In this podcast episode, I get the opportunity to interview Harley-Davidson King of the Baggers (KOTB) riders Kyle Wyman and James Rispoli. We learn a bit about their riding histories and what got them to where they are now. We hear about the upcoming KOTB season and what we might expect. If you're not already following KOTB, you need to! You can watch it live on MotorAmerica+ with a paid subscription or you can watch the races later on YouTube.
Kyle Wyman won seven races during the 2023 King of the Baggers season and finished third in the season championship. Kyle is the winningest racer in MotoAmerica King of the Baggers history, with 12 total race wins in the 24 events since the start of the series in the 2021 season, plus the 2021 season championship to his credit. And yet he’s hungrier than ever after signing a new two-year contract with Harley-Davidson.
“Riding for the Harley-Davidson factory team has been a dream, and I'm excited to be given the opportunity to continue for two more seasons,” said Kyle Wyman. “We've had a lot of success in the class, but we have come up short on the championship two years in a row. Our goal is to win back the title in 2024 and I look forward to getting started with testing in the coming months.”
James Rispoli, riding for Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson, won two races in the 2023 King of the Baggers season, plus he scored five second place finishes and three third place finishes for second overall in the championship. Rispoli, who was signed to a one-year contract with the factory team, has a long history of racing Harley-Davidson motorcycles dating back to racing an XR750 as a teenager, and earning the nickname “Hogspoli” after winning the American Flat Track Production Twins championship aboard a Latus Motors Racing Harley-Davidson XG750R in 2020. He also won back-to-back AMA Pro Racing Supersport championships in 2011-2012. Rispoli fulfills a lifelong dream by joining the Harley-Davidson® Screamin’ Eagle® factory racing team.
“I am stoked to have signed with Harley-Davidson. It has been a dream of mine to be a factory rider ever since I was a little kid,” said James Rispoli. “Taking confidence and consistency paired with the backing of the factory, I know we are going to be a big threat in 2024. I am very excited to get to work.”
Rispoli replaces 2023 factory Harley-Davidson rider Travis Wyman.
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