Remember Goodspeed500? The gentleman’s parking lot–based urban race series announced itself to much enthusiasm last year but hasn’t yet held a race. It appears that raising the necessary capital to build the race bikes (modern street trackers with classic style), to secure appropriate venues and to find ways to promote itself sufficiently is taking longer than its creators, Dimitri Hettinga and Marcus van den Maagdenberg, initially thought. Now it seems they are fundamentally altering their plans in order to make the series come to fruition.
The biggest change is the addition of American races (Dimitri and
Marcus are Dutch). Initially excluded in favor of Europe-only venues,
Goodspeed now sees the country as crucial to its success. This has come
about, in part, because of a partnership with C Racing Frames,
which will build the bikes. Developer of the Harley-Davidson XR 750
dirt track racer, C is uniquely positioned to construct the
racers, bringing its expertise to optimizing Goodspeed’s design.
Dave Pearce of Tigcraft remains on board as a consultant. It’s
Goodspeed’s intention to sell the road-legal 450cc bikes to the public.
The machines will form a crucial part of the series’ business, think of
them as the ultimate piece of merchandise, a bona fide race bike for
the road. While they will remain flat track inspired, the bikes will be
lighter, more road-ready, use 18” wheels, a saddle-style seat and
feature numerous other differences to give them a unique appeal and
Should Goodspeed500 come to fruition, and we think it will, it will
herald an entirely new era of motorcycle racing, one that appeals to a
young, urban, creative demographic alienated by most motorcycle makers
and their lame marketing. By locating its races in the centers of key
global cities and making them happening-focused, the traditional
barriers to acceptance in this market — travel and broad appeal — are
removed. Goodspeed isn’t the first company to try and do this, but
unlike Red Bull and its imitators, it realizes exclusivity and a focus
on participation are the key to an event like this moving from
something that’s recognized into something that’s accepted.
Goodspeed is scheduled to hold its first race early next year. We’ll
keep you updated as that date draws nearer, more details emerge and our
entry into the series is confirmed.