With a new rider roster for 2019 featuring defending champion Jared Mees, along with Briar and Bronson Bauman (supported by J&P Cycles), and with Brad Baker as a technical advisor and rider coach, Indian Motorcycle has reinforced its support for the series with a contingency. It is offering nearly $360,000 and an impressive line-up of team sponsors - headed by S&S Cycle, Parts Unlimited and Drag Specialties, Indian Motorcycle Oil, Alpinestars and Bell Helmets.
S&S Cycle has been a major contributor to Indian Motorcycles' success, and this year President Paul Langley is overseeing team operations for Briar and Bronson Bauman
The 2019 series also has significant contingency program backing from Suzuki, Honda, Kawasaki, Yamaha, and KTM as an OEM sponsor. This year's series features an 18-round championship and 112 AFT Production Twins events for twin cylinder engine production bikes from BMW, Ducati, Harley, Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha street bikes between 649 - 800 cc.
In the premier AFT Twins presented by Vance & Hines the line-up of aftermarket brands supporting the series is impressive. In addition to their sponsorship of the Indian Motorcycle factory team, as reported elsewhere in this edition, Parts Unlimited and Drag Specialties return as the series' Official Parts and Accessories Distribution Partner.
|AFT official brake pad sponsor SBS has always offered brake pads sintered brake pads formulations specifically for Harley-Davidsons, and last year saw them add Indian Motorcycle Scout and Big Twin model applications|
Danish specialist SBS Brakes is now into the second of a three-year commitment to AFT, with North American Market Manager Chris Lyngkilde Jensen commenting that "we could see the success that lay ahead for the series, it is proving to be a classic case of the right format at exactly the right time - that is why we were very happy to commit for three years."
|National Cycle's backing for AFT has run deep, having sponsored Jared Mees for many years; Sales Director Ann Willey seen here. This year the company is sponsoring AFT as the Series' official windshield|
Maywood, Illinois windscreen specialist National Cycle has renewed its involvement for another year. In 2018, National Cycle served as a sponsor to AFT Twins presented by Vance & Hines champion Jared Mees and heavily supported his campaign to victory. After a successful season, National Cycle has now stepped up its support of the sport by joining AFT's family of partners.
"National Cycle has been a passionate fan and supporter of professional flat track racing for much of its 82-year history," said Barry Willey, President and CEO of National Cycle. "After years of sponsoring riders - including current #1 Jared Mees - we are proud to partner as the Official Windshield of American Flat Track." Barry speaks for many when he says: "We enjoy all aspects of motorcycling, and we are thrilled to see the diverse brands and styles of motorcycles AFT fans are riding."
Founded in 1984 by International Six Day Trial (ISDT) gold medalist Chris Carter, Motion Pro is deeply rooted in the racing community. Commenting on their return, Jon Mullins, Motion Pro Race Manager, said: "We couldn't be happier to continue as the Official Tools, Cables and Controls of American Flat Track in 2019 and continue to showcase our commitment to flat track racing in the United States. As AFT riders and teams raise the bar of competition each year, Motion Pro has been working tirelessly to develop and refine its products to match their needs."
Concord, Ohio based Cometic Gasket returns as the Official Gasket of AFT, with founder and CEO Bob Gorman commenting: "Cometic Gasket is a time-tested brand and a staple in American Flat Track racing. Our company is rooted in powersports and it's been incredibly gratifying to watch AFT flourish as the sport grows in popularity, viewership and attendance. It's exciting to be aligned with a sport that continues to move the needle in the right direction."
Fellow Ohio business Wiseco returns as the Official Piston for the 2019 season. "Wiseco is proud to be a continued supporter of the American Flat Track series," said Wiseco Director of Powersports Scott Highland. "We love the sport of motorcycle racing at Wiseco, so helping to promote one of the most exciting and historic racing properties is an honor. As the original American-made performance racing piston, AFT is in our DNA. We're thrilled to be the Official Piston and to work closely with the racers and officials of this incredible American tradition."
Wiseco sister company Rekluse returns as the Official Clutch. "We are proud to return as the Official Clutch of American Flat Track," said Sean Brown, President of Rekluse. "The massive growth of the Series over the last few years has been a pleasure to witness and be a part of. The feedback we get from the racers - in both the AFT Singles and AFT Twins classes - in this demanding discipline is an invaluable tool for us to further improve our technology."
Noted Swedish suspension manufacturer Öhlins is continuing its AFT partnership for 2019, with Doug Shaw, Racing Manager of Öhlins USA, saying that "Öhlins is all about hardcore racing, and American Flat Track is the peak of that mountain. For the fourth consecutive year, we have been pushing hard to step up our game in the support and service of the AFT paddock, and those efforts have really paid off. Because AFT is such a major series to us, we are absolutely pumped for the start of the 2019 season."
This year sees Full Spectrum Power supporting AFT as the Official Battery brand, No Ramp are the Official Trailer partner, and E3 are again the Official Spark Plug. Cycle Gear is back as the Official Retailer, Arai as the Official Helmet and Dainese is Official Safety Partner.
AFT and Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys have announced an enhanced partnership agreement for the 2019 season. In addition to remaining the Official Attorneys of AFT, they are also now the first Presenting Sponsor of the AFT Singles class.
AFT has confirmed its NBCSN broadcast schedule for the 2019 season, maintaining its valuable weekend afternoon programming slots within two weeks of each event. Telecasts reached 41% more viewers in 2018 than in its first year; this spike in viewership delivered a record-breaking total of more than two million viewers tuning in during prime weekend programming slots.