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Thread: So I wrote Erik Buell a letter

  1. #1
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    So I wrote Erik Buell a letter

    While reading Superbikeplanet.com a few weeks ago, http://www.superbikeplanet.com/2009/...ellrelease.htm
    they had a news story and there were some quotes from Erik Buell about the new rules and AMA racing. I took a little exception to his remarks and rather than being another internet whiner, I wrote him a letter to tell him so. I wasn't disrespectful, but politely pointed out beating motorcycles with half the displacement wasn't an "engineering coup" and being gleeful about winning was "false pride". Today, I received a letter from Mr. Buell himself and it is interesting reading. I don't have a scanner so I've transcribed it below.

    Dear Mr. DeWan,
    I do not read Superbike Planet, so am not aware of what they published and cannot comment. It appears that your comments are aimed at the Buells racing in the AMA, so to that I can respond.
    The Daytona Sport Bike class was created by AMA Pro Racing as a class that would enable many brands to compete. This is similar to what has been done in the automotive Grand-Am series where Porsche, Pontiac, Cadillac, BMW, Jaguar, etc. all compete together with different displacements and engine types. During the season if any brand should appear to have an advantage, rules changes will be adopted to slow down that brand, It has worked in Grand-Am, and hopefully, will work in the AMA.
    The factory backed 600's in DSB are very refined, as the top speeds of 180 mph at Daytona show. Great application of technology from huge companies, and out of reach for all but a few chosen riders. On the other hand, the 1125R's running in the class are very close to stock, and they make a very economical ride for talented privateers like Danny Eslick, Michael Barnes, Shawn Higbee, Taylor Knapp, etc. As an es-privateer AMA racer, I applaud what the AMA has done to break the stranglehold of highly funded factory teams. I am also quite happy to see the Buell patented American innovations like fuel in the frame and ZTL brakes be shown as competitive on the track.
    If you check the facts of split times, you would see that other brands have higher top speeds, and that Danny's split times show he is quickest in the handling sections of the track. That would certainly indicate e don't have a power advantage. Of course the 1125 can make more power, but we are not pushing that at all since the goal is to have competitive racing between many brands. After Road Atlanta, the weight was shifted to add 15lbs to the Buell and remove 5lbs from everyone else. We are fine with that, as we understand the AMA is learning what makes the competition most close.
    So how do I feel about my company and racing? Well, all of Buell is only 200 people, including design, test analysis, accounting, IS, HR, assembly, shipping, maintenance, etc. Ducati has more than that in their race department, and Honda has thousands in the racing alone - 170,000 total. Our race department is six people. So I'm proud of this little team. I'm proud that our patented innovations work. I'm proud to be part of enabling guys like Danny to prove their skills.
    We at Buell are working towards getting a Superbike version of the 1125 ready. Yes, we'll be under the displacement limit, but the 1125 is all we have. Yes, our staff is tiny, but they work harder than anyone else. So, what are our chances when even a company like Ducati is a behemoth compared to us? Pretty slim admittedly, but we deserve respect that at least we we will be out there. No one in the US has tried harder, and we'll continue to do so.

    signed by Erik Buell


    So any spelling and or punctuation mistakes are mine. This letter certainly puts things in a different perspective for me and I will try and open my mind to the possibility this is ok. At least Mr. Buell took the time to answer me personally and kudos to him for that. Without trashing him, what do you think of the contents of his letter?
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  2. #2
    apriliaforum expert Tdawg's Avatar
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    pretty cool he wrote back. didn't have an issue with Buell or Eslick just DMG. Bruce Rossmeyer’s Daytona Racing/RMR Buell 1125R is not a factory team

    they need a spec bike series. then they'll learn the inputs of a rider has a greater impact than their 4 wheel conterparts.

    was looking at the 1125's today, still ugly. proper placement of the rad would do wonders.

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    apriliaforum expert sperz1's Avatar
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    Very cool that he wrote you back. Eric seems like a real straight up guy.
    Get you some James, get you some...


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    apriliaforum expert duc slayer's Avatar
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    don't think he really said much of anything

    besides the weight change effected nothing............. wow the Aprilia can take a non existent 5 lbs off.

    Or the split/fast lap times, like many have said, yes the 600's are close, but you have great riders wringing the bikes neck and riding their balls off, while Eslick seems to be out on a sunday cruise

    let my flaming begin
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    apriliaforum expert rx7tt95's Avatar
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    The Buell had the advantage in the infield, in the handling section of the track. Where there are lots of corners. Where the Buell would pull bike lengths going OUT of the corners. So it needs over double the displacement, prototype suspension and mag wheels to do so. Otherwise it'd be a dog. Interesting marketing choice.

    I read that article too and just shook my head. They're going to get spanked in superbike unless they can pull Mladin off the Suzuki to ride for them, LOL.
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    apriliaforum expert apexxn's Avatar
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    I don't believe he doesn't read Superbikeplanet. And why spend your time to respond to an article without spending time to read said article.

    But I do give him props for getting back to you.

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    apriliaforum Junkie johnnyrotten143's Avatar
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    I tip my helmet to ANY corporate CEO/owner who takes the time to write a personal letter to someone who writes them asking questions....Those guys are pulled different directions ALL day, so taking time to personally return correspondence is, in this day & age, RARE!!!

    -Brings back the day I got a letter repsonse from "Fast Freddy" Spencer in ink....got it framed....whata guy!!
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  8. #8
    apriliaforum expert duc slayer's Avatar
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    did he really reply or just put his sig on the bottom
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    Some say a comet will fall from the sky. Followed by meteor showers and tidal waves. Followed by faultlines that cannot sit still. Followed by millions of dumbfounded dipshits. Some say the end is near. Some say we'll see armageddon soon. I certainly hope we will
    I sure could use a vacation from this stupid shit, silly shit, stupid shit... One great big festering neon distraction, I've a suggestion to keep you all occupied. Learn to swim!!!

  9. #9
    apriliaforum expert apexxn's Avatar
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    It did ring of the same script that Eslick regurgitated the other day on Speed.

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    apriliaforum expert Infallible's Avatar
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    Good for him and good for Buell. They are working with what they are offered, and I can not find fault with them.
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    apriliaforum expert RFM's Avatar
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    I am one of the few here that owned a Buell. I would consider it again as well. Good to see a person as involved with his bike.
    You can sway a thousand men by appealing to their prejudices quicker than you can convince one man by logic.


  12. #12
    apriliaforum expert Norrin Radd's Avatar
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    I owned a Buell for years and have spent time with Erik at many Buell gatherings. He always attended the gatherings and was openly available to talk to everyone (even the idiots that chose to spend that time whining about some minor issue that a dealer would fix under warranty) and was all about bikes and riding. He led the daily rides and BS'ed about bikes and racing the rest of the day. Couldn't have a cooler, more "one of us" kind of CEO.

    I would say yes he wrote the letter and anything any of the riders say that is close to that is because they have been briefed on how to respond to the obvious questions.

    Personally I like the new Buell and think the big wide front of it is cool, I have a problem with the back as it is still from the XB series and the 1125 should have had a full body make over with a new tail.

    I'm all for as many companies and as many different ideas as possible in competition and think that Buell winning is good for the sport. As Mat M. winning on a Buell, wouldn't happen nor would it happen on a Kawi or a Honda or a Yamaha (well maybe on a Yamaha.)
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  13. #13
    apriliaforum expert duc slayer's Avatar
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    If what EB stated was true, as in only 6 people making up the racing division and 200 total for buell, then there is no way he wrote the letter. With only 200 people he does NOT have the time to respond to company letters.
    #1 Forum Mod Pisser-Offer

    Some say a comet will fall from the sky. Followed by meteor showers and tidal waves. Followed by faultlines that cannot sit still. Followed by millions of dumbfounded dipshits. Some say the end is near. Some say we'll see armageddon soon. I certainly hope we will
    I sure could use a vacation from this stupid shit, silly shit, stupid shit... One great big festering neon distraction, I've a suggestion to keep you all occupied. Learn to swim!!!

  14. #14
    apriliaforum expert TRexRacing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by duc slayer View Post
    If what EB stated was true, as in only 6 people making up the racing division and 200 total for buell, then there is no way he wrote the letter. With only 200 people he does NOT have the time to respond to company letters.
    Well having met Erik Buell and worked for a Pegasus award winning Buell shop I bet he wrote that letter.And ducslayer with over 10,000 posts I'd say you have no time to ride if using your logic about Mr. Buell.He's a straight up guy and is enthusiastic about his bikes place in the market and he makes time for those who ride them.In closing I'd say they need to tweak the rules some more to make things fair.

    P.S.I'm not really a big Buell motorcycle fan or I'd own one.Too much fix it later stuff for my taste.I like to ride.
    oh well nevermind

  15. #15
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    I think he did

    Ducslayer- I really don't know if he wrote the letter or not. There is what I believe to be his signature (in ink) at the end of the letter. Of course I'll frame it (wife manages a frame shop, hee, hee). The fact I received any response at all is notable. When I saw the envelope, I thought it might be a cupon for a discount on Buell merchandise or some other such corporate "stuff".
    I posted it for several reasons: ego points for another brush with greatness.
    Most importantly I put it out there because I had a real (real or imagined) axe to grind with the Buell racing DSB. Now, I'm undecided because the letter has let me imagine a sincere, non-nefarious reason to go racing in a nationwide series. I still think the Buell gets advantages other makers don't get (including my beloved Aprilia), but maybe, just maybe, it will bring something different to what many labeled as a crappy (AMA) series.
    Time will tell and in a few years we might all be saying "Remember the year Buell won a race?"...
    With only 6 people in the racing department, I'm sure he could use some extra help: Hey JCR ever thought about a career in Piss-consin? You could post using an alias: BCR (Beer City Racer).
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