While I am a big fan of the new Buells I too have a tough time believing that they will be competitive in FX's 'techno-lust-fest' even with the impressive HP numbers quoted. However, I think the AMA is grasping at straws when they claim concerns about safety or unsavory pit crews. (Yes, I know the previous Harley/Buell superbike was an oil-leaking, parts-spewing sonofa***** but I dont think it really compares to a new XB12R). So, what is the AMA really saying? 'We think you will get your ass handed to you every race and we want to spare you the embarassment?' Give me a break. Let the guy race. Let him on as an expo or something and tell him he gets one season to prove the safety and relative competitiveness of the bike. At least give him a chance to embarass himself, if that ends up being the case
Your missing the point. The AMA is eliminating the 1L I4s from FormX racing. The new rules will allow modified 600's (liquid cooled I4), and I believe 750 vtwins (also liquid cooled). So his point is an air cooled 1200 vtwin could compete in this class, and he is right IMHO.
There are really only two classes for 600cc bikes next year, and they are quite different. They are:
"Supersport" - for mostly "stock" 600cc bikes on DOT race tires.
"Formula Extreme" - drops the 1000cc and 750cc fours, for heavily modified 600/4s and 750/Twins on slicks. (though I believe a Supersport legal 600 could probably be raced in Extreme, with a simple tire swap.)
The "Superstock" class is being modified to allow 1000cc inline 4s next year. I believe there is still some debate as to whether or not to stick with DOT race tires, or allow full slicks for safety's sake.
I think the question is how can the AMA not make room for a Buell. Motorcycle roadracing in this country is hardly overly popular. I believe that Buell could potentially bring the interest of a huge fan base, one that has felt largely disenfrancised from the sport for 30 years now. I miss Rayborn and the gang on their "Halloween Specials". The sound of those bikes was music to my ears. I'm mostly a riceburner fan but I say let them be competitive and let them race! As far as "bring teams that should not be there?" goes, Hogwash! (some pun intended) I can only guess what that remark implied... . Hey AMA don't get all NASCAR on us remember your roots. Is there not room for all Motorcyclists within your organization? Within Motorcycle Roadracing?
Hey MO gang, why not settle some of the performance debate and do a 600 vs. Buell shootout. If, as you stated in the Buell vs. Ducati ss900 review, that the Buell ran off and left an R1 in the canyons, then 600s on a racetrack shouldn't be much different. At least it would give us some lap times to compare. Numbers baby, it's all in the numbers. Or is it?
Take a look at the lap times from BIR in 2002; the Super bikes were running times in the low 1:37 range, the Super Sport were in the 1:41s, Formula Xtreme were in the 1:38 range, Super stock were in the 1:40s, 250 two strokers were in the 1:42s and the Buell Pro Thunder were in the 1:44s. To make it worse Ducati 748's dominated the series.
That is why AMA will not set up another class just for an American made motorcycle. I believe that someday Polaris will build a bike that can compete in AMA, Buell had there chance and blew it.
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