Indian Motorcycle and racer Tyler O’Hara dominated the inaugural King of the Baggers Invitational in 2020. Unfortunately, a mechanical issue during the second round at Milwaukee’s Road America circuit wiped out O’Hara’s chance of retaining his crown during the three-race 2021 King of the Baggers (KotB) season.
While Harley-Davidson and rider Kyle Wyman hoisted the 2021 KotB trophy, Indian is solely focused on taking back the title in 2022. To help the firm return to the top step, Tyler O’Hara returns to the Indian Factory team for the third straight year. After finishing second overall in the 2021 standings, O’Hara is ready to go toe-to-toe with the Motor Company yet again.
Gallery: 2022 Indian Motorcycle King of the Baggers Team
To help Indian further develop its race steed, the Factory team will field a second rider for the first time. Former MotoGP rider Jeremy McWilliams will join O’Hara at the Factory squad, bringing a wealth of experience and knowledge to the KotB outfit.
“Jeremy is the ideal addition to our team, bringing significant experience and technical knowledge that will complement the highly cerebral approach that Tyler O’Hara brings to the team. He’s got an unwavering desire to be the fastest and reach the top of the box each-and-every race,” noted S&S President Paul Skarie. “Having a second bike in the paddock is incredibly valuable, allowing riders to bounce feedback off of each other and help team mechanics optimize setups on race day.”
In addition to the Factory team, the Roland Sands Design (RSD) Indian privateer squad will add MotoAmerica Superbike rider Bobby Fong to its roster. Alongside 2021 KotB fourth-place finisher Frankie Garcia, Fong will also pilot an RSD Indian Challenger in 2022. Two additional privateer riders will race for the Saddlemen & Lloyd’z Garage team.
Aboard the Saddlemen Indian Challenger, Patricia Fernandez will return as the lone woman racer on the grid. Veteran motorcycle racer Cory West will fill out the Saddlemen & Lloyd’z Garage paddock but he will ride the only Indian Chieftain bagger in the series.
To support the privateer teams, Indian Motorcycle Racing will offer a nearly-$40,000 contingency program. Along with a $10,000 championship payout, race-winners will nab $3,000, runner-up riders will receive $1,000, and third-place finishers will net $500 for each race. Indian may have lost the KotB crown in 2021, but the brand stacking the deck and the grid in 2022.