The New 2018 Harley-Davidson American Flat Track Racing Factory Team

The team was announced to the Harley-Davidson dealer network during meetings held today in Nashville. Halbert, Robinson and Vanderkooi will compete on Harley XG750R race bikes, mixing veteran savvy with youthful potential in a three-rider effort contesting the 2018 American Flat Track (AFT) Twin series. Returning rider Brandon Robinson will be joined by seasoned pro Sammy Halbert and rising star Jared Vanderkooi on the Harley Factory squad for the coming season.

The Harley-Davidson Factory Team will engage in flat track battles aboard all-new Harley-Davidson XG750R competition motorcycles on the 19-race AFT Twins series and at the Harley-Davidson Flat Track Racing event at ESPN’s X Games Minneapolis. The racing season opens during Daytona Bike Week at the March 15 AFT Daytona TT on a new, enlarged course constructed inside Daytona International Speedway.

“American Flat Track has new energy behind the sport and fans responded. They’re heading to the track to see the action live and tuning in from around the globe to the catch the racing broadcasts,” said Scott Beck, Harley-Davidson Director of Marketing. “Harley-Davidson made an investment to help build AFT and we are excited to see this growth in a truly all-American motorsport.”

Entering its 65th consecutive season, American Flat Track is the most historic form of American motorcycle racing. Preparing for what promises to be one of the most competitive flat-track seasons ever, Harley-Davidson and its Factory Team partner, Vance & Hines Motorsports, devoted this off-season to extracting more performance from the team’s Harley XG750R race bikes.

The XG750R flat tracker used by the Factory Team is powered by a race-modified, liquid-cooled, fuel-injected 750cc Revolution X™ V-Twin engine, an engine originally engineered for the Harley-Davidson Street® 750, a motorcycle built for maximum urban maneuverability with rebellious Dark Custom™ attitude. The race-modified Revolution X engine and a racing frame for the XG750R were developed in collaboration with Vance & Hines Motorsports. The XG750R flat tracker motorcycle is not a production model. The Revolution X engine was designed and engineered at the Willie G. Davidson Product Development Center in Wauwatosa, Wis. The 750cc XG Revolution X V-Twin engine is for sale through Harley-Davidson dealers today and can be modified for racing use by aspiring dealers and privateers.

Sammy Halbert (National #69)
Sammy Halbert brings his veteran experience to the Harley-Davidson Factory Flat Track Racing Team in 2018. Since his first pro season in 2006, Halbert has won 13 times in Grand National competition. Always a tenacious competitor, he placed third in the Twins championship chase in 2015, scored four wins and finished second in the championship in 2012. He had four wins and a third-place finish, in 2011. Halbert was named AMA “Ricky Graham Rookie of the Year” in 2006 and won his first Grand National race at the 2007 Castle Rock TT. Racing for Estenson Logistics in 2017, Halbert placed fourth in AFT Twins points with five podium results and 14 top-10 finishes. Halbert is 30 years old and lives in Graham, Wash.

Brandon Robinson (National #44)
Brandon Robinson returns for his second season with the Harley-Davidson Factory Flat Track Racing Team. In 2017, Robinson delivered consistent results with nine top-10 finishes and ended the season in seventh place in AFT Twins. Robinson had a break-out season in 2013 with seven top-five finishes and three victories, including a sweep of both Twins races on the Springfield Mile. In 2016, Robinson earned his fourth career victory with a win on the Lima half-mile, notched two additional podium results and finished third in GNC1 points. In 2008, Robinson was the AMA Basic Twins class champion. Robinson is 27 years old and lives in Oxford, Pa.

Jarod Vanderkooi (National #20)
Jarod Vanderkooi (VAN-der-koy) has been a rising star on the AFT circuit since winning the 2015 “GNC1 Rookie of the Year” Award after scoring four top-10 finishes and placing 12th in the points. The 2014 GNC2 Twins champion, Vanderkooi won his first pro event on the Springfield Mile, his first of two victories at Springfield that season. In 2016, he finished 10th in the standings and scored three top-five finishes. Vanderkooi posted eight top-10 results and finished the 2017 AFT Twins season in ninth place as a member of the Richie Morris Racing Team. Vanderkooi is 20 years old and lives in Mount Gilead, Ohio.

The Harley-Davidson Flat Track Racing Team is proudly partnered with Vance & Hines Motorsports.

Zipper's

20 Responses to “The New 2018 Harley-Davidson American Flat Track Racing Factory Team”


  1. 1 Shanedrive Jan 26th, 2018 at 9:43 am

    Awesome. Hope the season rocks!

  2. 2 Ferris bueller Jan 26th, 2018 at 12:22 pm

    I hope Sammy is getting paid a lot of money because he won’t even be getting a sniff of the podium on that bike!

  3. 3 fuji Jan 26th, 2018 at 2:02 pm

    Sammy had a fast Yamaha.

  4. 4 NoH2oH Jan 26th, 2018 at 7:14 pm

    I am guessing the XG750R is a race only engine and does not share the cases or top end from the production bike. Good luck trying to buy that from “your local HD dealer”. Especially if V&H are still in the loop.

    Good luck HD.

  5. 5 BOSS HAWG Jan 26th, 2018 at 10:48 pm

    Awesome! Gotta love it.

    Boss Hawg

  6. 6 James just another crazy kiwi Jan 27th, 2018 at 1:11 am

    Cant get it on TV over here… sniff.

    So If you have two competitive teams going for it, it will be one great season.

  7. 7 Calif Phil Jan 27th, 2018 at 8:57 am

    It will be exciting to watch. A big thumbs up to HD and AFT.

  8. 8 Guzzigreg Jan 27th, 2018 at 10:53 am

    American Flat tracking on an Asian made machine!!

  9. 9 HD Rider Jan 27th, 2018 at 11:32 am

    I hope the Race Bike has been completely redone to make it competitive this year. Last year was kind of a joke and hopefully a wake-up call for the factory. Even if they win only 50% of the races that would be a huge improvement — not much fun last year. I wonder if Indian has anything new up it’s sleeve or is satisfied to compete on the same machines.

  10. 10 fuji Jan 27th, 2018 at 8:06 pm

    Anyone can see the race live on fanschoice.tv with your computer check the sched

  11. 11 James just another crazy kiwi Jan 28th, 2018 at 1:11 am

    Thanks Fuji I will check. They block allot of stuff in our zone though

  12. 12 Brett Jan 28th, 2018 at 10:40 am

    If they didn’t figure out the stupid bike they are attempting to race it won’t matter. It wasn’t the all the riders last year. Indian had a far better bike on the track & Sammy competed with them on the old HD….hope they worked on the bike…need competition…& get Triumph racing…need more then HD, Indian & a some independant Kawasaki’s

  13. 13 Pat h Jan 28th, 2018 at 10:55 am

    You are absolutely incorrect Noh2oo factory cases it’s readily available information, new 4v heads and frames coming soon

  14. 14 Pat h Jan 28th, 2018 at 4:25 pm

    Now I correct myself DOHC heads

  15. 15 NoH2oH Jan 28th, 2018 at 5:52 pm

    The XG750R Revolution X is a race only engine Pat.

  16. 16 Pat h Jan 28th, 2018 at 10:44 pm

    On production cases

  17. 17 jim watson Jan 29th, 2018 at 10:34 am

    Good to hear, always good to have strong factory support in any series. All the best to the team and riders!

  18. 18 Mr Dean Jan 29th, 2018 at 1:11 pm

    I was told at the Dlr meeting that they are on their 3rd tested chassis which is vastly improved over last seasons as the problem was not the power train but the flex

  19. 19 Cafesportytc Jan 31st, 2018 at 9:59 am

    I keep hearing its not a matter of engine power… they have plenty of that, its chassis work that needs to happen to allow this bike to bite and take off. take it for what its worth.

  20. 20 Pat h Jan 31st, 2018 at 10:22 am

    You are correct cafesporty look up the Yamaha tz750 it was a handful to fast, as dean said I’ve heard the same on new chassis several being tested and Noh2oo still wrong no matter how many times you say it, it won’t make it true

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