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The overwhelming success of the King Of The Bagger roadracing series has sparked the formation of a rival series called the Bagger Racing League. The BRL’s inaugural event took place last weekend at the Utah Motorsports Campus, in Erda, UT. The main event is the Premier Bagger class, where veteran racer Michael Barnes, astride his Harley-Davidson Road Glide, dueled with KOTB race-winner Tyler O’Hara and his Indian Challenger, beating him to the checkered flag by less than a half second. Cory West took third place on another Road Glide Special.

“This win is a confidence booster for myself and the team,” said Barnes. “We didn’t think we were that far off at the MotoAmerica King of the Baggers race at Road America. For this race we had a different front end, different shocks, different geometry. We made some smart decisions, and they have all made the bike better. That’s a testament to the knowledge of this team. Setting up a Road Glide for road racing has been a steep learning curve, not just for me riding it but everyone involved. We’ve made leaps and bounds at every test and every event, so after disappointing results earlier this season it’s a great reward to get this win.”

Barnes, who rides for Hoban Brothers Racing/DTF Performance, qualified in pole position for the first BRL event, and led O’Hara for the entire 8-laps of the race.

“Tyler and I have raced each other a lot over the years,” said Barnes. “He was right there the whole time. At the start, I could feel him try a line up the inside. And couple times I ran wide due to shifting issues, but he wasn’t able to take advantage. I basically got the holeshot and tried to keep him at bay.”

The newly established Bagger Racing League is open to all American V-Twin-powered motorcycles and comprised of four race classes, and a stunt class. Racing takes place over a three-day weekend, which also includes a stunt show and a V-twin vendor village. 

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