Pictures and text by Matt Polito
Hector Arana Jr. kept his win streak alive on his S&S-powered Lucas Oil Buell with a win at the NHRA O’Reilly Spring Nationals at Houston Raceway Park in Baytown, Texas.
Arana Jr., the 2011 NHRA Rookie of the Year, scored his third straight win with a final round victory over Scotty Pollacheck in an all-S&S-powered final, 6.91 to 6.98.
Having won the opening event in Gainesville, Arana Jr. is now undefeated this season. Houston was his sixth career victory.
ESPN “Stat Guy” Lewis Bloom notes that 3 race wins in a row has been accomplished many times in the motorcycle class (Dave Shultz holds the mark of most PSM wins in a row at 8) but, adds Bloom, “Starting the season with three wins is pretty rare. Dave Shultz started the 1991 season with 4 wins in a row and Matt Hines won the first three in 1998. Hector Jr. is now only the third person to open an NHRA season with three wins in a row in Pro Stock Motorcycle.”
More interestingly, Bloom noted, is that it took Arana Jr. only 36 NHRA event starts to earn his sixth win. It took his father 228 races to garner his sixth event title.
Rain in Houston cut qualifying short to three sessions. Arana Jr. took the #1 position for the second race in a row with a run of 6.876 second at 195.39 mph. Second in qualifying was Pollacheck on the Sovereign/Star Racing S&S-powered Buell at 6.89/191 followed by Andrew Hines on the Screamin’ Eagle Harley-Davidson V-Rod at 6.90/193.
In all, S&S-powered bikes accounted for six of the top eight qualifiers and a total of nine entries in the 16-bike field.
There were nothing but S&S-powered bikes left in the field by the semifinals on Sunday with Arana Jr. taking out the Viper Motorcycle Buell of John Hall 6.92 to 6.95, and Pollacheck getting past his teammate Michael Ray when Ray hit a red light foul.
The Houston event marked the debut of the new S&S cam chest for the Pro Stock motors. Four were delivered prior to the event but only Matt Smith confirmed that he had installed it on his competition bike.
The cam chest is an upgrade, which allows larger cams, bigger cam bearings, more robust gears and shorter pushrods.
Smith, noting that he went out of competition with a transmission problem for the third race in a row, feels the piece will be a valuable upgrade.
“With the rain and the bike not shifting I have not been able to give the cam chest a proper test,” said Smith. “But I think they will improve reliability and the will allow us to experiment with higher lift cams and different rocker arm geometry.”
Arana Jr. widened his points lead and now leads second-place Pollacheck by 118 points. S&S-powered entries account for the top four places with Pollacheck followed by Hall at 188 points back and Hector Arana Sr. at 201 points back.
Text and photos by Matt Polito
S&S power continued to dominate the NHRA Mello Yellow Pro Stock Motorcycle drag racing series with Hector Arana, Jr. taking his second-straight win of the season on his S&S-Powered Lucas Oil Buell at the Dollar General Four-Wide Nationals at zMAX Dragway in Charlotte, North Carolina.
The Four-Wide Nationals is unique on the series as zMAX Dragway has four racing lanes. At all other NHRA National events two riders face off in a round of competition with the winner advancing to the next round. At the Four-Wide, four racers face off simultaneously with the two riders crossing the finish line first advancing to the next round. Each set of four riders is known as a “quad”.
Along with the race win, Arana, Jr. earned top qualifier honors with a run of 6.826 seconds at 195.19 mph. Following him on the qualifying sheets were Scotty Pollacheck on the Sovereign/Star Racing Buell with a run of 6.834 seconds at 193 mph and Matt Smith on the Viper Motorcycle Buell at 6.837/194.
S&S-Powered Buells have never been more dominant in a qualifying performance than at Charlotte, accounting for the top six qualifiers and a total of 11 bikes in the field of 16.
Pollacheck made the quickest pass of the event in the first round of eliminations at 6.818 seconds, 194 mph. Pollacheck survived his second round quad and advance to the final when Matt Smith, who was leading all four bikes in that quad, broke a transmission for second straight race.
The race format can have interesting outcomes as Arana Jr. faced defending series champ Eddie Krawiec in all three rounds including the final. Krawiec, running the Screamin’ Eagle Harley-Davidson V-Rod, qualified in the 16th and last position at 6.97 seconds.
Krawiec used a holeshot to cross the line ahead of Arana Jr. in their first round quad but Arana Jr. used superior performances to beat Krawiec in the next two rounds. In the final Krawiec got a slight holeshot but Arana Jr. powered past the Harley for his fifth career victory, 6.89 to Krawiec’s 6.92. Pollacheck came in third in the final quad with a 6.94 and Jim Underdahl, riding the Bad Boy Buggies Suzuki was fourth, also with a 6.94.
With two races in the books in the 2013 NHRA PSM season Arana Jr. is undefeated, winning both events.
“I have a feeling it’s going to be one of those years,” Arana Jr. said. “Everything so far has fallen into place for me.”
Text and photos by Matt Polito
The NHRA drag racing series has a new name and the Pro Stock Motorcycle division looks to be the most competitive it has been in years.
The 2013 Mello Yellow NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle series kicked off in Gainesville, FL, with the Amalie Oil Gatornationals. S&S-powered entries led the way with Matt Smith qualifying in the number one position and Hector Arana Jr. taking the event win.
The big news in NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle racing for 2013 is new rule changes, which look to bring parity back into the class. Previously, the Harley-Davidson V-Rods were allowed to run 4-valve, overhead cam engines while S&S motors were limited to pushrod-activated 2-valve heads. Now all V-Twin motors must run 2-valve heads with rocker arms and a minimum pushrod length of 8 inches.
George Bryce, who with S&S Cycle's George Smith was instrumental in developing the S&S-Powered Kosman Buells for NHRA competition back in 2002, was the driving force in getting the rule change.
"It was unfair for one team to run an overhead cam on a V-twin engine while the S&S-Powered Buells were using pushrods," stated Bryce. "These new rules will level the playing field. The competition will be closer and one team will not dominate."
The other big news in the off-season was the addition of a third Arana now in the mix. Adam Arana made his PSM debut alongside father and former champ Hector Arana and his brother, 2011 NHRA Rookie of the Year, Hector Jr.
Adam Arana made his career debut in Gainesville and qualified for the field.
At Gainesville Matt Smith qualified number one with a strong 6.804 elapsed time at 197 mph. Hector Arana Jr. and Sr. placed second and third, within one thousandth of second of Smith's performance, with identical 6.805s.
In addition to the top three seeds, S&S-powered Buells accounted for six of the top eight entries and over half – nine – of the 16 qualified bikes. The field, anchored by Chip Ellis at 6.910, was the quickest in NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle racing history.
Three S&S-powered bikes made the semifinals where Scotty Pollacheck of the Sovereign/Star Racing team lost to the resurgent Suzuki of Steve Johnson, 6.84 to 6.88 and the father and son Aranas battling it out with the younger Arana getting the best of his dad with a holeshot win, 6.849 to Sr.'s quicker 6.844. Number one qualifier Smith went out in round two when his bike would not shift.
Hector Arana Jr. (far lane) goes head to head with his father and former champion,
Hector Arana in the semi finals.
Hector Arana Jr. in the Gainesville winner's circle
Arana Jr., appearing in his ninth final, took the holeshot over Johnson and pulled away for the win, running 6.88 to Johnson's 6.909 for his fourth career victory.
"To grab the race win for Team Arana and Lucas Oil is a big accomplishment and it proves that having a third bike isn't going to slow us down, but actually speeds us up," said Arana Jr.
In addition to closer competition this year, 2013 may see a change to the face of Pro Stock Motorcycle drag racing. Currently two different teams are working to bring two new brands of bikes into NHRA Mello Yellow drag racing, both to be powered by S&S engines.
Riding for Viper Motorcycle will be (L to R) team owner Matt Smith, John Hall and Angie Smith.
The first is Viper Motorcycle of Auburn, AL. Viper, who makes high-end cruiser motorcycles, currently sponsors the Matt Smith Racing team and is working with NHRA to make a competition body for their new model to be released this year (currently code named Mamba). Eventually the team plans to develop a new viper-specific chassis for the racing bikes.
The other effort is being spearheaded by George Bryce and will use an EBR 1190RS as a template. EBR is a new motorcycle company started by Erik Buell. The 1190RS has been called "a street legal roadrace bike" and only 100 will be made.
With closer competition, new young riders and new motorcycle brands entering competition, the NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle series is looking better than ever. S&S is proud to be an integral part of this truly American racing sport.
Written by: Jeff Bailey - Engineering Manager, S&S Cycle
The goal was simple, set a Bonneville land speed record over 200 mph. We had two meets to do it at, the BUB Motorcycle Speed Trials (Aug. 26-30) and World of Speed (Sept 8-11), giving me eight days of racing to work with. The bike had the power to do it and it had proven reliable in the past. The biggest unknown was the new bodywork. Would it go straight? Would it try to fly? Only one way to find out...
This was my first trip to BUB, so the first thing we had to do was understand how they run the event. I started in the MPS-PG 3000 class. This means I had a modified (M), partially streamlined (PS) chassis with a pushrod (P), gas (G) 3000 cc engine. Because this was the first time running the full fairing, I had planned on taking it easy the first run. Even that didn’t go exactly to plan. With a 10-13 mph cross wind, I wasn’t able to even make it through the timing lights after being blown off the course. Not the start I had planned on.
We made sure the alignment was correct, which it was, did a quick 95 mph test run down the return road and headed back out to see if it would go straight. The next run was 201 mph in little to no wind. The bike felt light and not as planted as I would have liked. The 201 did qualify for a record. On the return run the other direction, the wind had picked up, and again I struggled with handling. I wasn’t able to go full throttle and only mustered a 189. This resulted in a 195.732 record. Not 200, but close.
We spent the next two days struggling with handling and traction. I ran a 195.6 and 192 before giving up on the bodywork and switching to a naked (no fairing) class. I hadn’t planned on running the bike naked, so there were plenty of things on the bike that stuck out and made it aerodynamically dirty. We also fabbed up a seat with 2 x 4’s, cardboard and duct tape. Dan Kinsey also went into town looking for any steel or lead weights. The best he could come up with were two 12 lb sledge hammers. We cut the handles off and attached them to the bike with hose clamps and scraps of welded metal.
Now in the M-PG 3000 class, I set off in hopes to set another record. The first run netted a 192.914 mph. The bike felt more planted and hooked up although still not great. The return run started from the other end of the course where the salt was worse and bumpier. I was only able to go 185.235, but that was good for a 189.075 record.
That was the end of the BUB meet, but not an end for this year’s racing. I was happy with the records, but not happy to leave without a 200 mph record.
For the World of Speed (WOS) meet we built a steel skeleton to replace the flat aluminum belly pan used at BUB. Dan also built some brackets that would allow about 60 lbs to be added to the bike. We also went over everything else including pulling the heads and cylinders for inspection. Everything looked great, so with a fresh set of rings, it went back together.
After completing the third 1500 mile trip in a few days, we were back on the salt to take another crack at a 200 mph record. This time it was at the USFRA World of Speed. The salt was good and the wind was calm, so I set off on a test run on Saturday morning. Now in the APS-PF class, I ran 197.7 to qualify on a 184.6 record. The bike really hooked up and felt stable. I knew it had more in it, but I took it as a qualifying pass which meant that I was off to impound for the rest of the day. The next morning we made a return run of 203.4 and it was on the rev limiter the whole mile. We finally had something we could tune on and I could ride. With the PF record in the books at 200.577 mph, I changed to the PG class to go after Chris Rivas’ 201.5 record.
In the afternoon on Monday, the bike made a nearly perfect run of 207.74 mph. It was slightly hitting the rev limiter, but more importantly, it continued to handle well and felt very solid. We decided that raising the rev limiter would be better than pulling another tooth off the rear. I thought for sure the next morning (final day of racing) would yield a solid record over 200.
But the following morning, the weather had changed. It had rained over night and it was cool and windy. We held back in the line of qualifiers hoping the weather would change by the time it was our turn. Luckily it seemed to. The wind died and the sun came out just as the guy ahead of me took off. I was feeling good and took off down the course. At about the 1.75 mile mark, a side wind came up and nearly blew me in to the “Q” that marks the 2.25 mile. I tried correcting the bike and getting back into it and actually ran a 196 through the second mile. I thought that would be enough for the record, but didn’t know about a rule that requires the return speed to be averaged with the speed in the same measured mile. By running it in the second mile, it didn’t count towards my average for a record.
To make things a little more exciting, right before the 4 mile marker, the exhaust weakened the fiberglass on the tail section, causing it to break and flap in the wind at 196 mph. With the wind blowing 10 mph straight across the track, I decided to pull the bodywork and switch to the open A-PG 3000 class and tried to break my own record from 2010 of 180.350 mph. We made two quick runs of 191.84 and 192.151 for an average of 191.995 mph. All I can say about those runs is the wind pressure at that speed is amazing. It was really trying to pull me off the bike.
With two records in the books, it was time to head home. One more day of racing would have probably resulted in the APS-PG record that I really wanted, but it wasn’t meant to be.
We will see what next year brings, but for now I want to thank the many people who helped out. I couldn’t have done this without sponsors like S&S Cycle, AirTech, Jimmy John’s and Spectro Oil. Although many people helped out on the project a few guys were very involved. Dan Kinsey contributed his years of knowledge of Bonneville racing as well as machining and fabrication. Gene Dlask kept the bike in race ready condition and made sure I didn’t do anything dumb. Paul Olesen spent hours reworking the fairing and preparing the bike. Rob, Nevin and Jan took care of EFI, data acq and electronics.
Success stories are great and they’re the stories everybody wants to be able to tell. Racing is a test, with racers pushing their machines to the limit in order to get a passing mark. After all, almost setting a record is the same as not setting a record. Sometimes you win, but sometimes one of thousand things that could go wrong does go wrong, and you don’t. It’s how you deal with that situation that shows your measure as a racer. Will you consider a loss to be a defeat, or will you pick yourself up and look forward to the next opportunity to win.
Here is a letter from John Endrizzi from the Joe Taylor Racing Team to Eric Wangen, the S&S product line manager for Flathead Power®. Eric provided support to the team by sending some much needed FHP engine parts the build the knucklehead race engine.
Hi Eric, I wish to send a very big thank you for all you have done in getting the Joe Taylor Racing Team off the ground. Without the S&S FHP sponsorship, our Land Speed Racing efforts would be dead. There was a whirlwind of activity at Terry Spears Gunners Cycle shop in Webster Wi. prior to BUB. Most of the fabrication on “The Goose” (formerly EL Bonnie Knuck) had been completed over the winter months. Lee Wickstrom had a full plate when he stepped up to do our motor build. He spent many hours wrenching after he should have been home with his wife. We took delivery of the motor about 12 days before taking off for Bonneville. We had arranged to do Dyno testing at Fairbault HD. The dyno operator called the day before we completed the bike to say that he had blown up the dyno. I made a frantic call to my friend Pat Lehmann who is the dyno tech at Rochester HD. He volunteered to run The Goose at the dealership on his day off. A baseline was established and the bike loaded up, leaving for Wendover two days later. A blown out trailer tire made the trip extra exciting! I flew out and joined the Team on Sat, Aug 25. We spent Sat and much of Sunday preparing The Goose for tech. After passing tech Sunday afternoon we had a freak thunderstorm, which left 2 inches of standing water on the Salt. Racing resumed Tuesday morning! We made our first pass that day after waiting in the starting queue for over 4 hours. By the time Terry set off from the starting line a very brisk crosswind had come up. He found the bike being blown from one side of the course almost hitting a marker flag on the opposite side. This was in the measured mile. He backed off the throttle. Later, he said that he was at 1/2 throttle and accelerating when the gust of wind hit him. The result was 115.929 mph. This was enough to break the Sid Biberman Vincent’s standing record of 109.079. By the time that we got the bike back to the pit, the wind speed had not died at all. It was decided not to make the return pass, which would be needed to post a new record. The next morning it was another long wait for our turn to run. Terry got off the line in good fashion and the bike sounded good thru 1-3rd gears. At the top of third, a little change in the motors rhythm was heard. While on the way down the return road, we heard the announcer say that our bike had run 59 MPH! Once back at the pit we found the rear cylinder had a holed piston. That was end of racing for The Goose! As I write this, the motor is still together. We are taking the motor down to Lee’s Speed Shop tomorrow for teardown. We suspect that the hole was NOT caused by a lean or detonation condition. More on this when we are finished with the examination. Well that’s a brief run down. I’m thinking of making a scouting trip to Wilmington, Ohio on Sept 29-30 for the ECTA Throttle Nation Bike only Land Speed Races. This would be in preparation for running The Goose there next April. We are down right now, but far from out! Thanks again Eric!
John K. Endrizzi, Joe Taylor, and Terry Spears
One of the many racers who ran S&S parts at the BUB Motorcycle Speed Trials last August was Jimbo Fischer. This is a pretty cool story so we’ll let Jimbo tell it in his own words.
Well we sure proved the quality, strength, and endurance of the S&S Super Stock SB-100 engine this year at the BUB/AMA Speed trials at Bonneville.
The “Great White Dyno” threw us a couple glitches as usual, that were analyzed and remedied quickly. We had to beat the existing record of 156.096 - An early lesson from Warner is - Don’t waste a minute of time - get there and beat the record first day out. That’s exactly what we did, three times.
After we set a new record of 162.299 mph on the first runs, Dyno Mike downloaded data - the decision was made to change the rear wheel sprocket and drop one tooth. Next time out the following day - we broke the record again, with a two way average of 167.418 mph. He’s still pulling hard so the decision was made to change the rear wheel sprocket again and drop one more tooth. That resulted in a third qualifying record run of 168.702 - In the impound the decision was made to check data - The ignition being on for the process a bit too long made for some high drama at the 5mi. start for the return record run. After trailering the bike to the 5 mi. start the signal was given - we’re next up - get ready. I hit the start button - and - it’s a very low battery - engine won’t turn over. OH S**t ! !
Trying to push start it - he won’t go - Suddenly, like the Cavalry coming to the rescue - Jeff Bailey and some of the S&S crew pull up with a starter pack and we get him fired up.
So with a little last minute high drama we were off to our best speed for the meet, and brought in a 170.552 mph and a two way average of 169.627 for a third time AMA Record in four days of racing.
I must say a huge THANK YOU to my team mates Warner & Mike, as well as to George Smith and all the great talent at S&S that put this engine together, and to our sponsors who also helped with much needed parts - like Wayne & Donna Pingel, and Jim Wallin at AutoMeter and the folks at Magnetrol flow & control.
Four days of racing, breaking the AMA record three consecutive times puts me on cloud nine.
Exciting news in the world of Land Speed Racing: Chris Rivas is the first person to push a "bagger" over 200mph!
That's right, a bagger. (No rocket propulsion necessary. Just good ol' American made S&S horsepower.) With the offices at S&S HQ all a-buzz with the news, we called up Chris and wanted to ask him a few questions about his achievement to share with everybody. Here's what "The Rocket" had to say:S&S:
First of all, Congratulations on the world record! Can you tell us a little about it?Rivas:
Nothing about this accomplishment has come easy. For three years I have fought every part of this bike from chassis geometry to catastrophic engine and transmission failures. With all of the runs we have made at Bonneville we have not been able to get a good baseline for the tuning because of every other issue that pops up. Finally with the help of George Smith we were able to "tone down the tuning efforts" and find a baseline to run with. S&S:
The class you rode in is called APS-AG. What does that really mean?Rivas:
The official class designation is 3000 APS-PG. The motor has to measure between 2001cc and 3000cc to be legal. The "A" implies an Aftermarket Chassis. The PS signifies that there is partial streamlining body work in place. The PG means that the motor uses pushrods and runs on Gasoline.S&S:
It is the world's fastest bagger and the first bagger ever to break 200mph. Why was this accomplishment important to you?Rivas:
In the racing world there aren't too many barriers left to be broken and I know that S&S has been instrumental in breaking many barriers such as the first Top Fuel Bike to break 200. I think there is a possibility that someone else someday might also go over 200 on a bagger but there will only be one first and that is what I wanted for me and my business. Chris Rivas V-Twin has had a strong relationship with S&S Cycle for about eight years, and now we are building a great working relationship with Crane Cams. I truly believe that accomplishing these milestone goals together that can never be taken away is huge in our industry and allows us to service customers with a higher quality in mind. S&S:
How long have you been working toward breaking this record? Can you give us a little history?Rivas:
For three years now, we have been seriously trying for the 200 mph goal. I had a conversation with Carl Brouhard about building an aerodynamic Road Glide for Bonneville and he was excited to help. With his body and paint expertise Carl was able to take an idea and make it into a reality, what we know now is the design was not the hardest part. S&S Cycle provided the motor parts and the 167 inch motor is button start and has amazing power. The seemingly impossible task is to make all of the components work together in harmony at peak performance in the harshest conditions in North America. S&S:
It must take a lot of power to push a full dress, button start motorcycle on gasoline over 200 mph. How did you accomplish that? Rivas:
Our motor is a 167Cubic Inch S&S Cast Aluminum Pro Stock Twin Cam design that puts out about 250 HP. I ordered all of the parts from S&S Cycle including a special set of Easy Start Cams
, and completed the machine work and assembly at my shop, Chris Rivas V-Twin
in Fresno CA. The great thing about this combination is that we can use this same technology and the same high quality S&S Cycle and Crane Cams components for our everyday customers when we install big bore and stroker kits into their street driven bikes. S&S:
I hear the chassis and the fairing played an important part. Can you explain how?Rivas:
When we first received the chassis and put this bike together with the fairing in place, I took it out to the 2010 SCTA Speed Week and found out the hard way that the front end geometry was all wrong. On the first pass I experienced the worst front end wobble of my life and head shake that ended up throwing me off at about 130 mph.S&S:
Well that is a lesson that I'm glad you only had to learn once! Now that the bike is in a safer condition, what is your ultimate goal with this bike?Rivas:
With the data that we have received from this bike, and with the help of George Smith we know that in the right conditions it will go about 220 Mph.
Chris Rivas and George B. Smith
I understand that George B. Smith from S&S was out there. I know George has a love for the salt and he was out at Bonneville with you before
. Did he have any good advice for you this time around? Rivas:
George was instrumental in my success at Bonneville. Just as he was instrumental in my success in the NHRA racing Pro Stock Motorcycles. So I knew that when I started my Land Speed attempts I wanted George involved in the project. George has been a mentor to me for a number of years, not only in my racing career, but also in my business. With George's guidance and some assistance from the new CEO of S&S Cycle, Steve Iggens, Chris Rivas V-Twin has recently had the opportunity to partner with Crane Cams and develop a couple of new cam grinds. The Chris Rivas Signature Series Rocket Cams
are now available to the public and have been some of the best cams ever tested at our dyno facility.
Watch Chris Rivas NHRA victory in Pomona 2008
Are you coming back for the BUB meet
in 2 weeks?Rivas:
Yes, we plan on freshening up the motor at our shop in Fresno and heading back out to the salt at the BUB's Speed Trials where I hold the record for the class at 193 mph from last year. I hope to up the record to something that starts with a "2".And so do we, Chris. We tip our hat to you in respect and wish you the best of luck. We are rooting for you.
Knucklehead enthusiast, John Endrizzi tells us about the trials and tribulations, and hopefully a happy ending to a project to run a 61” knucklehead EL at Bonneville. In his own words…
"Land Speed Racing is an experience that can be compared to no other type of internal combustion engine performance testing. Preparation is the real key to success. As a boy, the names Craig Breedlove, Mickey Thompson, and Art Arfons were watchwords in my imagination. I devoured coverage of Speed Week in Hot Rod and other magazines. To me, the Salt was a very mystical place.
In 2009 I attended the BUB Motorcycle Speed Trials at the Bonneville Salt Flats. I met and became friends with the Buell® Bros Racing Team that year. Pilot Joe Taylor bettered the 1350APS-PG AMA record to 176.29 mph (over 23 mph increase on the previous record). Between runs that week, Joe and I made a great friendship. We found that among other things, we share a passion for Harley-Davidson® Knuckleheads. Soon we found ourselves planning to build a 1939 EL to run at BUB.
Being amateur historians, it was appropriate that we picked the Vintage Partially Streamlined class to run in. Joe Petrali ran a dual carb El at Daytona to a speed of 136.183 mph on March 13, 1937. Our goal is to better that speed. The current record in our class (1000 MPS-VG) is 109.079 mph held by a Vincent.
Joe had much of what we needed for a start on the build. Stock cases are a major requirement. Joe had cases, cylinders and heads along with a chassis. The road to making them raceable was a long twisted path! We found a willing engine builder and proceeded. Unfortunately he passed away unexpectedly shortly before BUB last year. During probate, it became apparent that most of the internal engine components had been misplaced. That set us back to the point where racing at BUB 2011 was impossible.
During the winter we acquired virtually all the needed engine parts from S&S®/Flathead Power®. Lee Wickstrom of Leeʼs Speed shop in Savage, Minnesota had helped us with special valve gear early on. After finding out that we had lost Tim Riste as our motor builder, Lee immediately volunteered to do the build. Lee, a long time drag racer, built a very cool alcohol burning 1950ʼs style drag bike called the Knuckledragger that flat screams. Knowing this, assurance that we had a winning combination was locked in. As this is written, we are in the final thrash of preparation for BUB. Late night wrenching and covert highway testing is still before us. With inspiration coming from Joe Petrali, George Smith and Bud Schmidt (all pioneers of Knucklehead racing) we look forward to adding the Buell Brothers name as record holders in this elite group."
Thank you John and good luck in Bonneville!
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
The countdown to the 2012 BUB Speed Trails at the Bonneville salt flats, has started. To kick things off, we have a few racers who are attending with S&S go-fast parts that we wanted to make mention of.
First up: S&S Engineering Manager, Jeff Bailey, is no stranger to land speed racing. In 2008, he bought a Buell® S2 frame with the idea of building a Bonneville bike. The S2 was chosen because it had bolt-on side plates that locate the rear swing arm mount. Fabricating a special set of side plates allowed the pivot point to move down to accommodate the 160 cubic inch S&S cast Pro Stock engine which is 5.5” taller than the stock engine. The new side plates and some frame modifications got the engine in the frame, and a longer swing arm gave the bike added high speed stability. To hold the nearly 200 horsepower, Jeff fabricated a one-off clutch and added the S&S centrifugal pressure plate for Victory® motorcycles that squeezes tighter the faster you spin it.
The engine is a special version of the S&S cast Pro Stock engine, which is similar to an engine from an over-grown Harley-Davidson® Sportster®, or possibly a Buell® motorcycle. With its 4.8” bore and 4.375” stroke, this engine is several times the displacement of a stock engine. This engine is fuel injected and uses one throttle body from the S&S billet Pro Stock engine on a special manifold built with the help of S&S’ rapid prototype machine. To control fuel and ignition, Jeff chose the S&S VFI fuel ignition module.
This bike was raced in 2010 as an open bike and took home two records in the A-PG 3000 and A-PF 3000 classes at 180.35 and 176.271 respectively. Both records were set running on gasoline even though the second record was in a fuel class.
This year, Jeff is going for the big numbers and wants to break 200 mph in a partially streamlined class. He’s planning on attending the BUB Motorcycle Speed Trials, which will be held August 25-30 this summer. The same engine will be used, but Jeff is counting on the reduction in aerodynamic drag of the streamlined fairing to get him over the 200 mph mark. Work smarter, not harder!
He started with some AirTech fiberglass bodywork but had to do extensive modifications to make it fit his bike and to make it large enough to “hide behind”. Starting with a windscreen from an XR750, an impression of the windscreen was made in 30:1 expanding foam, and the impression was mounted on the modified fairing. The foam shape was then attached with more of the foam, and shaped to blend into the existing fairing. Using the foam shape as a pattern, fiberglass was built up to create the final outer shape. The original windscreen was laid over the shape and traced. The traced area was cut out to allow the windscreen to be inserted. You won’t see another one like this!
There’s still a lot of work to be done on this bike between now and the BUB meet, but Jeff is well on his way and he looks forward to breaking some records in August.