Next up for our Salt & Speed racer profile, we have a letter to share from a veteran racer, Tom Anderson, who will be at BUB Speed Trials this August. Here's what "Santa" had to say.
"Hi, I’m Tom “Santa Claus” Anderson. I will get to the bikes, but a little history first. We started racing on the salt in 1995. When Erik Buell and Harley got together and built the S-2 Thunderbolt we came up with the name of Buell Brothers Race Team. We set a record the first year in the Production Push Rod 1350 Class at Speed Week. Our Race Team started with guys that I was in the service with, we were Vietnam Vets and a lot of friends. We loved Harleys and going fast. Our race team now has people from all over the world.
A few years later, my sisters gave me so much crap about having so much fun and not building a bike for women to race at Bonneville. So the Buell Sisters were born.
In 2003, Denis “Bub” Manning met us at Speed Week and helped us go faster. He told us that he was going to put a land speed racing event at Bonneville for motorcycles only. He asked us to come; he was going to call it “Bub Speed Trials”. We said “Yes”, so did other people and teams. As they say, the rest is history.
The Brothers’ bike is now is a 1350 modified partial stream line Buell. With S&S cases, flywheels, and two G series S&S carbs with a set of Schumacher Heads. The bike has evolved over the years, it has set numerous records and gone over 176 mph. We tear the bike down every year, we go through everything: front end, bearings, frame and engine; then paint everything and put it back together and Dyno the bike. Then it is off to Bonneville to see if we can go faster! Joe Taylor has been the pilot for many years. This year Joe is building a 1939 Knucklehead, so he is also busy.
The Sisters’ bike is the same 1995 S-2 Thunderbolt we started racing with in 1995. It is in the 1350 Production Push Rod Class. The engine we use is a stock 1203 Buell engine from Harley. We have had a few different women ride the bike through the years but Erin Hunter is the pilot now. The thing I enjoy about women riding the bike is that they listen to what you tell them to do, then do it and go faster. The Production Class has to be like you bought the bike new. She has set many records through the years on the bike. She holds the record now at 147 mph and we want to go faster at the Bub Speed Trials.
The third bike is new this year; we are going to call it Big Brother. It is a Buell frame with a Buell RR Body work. Things didn’t work out on our new engine so we are going to run a 1203 Buell engine to make sure it goes straight down the track. Plus, we will see if the fairing I built will work and handle. I am putting all that I have learned over the past 18 years to hopefully get to 200 mph on gas and naturally aspirated. All of our bikes are yellow, our first bike was yellow and we still are the same.
If going to Bonneville is on your bucket list, you better do it. You will never forget it. Plus you can always stop by the Buell Brothers and Sisters pits and get an Old Style beer and some Cheese! After racing, we get together at our pits, play guitar, sing some Rock & Roll songs and have a few Old Styles.
Buell Brothers and Buell Sisters Race Team
Photos and commentary by Matt Polito
S&S was once again a force in the chase for the NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle championship in 2011. Led by the Lucas Oil Team and rookie sensation Hector Arana Jr., S&S-Powered Buells amassed some enviable accomplishment in the premier motorcycle drag racing series.
Arana Jr. joined his father, 2009 NHRA PSM champion Hector Arana Sr., on a two-bike team this season and put himself in position to challenge for the championship. In the end he could not overcome a strong finish by Harley-Davidson® rider Eddie Krawiec, who claimed his second #1 plate.
Hector Arana Jr. had a sensational year in his rookie season of NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle racing. Arana Jr. took the number one qualifying position in seven events and scored three wins in five final round appearances.
Arana Jr. would finish second to Krawiec in the championship points and was awarded the prestigious Auto Club Road to the Future Award – NHRA’s Rookie of the year honor - beating out eight other eligible professional rookie racers.
Arana Jr. had a disappointing start, failing to qualify at the season-opening Gator Nationals at Gainesville, but he took the pole four races later at Norwalk – the place where his father won his first-ever NHRA event in 2008.
Arana Jr.s first-ever win came at the prestigious NHRA Mac Tools US Nationals at Indianapolis.
In all, Arana Jr. qualified on the pole in seven events and had 3 wins in five final round appearances. He took his first-ever event title at the prestigious NHRA Mac Tools US Nationals at Indianapolis.
"Overall, it was a good season, being that it was my rookie year, first time out," said Arana Jr. "I can't wait to get back to the shop, find some power, come back and show these guys who's boss. I've got a full season underneath my belt. Those last several runs, I felt like I was making perfect runs. I'm ready to go to Gainesville and start from the beginning."
Hector Arana Sr, who won the 2009 NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle championship, set a new elapsed time record of 6.777 seconds in 2011.
His father, Hector Sr., did not win an event this season but qualified on the pole at two events and set the elapsed time national record at 6.777 seconds in Gainesville. The record remained unchallenged for the rest of the season.
Combining the Arana’s #1 qualifying performances, S&S-powered Buells took nine poles in the 16-race NHRA schedule.
Matt Smith, who brought a Buell to its first championship in 2007, went to three finals in 2011, winning at Englishtown. Smith finished the season in the fourth position.
2007 NHRA PSM championship Matt Smith took one event win in three final round appearances and held the number 4 spot in the championship points in 2011.
Chip Ellis got back on an S&S-powered Buell this season and went to the final at Chicago.
Rejoining the S&S-powered riders this year was Chip Ellis, riding the new Kuryakyn Buell of veteran owner Harry Lartigue.
Ellis has a rich history on the Buell’s, taking the prototype G2 machine to its first-ever pole at the US Nationals in 2004. He then ran the Drag Specialties Buell of George Smith and George Bryce for three seasons, finishing in the top five every year.
This year Ellis went to the final at the Chicago event but failed to make the top ten cutoff for NHRA’s Countdown to the Championship.
Lartigue stated that the team would compete again in Kuryakyn colors in 2012
2011 marked the sixth straight year that S&S-powered Buells accounted for two of the top five points earners in the NHRA series. In that time two championships were won on S&S-powered Buells, Smith in 2007 and Arana Sr. in 2009.
George B. Smith commented on the season, stating, “I am really proud of the talent, hard work and dedication of the riders, the tuners and their teams. Our technology is available to everyone and we have to race against technology that is only available to the Harley-Davidson® factory team. We built this engine as an alternative that would change the face of NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle drag racing. With the efforts of the racers, we were able to do that.”
In the November issue of IronWorks magazine, Stephen Berner published a great article titled "Scott Sjovall's X-Glide: More than the sum of its parts" covering his experience with Scott's motorcycle. The X-Glide is a lab rat of S&S Cycle's research and development and is a true workhorse in the name of better motorcycle performance research. Scott lent Stephen his X-Wedge powered custom homebuilt for a week and had a few things to say about it.
"The X-Wedge was debuted to the VTwin press during 2007, heady times in the V-Twin industry indeed. It was a new engine designed for the blossoming OEMs who were looking for an EPA-compliant workhorse; a worry free high performance engine made in America from a name they could trust. That in and of itself had value and leverageable brand equity. 'It is powered by an S&S XWedge engine, you know.'"
"Well things being what they are and history being what it is, looking back we obviously are much wiser, smarter, and a hell of a lot more conservative in how we spend our hard earned cash now. But if it weren’t for the boom the X-Wedge might not have been developed. And friends, I can report that it is indeed a well-developed engine."
But let me tell you, this is a great engine; a responsive power plant that can go to a whole ‘nother level of V-Twin riding. A 56-degree cylinder configuration, a wider configuration than a 45-degree engine layout. It is this characteristic that prevents us from simply sticking this beastly strong S&S engine in our stock framed machines. The front cylinder and exhaust pipe wont fit a stock configuration and the back cylinder would be crowded."
"And so every once in a while a knowledgeable enthusiast would typically ask three questions: the first was “What am I looking at?” The second, “What’s it like to ride?” And the third, after hearing my answers, was “Where can I get one?” So, this is how I answered those queries.
What is this? This is a 132-inch, S&S XWedge-powered, Rolling Thunder frame’d Road Glide derivative owned by Scott Sjovall, VP of Product Development at S&S Cycle. The front end is off a Hayabusa. All the running gear/bodywork is a blend of S&S and H-D for the most part.
What’s it like to ride? It’s a lot like a Harley but it spools up faster, goes longer, is stronger, has more torque and doesn’t run out of breath. The engine seems unflappable and doesn’t mind redline/rev limiter shifts through all the gears, all the time. It never complains. At slow parking lot speeds, you can feel the longer frame but in every other situation the bike is like a locomotive; strong, straight in terms of handling, and has seemingly boundless enthusiasm for the task at hand. Sixth speed is ridiculous—a total “you’re gonna collect autographs” gear. Put it this way: you are doing 75 MPH at 2900 RPM in 5th and the engine is barely breathing. What are you planning on doing in 6th gear? Getting tickets, uh huh.
Where can I get one?: Unfortunately you can’t get one. Well, let me rephrase that: you can’t buy one “baked.” You will need to connect with a builder who can put the bike together or you can do it yourself if you are a crafty hands-on type that has done work like this before. Working with a frame manufacturer like Rolling Thunder insures you’ll have what you’ll need in terms of tabs and mounts, and S&S has some real patient tech support folks that can work with you to answer fitment questions and make recommendations. The bodywork and accessories are available most anywhere. Put it this way: S&S wants you to succeed."
To read the entire article, click here to download the pdf.
Coming soon: The X-Glide hits the drag strip!
Photos taken by Chris Callen of Cycle Source
What's With The Red Hat?
We've gotten a number of emails asking what the red hat is all about. Odd that nobody has commented about it on the blog. Be that as it may, here's the deal.
The red hat that Jay and Wink were striving for is not the one your mother in law wears with her purple pants suit to her Red Hat Society meetings. The only people who get to wear this hat belong to the prestigious 200 MPH Club. The 200 MPH Club is a very exclusive organization open only to people who have set a record of over 200 MPH in any of a number of land speed racing sanctions. Check out their website
for more details.
S&S has a resident 200 MPH Club member here in Viola. Dan Kinsey has been with S&S since 1970 and has set a couple of 200 mph+ records at the Bonneville Salt Flats. Dan piloted the S&S/BUB streamliner Tenacious to a 276.510 mph SAF2000 record in 1985, and drove the S&S partially streamlined bike Tramp III to a 226.148 mph APS-APF2000 record in 1991. (video
) He's been there, done that, and he has the hat to prove it.
Dan Kinsey and TRAMP III
Not So Fast!
So all Wink and Jay need to do is to beat their current records and go over 200 mph to get in the club, right?
No, it's not that simple. They intend to run in two classes APS-PG 3000 and APS-PF 3000. Jay currently holds SCTA records in those classes. Both records are less than 200 mph. However, the 200 MPH club has set a minimum speed of 215 MPH in the APS-PG 3000 class and recognizes a record of 231.597 set by Dave Campos in 1974 for the APS-PF 3000 class. That means that Jay and/or Wink have to set a record of over 215 mph in the APS-PG 3000 class or break Dave Campos record in the APS-PF 3000 class. That's a tall order, but they think with the additional horsepower and slippery bodywork that it can be done!
How can Jay Allen hold an SCTA record in APS-PF 3000 if Dave Campos holds a higher one? The answer is that it's complicated; involving several different racing sanctions and 200 MPH Club rules. When the smoke clears, it's tough to fight city hall, and if you want to join the club, you have to play by their rules!
What do all the numbers and letters in the class names mean?
The number is the maximum displacement in cubic centimeters. The first A stands for Altered or special construction. The PS stands for Partially Streamlined. The PG stands for Pushrod Gasoline, and the PF stands of Pushrod Fuel. So APS-PF3000 means that the bike is altered, partially streamlined, with a pushrod engine of less than 3000cc displacement, and running on fuel (nitromethane). So why are these guys going after a fuel record on a bike that's powered by gasoline? Well, there's no rule that says that you have to run nitro, it just says that you can. So if you can beat a fuel record on gas, more power to you. It's been done before.
Meanwhile back at Wink's shop in Orange, CA . . . Wink is modifying the new bodywork to fit Jay's FXR. The problem is that this fairing was built for a different type of motorcycle. When you stick it on a Harley-Davidson® big twin the cutout for the riders left foot is right over the big hump in the Harley® primary case. The solution is to move the cutout back about eight inches so the rider's foot can slide in behind the primary and out of the air stream. That's a time consuming bit of fiberglass work, but it has to be done.
The aerodynamics of the bodywork is critical to the success of this project. In fact it's just as important as the additional horsepower. Keep in mind that the salt at Bonneville does not offer exceptional traction, so it's not that hard to make the tire slip and spin. Also, at speeds of over 200 mph wind resistance becomes a major factor. At some point wind resistance will overcome the traction available, and the tire will start to slip. The easier the bike can slide through the air the higher the speed at which that will occur. That's what it's going to take to get that red hat!
Haste Makes Waste... And Who Wanted To Get Wasted?
A couple of days ago Wink contacted us here at S&S to tell us that they weren't going to make it to the World Finals at Bonneville, and now it looks like the meet may not happen due to rain. The reason Wink and Jay decided to give it a miss was that there was just too much to get done and not enough time to do it right. In addition to the fiberglass bodywork, one of the key problems was that the engine hadn't been given the Wink Eller treatment, and he needed to go through it to make sure everything was perfect. According to Wink "You have to be prepared, and everything has to be done right when you go to Bonneville." He went on to explain that just going 200 mph is dangerous enough, and that rushing to get ready and possibly making mistakes or cutting corners increases the danger unnecessarily. "Besides, if you work 24/7 to get ready the week before the race, you show up at the salt all worn out. That's no good! And I hate workin' on my bike out on the salt!"
These guys are no quitters, so what's the plan? The plan is that they will skip the World Finals at Bonneville, but will instead focus on a November race at El Mirage in southern California. That will give them more time to prepare the bike and get everything dialed in before the race. We intend to update this blog to follow Wink and Jay's progress, so check back to the S&S Performance Times Blog often to see what happens.
During the 2011 BUB Speed Trials Jay Allen, of Broken Spoke Saloon fame, set three new records on his streamlined 1995 FXR with an S&S 124" engine. He came very close to the 200 MPH mark, but unless you're playing horseshoes or hand grenades, close doesn't cut it.
Old salt and bike builder Wink Eller from Orange, California worked with Jay to help him set his records at the BUB event and is now rebuilding Jay's bike to go after that 200 MPH Club qualifying record run. They hope to get the bike together and ready to race at the SCTA Bonneville World Finals October 5-8. That doesn't leave much time! The plan is to install a 135" S&S engine for even more horsepower and to replace the current fairing with some new, more aerodynamic bodywork. That's not as simple as it may sound, but Wink is just the man for the job.
Like Wink says in a recent YouTube video "I'm Wink Eller, and I AM a land speed racer."
In an email, Jay summed up the whole effort. "Wink and I were on the phone more then a hour last night, and we are both JACKED at the possibly of getting a RED HAT! Especially doing it the hard way. No Turbos or Super Chargers."
Check back to the Performance Times blog to see the progress on the build and for results from Bonneville. We're going out on a limb here. There are no guarantees that Wink and Jay will be able to pull this off and get that red hat. It's almost like reality TV, except that this is real!
Here's the build thus far:
S&S recently received this email from George Bryce of Star Racing in Americus, Georgia. Star Racing is an S&S Dealer, and has been a leader in NHRA ProStock competion for years. They also do extreme high performance work for customers all over the world. It’s very good to see them expanding their efforts to the European racing circuit, but their email says it all.
Hello my friends, We have been racing in Europe this season. We have won the Championship in Europe this year with one event left to go.
Our team races Star racing prepared S&S powered American Vtwins, two of them. We have WON every race completed in Europe this year.
We have raced in Budapest Hungary, Santa Pod England, Sweden, Finland, Norway and Germany..team Sovereign is a rookie, Hungarian based team.
We have set track records and have help the sport to grow in Europe as the NHRA PSM class is enjoying a increase in participation in 2011.
Thank you to our supporters and team for the great season in a new venue.
Americus Motorsports Complex AMC