Was Erik right?
At first glance it seems like an odd choice for a racing motorcycle but the 1998 S1 White Lightning is generally considered the ultimate expression of Erik Buell's core philosophies; mass centralisation and minimalism .
Combined with an aesthetic grace rarely seen in motorcycle design, this is an icon; the defining masterpiece of an enthusiast, not a machine from a faceless corporation. This particular model is rightly perceived by Buellista as the pinnacle of Buelling, before the Harley Davidson corporate influence dictated a softer, easier, more mainstream design; the rather less raw XB range.
The question is ; which is better? In a flush of experimental enthusiasm Team Begger will be campaigning an S1 against all comers in the ' 06 season's newly announced "Thunderbike" series...... and, schedule clash permitting, the current "Sound of Thunder" class as well. Granted that in the rarefied atmosphere of ex BSB machinery a Buell is a peculiar old lump . Common sense would dictate that a DucapprilTLVTR is a far more competitive machine and a much easier, probably cheaper, choice.... but we don't want to race one of those . We intend to see how a decently prepared, enthusiastically ridden, tuber Buell compares to its contemporaries.
Was Erik right? There will be no fairings, clip-ons or namby pamby windscreens, we will be racing naked & erect! Enhanced with modern suspension and handling modifications supplied by our sponsors , expertly set up by Buell guru Maz, we will be diluting Erik's distinctive S1 as little as possible. Relying on the original design concepts, scalpel - like steering architecture and an engine almost half a century old, amongst the mass of more mainstream machinery we will attempt to answer the question.... Was Erik right? Will a tuber be competitive? Is the S1 the ultimate incarnation of Buelldom or are the XB series worthy successors to the Buell heritage?