Team RidersDiscount.com Jake Holden Racing had the privilege and honor of getting Taylor Knapp his first taste of the new EBR 1190RS at New Jersey Motorsports Park in AMA American SuperBike. Knapp went to NJMP with no experience on the new bike, only getting on the EBR 1190RS for first time in practice Friday morning. After that, he did nothing but go faster all weekend long. Being that it was an almost entirely bone-stock motorcycle straight off the assembly line, the entire team was thrilled to see Taylor end the weekend on the new bike pulling off lap times that were within half-a-second of the leaders in race two.
Taylor Knapp – “I was happy after showing up having never ridden the EBR 1190RS before. It was a different bike from the Buell I rode in 2009 but it was really good right out of the box. I didn’t realize the bike was going to be so stock, the team just put a pipe and some bodywork on it and we went racing. After the first session I rode it, I was happy – it was really good. And every session out we made tons of the progress and it just kept on getting better right up until the race.
By the second race we had the bike dialed in and I think we were doing the same times as the leaders or were right on par with them on the last few laps. Those guys were racing for the championship and to be less than a half second off the lap time as them makes me really happy I gave the bike a try. There’s a ton of potential for it and I think it’ll be a good package for anyone riding it next year. Working with everyone at Team RidersDiscount.com Jake Holden Racing was great, they did nothing but make the bike better for me all weekend long!”
Boyd Bruner, Crew Chief and EBR 1190RS builder – “Taylor rode what was basically a stock $36,000 motorcycle straight off the factory floor. Erik [Buell] suggested to the team that they get someone from the factory that knew the bike, so I went to work getting it ready. It took two days to build the bike, we just built it right before we left for NJMP and Taylor rode what was pretty much a stock motorcycle, except for the muffler, ECU and bodywork. We didn’t even change the actual pipes, just the muffler so all the stock emissions stuff was still on there. That, and we took off one of the two gaskets on the cylinder head. The gaskets are designed to be easily removed without pulling the cylinder from its studs. It’s light too, so we had to add some weight to it to be legal in the American SuperBike class. It was pretty good for what we had – it was phenomenal actually, and it worked out great after a little seat time.
The key for us was the seating position, which was a little bit high for Taylor – who’s 6’ 2”, so we had to tilt it back a few degrees and for him, that made all the difference. After that change, we dropped a half second and he could run comfortably at the pace he needed without burning up the rear tire. It’s strange because it was only a tiny bit that we brought it down, but it was enough to change the weight distribution.
Working with Taylor, he’d come in, tell me what the problem was, we’d fix it and he’d go back out. It was flawless. Every session he picked up time. It was great working with the team, everyone was so positive – if we had a problem, nobody complained about it, they just wanted to know what they could do to fix it. I got a lot of help from Walker and I couldn’t have done it without Mike Fitzgerald because he did the suspension, which I didn’t have time to do. And James Compton was very, very helpful for me.”
Breeann Poland owner, Jake Holden Racing – “It was a unique situation for the whole team because, not only hadn’t Taylor seen the EBR 1190RS before, neither had we! The whole crew got thrown into the deep end with the new bike but, true to their expertise, had no problem setting it up to Taylor’s liking. I’m really proud of everyone because, like all the other challenges we’ve faced this year, they made headway every session out. Taylor threw down on track too, hounding Geoff May – who’d been riding the same bike much longer, in both races. It was great to see everyone put in all their work to get him going fast on the bike.”
Brian Gibson owner, RidersDiscount.com – “Taylor took to the track like a kid in a candy store. A brand new EBR 1190RS gave him plenty of excitement and being able to ride in both American SuperBike on that and working on his Vesrah Suzuki GSX-R600 in Daytona SportBike kept him busy. It was great to have Taylor back in the RidersDiscount.com Jake Holden Racing garage again. It was a lot of fun to work together again.”
Taylor Knapp would like to thank his sponsors: RidersDiscount.com, Vesrah, CN Trading, Alpinestars Apparel, Arai Helmets, Ray C’s Extreme Store and BTP.
Jake Holden Racing would like to thank his sponsors: RidersDiscount.com, FMF Exhaust, Motul Lubricants, Shoei Helmets, Cortech Apparel, Sidi, Held, Motion-Pro, Liquid Performance, Vortex Racing, Bazzaz Performance, SharkSkinz Bodywork, Zero Gravity Windscreens, Vicci, Goodridge Brake Lines, Speedy Moto, K & N Engineering and Penske Shocks.