News Racing

Sideways Saturday flat track races at AIMExpo

AMA-sanctioned event featured four competition classes, three exhibition classes

COLUMBUS, Ohio — As the third day of the AIMExpo wound down Saturday, flat track racing motorcycles roared to life on the Greater Columbus Convention Center floor.

About 1,200 spectators attended the Sideways Saturday presented by Harley-Davidson and A.D. Farrow Co. indoor flat track racing event, which featured 48 entries racing in four competition classes.

The motorcycles that took to the track ranged from 125cc Honda Groms to 1,200cc Harley-Davidson Sportster-powered hooligan machines.

The Flat Track Futures Class featured spec racing machines that will be featured in the new AMA-sanctioned Flat Track Futures Series. The series makes its standalone debut as an AMA Featured Event Oct. 18-19 during Biketoberfest at Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Fla.

Three unscored classes also took to the track Saturday night, including a electric bicycle class featuring expo presenters and industry figures, a kids STACYC electric motorcycle class and demo races of spec S&S Cycles/Royal Enfield flat track racing machines.

Several up-and-coming flat track racers who took part in the 2019 AMA Flat Track Grand Championship competed in the event, including Travis Horn of La Verne, Calif., Chase Saathoff of Hillsboro, Ill., Chase Anderson of Troy, Ill., and Bradon Pfanders of Bethlehem, Pa.

A variety of motorcycles took part in the Sideways Saturday indoor flat track racing.

The event was organized and promoted by 2004 AMA Dirt Track Horizon Award winner Johnny Lewis. He operates the MotoAnatomy flat track school and is the organizer for the Flat Track Futures Series.

Lewis said he was pleased with the number of industry personnel who attended and thought it was great seeing 3- and 4-year-olds get out on a flat track on electric motorcycles.

“The whole event itself was a task,” Lewis said. “We woke up this morning and the humidity was high, which made the track super slick. I called some people who I knew from racing 65s and 85s on a concrete indoor as a kid and they gave my their secret and it worked.”

The short track was created using plastic barriers on the convention center’s concrete floor, and the racing surface was coated with coke syrup to increase grip for motorcycles’ tires.