The Street Rod-based drag bike Harley-Davidson announced in June has been seeing a lot of success in NHRA racing lately, with one of the factory riders atop the series.
In June, Harley-Davidson announced its factory NHRA riders (Eddie Krawiec and Matt Hines) would be switching from a machine based off the V-Rod to a new bike, built off the Street Rod. It was a move that made sense; the V-Rod has been discontinued, while the Street Rod is Harley-Davidson’s sporty take on the Street 750, and the MoCo is likely eager to promote it in front of as many eyeballs as possible.
That makes the NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle drag racing series a perfect match. It’s supposedly the most-watched motorcycle racing series in North America, primarily because the bikes run the same weekend as the NHRA cars. Whether the viewers actually care about the bikes is a good question, as this is certainly a car-centric event.
In any case, Krawiec has been on a tear on his Harley-Davidson in the past few weeks. He’s won five races this summer, including the last three races. That puts him atop the standings; teammate Hines is in fifth.
The question now is, what is Harley-Davidson’s next move? Will this drag bike become a production machine, available to any paying customer with enough money, like its predecessor was? The Destroyer drag bike, a factory racer based on the V-Rod, was a turn-key machine available to anyone with the dough. It’s been discontinued for a few years, and there would presumably be room for a Street Rod-based successor. Harley-Davidson’s XGR750 flat tracker (also based on the Street 750 platform) hasn’t seen much success in AMA dirt track this summer. Would Harley-Davidson consider focusing on drag racing, as a result?
The answer probably depends how much of the drag bike is stock. While it’s built on a Harley-Davidson platform, the reality is that it’s likely very little of the machine is close to its factory configuration. Whether Harley-Davidson sells a factory dragster would depend on not only a perceived market opportunity, but also on the practicality of selling a highly specialized motorcycle that could require a lot of money to reproduce.