Three World Class Flat Track Racers Chosen For The 2017 Indian Wrecking Crew. First Factory Racing Effort Since 1953.

1indianjpgThree top racers will pilot the all-new Indian Scout FTR750 race bike in historic return to racing with one goal — winning. 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 2017 Wrecking Crew Team Members:

2indianjpgBryan Smith: “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.

Brad Baker: 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.

Jared Mees: 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.”

16 Responses to “Three World Class Flat Track Racers Chosen For The 2017 Indian Wrecking Crew. First Factory Racing Effort Since 1953.”


  1. 1 Chief Waldo Sep 27th, 2016 at 8:57 am

    Three top riders! Cool! Hopefully they’re in it for the long term, not just a few “been there, done that” seasons.

  2. 2 morpion Sep 27th, 2016 at 2:06 pm

    indian FTR 750 has finished 7 th at santa rosa mile,,the machine was slow compare to the XR-750,,,,,first time on the track for the FTR 750,,

  3. 3 fuji Sep 27th, 2016 at 3:01 pm

    morpion. I don’t know where you got your information that the new Indian is slow. It was stretching its legs on the mile track straights out running the Harley and ended up seventh on the day piloted by a retired rider on a very rough and dangerous track that took the lives of two young competitors. It was a sad day

  4. 4 Woody's Sep 27th, 2016 at 5:46 pm

    3 bike race team = more American jobs

  5. 5 rcupp Sep 27th, 2016 at 7:28 pm

    There were 3 XRs in front and 4 behind that Indian…and a bunch more that didn’t make the cut.

  6. 6 fuji Sep 27th, 2016 at 8:23 pm

    There were only 6 harleys in the field of 18 in the final. There were 9 harleys out of 30 entrys.

    Kawasaki has been the “twins title holder [ Bryan Smith } for the last three years but not national champion.

    This year they are the National Champions of the twins and singles.

  7. 7 Dale Sep 28th, 2016 at 8:03 am

    Damn, Indian ain’t messing around. The H-D & Indian wars are back on. Very cool.

  8. 8 Adventurebob Sep 28th, 2016 at 10:20 am

    Good heavens! Indian took the top riders! Who is going to ride for Harley?

  9. 9 NoH2oh Sep 28th, 2016 at 2:57 pm

    The day of the XR750 is coming to an end and that is sad. One of the best racing engines ever, she is being pushed to HP and RPM levels no caged bearing should be asked to do. HD is almost done with it, and the new parts pipeline is almost if not already cut off.

    The original twin shock alloy XR750 is flat track racing. But times and tech have moved on.

    Indian/Polaris ain’t playing around boys.

  10. 10 gunney Sep 28th, 2016 at 5:11 pm

    No one is going to mention that the team name is totally original

  11. 11 Nitschke Sep 28th, 2016 at 5:56 pm

    Indian couldn’t come up with an original idea if it was three inches from their face.

  12. 12 claygrim Sep 28th, 2016 at 6:08 pm

    Yeah what’s up with using H-D’s wrecking crew name. Not only did you get 2 H-D riders but you took the name too? I’m all for starting the race wars again but what’s next? Buy a pig and use it as your mascot?

  13. 13 Woody's Sep 29th, 2016 at 11:08 am

    ooooh, can “Wrecking Crew-Since 1920” leathers be far behind?

  14. 14 Adventurebob Sep 29th, 2016 at 1:45 pm

    I agree! I believe “The Wrecking Crew” name was used by Harley in the sixties and seventies.

  15. 15 Mark Moses Sep 30th, 2016 at 9:57 pm

    http://tomrosejournalist.blogspot.com/2011/11/bill-tuman-indian-wrecking-crew.html

    Milwaukee, Wisconsin –September 8, 1953 – 9 AM Tuesday Morning: The directors of the Harley Davidson Motorcycle Company were seated around the large mahogany table in the boardroom on the 5th floor of the Juneau Avenue headquarters. They sipped coffee and puffed Cuban cigars. They were in a general jovial mood as they discussed the recent demise of their chief rival, The Indian Motorcycle Company (Hendree Manufacturing). The mood changed quickly when William H. Davidson walked into the room and slammed a copy of the Milwaukee Sentinel sports section on the table. The headlines read “Bill Tuman rides an Indian to Victory at the Springfield Nationals”. Harley’s chief rival, Indian, had been struggling for several years. Indian had finally collapsed in bankruptcy. In spite of this a few hard core Indian racers sponsored by die hard Indian dealers were beating the socks off the Harley-Davidsons on the race track. The Indian racers had become known as the Indian Wrecking Crew of Ernie Beckman, Bobby Hill and Bill Tuman. The ultimate humiliation that set off Bill Davidson at the board meeting was Bill Truman’s victory the previous Labor Day week-end at the prestigious national championship Springfield Mile. Harley was celebrating its 50th anniversary. They had introduced the K model in 1952, a faster better handling motorcycle patterned after the race bikes of Europe and Great Britain. All this and they still had to contend with Indian winning races and championships!

  16. 16 Coffeebeans Oct 3rd, 2016 at 10:35 am

    As Mark Moses noted, ‘The Wrecking Crew’ was the name the press gave the triumvirate of Bill Tuman, Bobby Hill and Ernie Beckman, Indian’s last factory racing team.
    Even as the Springfield factory closed, the Wrecking Crew was still spanking Harley like a yard dog.

    Apparently, HD liked the name so much they borrowed it.

    A few times.

    Anyway, I’d say that hiring the top three riders pretty much gives them a leg up on the competition.

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