“Safety Cars” – vehicles out on track during motor racing to slow the action or set a pace for a warm-up lap – are a staple in car racing, and have been featured at the Daytona 200 for the last 20 years, and in all the AMA Pro Roadracing events this season. Safety turned into hazard this last March, when the presence of the safety car at the 200 may or may not have caused a multi-bike pileup late in the race. AMA Pro Racing VP for Marketing and Communications Ollie Dean addressed these concerns in an MD interview, but Internet forums still bubbled with discontent regarding a Honda Accord being on track with 180-mph superbikes.
Sounds like a good opportunity for some cross-marketing, no? Buell and AMA Pro Racing agree. Starting with the July race at Mid-Ohio, specially-equipped Buell models will be out on course during opening laps and during caution periods. A Ulysses XB12XP (the cop-sicle version of the Uly), outfitted with flashing strobes and fluid-containing bellypan will lead the field, with a pair of 1125Rs, also with lights and a free-flowing exhaust, will shepherd riders from the rear.
I had a chance to ride at Road America behind the new bikes, and I can tell you they are hard to miss, and the air-cooled Uly, with Buell/H-D Media Guy and MotoST racer Paul James aboard had no trouble getting to the 100 mph + speeds safety vehicles sometimes need to achieve. They also sound a lot sexier than a Honda Accord, although “Bolero” played on a comb wrapped in wax paper sounds sexier than a Honda Accord.
The bikes will be maintained by Buell and transported to events in a distinctively painted transporter. The riders will be selected by AMA officials.
MD Readers Respond:
- For one DMG is trying to NAFCAR (not a typo, the”F” is for funny) motorcycle racing. So the “safety bike” and waving yellow flags are here and or to come. If the 1125 and the 600 make the same bhp, is that fair? No because the 600 will be down-usually way down in torque output. To quote “with the Buell the power was always right there”. Now in traffic and with 5 laps to go after the yellow flag, even if the 1125 is slightly slower in lap times the 600 may not be able to get around it after the re-start. In a span of 30 or whatever laps the small motor may eventually get by and pull off a wee-bit.
Buell 1125?? Saved by a yellow flag just like DMG planned in an attempt to re-pay HD for whatever their interest is? If the 1125 is so great why is it not racing against the “little” 1098 Ducati?? Has anyone raced an 848 in the class yet? HS
- Ahhh…I get it now!! So THAT’S why the 1100cc Buell gets to compete against 600cc bikes…..Makes sense now….Well at least it’s in the open now… ~Ron