Insane Nitro Harley racing returns to Nitro Jam
Nitro Jam Media
Jan 6, 2011
Crazy, psychotic, suicidal – all are words that have been used to describe the insane riders of the nitro powered motorcycle class known as Nitro Harley.
But while those terms all seem to fit perfectly anyone who knowingly chooses to hop on a two-wheeled bomb and travel speeds in excess of 200 miles per hour, to the racers themselves, there is only one word that can be used to describe their chosen profession – exhilarating.
And that is exactly what keeps fans coming back for more when these extreme daredevils take to the track, a sight that is soon to become a commonplace at Nitro Jam events all across North America as the hottest motorsports show in the country reunites with the most exciting class in all of drag racing for the 2011 Nitro Jam season.
“What can I say, I thrive on being able to do something that most people could never do,” said Jay Turner, a six-time champion in various nitro bike leagues across the country. “I love the adrenaline and I love being able to entertain the fans. When you are at about the 1,000 foot mark and the front tire is two feet off the ground at nearly 200 miles per hour and everyone is cheering, that is what it is all about.”
Turner is one of over half a dozen riders that will be a part of the 2011 Nitro Jam tour competing at all nine Nitro Jam events currently on the schedule. Riders from all corners of the country will make up the new class and is sure to be a hit as the class returns to the Nitro Jam schedule fulltime for the first time since 2002.
“We are thrilled to be back racing with IHRA this season. We are both all about the same thing – making it exciting for the fans and putting on a great show,” Turner said. “And from an entertainment perspective, there is nothing quite as exciting as a Nitro Harley.”
And Turner would certainly know.
Turner has been in the business for over 20 years now and during that time has collected multiple records and titles including two International Hot Rod Association championships during the late 90s. Since then Turner has raced with various organizations, racking up wins and records and looks forward to returning to his Nitro Jam roots in 2011.
“I am very glad to be back and we certainly invite everyone to come into the pits and meet this unique group of guys,” Turner said. “They are great people that enjoy sharing their experiences. Over the years we have met a ton of really great fans that have become my friends. I think they are drawn to the bikes because of their openness, they get to see every move the rider makes and in turn that makes them feel more a part of the run.”
But for most fans, a view from the sidelines is about as close as they would ever want to get to traveling 200 miles per hour on only two wheels with fire belching from the headers just a few feet from the rider. And it is that open air ride, without all of the safety nets featured in the other classes, that makes a Nitro Harley one of the most spectacular and dangerous rides on the planet.
“I wouldn’t exactly call it intimidating, but at some point during every run you get that moment where you want to scream a few choice words out loud, and of course some do,” Turner said. “And really it is that openness and lack of a safety net on a bike versus the car that is the difference. Every run is different and you never know what to expect.
“I have had a few close calls in my days, but never any accidents. I have been as fast as 252 miles per hour on one of these things and at those speeds you really can never expect anything.”
So with so much danger involved in the sport, what keeps Turner risking his life for the amusement of the fans?
“I do it for the challenge. It is a challenge putting a bike together and then tuning it to run well and stay together,” Turner said. “Although we may sometimes look like cavemen trust me, we aren’t. There is a lot of science to this sport. It is kind of like playing chess.”
And Turner and the rest of the Nitro Harley crew including Steve Dorn, Mike Scott and Randal Andras will be on hand to kick off the Nitro Jam season January 28-29 at Palm Beach International Raceway and at venues across North America throughout the 2011 season. Don’t miss a minute of the action at a Nitro Jam event near you.