Wow! How could I have missed motorcycle flat track racing all these years? It wasn’t on my radar at all until I purchased a set of Mikuni carbs for my 2008 Triumph Bonneville from Bill Gately of Bonneville Performance. Then I saw a video posted on Triumph’s Facebook page describing how Triumph is now sponsoring a factory AMA Pro Flat Track racing team with Bill Gately as the owner!
In followup communication with Bill (whose entire family has been involved in flat track racing for many years), I learned more about the sport and its history. Essentially it developed as enthusiasts got the bright idea to ride their “iron horse” motorcycles around existing horse racing tracks – especially in the southern states.
After 2 attempts to attend other AMA Po Flat Track events (Springfield and Lima) that got rained out, on August 11, 2013 I rode down to Peoria, Illinois to the Peoria Motorcycle Club’s (PMC) TT (Tourist Trophy) race track. Here is my travel route. The weather was perfect and I discovered a beautiful race park and facility. Apparently there is no other track like it in the world.
You enter the PMC park off of a country road and park your motorcycle or car in open fields that have been cleared out of the woods. The topology of the area consists of gently rolling hills since Peoria is located in a river valley. As you walk into the main racetrack area you are met with the following view.
There were many vendors on site where you could purchase food, beverages, clothing, motorcycle accessories, etc. The infield pit area was open when I first arrived and people were visiting their favorite racers and crews, getting autographs and the like. Many Peoria area charitable groups were present volunteering at the booths: Kiwanis, Chamber of Commerce, Rotarians, etc. It was an atmosphere conducive to families, couples, or just a guy like me who wanted to watch some racing.
Here are a few video clips to give you an idea of the environment and racing action I experienced on that day.
Here is a video synopsis of the AMA Pro Main Racing Event… 25 laps of the best AMA Pro Flat Track riders in the world. By the way, you can watch these events live streaming online at http://www.amaprolive.com/ft/