On to the next one….Monday, February 13, 2012
Posted by: Michael Ray, Gottspeed Racing Buell

It’s been a busy first 6 weeks of 2012 for me. The shop has been getting geared up for the new year and all the dealer shows have been exciting with all the new products coming out for your Harley Davidson Motorcycle. The winter dealer meeting in was in Dallas this year which is nice for our dealership considering we can drive up there and save on flying all the employees out. It was a nice show with Harley bringing out two new models the Softail Slim and the Sportster72. But with me working in the parts side of the H-D world everything new happened for me back in July with the new model year release. So instead of going to Dallas I hopped on a plane took off to Cincinnati for the Easyrider V-Twin show. That place was crawling with custom baggers and jamming new sound systems for you Harley. It was really nice to see what all the aftermarket companies are doing to stay competitive and with 99 percent of the products there are building are built to work with your Harley . All in all it was a really nice show with the aftermarket companies all displaying what they had new out for 2012. Since we are still seeking a major sponsor I couldn’t help but drop a few invites to some races to see the awesome marketing opportunities there are at the NHRA races. 

After a few days in Cincinnati and a great Super Bowl it was time to head down to West Palm to do some testing on the new bike. I was so jacked to get to the track and check out the new bike that I didn’t sleep at all Sunday night. Let me tell you it was worth the wait, DOG Design and Fab along with Matt Smith Racing did an awesome job building the bike.  After a few brief rainstorms we got to go make some runs. The bike did great, our main goal was to make sure it started, shifted, and stopped. Without those three things, I guarantee you aren’t going to win a Wally so you could see why we took care of those things first. Basically we took the same engine combination we ran last year and tested it against Matt’s bike with all the new stuff in it.

Matt’s bike showed some real good things testing and we learned a lot. It was hot and humid so we really didn’t make any record setting passes but we learned a lot and that was the good thing about the weekend. So the bike will go back to the shop and have the new things that Matt’s bike had adapted to mine and we’ll test again in Valdosta the week before the Gators. Testing always makes me think about in the movie Days of Thunder when Cole is testing Rowdy’s car and does great, he pulls up and Rowdy says “go get your own car and we’ll see how you stand out in a crowd.”  But after that we’ll head a few hours south to Gainesville and get ready for the first race of the year.

The next few weeks will be exciting with the season kicking off. Matt and Angie are coming to Texas and are going to spend some time with us, so that will be fun. Then it’s a lot of work at the Harley shop getting ready for the Gators. The trip for Gainesville is really long with the week of testing before the race and then you have the race and then the trip back home. Luckily I will get to fly home which will save a few days.
My dad, Uncle Hal, and some good friends are going to go play in Daytona for bike week for a few days so they will drive the RV back home. Then we get a break from NHRA and that will let me go play on the turbo bagger we built.

Until then I wish all of you safe travels and good blessings. If you are in Gainesville don’t hesitate to stop by and say hi!