It donít get much cooler then this!
as some may know some may not I was recruited last year to race the 1125R by "HOH Buell" well its over, what a great year I took the championship on my 1125R this year and was asked to Wright a summery of the year per my sponsor "HOH Buell" so I did, this is it. even more shocking and cool to me was the email I got, I will post it at the bottom of the article
Well, what can I say? I was skeptical, not unlike most that had seen the 1125R in person. I mean, the bike looks like a street fighter, not a throw it on its ear and spin up the rear tire “race bike”. But once I put a wheel to the track I knew what this thing had and that was potential, in truck loads! The torque curve was unbelievable and the handling was razor sharp. I knew in no time I would be cutting lines so tight a plastic surgeon would have been jealous. Still, we had work to do and that work was dialing in suspension. I had little idea of where to start on the suspension. I know what I like a bike to do, but finding its sweet spot can be a difficult and time consuming process. Luckily we had a test and tune weekend coming and that was my opportunity to try and find that elusive sweet spot. The weekend came and went and I was, or so I thought, heading in the right direction as far as making the bike handle the way I needed it to. Soon, I would find I overlooked one very important thing and that’s "what the bike likes is sometimes more important then what I like!" I went home happy after that weekend in my accomplishments but come to find out, only one of us was ready.
Race 1 started great. It was sunny, hot and the track temp was at 95 degrees at 10:30am. The bike felt light and nibble although the front felt a bit vague. It was pushing a bit as I would drive into the corners but I thought little of it. This was not my first rodeo so to speak. I know how to handle a bike and sometimes you just need to out drive the corner and settle the suspension. Racers like their bikes on the verge of being twitchy and unsettled. They are faster and more compliant in that zone. But as untamed as we like them, when they do bite, you had better be ready to defend yourself. Going into “the hanger” , a 90MPH, left hand corner that leads to the “back straight," (a 2,200 foot long, full gas, full tuck, 150HPH plus, shoot to the next turn) the front tucked and the rear stepped out “highsiding” me onto the ground at over 80MPH. This is at least what I am told. I have no memory of the event, only the half hour after and the long ambulance ride to Fairbanks, over 200 miles away.
Well, how could it get much worse then the first race? Luckily it didn’t, it got much better after redoing the suspension so the bike would be happy as well. Funny how pain will make you remember you’re not truly the only thing involved in winning or losing the race! Day one went well. I got back up to speed quickly after the big “get off” and the bike was starting to feel better. Over the loud speaker I heard the call for the pre race meeting. It was go time and I had to make sure the changes I made on the bike that morning were good because the green flag was about to drop. The bike was ready and so was I. I took the win! First time ever a Buell had won an event in the 20 + year history of Tanacross and I was proud to be part of it. Humility settled in quickly though, as I had to do it again the next day! We swept the weekend taking home two first place wins in the class.
RACE 3 and 4
Still on my high coming off my last two victories I knew we, myself and my House of Harley sponsored Buell, had it in us to take home the next few wins and go for the class championship. All I had to do was not crash and lay down some vicious times. Times that the other guys could not reproduce or even best. Which under the best of circumstance is difficult, competition is fearsome and a racers competitive nature is even more so. But I knew I had the best bike and sometimes you just need to, as they say in racing, "put her on the podium, or put the pieces in the truck!" As it went, the Buell worked flawlessly and did everything I needed it to do to win the next 3 races and take second place in the last race. We were able to give the Buell its just deserts, as well as my sponsor “The House of Harley Davidson and Buell” the class championship. I have won championships on many bikes from Kawasaki, Yamaha and even Suzuki but none have ever been as fun nor have I ever been as proud as I am putting the all new 1125R on the championship podium. It has an amazing ability to “just win” races! And to inspire confidence!
Very cool, Thad. Congratulations on your hard won championship - an inspiring story!
I and the little team at Buell have worked so long to finally produce an American sportbike that can win against the best brands in the world in the hands of great riders. Thanks for choosing to ride the 1125R!
And, thank you for passing this on, Barry.
Best wishes to you all,
Last edited by ZX10Rracer; 08-24-2009 at 10:59 AM.