Here’s one that we didn’t see coming: Royal Enfield says it wants to start a roadracing program in North America, based around its Continental GT 650 motorcycles. And, there’s another twist—Royal Enfield plans to make this a female-only endeavour.
Royal Enfield jumped back into the racing scene this year with a flat track program. Andrea Lothrop of Toronto’s Moto Revere DIY garage (which just closed its brick-and-mortar location, in case you hadn’t heard) participated in the Build Train Race program, making customized flat trackers out of Royal Enfield Interceptor 650s.COVID-19 kinda screwed that whole thing up, and Lothrop never did get to race her bike, which is a shame after she went to all that work.
The new program sounds similar to the original Build Train Race idea, except based around roadracing. Well-known MotoAmerica/AMA racer Melissa Paris (pictured above) is going to help four female riders turn their Royal Enfields into track-worthy machines, and then help them learn the skills necessary to race the bikes. They’ll presumably run them at some MotoAmerica event next season, but the press release (see it below) is understandably light on details; given the mess the 2020 racing season turned into, it’s hard to imagine anyone making any serious commitments for 2021 yet.
If you’d like to enter for a chance to participate in this program, there are more details here. Entries will close after December 1, 2020.
Royal Enfield BUILD TRAIN RACE Program Goes Road Racing
Four female riders will prepare Continental GT 650 motorcycles into road racing motorcycles
MILWAUKEE, Wis (October 14, 2020) — Today Royal Enfield North America announced phase two of the BUILD TRAIN RACE (BTR) program seeking out female motorcyclists to customize, train and road race Royal Enfield Continental GT 650 motorcycles in 2021. A group of women will be selected by Royal Enfield for the program through an online video selection process. Women interested in the program must submit a video and respond to a questionnaire at https://bit.ly/30aSOXT to be considered.
“Building upon the success of the flat track BTR program, we decided to carry the momentum into the road racing segment, ” said Breeann Poland, Gloabal Brand Manager – Continental GT platform. “This is a unique opportunity for women interested in road racing and to make a name for themselves on a national level. The participants will have the opportunity to learn from world class racer, Melissa Paris, which is not a chance many people get. The ladies will also be some of the first people to road race the Continental GT 650 platform, so the motorcycling world will be watching.”
Professional Road Racer and BTR flat track participant Melissa Paris has agreed to mentor the women during each phase of the program. She will consult each participant on the development of a Continental GT 650 road race motorcycle, including design and parts selection, provide insight into sponsorship aspect of racing, and provide training on and off track for the four participants.
“When I watch the video submissions I’ll be looking for entries that display the same passion and desire to get into road racing that I had when I first started out,” said road racer and BTR mentor, Melissa Paris. “This program will be such an amazing opportunity and I’m looking forward to working with these female racers who have always dreamed of lining up on a road race grid”.
The participants will be selected by Poland, Paris and accomplished racer and journalist Anne Roberts. In their videos, interested participants will need to display a passion for road racing and answer a series of questions about their background and motorcycling experience. The selected participants will then have several months and a budget to convert a 2020 Continental GT 650 Twin into road racing trim. The ladies will then race in conjunction with a national event once they’ve completed the build and training aspects of the program.
The entry period for consideration in the BUILD TRAIN RACE program starts today and will run through December 1, 2020.
To stay up to date on the riders and their motorcycles, visit BUILDTRAINRACE.com or follow Royal Enfield North America on Facebook and Instagram.