Team Trask’s turbo-powered Harley-Davidson Road Glide earns an impressive fourth-place finish
2017 Harley-Davidson Road Glide
Rider: #86 Travis Wyman
Words by Mitch Boehm, as told by Trask Performance’s Nick Trask
Photos by Brian J. Nelson
Thunder Press: Your initial thoughts on KOTB, and why did you participate?
Nick Trask: Racing touring-oriented Harley-Davidsons and Indians around a race course – especially one as legendary and technical as Laguna – has never been done before, so being a premiere performance brand, we had to be a part of it. We wanted to showcase our performance products, and have the very first turbocharged bike entry.
TP: Which Harley or Indian model did you start with? And why?
NT: We chose the Harley-Davidson Road Glide M8 platform, mainly because the engine makes tons of useable power when turbocharged. We can also showcase our other performance products on it, which helps promote the company and the brand.
TP: Your team’s angle going in?
NT: We wanted to prove that a stock-displacement, 107-inch Milwaukee 8 engine with mild upgrades can be dependable at 200 horsepower on a road race course under severe conditions.
TP: The thinking behind your choice of rider?
NT: Travis Wyman was a perfect match for us, as he’s very talented and extremely professional, which helps represent our brand.
TP: What chassis modifications did you make, and why?
NT: There wasn’t much we didn’t modify, really. The frame was stock, and had to be, but we installed our billet Trask Swingarm. We also added a billet Trask tail-section with carbon fiber to help reduce weight, amongst a bunch of carbon fiber parts including a complete carbon body kit from Curtis Hoffman and some super light carbon fenders from Deano at DFT. Sascha Kraus helped us a bunch with his bad-ass Ohlins front end, and Ohlins helped us out in back with a set of custom piggyback shocks. The guys at Beringer brakes helped out with the best stopping power available, and Philipe from Beringer helped us dial things in. Sacha also helped us locate a set of Marchesini super lite wheels, which helped us get the weight down into the 640-pound range. We needed to adjust the riding position, so we designed and made in-house a set of rearsets and clip-ons.
TP: What engine modifications did you make, and why?
NT: We kept the engine relatively stock thanks to the turbocharging, and only added mildly ported heads (with stock throttle body), Feuling cams, an S&S crank, pump and plate. Forged pistons and MLS gaskets, too.
TP: Who was on your crew?
NT: Mike Giraud was our team crew chief, plus myself, Miles Saia and Brian Bostwick.
TP: How much (if any) pre-race testing did you do, and what did you discover?
NT: We had one track day in Phoenix for testing, but it was nowhere near enough. A lot of things needed attention, which we fixed and adjusted for the race. One was the seat, which needed to be reshaped to pick the rider up and move him forward. The clutch was slipping under heavy load, so we upgraded the springs and added an AIM assist, and we also modified the primary to allow more lean angle by cutting and welding the cover.
TP: Biggest surprise (or surprises) for you and your team?
NT: Discovering how much cornering clearance was needed for the corkscrew at Laguna Seca!
TP: How’d the weekend go? Results, problems, realizations, etc.
NT: The biggest obstacle was when we blew up the transmission during practice. We had to locate one, drive three hours to pick it up, and then install it before morning. This was on Friday night.
TP: What would you have done differently if you had the chance?
NT: The only thing we would do differently is do more testing and make the necessary adjustments to the bike so the rider could ride the bike to its full potential. The competition was way too strong to leave anything on the table.
TP: Will you be part of the KOTB next year?
NT: We absolutely will be part of the KOTB racing in 2021!
TP: Anything else you’d like to add?
NT: I would like to thank Rob Bydos for making this event happen. Our industry needs more events like this, as it keeps the enthusiasm in motorcycling alive.