Buell Cubed

Last of the Blast.

Buell Cubed

If one of the goals of an advertising campaign is to be talked about, Buell's latest has to be considered a home run. In announcing the discontinuation of the Buell Blast, the two-page spread shows one of the bikes crushed into a cube. We're told that it now makes, "...a killer ottoman. Or end table. Or art piece."

The ad has generated outrage, like this letter from reader Brian Hass of Northbridge, Massachusetts: "Has Erik Buell gone mad? His new 'ruthless engineering' advertising campaign shows him crushing a Buell Blast into a block of wrangled steel and rubber because it wasn't 'innovative' and didn't represent the type of performance machine that Buell wants to be known for. Don't current Blast owners find this just slightly offensive? So, what constitutes a Buell performance machine? I own an XB9S Lightning, a bike I thoroughly enjoy, and although I'm certain that it could outrun a conventional cruiser, a CBR or Gixxer would leave me in the dust. How long before Erik Buell tosses my Lightning in the crusher? I wonder what the resale value will be?"

The ad has also received the thumbs-up. CW Forum poster Quagmire wrote, "I laughed my fool butt off when I saw that ad. Maybe Buell has been inspired by their recent racetrack performance and are going to be serious about future models competing with the Asian brands."

Fellow poster Buelligan was a little more succinct: "Buell finally found a way to improve the looks..."

So what of Buell's beginner bike, introduced in 2000? Says Paul James, Harley-Davidson PR chief, "A limited number of 2010 model year units will continue to be available through H-D/Buell dealers either as new-vehicle sales from dealer inventory or as unregistered new-unit sales coming off the Rider's Edge (training) Program. These 2010 motorcycles will be branded Blast, with primary Buell badges removed."

It looks like we've seen the last of the Blast.