Hooligan Racing: The Liquor Made Me Do It

flat track racing motorcycle exits a corner

Well that’s not 100% true. This decision comes on the heels of several decisions, in series and all based on shaky logic. First is the decision to scan Craigslist for cheap motorcycles almost daily. When you have limited free time and even more limited garage space, you should never be looking actively for another project.

Just the same, I had a long-standing rule that if certain motorcycles popped up at certain prices, I would buy them and figure out what to do with them next. One such machine was the lowly Buell Blast, a design that didn’t fit in the company’s line up, ultimately failed to achieve its goals, and was literally sold as a crushed 2’x2′ cube for its final model year. It’s like the Charlie Brown Christmas tree of motorcycles.


A Buell motorcycle in the desert on a dry lake bed, crushed into a cube
Yes, this is actually the final version of the Buell Blast, available for 2010 and personally signed by Erik Buell.


Well, one popped up for $750 and it ran. Furthermore, it didn’t need tires, fork seals, or brake pads: it even had a new-ish drive belt. The obvious choice was to make it into a Mad Max themed urban runabout; it was halfway there already and more than fit for the task.


Buell Blast motorcycle parked in front of James Dean memorial

For some reason I decided I would first ride it on an 800-mile round trip to the Kernville Kampout and back. We ran into a few hiccups but we made it there and back, the bike endearing itself to me in the process. I’m 6’2″ so it was cramped and the seat was way too soft. We struggled to get up the slightest incline while in the mountains, and the bike completely died at one point, only to mysteriously re-fire as I was coasting to a stop on the shoulder. But we made it there and home.

Still, I’m aware it was a ridiculous decision. It was also a ridiculous decision to sign the bike up for the Run What Ya Brung class at the Moto Beach Classic, a hooligan flat track event coming up in less than two weeks. I can blame it on the booze but it was only 9pm at the time and I had my wits about me when I hit the “submit” button on the application. Maybe I was just tired and frazzled from the road…


moto beach classic motorcycle race flyer

In any event here I am, without a van or a trailer to get this thing and my tools down to the race track. The only obvious solution is to pack my race gear on the back and ride it down. But I will still need some basic tools, a gas can, and hopefully a canopy and a cooler.


buell motorcycle with saddlebags parked in front of a taco restaurant
Buell’s know how to party.


So if you live in the LA or Orange County area, and you want a free pass to the Moto Beach Classic, and you’re willing to bring some racetrack basics and help me out, I have the perfect opportunity for you. As you may or may not know, the bulk of racing is just waiting around for your turn. On top of that, this isn’t a serious effort: I’m racing a street-legal, almost-stock Buell Blast ‘fer Chrissakes.

That means there ain’t gonna be too much work to actually do. You mostly get to hang out, check out the Architects of Inspiration show, cruise the vendor row, watch the surf competition, and check out all the bikes that aren’t Craigslist beaters.

C’mon, anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

motorcycle flat tack racers sliding sideways across finish line

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