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Author Topic: Buell Blast is now a BOAT ANCHOR?  (Read 3584 times)

fun2drum

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Buell Blast is now a BOAT ANCHOR?
« on: August 23, 2009, 12:19:28 AM »
I just ran across this on the Buell site.  I know I'm not the only one here who also has a Buell Blast (500 single), and I'll bet I'm not the only one here who thinks this new anti-marketing campaign makes Buell look pretty sucky.  Click on the link and make sure to watch the videos.  I'll never buy another Buell again, and I was going on their site to look at their more powerful bikes just because I like the Blast.  Unbelievable...

http://www.buell.com/en_us/bikes/blast/#
The Family Fleet:
2008 Royal Enfield Electra
2002 Buell Blast
1973 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia Convertible
...and a couple of boring and more practicle family vehicles that I won't mention here.

Ice

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Re: Buell Blast is now a BOAT ANCHOR?
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2009, 12:40:54 AM »
<speechless>
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Cabo Cruz

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Re: Buell Blast is now a BOAT ANCHOR?
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2009, 12:44:32 AM »
It was quite clear, through the videos, that Mr. Erik Buell made a conclusive business decision!  May the Blast rest in peace!
Long live the Bullets and those who ride them!

Keep the shiny side up, the boots on the pegs and best REgards,

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fun2drum

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Re: Buell Blast is now a BOAT ANCHOR?
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2009, 01:12:56 AM »
You know, I don't have a problem with the Blast being discontinued.  Models get discontinued all the time, and maybe the Blast wasn't selling well, and maybe they just felt like it had run its course.  That's okay by me.  What really honks me off is the way they made an advertising campaign just to kill it, saying their own bike was basically a piece of S***, and that anybody who had one is not anybody they would want as a customer.   Well I was considering a new Buell for next year, which is why I was on their site in the first place.  Since they don't want MY KIND as a customer, then I'll not be dirtying up their entranceway with my feet.   There are a lot of bike-makers that make more reliable bikes, so I figure one of them would like my business.   

By the way, I'm glad Royal Enfield still likes it's customers. 
The Family Fleet:
2008 Royal Enfield Electra
2002 Buell Blast
1973 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia Convertible
...and a couple of boring and more practicle family vehicles that I won't mention here.

Cabo Cruz

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Re: Buell Blast is now a BOAT ANCHOR?
« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2009, 01:24:36 AM »
Your point about Buell's management and their opinion about their clients is well taken.  I failed to see it from your perspective.  In other words, Big Daddy Buell did not have to throw out Baby Buell (or the clients) with the bathwater!!!
Long live the Bullets and those who ride them!

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doomed1

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Re: Buell Blast is now a BOAT ANCHOR?
« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2009, 01:50:20 AM »
that's just... pathetic. now they're just limiting themselves and their market for enthusiast sportsbike riders. it really is kind of sad that they reject the sorts of riders that loved their Buells and are definitely limiting future market by eliminating the bike. suppose someone gets over their Blast and wants something sportier? of course they're going to look at Buell first. dollars to donuts Buell is going to be losing money, ESPECIALLY in today's marketplace. you can't just give up on your entry level product just because it's "boring." if you do that, you end up having nothing to grow your user base and market share.

REpozer

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Re: Buell Blast is now a BOAT ANCHOR?
« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2009, 01:52:01 AM »
Must be an image  marketing thing.

Aren't they related to H-D ?
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Re: Buell Blast is now a BOAT ANCHOR?
« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2009, 01:53:26 AM »
You know, I don't have a problem with the Blast being discontinued.  Models get discontinued all the time, and maybe the Blast wasn't selling well, and maybe they just felt like it had run its course.  That's okay by me.  What really honks me off is the way they made an advertising campaign just to kill it, saying their own bike was basically a piece of S***, and that anybody who had one is not anybody they would want as a customer.   Well I was considering a new Buell for next year, which is why I was on their site in the first place.  Since they don't want MY KIND as a customer, then I'll not be dirtying up their entranceway with my feet.   There are a lot of bike-makers that make more reliable bikes, so I figure one of them would like my business.   

By the way, I'm glad Royal Enfield still likes it's customers. 

I agree completely.  I liked the Blast and actually would have liked to have one, but not if they want to insult their customers like that.  They may not have sold well, but I think the very same attitude expressed on their website was part of the reason.  They marketed the bike like it was for pussies and girls.  I liked it because it was a modern thumper that was nicely balanced, had a standard riding position, got good mpg, and could ride any legal speeds.  Being made fun of by the people who are asking for your money is not good marketing.

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r80rt

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Re: Buell Blast is now a BOAT ANCHOR?
« Reply #8 on: August 23, 2009, 02:10:28 AM »
The Blast was the only Buell I ever considered buying, they are super fun to ride.
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Re: Buell Blast is now a BOAT ANCHOR?
« Reply #9 on: August 23, 2009, 02:28:45 AM »
Must be an image  marketing thing.

Aren't they related to H-D ?

   More of a H-D clone in ways use hopped up sportster engines.  The blast was actually half a Sporty engine.  Used lots of H-D parts if they could improve on them.  Will.
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fun2drum

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Re: Buell Blast is now a BOAT ANCHOR?
« Reply #10 on: August 23, 2009, 03:02:57 AM »
I don't know if you guys browsed around the Buell site, but here's just one more slap in the face where they added the Blast to the 2010 line-up and listed its features as "end table" and "boat anchor".  When you move your pointer over it the picture changes to the crushed "redesigned" Blast.

Check it out:  http://www.buell.com/en_us/bikes/
The Family Fleet:
2008 Royal Enfield Electra
2002 Buell Blast
1973 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia Convertible
...and a couple of boring and more practicle family vehicles that I won't mention here.

Slider

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Re: Buell Blast is now a BOAT ANCHOR?
« Reply #11 on: August 23, 2009, 03:09:26 AM »
Another take on it...


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.

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!

http://www.gizmag.com/2010-buell-blast-crushed/12389/

I must retreat to my place of Zen and meditate on this.

fun2drum

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Re: Buell Blast is now a BOAT ANCHOR?
« Reply #12 on: August 23, 2009, 03:46:23 AM »
My wife and I agree that we are not ever buying another Buell.  That's two bikes they won't be selling.   I wonder how many more?

If he wants to piss off a lot of Buell Blast owners and make them choose other brands for their sport bike upgrades, then I guess the marketing plan should be a smashing success. 
 
You'll see some articles praising Buell's "genious" and saying it's just "humor"...
Whatever.   I think Buell sucks.
The Family Fleet:
2008 Royal Enfield Electra
2002 Buell Blast
1973 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia Convertible
...and a couple of boring and more practicle family vehicles that I won't mention here.

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Re: Buell Blast is now a BOAT ANCHOR?
« Reply #13 on: August 23, 2009, 05:22:38 AM »
I looked in the HD annual report a few years ago and they listed Buell Blast production figures. I thought we were small until I read their numbers. I think it was a good bike but was not a commercial success.

birdmove

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Re: Buell Blast is now a BOAT ANCHOR?
« Reply #14 on: August 23, 2009, 06:27:20 AM »
    I subscribe in digest form to some yahoo groups about the Buell Blast motorcycles. Being an old thumper fan, I was very interested when I heard about a new street thumper-and one made in the USA at that. I test rode one and thought it was a pretty good motorcycle. It would easily hit 80-85 mph (that's theoretically, of course-I would never exceed the speed limit). It felt a bit small in physical size to me. I can tell you that many Blast owners are flat pissed at Erik Buell for the way he handled the dropping of the Blast. Buell is going to lose a fair number of repeat buyers because of this. Many Blast owners move up to bigger motorcycles ( a rat race that I no longer choose to participate in-henct the RE Bullet in my garage)-but they will be switching to other brands because they are disgusted at Erik Buell and his handling of this issue. He seemed all to happy to take the Blast buyers money and he extolled the virtues of the bike in videos and interviews, but now suddenly the Blast is a POS and a joke per the ads from Mr. Buell himself?? I have to say the way he handled this is in very poor taste. He could have dropped that model in a respectful way and should be thankful for the people that believed in the Blast and Erik's design philosophy in the whole Buell lineup. I've also test ridden the XB9R Firebolt, and the XB9 Lightning, and both bikes were a riot to ride. Its almost like Erik is embarrassed that he designed the Blast and put his name on it. He shouldn't be that way.I've read more than once that the Blast actually has maybe the best reliability record of any HD/Buell motorcycle. Its no sports bike, but for an inexpensive midsized street bike for commuting and back road riding, its a pretty decent mount.Sound familiar? Sounds a lot like the characteristics of our own RE Bullets doesn't it?

    Jon
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Re: Buell Blast is now a BOAT ANCHOR?
« Reply #15 on: August 23, 2009, 07:21:40 AM »
I actually thought it was funny.  Kind of like how Top Gear thrashes a bunch of old, somewhat still good (and some well loved) cars for humor.  You may be the biggest fan in the world for the Russian Minsk 125, but even their biggest fan wouldn't be able to do anything but laugh at it when they hated on it during their Vietnam Tour special this last season. 

tl;dr get your panties out of a wad and lighten up.  It's anti-marketing, and if you're angry, then you were trolled hard.
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Re: Buell Blast is now a BOAT ANCHOR?
« Reply #16 on: August 23, 2009, 10:44:38 AM »
There is this weird impulse amongst motorcycle manufacturers to do away with great mid sized bikes and polarise their production to either dull, small capacity, commuter bikes or tarmac wrinkling hyper bikes for mid-life crisis types to wrap around lamp posts.

In the UK, our learner bike laws accelerated this trend many years ago but I can't understand why it should be happening of its own accord elsewhere. It is a real shame that all those capable 350-500 class machines are disappearing fast.
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fun2drum

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Re: Buell Blast is now a BOAT ANCHOR?
« Reply #17 on: August 23, 2009, 10:51:52 AM »
I actually thought it was funny.  Kind of like how Top Gear thrashes a bunch of old, somewhat still good (and some well loved) cars for humor.  You may be the biggest fan in the world for the Russian Minsk 125, but even their biggest fan wouldn't be able to do anything but laugh at it when they hated on it during their Vietnam Tour special this last season. 

tl;dr get your panties out of a wad and lighten up.  It's anti-marketing, and if you're angry, then you were trolled hard.

No it's not the same thing as what Top Gear does.   This would be like Top Gear setting fire to their own set, cussing out the Stig, cussing out the studio audience, and then telling you you're a dork for ever watching their show.  

Or, it would be like if Kevin were to get on this forum, post a video of himself crushing a Bullett, and then tell you you aren't a REAL motorcycle rider because you chose a Bullett.    NOW do you get the picture?

Would you want to buy ANYTHING from a company who told you in no uncertain terms that you were a wuss for buying something from them in the past?  Would you take seriously anybody who told you to lighten up?  
The Family Fleet:
2008 Royal Enfield Electra
2002 Buell Blast
1973 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia Convertible
...and a couple of boring and more practicle family vehicles that I won't mention here.

fun2drum

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Re: Buell Blast is now a BOAT ANCHOR?
« Reply #18 on: August 23, 2009, 11:44:30 AM »
I looked in the HD annual report a few years ago and they listed Buell Blast production figures. I thought we were small until I read their numbers. I think it was a good bike but was not a commercial success.

Kevin, like I said before, I don't have a problem with their discontinuing the Blast.  That may be a good business decision.  The problem I have is that Buell went out of his way to make fun not only of the bikes, but of the customers (my wife and me) who bought them.   

The Family Fleet:
2008 Royal Enfield Electra
2002 Buell Blast
1973 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia Convertible
...and a couple of boring and more practicle family vehicles that I won't mention here.

Alaroyal

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Re: Buell Blast is now a BOAT ANCHOR?
« Reply #19 on: August 23, 2009, 12:56:51 PM »
I'll offer a different perspective; I think HD should have taken the Blast engine, and used half of a Sportster 1200, and made a 600 single.  

They could have made a standard(retro), a custom, and a flattracker or cafe version, called it the Milwaukee, and done it with a lighter weight Sportster frame.  

This could have been HD badged, priced at about 4500 - 5500 dollars, and it would have sold like hot toddys at the North pole.  Not only would greybeards like me have bought one, lots of younger people would have bought them, and HD would have gotten something it will soon desparately need, younger people who want to buy HD's, after the current older customers are gone or no longer buying.

These younger people might have decided to stay with the HD fold as they got older.

Do a search for images of "customized Buell Blasts", and see if you don't find some beautiful ideas.  The HD designers could have really done some great things with this.

My opinion of Eric Buell has really taken a hit after this. If you want to kill the bike, kill it, just don't insult it, and the people who bought them, in the process.  

What if CMW had rounded up all the in the pipeline iron barrels it could find, and crushed them because they were not what they should be, in Kevin's opinion?  How would iron barrel owners, and RE owners in general, have felt about that?
« Last Edit: August 23, 2009, 01:00:58 PM by Alaroyal »
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Re: Buell Blast is now a BOAT ANCHOR?
« Reply #20 on: August 23, 2009, 04:40:03 PM »
I've owned three Buells, X1 Lightning, XB12S, and XB12R. I really enjoyed them. However, I have to echo some of the earlier comments. This is a bad marketing campaign.

Buell has also generated some negative publicity recently by the way AMA Roadracing (DMG) has bent a bunch of rules to help them be dominant in their series. It has rightfully alienated a bunch of folks in the roadracing community; many of whom are already predisposed to be cry-babies.  ;)

Buell has had an uphill battle the whole way.

1) Their bikes are actually too revolutionary. Fuel in frame, oil in swingarm, belt drive, perimeter brake, etc.

2) Mother Motor (Harley-Davidson) really doesn't know what to do with them. They're sold from dealerships that have no idea how to draw in and sell to sportbikers.

3) In my opinion, the Blast did not fit in to the Buell range. I suspect that it was forced upon Erik by Harley-Davidson so they could use it in their rider training programs.

4) The prices are way too high for the v-twin Buells.

5) Let's face it, performance is down compared to similarly priced sportbikes.... it also is down when compared to sportbikes of the same displacement.

6) Not much in the way of aftermarket goodies.

7) Not much in the way of schwag. Buell has been making motorcycles for 25+ years, but you'd still play hell trying to find a Buell coffee mug or key-fob at a dealer (but you can get Harley-Davidson branded dogfood bowls).

8 ) Not much in the way of a racing history... except when the rules are bent in their favor.

9) They have a history of niggling problems and recalls. Maybe they have it sorted by now... but the reputation is still there.

10) The Buell Riders Adventure Group was a failure.

11) ...and now they're crushing the Blast... I may be wrong, but I think it was their best selling model. That has got to disgust alot of their previous customers.... and Buell can't afford to alienate customers.

Don't get me wrong, I love Buells. Many of the things I enumerated above don't bother me at all. Unfortunately, they do bother lots of other folks.  

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Re: Buell Blast is now a BOAT ANCHOR?
« Reply #21 on: August 23, 2009, 09:58:20 PM »
  Maybe they'll see the errs of their ways and next year reintroduce it.  Of course it would probably be introduced as a classic and cost $3k more.  Still say H-D should come back with the 45 cube in aluminum, probably sell a bunch if the price was comparable with the 883 Sporty, or just put it on that frame.  Will.
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r80rt

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Re: Buell Blast is now a BOAT ANCHOR?
« Reply #22 on: August 23, 2009, 10:57:58 PM »
How about a modern version of the 30.50 Peashooter? I'd be all over that.
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Re: Buell Blast is now a BOAT ANCHOR?
« Reply #23 on: August 24, 2009, 12:07:31 AM »
I'd like to see Harley bring back the XLCR Cafe Racer or the Aermacchi models. That's probably all that would interest me... and I'm not sure if I'd be too tempted to buy one.

When you can buy a beautiful Royal Enfield for six large, why would you want to spend four times that so you can look like everyone else?  ;D

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Re: Buell Blast is now a BOAT ANCHOR?
« Reply #24 on: August 24, 2009, 12:11:32 AM »
I can understand them wanting to keep their reputation in the hot rod arena, but the bike was so good, I would have thought they could have just sold them through another manufacturer who could rebadge them. I'd bet that the Blast would be a hit in foreign markts where the "big" bikes are 250s, it would be seen as a small muscle bike.

But, it is what it is, and I guess riders who are looking for big singles will now bypass Buel and head for their nearest RE dealer. Not too sad if you think about it.

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Re: Buell Blast is now a BOAT ANCHOR?
« Reply #25 on: August 24, 2009, 12:30:05 AM »
I guess riders who are looking for big singles will now bypass Buel and head for their nearest RE dealer. Not too sad if you think about it.

Or to a Suzuki dealer for the Boulevard S40 (formerly Savage).
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Re: Buell Blast is now a BOAT ANCHOR?
« Reply #26 on: August 24, 2009, 12:32:27 AM »
I wouldn't mind having an S40, but I'd keep my RE. More personality

r80rt

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Re: Buell Blast is now a BOAT ANCHOR?
« Reply #27 on: August 24, 2009, 12:54:40 AM »
I've got a S40 and an Enfield, guess which one stays in the shed?
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Re: Buell Blast is now a BOAT ANCHOR?
« Reply #28 on: August 24, 2009, 02:09:26 AM »
  The Savage is a good clean fun bike.  And for a couple thousand used, a great econo machine.  An almost maintenance free sled, and belt drive and six speed trans make it a good light weight cruiser.  If I ever chop out another bike I think that's the one I'll use as a platform.  Will.
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Re: Buell Blast is now a BOAT ANCHOR?
« Reply #29 on: August 24, 2009, 02:14:14 AM »
When did they get a six speed? my '06 only has a 5 speed. Everything you said is true about them, they are great bikes.
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Re: Buell Blast is now a BOAT ANCHOR?
« Reply #30 on: August 24, 2009, 03:35:13 AM »
  Hmmm, might be my bad on the trans, changed out a belt on a friends at about 60k, and thought I remembered it having a six, may have only been a 5.   :-[  Just remember it almost convincing me to go get one.  She had a drag pipe and open air cleaner on it and it would definitely scoot for being a big single.  Will.
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Re: Buell Blast is now a BOAT ANCHOR?
« Reply #31 on: August 24, 2009, 04:27:20 AM »
The S40 is a 5-speed.

I must retreat to my place of Zen and meditate on this.

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Re: Buell Blast is now a BOAT ANCHOR?
« Reply #32 on: August 27, 2009, 03:09:45 PM »
attention-grabbing marketing hoy-paloy.
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