The wind howled, tents flew, and the insane short TT track in the parking lot of the Austin American Statesman building was feeling the full wrath of a Texas storm. Around 11 Saturday morning, it looked like Mother Nature was going to be the winner of the third round of the RSD Super Hooligan Races held at the 2019 Handbuilt Motorcycle Show. But then the skies parted, the track dried, and the bellow of big bikes ready to rumble echoed below the Congress Avenue bridge. Days after the race, the poor bats who live beneath the bridge are still undergoing psychiatric treatment from the sonic trauma applied by Jordan Graham’s rowdy Indian FTR 1200.

Pulling off the races was no small feat. Space was limited, there were curbs to contend with, patches of pavement were uneven, and then the fickle Texas weather threw another wrench into the mix. The remedy was adding two jumps to the race, including one grass landing, which provided just the proper amount of sketchiness to an already hairball event.  

Super Hooligan racing was a big hit with the Handbuilt Motorcycle Show crowd

Kudos to the RSD Super Hooligan crew for pulling off what many believed improbable as the racing was dynamic and added another level of entertainment to the Handbuilt Motorcycle Show. It took a few practice laps, but once riders figured out the asphalt TT, it quickly became a game of line selection off the jumps. In the Dash for Cash, former AMA pro flat tracker Joe Kopp pocketed the $1000 bounty with a wire-to-wire win, Kopp’s Triumph Street Twin 900 outpacing the likes of Graham’s big Indian, Frankie Garcia’s screamin’ Ducati Scrambler and Andy DiBrino’s brand spankin' new KTM Duke790.

Who knew Super Hooligans could fly?

Before the J&P Cycles Amateur Hooligan finale, we caught up with Jolene Van Vugt of Nitro Circus fame who was competing aboard the J&P Indian Scout Sixty, and asked her about the track.

“I’m surprisingly having a lot of fun with it. I was a little bit timid at first and kind of worried with the rain. But it’s dried up really nice and the jumps are super fun and for being such a small track you’re able to get some good speed,” she said.

Jolene Van Vugt competed in the Amateur Hooligan class aboard the J&P Cycles Indian Scout Sixty 

When asked about her Scout Sixty, Van Vugt replied “I still feel like I’m getting used to it. We keep tweaking it. Every time I get on it I find just something I want a little bit different. We put some new, different bend of handlebars on it this time around to give me a bit more room and that’s been helpful. I feel like I’ve been able to get a little bit more aggressive.  I’m out there to have fun and enjoy myself, but for myself I’m always trying to get faster.”

When the flag dropped, Rich Silva, aka “#bigmexicanonasmallharley,” became a crowd favorite as he fought his way to second place in the Amateur Hooligan main, scoring a $250 J&P Cycles gift card for his effort. Meanwhile, Michael Gregory powered his #94 Ducati Scrambler to the top step of the Amateur podium.

When riders collide! 

In the RSD Super Hooligan Main event, Kopp once again grabbed the holeshot, landed cleanly off the first jump and never looked back on the way to the win. Two-time defending Super Hooligan champion DiBrino was in second until his chain broke with just a few laps left, taking him out of contention. This opened the door for Garcia to slot into second place, much to the delight of the Ducati rider, who was having fueling issues earlier in the day. In true Super Hooligan fashion, Garcia jiggled some wires, gave it a proverbial kick or two, and was able to put himself on the podium with a strong second place run. “Jiu-jitsu” Graham powered his FTR 1200 across the line to grab the final spot.

The unlikely star of the day though had to be Preston Burroughs who snuck on track during the Super73 electric motorbike exhibition race riding a Lime electric scooter, launched off the first jump, then high kicked it around the track with surprising speed. Bravo, Burroughs, bravo!

RSD Super Hooligan National Championship Standings:

1.       Joe Kopp (Triumph Street Twin 900) 75 points

2.       Andy DiBrino (KTM Duke 790) 47 points

3.       Chris McDougal (Harley-Davidson Street 750) 40 points

4.       Tony Alves (Harley Sportster 1200) 38 points

5.       Jordan Baber (Harley Sportster 1200) 35 points