Home Bike News This race-spec Indian Challenger can hit over 280km/h on the track

This race-spec Indian Challenger can hit over 280km/h on the track


If you thought that all cruisers and baggers are big hunks of metal meant to destroy eat up endless kilometres on highways rather than slay corner apexes in the track, then you might have missed something called the ‘King of the Baggers’. For 2022, the first two races of the season were dominated by Indian Motorcycles, and for good reasons.

Their two factory riders, Tyler O’Hara and Jeremy McWilliams, have one victory each, but their latest round at Daytona last month saw their Indian Challengers tuned for maximum track attack. McWilliams, a former MotoGP rider from 2002 to 2007 (he also rode for the Proton Team KR), clocked a very impressive top speed of 284km/h on the banks of the Daytona International Speedway in Florida. Seriously.

Designed and kitted with race parts from S&S Cycle and Roland Sands Design, these Indian baggers captured the attention of two-wheel motorsports fans around the world when the race series started back in 2020. What most folks thought to be a joke turned into an exciting race series that has given birth to a new breed of racers – the ones that want to change how people perceive cruisers.
This resulted in what started out as a heavy 1,900cc bagger into a strip-down, heavily modified race bike with slick tyres, high-performance suspension, top-of-the-line brakes, and many more. The end result is a race filled with Indians and Harleys that rip through corners like bats out of hell.

According to Ola Stenegard, Director of Product Design for Indian Motorcycles, “There’s a whole new crowd of people, younger people, discovering American touring bikes and they come from a performance background. They come to baggers and they think ‘I want to make this bumblebee fly’ and we want to help them do that. So for us to take a bagger and take it on the race track, that clearly spills over into the street bikes.”

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