many Races There Since 1974 as a Racer and a Spectator. The Last Year @ G-ville Attendance was Poor (not my fault,i was there)What I Noticed was most of the sportsman came down from Ga. The Next Year was moved to S.G.M.P. They Drew a Pretty Good Crowd. I would Love the Finals to come back to G-ville, But if it’s not cost effective and cant draw a crowd. I’ll Travel to Ga.

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