SlyFox and Cory West earn a top-five finish
2017 Harley-Davidson Road Glide
Rider: #9 Cory West
Words by Mitch Boehm, as told by SlyFox’s Alex Fox
Photos by Brian J. Nelson
Thunder Press: Your initial thoughts on KOTB, and why did you participate?
Alex Fox: Rob Buydos was the brain behind this idea. When his idea became a reality, SlyFox was one of the first brands to accept the challenge. We thought this idea was genius and wanted everything to do with it, as it was a no-brainer for the SlyFox brand. Performance baggers are the focal point of what we do. What better way to showcase what we do than road racing baggers at a professional level?
TP: Which Harley or Indian model did you start with? And why?
AF: We ran a 2017 Harley-Davidson Road Glide, which was our R&D bike. It was the first year of the M8 motor. Since we already owned the bike, it was an easy foundation to grow off of.
TP: Your team’s angle going in?
AF: SlyFox is the new brand on the block, with the youngest owner of all the teams. We have a history in racing, and performance is our focus. We wanted to show the industry what we do, what we are about, and that we are here to stay.
TP: The thinking behind your choice of rider?
AF: Cory West was our rider, and he’s a perfect fit – young, fast and calm. He will be our guy moving forward.
TP: What chassis modifications did you make, and why?
AF: A stock frame with an aluminum swingarm. We raised things two inches front and rear for additional cornering clearance. Carbon bodywork throughout. Bike weighed in at 613 pounds.
TP: What engine modifications did you make, and why?
AF: The engine was built by Feuling parts. It was a 124-incher with 145 horsepower and 141 foot pounds of torque.
TP: Who was on your crew?
AF: Where do I begin? So many people got involved, and I can’t thank everyone enough. As for the crew on race day: myself; rider Cory West; wrenches Fury Oketani, Mike Maloney, Ryan Cost and Shaun Guardado; media guys Aaron Guardado and Andrew Huerta.
TP: How much (if any) pre-race testing did you do, and what did you discover?
AF: We were able to get one track day in the week before the actual race. A few modifications to the hand controls and minor adjustments for stronger and smoother braking, but other than that everything was pretty solid.
TP: Biggest surprise (or surprises) for you and your team?
AF: Since this was the first time that this has ever been done…the whole experience is hard to explain. We learned a lot, everyone was in it to help each other at the track, and it forever changed road racing. Moving forward I don’t think future bagger races will be quite like this one turned out.
TP: How’d the weekend go? Results, problems, realizations, etc.
AF: In the first practice we busted a footpeg and had some issues with pulsing brakes, which we fixed after a few more practice runs. We qualified fifth and ended up finishing fifth, and were extremely happy with a top-5 finish. We will make some modifications to the bike for future races, but other than that we had a solid bike.
TP: What would you have done differently if you had the chance?
AF: I’d want to get more testing in before the actual race. Unfortunately, with the bike build, time just didn’t allow that. Moving forward, we’ll be better prepared for all the races. We have the foundation built and we learned a ton.
TP: Will you be part of the KOTB next year?