BUILD TRAIN RACE PARTICIPANTS HIT THE TRACK
Jillian Deschenes, Lana MacNaughton and Melissa Paris complete first training session
After a long hiatus, the female participants of Royal Enfield’s BUILD TRAIN RACE (BTR) program spent two days working closely with American Flat Track racer Johnny Lewis in Viola, WI earlier this month. Three out of the four builders/riders attended the training session to prepare for their American Flat Track debut in October. During this session each rider received one-on-one coaching from Lewis spinning laps on the FT411 training motorcycles based on the Royal Enfield Himalayan and their custom-built INT 650 flat trackers.
Jillian Deschenes, Lana MacNaughton and Melissa Paris were in attendance during the training session, which took place at S&S Cycle’s Speed Ranch track. The Speed Ranch is groomed and maintained oval dirt track which S&S Cycle uses for training, special events and product development purposes. Due to current travel restrictions between the U.S. and Canada, the fourth participant, Andrea Lothrop was unable to attend. However, Andrea will be performing a virtual training session with Lewis in the coming weeks.
“It was great to finally meet the ladies of the BUILD TRAIN RACE program and we had an awesome time in Viola,” said Lewis. “Seeing the dedication and attention to detail that they put into their INT 650 builds was impressive. What was more impressive was their willingness to learn and eagerness to go fast right from the get go. By the end of day two each rider was using the techniques we discussed and pushing themselves faster and faster, which is ultimately my goal as a teacher.”
Lewis provided both on-track and off-track instruction to the ladies, using many principles and concepts taught in the Royal Enfield Slide School by Moto Anatomy program. Lewis focused on body position, riding mechanics and vision with ladies for two days. With the FT411 motorcycles, the women were able to familiarize themselves with the track conditions and received vital feedback from Lewis on their riding technique. Eventually, they transitioned to the larger and more powerful INT 650 builds on day two. Lewis was also able to shakedown each individual’s motorcycle and provided input regarding setup adjustments to improve ride-ability and performance.
“It was great to spend time with the BTR ladies at the track and see their progression,” said Breeann Poland, marketing lead of the Americas. “Having a partner like Johnny to provide coaching and insight has been a great addition to the program. Seeing him work with each rider and develop their confidence and skills over the two day session is exciting. I’m looking forward to the next time we’re all on track together again.”
Using SENA communication devices on day two, also a component of Royal Enfield’s Slide School program, Lewis provided coaching to the riders while at speed, giving precise direction on braking, cornering and more as they completed laps. After the conclusion of the two day training, all three ladies were comfortable riding aggressively at speed on their INT 650s, setting the stage for close racing when they line up for the first time in October.
The first exhibition for the BUILD TRAIN RACE ladies will be on track is on October 2-3 at Dixie Speedway as part of the American Flat Track program. Following that event, they will then race at Daytona Beach Flat Track on October 15-16.
To learn more about the riders and the BTR program, visit https://www.royalenfieldna.com/build-train-race/.
Lana MacNaughton – “I was stoked to work with Johnny and improve my abilities as a rider. As a novice flat track rider, I knew that I had a lot to learn. With Johnny’s coaching and spending time on track with Jillian and Melissa, I was able to get comfortable and really focus on improving my technique and speed.
Jillian Deschenes – “When I heard we would be working with Johnny I was thrilled. As an amateur racer I try and learn as much as I can. Working with a rider of Johnny’s caliber isn’t an opportunity you get often, so to receive his feedback was awesome. His input was invaluable and I was able to make some small changes that helped me get more comfortable on the INT 650.”
Melissa Paris – “Most of my flat track experience has been on smaller motorcycles and I rarely get as much track time as we did. Having the Speed Ranch to ourselves for two days with Johnny and the other BTR ladies was so much fun. It was also validating to put some real laps on my INT 650 which performed very well.”