The XDL Sportbike Freestyle Championship started as a test event in 2005. At the time we combined drifting with stunt riding to see what kind of entertainment we could create. The experiment didn’t work out so well, but we realized there was a lot of potential with the sport bikes by themselves, if we created a series. We started the XDL series in 2006 with 3 events. We went to four in 2007, and in 2008 XDL became a 6 event points series. It is a championship just like AMA Superbike now. Our big distinction is that XDL caters to the new audience of urban sport bike riders. It is the fastest growing part of the motorcycle market and one that looks like it’ll keep expanding for at least 10 years. Our competitions generally take place inside cities, as compared to traditional road racing, which takes place on a race track in the sticks. As an example, we run an event with Moto GP at Indy where we block off a street downtown. And the XDL Finals are in Long Beach, right in front of the Queen Mary. So XDL is making a new sport very easily accessible to fans.
XDL represents a sport and our goal is to grow it. In the short term we are focusing on building strong relationships with the top athletes through the national championship. Medium term we want to build out the base some more by sanctioning other competitions and developing a regional ladder system. Long term we’d like to work with motorcycle manufacturers and the industry in general to develop an infrastructure of "riding parks." One of the big benefits of our sport is that it takes place in a more or less standardized area of 100’ x 300’, which is tiny compared to the space required by a race track, and small enough to easily fit into a parking lot. At some point we envision riding parks in cities just like we have skate parks today. It helps support the sport and helps municipalities and the industry deal with the issue of street stunting. Our plan is a little bit like what Wally Parks did with NHRA back in the 50s and 60s. At the time, street racing was spreading and he saw the roots for a sport. He standardized the format, created a competition system and got people to build 1/4 mile drag strips. Remember, there was a time when we didn’t have drag racing. It is a totally legitimate sport now and fully embraced by the industry (both cars and bikes), but it started just like stunt riding.