Erik Buell announces 2010 Buell Blast: a crushed cube of metal
The Buell Blast was a friendly motorcycle, a beginner's bike and a favorite of US-based rider training organizations. Its 500cc air-cooled single was reliable, simple and unintimidating, its low seat height made it great for shorties and lady riders, its unassuming looks made it a bike that you didn't have to be a rev-head to ride. But the unassuming Blast wasn't exactly a sales hit, and worse, Erik Buell was finding that it was giving young riders the wrong impression about the Buell range - so, in a commitment to balls-out sportsbiking, he canceled the bike for 2010, and stuck a few of his remaining stock into a crusher. Next year's Blast, it seems, will have an exceptionally short wheelbase and highly centralized mass.
It's quite a publicity stunt - Buell has put up a pretty humorous website for the 2010 Blast, showing video of the bikes going through the crusher with head honcho Erik Buell pushing the final button.
Sick of Ads?
Join more than 500 New Atlas Plus subscribers who read our newsletter and website without ads.
It's just US$19 a year.More Information
It might seem like a fairly extreme gesture - to literally trash your own bikes for the world to see - but the Blast wasn't the sort of bike to inspire rabid fanatics, and while it did fill a void in the entry level segment, it was a bit of a contradiction with the rest of the Buell range.
So this is Buell's way of turning a fairly flaccid product line into a PR hit, saying the Blast isn't fast enough, scary enough, innovative enough or tough enough to wear the brand's badge. As the site says, "The Buell Blast was a cute little motorcycle. It just never made much of a sportbike. But, as luck would have it, it makes a killer ottoman. Or end table. Or art piece. Through an innovative process known as crushing, we’ve turned a limited number of Blasts into colorful metal cubes, each numbered and signed by Erik Buell himself."
PR disaster or masterstroke... Probably neither, but it's certainly a notable little development in the motorcycle world!