Exploring the Vance and Hines V-Rod Monopoly

Comments (31)
  1. Brian says:

    I agree with everything you say in this article and sadly this means that the sport of PSM is nothing more than a hollow “show” and is no longer a competition. No self respecting Harley supporter can come to the office on Monday morning and pridefully rub the weekend win in the face of the Kawasaki and Suzuki faithfuls. Tell me one other Motorsport that allows head to head competition while giving one side a 60% displacement advantage? Even other motorcycle motorsports don’t go “that” far outside the box.

    1. Ed Riddle says:

      Superbike allows V twins to run larger displacements that 4cyls

    2. Kelly Clarke says:

      Absolutely agree

    3. Kelly Clarke says:

      I love psm but the class should Remain a respectable class meaning all motorcycles have the same size engine regardless The number of cylinders although quick times are impressive I sometimes feel like pro stock motorcycles should be outlawed as the danger increases with every pass

  2. Mark Johnson says:

    What would happen at the start of the 2012 season if Suzuki and Kawasaki(why aren’t there any Kaws in PSM?)racers didn’t show up to race in protest? Suppose the refuse to play by the lopsided rules anymore? How long would PSM last??? If you think Harley Davidson is responsible for keeping PSM alive..you better think again. It’s not cheap to race in that class!At some point racers and sponsors will realize what a waste of money it is to try to compete in a lopsided war every season. Why are the puppet masters(V&H) allowed to dictate who wins and loses championships? They decide which of thier motors is going to win the championship. They pull back the HD’s and let the Suzuki’s win to shut them up and make the fans think that the playing field is even. NHRA PSM is a farce. It’s really the Vance and Hines PSM racing show. Starring Vance and Hines!

    1. Jack Korpela says:

      Good take. Kawasakis have never really been competitive in modern era PSM. Geno Scali was able to win some rounds on Pete Briggs’ KZ-based bike ten years ago but they were always at a disadvantage. Rob Muzzy sunk a fortune into developing a ZX-14 for the class but Muzzy eventually put the project on hold because he felt the rules were not giving him a fair chance.

      As far as people not showing up goes, it could happen. Not necessarily due to the unfair rules either. There isn’t much money available in the class and it costs a fortune to compete. Even if you already have the equipment how do you justify the $150,000 you will spend in fuel traveling all over the country if you dont have a sponsor? George Bryce and Paul Gast live for the sport and both have plenty of money, but neither one of them feel it’s worth it to race PSM. How much longer will Matt Smith be able to continue without a sponsor? Craig Treble is one of the most talented racers in the world and he can’t afford it anymore. With a horrible economy and controversial rules, the class is in real trouble. I could see them have to go to an eight bike field someday when only 12 show up, or cut the class altogether.

  3. Barry Taylor says:

    I only have a few comments but the Australian way is called Give Everyone a Fair Go’
    It should be a level playing field.
    Let the Buel’s have 4 V cyl heads.
    And let the Suzukis have Billet crankcases
    the Harley & Buel are Billet engines
    Billet cases would help with realibility
    & save money & that is paramount in the US economy in these tough times.
    Common Sence should Prevail.
    Dont suck up to Harley or any one else
    Give the racers a Fair Deal.
    That is what the sport is all about
    Fair Competition & a chance To Win.

    1. X Racer says:

      That may well have been the Australian way years ago, but ANDRA in Oz hasn’t adhered to that principle either. The mighty dollar talks, and the less popular classes don’t seem to evoke much care factor. I used to be a Chief Steward and successful racer, but gave it away in disgust in the end.

  4. FRANK DELIA says:

    It’s hard to think that the almighty dollar is the bottom line for hd, vhr, and the nhra, even though I know that to be true. What bothers me most is the fact that more Sponsors like NITROFISH will pull out for the same reasons!! If you don’t have a snowball’s chance of winning a championship, why throw away your money…on the remote chance that vhr MIGHT…MIGHT make a MISTAKE??? I know that even a blind dog will find a bone sooner or later, but how many of the sponsors will risk the odds? You’d be better off just disolving the PSM class and go back to brackets! At least the good teams would still have a chance at an event win! I’d hate to see it, but it may just be the only way to eliminate hd!

  5. steve rice says:

    Great read, kinda told it the way it is, a non-sugar coated emotionless evaluation on the current condition has been needed for a while.

  6. shag says:

    Funny how my recollection of the v rod story goes more like this.. Hines gets tired of beign beat by a girl and finds another way to win by introducing a new bike with a huge displacement advantage that only he could have, alowing him to sandbag his way onto multiple championships. You undersell everyone elses achivements by continuing this spun up a story about saving the class with the v rod. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    1. Jack Korpela says:

      Nothing could be further from the truth? Hey Shag I don’t think you realize how close NHRA was to cutting this class out altogether. They don’t need it. PSM is not a big money make. NHRA needs the Harley Davidson funding to make it worth it.

  7. Ralph says:

    Dump the class and get Top Fuel HD in there.Plenty of teams out there. PSB’s look like scooters compared to Top Fuel Bikes. I will go and spectate for the sheer noise and power but boring same passes with bogus rules forget it. As it is most fans go for thier bathroom breaks when PSB comes up.Suzukis’s are totally spent. Class ain’t going anywhere . Too much BS in this class polluted it few years ago. Sorry but show is getting old and boring. zzzzzzzz

    1. Jack Korpela says:


      I agree 100%. PSM is not even close to the most exciting class in motorcycle drag racing. I’d love to see Top Fuel. Imagine if they could find a way to work in the import bikes too? If they slowed McBride down to 6.20-6.30s, it would be one heck of a show.

      1. Sam Cotterman says:

        I agree that PSM is not even close. You want to see the most exciting classes in motorcycle Drag racing? Go to the NHDRO event at Muncie Dragway in IN Sept 14-17 and watch some of the most competitive Motorcycle drag racing or you should have been in Indy in August to see 760+ motorcycles compete. Wake up NHRA and look @ TF, PST, Real Street, Crazy 8s, PM, PET, SET, SC, TG and more. I know I missed a class or 2. This is true Motorcycle Drag racing

      2. John Corcoran says:

        Nothing against Prostock Bike but when the fuel bikes come up i do not see that many people going to the bathroom .

    2. Aaron says:

      hd Top Fuel? They can’t even compete head to head with the 4 cylinder Top Fuel motorcycles. The hardlys are over a second plus off the pace of a Mc Bride, Hogan and the real Top Fuel motorcycles.

      A hardly motorcycle mechanic decades ago told me a hardly is so sophisticated it can be fixed with a paper clip and a match book cover. Brand new hardlys costing $20,000 on the showroom floor in 1985 were leaking oil. SMH

      Lets face it, hardlys can only be in the same arena if they are given very special considerations with NOT just a cc but CI advantage, weight breaks, not a single component on their engines are OEM and everything short of just giving them the damn trophy/championship(s).

      1. Alan says:

        Hardly Ableson has ruined Pro Stock Bike just like they ruined Falttrack racing. Harley Davidson has a long history of not playing by the same rules as everyone else

        1. Mark Farwell says:

          While I agree with with most of the points in this article, I do think it is an oversight not to at least consider that while Harley has bankrolled this class, Harley itself, is at least partially responsible for stunting it’s growth. I have always loved the NHRA bikes, but with a manufacturer exploiting an unfair rule advantage, I have used this event for a restroom/concession break and will continue to do so every year at the Fall Nationals.

    3. John Corcoran says:


  8. Paul says:

    PSM was my favorite class until the HD’s came along. Now I refuse to watch unless a Suzuki is running. I hope NHRA reep what they sow..

  9. marvin cable says:

    Let the Kawasaki and Suzuki run billot
    cases and heads less breakage bigger motors lemint cubic inches no fuel injection carbs only lot of guys cant afford injection make it fair for 200 lbs
    guys vers i30 lbs guys bike has to way a
    certain weight to rider and cubic inches

  10. kenvin says:

    the jap bikes are just too weak,they make harley add weight so the jap bikes can even be competitive.the real problem is nobody likes jap bikes in drag racing because they have an annoying whine which nobody wants to hear.lets face it the jap bikes are all export parts on them because they are made to cheaply to stand up to all the power needed to beat them harleys!!

    1. Tojo says:

      Jap bikes you stoopid Redneck are all original factory cases from the early 1908s where as you hardleys are all one off billet, unobtanium custom works of art from the industries premier shop. If your hardleys had to use the stock cases, crank and heads they would blow up on the very first pass. Dumb haole.

  11. Todd says:

    All of NHRA (nascar too) is run by corporate money, TF< Funny Car is run by DSR and John Force.The monopoly of these teams and VH will be the downfall of all racing. NHRA should take a good look at Pro-Stock cars, lots of teams and variety, this is what fans want to see.As a fan of drag racing I would like to see the same rules applied for all racers, makes for a better show and that's what sells tickets.

  12. Mike says:

    Whine, whine, whine. MOPAR dominated NASCAR with the design of the Superbird, lapping the competition. Pretty soon NASCAR bowed down before GM answer Ford, disqualified Dodge and Plymouth in a politically motivated money move to stop the crying losers. Design the best and own it, or shut the hell up. I hate how losers always get their way.

  13. Mike McGuire says:

    Interest and attendance is down BECAUSE of the Harleys. This was nothing but a knee jerk reaction, on NHRA’s part, back when they first came on the scene. The economy was in bad shape and they needed the $. It’s not true now, that’s nothing but an excuse.

  14. Les Bratton says:

    The so called V-Rod does not have a single Harley part on it, so how Harley justify putting their brand on it?

  15. mike pearce says:

    if all the riders in psm would stick together, boycott the rest of 2016, and dont show for the balance of 2016. There is another v twin co that is building their own engine, and is already approved for PSM in the NHRA. Being stale, not listening to public input could come back to bite the ole motor company is the arse. With Victory already sponsoring 2 riders, it will be less than 3 years, PSM will be brought to you in the NHRA via Victory motorcycles.

  16. Marvin Thomas says:

    Why do you think AHDRA lost so many sportsman racers and went belly up racing is really a poor boy sport that big money has taken over and pushed the little guy to the side what goes around comes around its a life cycle

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