Whatever Happened To...The Buell Blast Motorcycle?

It might have sold better if it had looked like Britain's Mac Motorcycles

By Aaron Frank, Photography by Mac Motorcycles

The quirky, painfully pedestrian Blast was Erik Buell's thank-you to Harley-Davidson. The Motor Company handed him untold millions to chase his American superbike dream. In return, he delivered an inexpensive, entry-level bike intended to attract newcomers to motorcycling and the Harley-Davidson brand. The Blast debuted in 2000, hyped as the machine that would get Gen X (and Next) on two wheels, but homely looks and clunky performance proved otherwise. Save for a few Buell-blooded true believers who bought the Hasbro-esque 492cc singles for their girlfriends, buyers largely stayed away. The "Be Last," as it came to be not-so-affectionately known, has since been relegated to a rough-and-tumble life as the plow horse for Harley's Rider's Edge training program.

Imagine how different this story would have ended if the Blast had looked more like this concept from UK start-up Mac Motorcycles. What style-savvy urban hipster wouldn't throw down cash for a bike as cool and classy as Mac's caf racer-styled "Pea Shooter"? Especially with a 515cc big-bore kit and other performance mods that boost the Blast's output to over 50 horsepower? Created by company principle Ellis Pitt, in partnership with Mark Wells and Ian Wride of Xenophya Design, Mac has created four concepts to date. Bobbers, vintage flat-trackers and '40s-era roadracers inspire the other concepts, all united by the desire to provide a simpler, purer motorcycle experience. See them at www.mac-motorcycles.com.

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