For anyone who follows Josh Herrin on Instagram, you already know he’s a busy guy. While he’s usually prepping and training for the MotoAmerica Superbike championship, lately he’s also been getting ready for King of the Baggers at the one and only WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in beautiful Monterey, California.
Going from racing a BMW S 1000 RR to flogging a Harley-Davidson Street Glide around one of America’s most famous race tracks is quite a change. As you’ll see in this video, Herrin says there’s a definite difference in hustling an almost 800-pound beast with bags around those corners.
The challenges don’t stop with weight, of course—there's also lean to consider. As Herrin’s shaking down his bike to dial everything in for race day, you’ll see him drag a rearset at one point. He also talks about taking a different race-prepped Harley around the track and getting a knee down, although you don’t get to see that part in this video. It’ll be interesting to see what actually happens on race day, especially since the field is full of seasoned sportbike racers who know Laguna Seca well.
You may be tempted not to take King of the Baggers seriously—and, I mean, it’s a one-off race spectacle, not an entire series. Still, there’s a certain kind of joy in sticking a better suspension and other more appropriate parts on bikes that were never meant to do this kind of riding, and then make them do it. As Herrin says, anything that gets more people watching and interested in racing—and maybe even motorcycles, in general—can't be a bad thing, can it?
The race will take place on Saturday, October 24, 2020—and the MotoAmerica Facebook page will be streaming live practice Friday afternoon (at the time of writing) if you want to take a look.