Vance & Hines Expands MotoAmerica King of the Baggers Efforts  

Vance & Hines just announced the details of its involvement in MotoAmerica’s King of the Baggers (KOTB) racing series in 2022. The company now fields a two-bike team featuring James Rispoli and Taylor Knapp riding. Technical support comes from the company’s Racing Development Center in Brownsburg, IN. Matt Hines, former NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle champion and son of the company’s co-founder Byron Hines, acts as Crew Chief. Mission Foods will be a sponsor of the Vance & Hines effort.  

Vance & Hines king of the baggers james rispoli at track
James Rispoli joins the Vance & Hines King of the Baggers effort for 2022.  
Photography credit: Jonathan Varela  @thebreaknecklife

Vance & Hines: On the Road Again

This year, both riders will be aboard Harley-Davidson Road Glides. Each bike features “improvements throughout the whole bike, based on what we learned last year,” according to Matt Hines. “We’re excited that the series has expanded to six races and that so many of our customers are interested in seeing high-performance baggers on the track.”  

taylor knapp vance & hines racing bagger
Taylor Knapp returns to the Vance & Hines King of the Baggers team in 2022, after running two of the three races with the company last year. 

Rispoli has amassed a formidable resume of speed and winning in flat track and road racing, both here and abroad. He’s won back-to-back AMA Pro SuperSport championships in the US. After that, he made a name for himself competing in the prestigious British Superbike championships for five seasons. He then returned to his flat track roots, winning the 2020 AFT Production Twins title. He also dominated the season with seven wins aboard a Vance & Hines-built Harley-Davidson XG750R. This season, Rispoli will bring his signature #43 back to road racing in MotoAmerica on the Vance & Hines KOTB Harley-Davidson Road Glide.   

vance & hines Matt Hines profile shot
Matt Hines is Crew Chief for the Vance & Hines King of the Baggers team in 2022. He’s enjoyed a successful career as a top NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle champion and acted as crew chief for ten championships by Eddie Krawiec and his brother, Andrew Hines. 

Knapp is one of the most seasoned veterans in the MotoAmerica paddock today, having competed for both factory and privateer teams in Daytona SportBike, AMA SuperBike, British Superbike and MotoAmerica 1000 SuperStock.  He has established himself as one of the most versatile riders in road racing, and currently works as a test rider for Dunlop Tire Company. In 2021, Knapp joined the Vance & Hines team for two rounds on its KOTB entry at Road America and Laguna Seca and will be running his trademark #44 for the 2022 season.  

Technically Speaking

Technical leadership for the team comes from the all-star combination of Matt Hines and road racing mainstay, Gene Burcham.   

Matt Hines has been working for Vance & Hines full time since 1994, but you can add another half dozen years to his seniority as he’s been working in the race shop since he was in high school. He is a three-time NHRA Pro Stock champion and was the NHRA’s Rookie of the Year in 1996. After stepping away from riding, Hines moved to the crew chief role for the company’s NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle efforts where he guided the team to ten championships with riders Eddie Krawiec and Matt’s brother, Andrew Hines, on Harley-Davidson motorcycles.   

Gene Burcham, Taylor Knapp, and tuner Mike Hasek talk strategy at Laguna Seca in 2021. 

Burcham is a long-time racer who started in motocross and moved to road racing on a variety of motorcycles. Among them, competing in the AMA Pro Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson XR1200 Series. A noted tuner, he’s also served as team manager for the Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson factory flat track team. Burcham recently turned his attention back to MotoAmerica road racing. He enabling young rider Hayden Schultz to earn a runner-up finish last season in the Twins Cup championship on a Vance & Hines built Yamaha YZF-R7.   

About King of the Baggers

King of the Bagger showcases touring-style motorcycles with fairings and saddlebags. The series is also offered by MotoAmerica, the premier road racing sanctioning body in the United States. KOTB races take place at six of the eleven events offered by MotoAmerica. The first of the bagger races slated for March 11 at the Daytona International Speedway. See what else V&H is up to in the motorcycle industry here.

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