Cruiser! Cruiser! Cruiser! That’s all anyone is talking about right now, but that’s not what we are talking about today. We aren’t just focused on new products; we are also dedicated to improving and keeping our current models going. There are so many major factors when it comes to keeping things going. I won’t bore you with most of them, but you can trust it is headed in the right direction.
Supply! Supply! Supply! This is one of the most important jobs over here at Buell as well as one of the biggest misconceptions about the company. We have been very hard at work at re-establishing a reliable supply chain for our current models, getting in new parts, and establishing relationships with businesses to supply our future products. This is one of the hardest, most time-consuming jobs and important jobs we have over here, but it’s also boring. So on to the fun!
Test! Test! Test! Once we have a new parts in hand, it is time to test. Some tests are complicated, some are simple, some require special tools, different abilities in riding, different locations, and sometimes the right opportunity.
Opportunity! Opportunity! Opportunity! When it comes knocking, you answer. Our friend Jesse Jay, Owner of the Disrupt Race Team gave us a call after their season ended, with Hayden Gillim taking the Moto America Stock 1000 Championship. Jesse had the desire to get Hayden on a Buell for the Pro Cup at Barber Vintage Fest. This sparked some excitement in the Buell Team. We committed to the partnership, and needed to get a bike together fast, and safely. We also had some hot items in-house to get done as well. A few late nights later, we had a test rig for validating a handful of new parts, and what I like to call the “HH-MR” aka “The Hammer” a stock Hammerhead with all the bells as whistles.
HH-MR at Putnam Road Course - Greencastle, Indiana
Test! Test! Test! With the test rig prepped, a truck full of parts, and the HH-MR we met up again with my good friend Mark White at Putnam Park Road Course in Indiana. Mark brought along his personal 1190RS race bike and agreed to help us over the weekend test a handful of parts, give professional feedback and shake “The Hammer” down. Myself, acting as the “Semi Aggressive” control rider, and Mark acting as the extreme condition rider. I CANNOT stress enough how valuable having Mark White there to give his feedback and discuss results. I have to thank the Buell Team for stepping up to swap parts and take notes between sessions, that was beyond helpful. Once all the “work” was done, got a couple sessions on the HH-MR in and we called it a successful weekend. No failures, no crashes, no injuries and positive results from testing. We got everyone together for a steak dinner at St. Elmo's in Indianapolis to celebrate the hard work and good company!
Mark White testing the HH-MR at Putnam Road Course
Go! Go! Go! After a little more help from Mark getting the HH-MR race prepped, Disrupt Racing picked the bike up just in time to make the Barber Vintage Festival in Birmingham, Alabama. Finished up the day in the office Friday, a day before the races, head to the airport all while watching lap times from practice. Geoff May, Hayden Gillim 1 & 2 fastest times! As I’m sitting down on the plane, a text comes through, the engine had a mechanical issue. Without hesitation the Buell Team back at the warehouse jumped into action, boxed up a new engine, tools, fluids and extra parts, loaded the van and hit the road! They have and 11-hour drive…
Stark and the production team working on the HH-MR before race start
Race! Race! RACE! It’s 5am, the boys arrive in Birmingham. We head to the track to meet up with Jesse, get some coffee, assess the situation and get to work by 6:30am, race at Noon. Though the job is not difficult we were operating with minimal tools, swapping race prepped parts between engines, discussing/coordinating settings with Hayden’s crew chief, unknown environment and little sleep under the pressure made for an exciting morning! 11am, tech inspector overlooking while we get fluids in and safety wire ready, new engine fires off! The Hammer lives again & sounds healthy. The tech inspector gives us the clear. Body work back on and we have 45 minutes to spare. Buell is Back… in the Race! At Noon we are on track, Geoff may on his 1190RS and Hayden on the Hammerhead both in pole position. We are off! Geoff fighting for 1st, Hayden hanging in 4th through most of the race. Hayden learning the bike, is just getting faster and faster and faster! We come down to the last 2 laps, Geoff Takes 1st and Hayden takes 3rd! 2 Buell sponsored riders on podium! All our hard work paid off!
Hayden Gillim and Geoff May (Disrupt Racing) with Team Buell at Barber Vintage Fest 2023
Huge shout out to the Disrupt Team for the opportunity! Hayden Gillim is such a pleasant person to be around and given more time I think would have given Geoff a good run. Geoff May thank you for all the advice on setup. Mark White for the input and work he put in to prepping the bike. My coworkers and friends at Buell for stepping up to make this happen.
Geoff May taking 1st at Barber Vintage Fest and Hayden Gillim placing 3rd his first time riding the Buell HH-MR
HH-MR aka "The Hammer" Specifications:
Engine: Stock Buell 1190cc V-Twin motor
Exhaust: Dean Adams Design w/ Tune
Suspension/Chasis/Wheels: Öhlins Front/Rear, Öhlins Steering Stabilizer, Factory Magnesium Front/Rear
Body: Stock Buell Hammerhead 1190 fairing with Buell 1190RS tail
Electrical: Full Spectrum Power P.9 Battery 360ca