Flat Out Friday: Gallery

Racing on Dr. Pepper syrup in Milwaukee, WI

Rusty Butcher Hooligan
Mark Atkins of Rusty Butcher leading the Hooligan packPreston Burroughs

Walking into the Milwaukee Panther Arena, the obvious question is: "How do they expect to race motorcycles in this place?" They're not trucking in dirt or putting down some false flooring, no, this requires much more 'redneck ingenuity'. They spray down the bare concrete flooring with Dr. Pepper Syrup. They tried Coke, apparently Dr. Pepper works better. After spraying the syrup, they'll lay down some brown sugar, then burn around the track a few times in quads, I can only assume to heat it up, melt it down, and work a little bit of rubber into it. Well it works like a damn charm. The track ends up sticky enough for racers to drag peg and get some serious riding done on what would previously be a slippery death trap of a course.

Wiggins Hooligan
Wiggins celebrating a victoryPreston Burroughs

Riders took to the track in nine classes:

Open Amateur
Participants are 12 years and older, must be 14 to ride a 450cc. No brakeless bikes. Bikes must be full framed with 150 minimum cc's.

Four Stroke Brakeless
Riders must be at least 18 years of age at the event. Engines must be model year 1981 or earlier. No brakes or suspension is allowed.

Youth 85
The bikes are 65cc-85cc only. Participants are 7-15 years old.

Open Vintage
Engine size is unlimited. Riders must be at least 18 years of age at the event. Engines must be model year 1981 or earlier. Rear brakes are mandatory.

Participants must have GNC1 or GNC 2 AMA pro card to enter.

Goof Ball/Inappropriate Class
Inappropriate motorcycles/inappropriate racers. Street bikes with headlights taped and covered. Costumes encouraged.

Hooligan Class
Modern (1986+) stock framed twins. No dirt bikes. Riders must be 18 years or older.

Build Class
Reserved for bikes and participants involved in the Build Program; visit www.buildmoto.com.

100 Class
Riders are 18 years old and up. Bikes are four stroke only and do not exceed 100cc's.

S&S Flat Track
Rider on the S&S Sportster realizing the hard way that the ground isn't the only thing that'll tear you up in a spillPreston Burroughs

These aren't quite the Hooligan races that we got used to seeing out in Costa Mesa and the Del Mar tracks over a year ago, however. The same racers have been doing this on heavy bikes, every weekend, for years now and hell, they've gotten good at it. The speeds have picked up, there are fewer crashes, and just generally cleaner racing. That doesn't always mean it's more fun to watch, but hey, it's definitely safer for the riders.

The races that were surprisingly the most fun to watch were the youth riders. They were quicker off the line, squirrely but fast as hell, and every single one of them was SENDING IT! They were riding as hard and fast as they could. Crashing, but getting back on the bike and riding again within five seconds. There was even one 14-year-old racer allowed to race in the adult classes, and he lapped second place.

dr pepper flat track
A metal hot shoe will grip onto the sticky surface, so the riders use carpet and tape to slide on the Dr. Pepper trackPreston Burroughs

Racing machines that were never intended to be ridden like this, on what should never be a motorcycle track. Riders ranging from professional racers to men and women that have never raced anything in their lives. It's good old-fashioned fun with serious competition, but the main goal of having a good time on two wheels. Hooligan races are gaining popularity and more organizations are starting to open a "Run What Ya Brung" class. If your local races don't have one, suggest it! Get out there and race whatever you can, it'll be fun, I promise!

inappropriate flat track
A fishing pole and a pirate flag always belong on the race trackPreston Burroughs
Preston Burroughs
Pabst Shovelhead chopper rider with much more appropriate gear than motorcycle. Looks cool though!Preston Burroughs
flat track spill
Ow. This guy's really working the angles.Preston Burroughs
wheelie loop
Ya get three guesses how this ended up...Preston Burroughs
suicide machine flat track
Suicide Machine taking the inside line with a KTM 990 Adventure hot on his tail (notice the guy's full adventure gear, too. Awesome)Preston Burroughs
Hooligan Racers
The Hooligan RacersPreston Burroughs
The Gonz Flat Track
The Gonz hitting the track for Moose RacingPreston Burroughs
flat track crash
"I've made poor choices"Preston Burroughs
flat out friday pits
The pits at the Panther Arena before the racesPreston Burroughs
dr pepper flat track
The Dr. Pepper Track, ready to be raced!Preston Burroughs

Be sure to check out FlatOutFriday.com for more information!