Aug 28, 2001
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This just in From Harley-Davidson:<BR><BR>HARLEY-DAVIDSON ENDS FACTORY SUPERBIKE RACING PROGRAM <BR><BR>Factory VR1000 Race Team to Retire from AMA Superbike Series after Season Finale<BR><BR>MILWAUKEE, WI (August 28, 2001) - Harley-Davidson announced today the Company has chosen to end its factory VR 1000 Superbike racing program and retire from the American Motorcycle Association (AMA) Superbike series after the final round of the 2001 season at Virginia International Raceway on September 28-30. <BR><BR>"Our development team took a hard look at rebuilding the program this year, and what it would take to bring the VR 1000 to a competitive level and replace it with a new design. Harley-Davidson has determined the resources required to do that are simply too costly to pursue given our other business priorities," said team manager John Baker.<BR><BR>The VR 1000 Superbike racing program helped Harley-Davidson develop and refine technologies such as liquid-cooling and electronic fuel injection. The program also led to the development Harley-Davidson's first production liquid-cooled motorcycle, the VRSCA V-Rod(tm), which was introduced this summer.<BR><BR>Despite memorable performances in the 8-year history of Harley-Davidson's Superbike racing program, including a pole position in 1996, and podium finishes by Pascal Picotte as recently as 1999, Harley-Davidson has concluded the VR 1000 is at the end of its development cycle and is no longer competitive in the AMA Superbike series. <BR><BR>"I'm thankful and proud of the dedicated efforts of our racers, Gemini Racing Technologies, the Harley-Davidson development team and external partners," said Director of Racing John Baker. "Hundreds of talented people worked on the VR 1000 Superbike program from its inception. They gave thousands of Harley fans a thrill at racetracks around the country, while teaching the Company a great deal about high performance technology."<BR><BR>Harley-Davidson has competed in various forms of motorcycle racing since 1914, winning countless races and championships at the national and world level. The company will continue to field a factory team in U.S. national dirt track events. Harley-Davidson also plans to enter the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) drag racing series with a new effort, the Screamin' Eagle®/Vance & Hines Pro Stock team, which is currently developing a new highly modified race motorcycle for competition. <BR>