Where Is Maggie Mae?

Blasting Away....

The Blast is a perfect bike for Suz.  Even at four foot eleven she should still be able to handle the bike.  The only thing that scare women away from this bike would be the vibration.   But it is a single and it "thumps" which is why they call 'em thumpers.  Some have a little more vibration than others, I know this new '09 seems to vibrate a little more than the 2005 did.  There are things you can do to minimize this; bar end weights, etc. but you can get used to it.  I can ride all day without complaint.  The bike handles well, has a pretty good range at 130'ish miles per tank of gas depending on conditions.  It can get up on the highway and hold it's own.  I could go on and on but if you search through this site you'll learn just about anything you might need to know about the Blast.


Also and most important - badweatherbikers.com, scroll down to THUMPer forum - those guys know it ALL. 

For John

Hi John


Scooters are the in thing now, but I'm glad you are thinking about a Blast.  I know you said that the long distance days are behind you but if you get a Blast, you may just end up rethinking that one!  It is so much more fun to ride than I could have expected when I bought my '05.  After 55,000 miles I was still hooked.   At the end of October I got a new one and already have put over 4,000 miles on it.  So proceed with caution - you may wind up writing me back asking how to kick the addiction.


It is my personal belief that you should replace the stock exhaust and you have options here.  I have the V&H and love it.  It is a bit loud but has a nice rumble to it and will turn some heads when you turn it on.   This set me back about $200.00 and my husband installed without too much trouble.  Remember to change the crush gasket at the top end where exhaust goes into the cylinder.  You'll need to get one from dealer, as they do not come with the V&H - they may with another system though.  Do some research, my way is not exactly the only or best way.  It just happens to be what I liked.


I also switched out to the Buell Pro Series Intake and a K&N air filter.  This, along with rejetting, gives a little more power that is nice for getting up on the "big road" motoring into traffic and blowing by 18 wheelers.  Also, enough confidence to do that back road two lane passing when the need arises.  Again, pretty easy on labor but one little problem;  When I got the '09 I could not find the Buell Pro-Series intake on the market. Could be I just didn't look hard enough, no motivation here as I WAS able to take the one off the '05.  BTW the '05 will live again and I highly expect it to one day reach 100,000 miles. Remember,  I think there are other options, but I don't have the particulars on this subject.  The best place to get the information on all of the above is badweatherbikers.com 


Go to the thumper forum page, if you don't find what you are looking for, ask.  These guys are the foremost experts on everything Buell, and the thumper guys live for that Blast knowledge and are all too happy to share it and help out.  This will apply to general knowledge, pricing, technical information, part numbers, where to get it, etc.  I highly recommend you check them out.  


I hope you can find the information you need that I was not able to provide here.  I'm wishing you well and many happy miles.  Keep in touch. 


Hi Ray, question, the tire you are talking about, is it a Pirelli?  Buell/HD put them on as the OEM tire for this 2009 I just bought.  I really can't recall what was on my '05 but it was not Pirelli.  With the '05 when I tried to get tires for my first replacement, they were on terminal backorder.  So I switched to Avon's.  I loved them. However, as luck has it, after a while Avon quit making a tire to fit the front. So I switched to Pirelli.  Problem was, I couldn't get any mileage out of the rear tire.  And like you, I don't want to put tires on every 4-5,000 miles, especially when I can rack that kind of mileage up in just a short period of time.  I haven't yet cultivated the perfect money tree.  


Eventually I settled with an Avon for the rear and a Pirelli for the front.  This has worked out very well for me.  I got the '09 in November and at 4,000 miles the rear is just about toast.   I will be leaving the Pirelli on the front but replacing the rear with an Avon 120/80 16. 



The '09 Blast

Hey Ol’ Frank – sorry to hear about the accident and medical issues, they certainly can put a damper on getting on with life.   I hope all goes well with the operation.


YES – Buell does have a 2009 Blast.  In fact, I was able to get one in November and my neighbor picked one up about two weeks after that.   The only problem I have encountered is that because Buell is using the Blast for the Riders Edge course, a great number of the bikes are being earmarked just for the class and not being put out there for purchase.  Soooo, look around, talk to managers and if you need to call Buell customer service to find out where a bike is that you can get sent to your local dealer.   If you really want one, you can get one.  And the good news is the price has only increased about $200 since I bought my first one in ’05.  


Wishing you and your wife the best, keep me posted.  




Erin - important info...



OK this is a tough one.  I originally took my bike to Daytona during Bike Week and attempted to get GIVI to install a screen on-site.  They were not able to complete the task due to mods they felt were needed to mount it.   They claimed none of their screens would be compatible with the Blast.


So I ordered one direct from GIVI when I got home, my husband was certain he could make it work.  The bottom bolted to original the brackets utilizing longer bolts.  The top brackets are mounted right to the stock mirrors.  


It has been a couple years since I ordered the screen and can’t find the invoice.  When I look at the dimensions listed on the GIVI web page it does appear that my screen is closer to the A760.  Either they have made a few changes over the years or I must have made a typing error way back when I first posted the information and it has never been noticed.  


I know this doesn’t help much and I’m truly sorry.  I hate that information I posted may not only be inaccurate but cause hassles for those looking to try and obtain similar gear.  I will dive into my files and try to find my original papers and make the appropriate corrections to my site info.  Thanks for writing and bringing this to my attention.  Please let me know your outcome.


I’d like to say that I love the screen – it’s an outstanding product, functional and made well.  I am sure that GIVI will work with you to be sure you are satisfied. 





Hey Iacornfed – the Blast is a great choice for your wife, I have said that so many times on this site, but it is something I truly believe in.


The fairing is a GIVI A760 and I love it.  It has a slight curve at the top of the windscreen and provides great protection in wind and rain. It has helped to make those 4,000+ mile journeys a joy. Top brackets mounted to my stock mirrors and the bottom brackets to stock mount with a little longer bolt.  


Some people when they first get the Blast have a hard time with the vibration.  Let me say that it is intrinsic in a single thumper type motor and nothing to get worried about. Get past it, have fun and enjoy the ride.  The faster you get the speeds up to the smoother it gets (my bike likes that 70-80 the best).


Keep me posted would love to hear more from you.


Happy Trails…Maggie Mae

Russ Drake

Russ Drake – Oh man, I miss Texas.  As I told DinDallas, my wishes are for a quick and safe recovery from the hurricane, hope you were not affected. 


All the information I got on-line was invaluable for our trip to Texas. Especially loved the Three Sisters and Fredricksburg area.  Highly recommend the Hampton Inn in Fredricksburg for a nice holiday away from home.   For my next trip to Texas (not sure when that will be, I think Canada next summer) we would love to see the NW part, more mountain riding.   Thanks for signing in – Happy Trails


Jon – NC – my Dad used to live in Raleigh and I still have lots of riding friends who live in the area. That is some of the most beautiful riding country in the east – so I know you have fun riding.  Will be sure to drop a hint next time we get up that way.  Thanks for checking out the site.  BTW – could not live without the knowledge those guys at badweb give – my lifeline!


Charlie Case


Charlie Case – Congrats on the Blast – yep, it was worth it.  I am a very impatient person, glad I did not have to wait around for a bike, I know I’d been one ornery gal!   Get out, ride, have fun and write back now and then to let us know what you are up to. Oh, and check out badweatherbikers.com and sign in to the Thumper forum– wealth of great info in there, I could not have made the miles I’ve done without their help.




Nancy – I know this is way late – but I hope you went out and got that Blast – you would love it.  I recently had the opportunity to look around at other bikes and sat on many – when all was said and done, my heart just kept beating for the Buell.  Keep in touch, no matter what you get and let me know how it’s going. 




Thanks for the nice comments.  It has always been my wish that this site serve in some small way an inspiration to those who let the thought of bike ownership pass through their brains.  


I am completely sold on the fact that the Blast can serve as both an entry level machine that also takes the rider into the next phase of pleasure biking – getting out and putting tons of miles on, either local or long distance touring.


Looking forward to hearing of your travels as well. 


Happy Trails

Rosey Beth

Oh – I miss Texas already.  The Three Sisters day was one of my favorites, although anytime I am on the road going from town to town, state to state, everyday is a new memory.  


Texas was absolutely everything I dreamed it would be.  We loved the Ranch Roads and Farm Roads the most – preferring to go out into the great unknown to explore the Texas countryside. 


Thanks for writing – I don’t know when the Blast will be out that way again – but will keep your email handy. 


I would be remiss if I did not post a little note here to wish well the People of Texas who have weathered through the aftermath of Ike.  My thoughts and prayers go out to you all for a quick recovery – mother nature should know “Don’t Mess With Texas”…


KJ – First, I apologize for not getting this reply posted sooner – you deserve much better than that. First the HD dealer treats you like crap, then you can’t get a reply here.


My news is not great – the only way I have ever contacted Buell is through snail-mail.  I sat down and wrote a good old fashion letter and it got through to the source, Erik Buell himself.  The reply was not totally fast in coming back, but eventually it did, a personal letter from Erik. 


I actually wrote to the two listed addresses on the Buell.com web site – since I was not sure which one would be the best.  They are as follows:


Buell Motorcycle Company
2799 Buell Drive
Troy, WI 53120

Buell Customer Service
3700 W. Juneau Ave.
Milwaukee, WI 53208


The letter I got back from Erik was posted from East Troy.   I would write to both – it can’t hurt.


I am not sure where you are located but here in Florida we do have one Buell Only dealer – as least we did the last time I looked into it. The reviews from local riders have been good, but as we both know, everything can change.   Don’t give completely up if you have not yet picked up your bike.  They are pretty easy to maintain yourself and once you have it in your grasps, it may not have to see the inside of an HD shop for years.  Mine has never been worked on there. When you do need service you can’t do yourself look for an alternative to HD.   There are excellent private motorcycle shops with very talented mechanics everywhere – talk to local riders and you will find one close to you.  These guys work on bikes because they love motorcycles, not because of the HD name, the service will be better and the respect they give you unmatchable.


Anyway – sorry to hear of your troubles, good luck with whatever ride you choose & have fun!



Hello Texas

Absolutely loved riding in Texas, especially the Three Sisters and all those farm/ranch roads. My thoughts and prayers go out to all those who are picking up the pieces from the ravages of Ike. 


So Texas – what is the web site?  Always love checking out anything to do with motorcycles. Come on give it up…


Happy Trails!



First – I think the Blast is a great bike for your first one – great choice!


Second – Personally, I would not pay more than $800 – 1,000, but I have only ever purchased one and it was new.


I would sign into badweatherbikers.com and go to the thumper forum. Those guys know so much and would be able to tell you if they think you are getting a good deal.  Plus they are so knowledgeable that they could tell you about any particular year Blasts that may have had some issues with them.  


Go check them out, tell them Maggie Mae “TheMagster” says hi.  I don’t sign in there as often as I should.  They are a wealth of information (Hello to EZ, Buellistic, Gearheaderiko, Swampy)





Congrats on getting into the biker way of life – it is very addicting I can tell you that.  The Blast is a great choice – you should love it. 


As for service from the Harley joints – well, I can’t say.  I purchased my bike in Daytona Beach and since I live on the east coast that would be way too far for service. 


I have never taken my Blast to a local Harley dealership for service.  I do all my own oil changes.  My husband has done the more tricky things like belt changes, spark plugs, etc – as I watch learning how, in case one day I might want to attempt it under his watchful eye.


The Tampa dealership on Dale Mabry is always helpful with parts (Thanks Jim). 


I am also a great fan of the boys over at RTM Motorcycles on Florida Avenue here in Tampa (between Bearss and Fletcher).  They have done tire changes, shocks, etc.  I would recommend them for anything you don’t want to attempt on your own.


I have nearly 54,000 miles on the Blast now and other than the routine stuff that goes with high mileage (belts, shocks, oil, tires) it has done remarkably well.  


Good luck with your class.  Keep in touch, take the course and maybe Thumper and I could hook up with you in NPR sometime for lunch and a cold one!




Go For A Ride Magazine:


It was great to see you and your other half at the Cowboy.  I am also glad to see the Neon Cowboy being resurrected with bikes parked outside.  It has always been a favorite stopping point for Thumper and I even back when it was just a feed store.


Keep riding and telling tales – bikers love to read about roads and rides…


Sam Scherr:


IBA – oh yeah!  The Uly is just the bike for that sort of thing too.  I wish more people showed an interest and desire to hit the road for a long, adventurous trip.    If I had a few more inches to my legs I just might be on a Uly.  However, I am having way too much fun trying to beat the hell out of this Blast.   Ever hear of a Blast with 100,000 miles on it???  I can only wish…


Thanks for checking out the site and for the nice comments. 



Thanks for stopping by again.   Happy Trails






Age is a state of mind and many people show that motorcycling is just the way to stay young.  I hope when I am old and wrinkled that I am still able to ride into a bike show to the laughter of the young guns and their fancy bikes watching the elderly lady trying to back into a parking spot.    


Have fun in New Zealand – send some pictures our way!




The windshield is a GIVI A760 and works great. I don’t have a problem with vibration.  The GIVI’s top bracket attached to the mirrors and this stabilized them somewhat.  I have HVMP bar end weights as well. 

Mike Grinwis:


I was having so much fun that I just completely forgot to pick up the camera (some photographer I am!).  Ron did a great job cooking up the vittles and Val has long been the one person in my life responsible for me getting through to where I am today.  Next time you see them, hand out a hug.  I look forward to my next party there, just don’t know when it will be.  Hey Val & Ron – Florida is calling you…come here…Thumper’s steaks on the grill are known throughout the neighborhood.

Tom Wilson:


Tires – when I put my first set of Avon Tyres on which replaced the OEM’s I though I had a new bike.  It was great.  Got a ton more miles out of them.   Then I could not get a whole set, rear only.


I tried the Pirelli as well.  This tire has a stickier compound and is great for corners, but the softer tire did not get the kind of miles needed when you put 5,000 miles on in two months. 


In the end I split the difference; Pirelli on the front, Avon on the rear. 


As for mileage – weight makes a big difference. I am a lightweight (a woman never really tells her weight) and try to keep packing light as well.


Read up on the subject at badweatherbikers.com, they have great info there.


Enjoy your journey!



You take some great photographs.  Mixing the riding and photography is a passion that will never go away.  Racking up those kind of miles just shows how much you love the Blast.  Keep me updated on your travels and pictures…

Belinda Bullard:


Life for you is beginning anew. I hope the Blast lives up to my endorsement and your expectations. I can tell you that after 3 years and 52,000 miles I love it more today than I did pulling out of the HD parking lot minutes after signing the sale papers. Erik did a great job with the design of this bike.


Happy Trails

Melinda, Doug & Allen





Tell your husband I said “Thanks”.  I am glad you wrote.  It’s wonderful to hear that riding is joint pleasure for you and your husband and I hope it continues to be something you can share together.


As for learning how to ride – only you can decide if that is a step you wish to embark on.  You have to want to, if you don’t, then I say don’t do it.  It is best to be honest with yourself and with your husband. If the desire is not there, then the learning process is already inhibited and the pleasure will be lost. 


If there is even just a smidgen of desire, then I say go for it.  You may find that once you try you’ll love it and that it will be the start of a happy two wheel passion that grabs you for life.  The Blast is a great bike to learn on. It could be a bike you want to keep and ride forever. Some wish to move on to other bikes as they gain experience. Again the important thing is that it is YOU making the decisions. Only you know how comfortable you are and what you feel safe doing.  While riding we have often had conversations with passengers who get such joy out of relaxing into the ride they have no desire to give up the rear seat, there is no harm in that.  Much sadder are the riders whose wives will not even give the passenger seat a try. 


As for the horror stories – you will never stop hearing them.  I nicknamed our Montana/California trip the “You’re Gonna Die” journey from all the warnings and grim tales we were told.  In Montana we were assured that a deer would take us out. In California it was the cliffs that we were certain to plunge off.  In the Sierra Nevada Mountains it was the steep mountain grade that would to be our downfall, pun intended.  They warned us of how deathly Death Valley would be.  On our trip to Maine we were warned of deadly encounters with moose.


While every warning was meant with good intentions and regional knowledge is always welcome and greatly received, had we turned back because of the possible danger, we would never get anywhere.  Every last one of those dangers was real.  The key is to be alert, prepared and defensive.  What happens, happens.   It is worth every risk you face.


I can’t tell you that you’ll never have a bad day in the saddle.  I am sure you have heard the term in motorcycling circles, there are those who have been down, and those that will go down. But truth is some never do and some do more than once. But there are also many joys and pleasures in riding.   


The next time you are out ask yourself, is this something I want to try on my own?  And keep in mind that a rider safety course can be just as beneficial to a passenger, so don’t think that just by taking the course you should be forever banned from the pillion position.  I still ride behind my husband on occasion and if I don’t feel at 100%, I am honest and my bike stays parked in the garage.


Write back and keep me posted on both your joint and possible sole riding adventures.  Happy Trails



Congratulations Doug – you will not be sorry. I hope in some way the information you saw here was of help to you. 


As for setting up the Blast for distance – my first piece of advice is luggage.  The saddlebags I use are Tourmaster Cortech Sport Saddlebags and the Sport Tailbag.  Tons of room, top loading and easy to get into, they are one of the best purchases I have made for the bike.  They are great for long distance traveling, but are so convenient, I leave them on all the time. 


The tailbag is a very quick, easy mount – just set on the passenger seat, hook the built-in cord on the back under the rear fender and pull the front cords down and hook to frame right in front of the rear passenger pegs.  On and off in a jiffy. 


The saddlebags were a bit more complicated to mount.  My husband did some slight mods to permanently mount them on my bike.  He used a piece of poly-carbonate plastic behind the bags and bolted them to the holes where you would put bungee cords.  He did have to shave off some of the plastic to gain access to attach the bolts. You may be able to find a pair of brackets that work as well or better. 



 I would also make sure you have a good windscreen.  I have the GIVI A760 windscreen.  It helps to lesson wind and rain fatigue.  


If you notice the single cylinder vibration too much, bar end weights can help.  I got mine from Hudson Valley Motorsport Parts.   HVMP.com


In a previous posting I wrote the following about my philosophy about touring and thought it worth mentioning again:


For touring my biggest recommendation is planning and lack of planning.  Let me explain.  Plan well for your adventures by making sure the bike has been well maintained and in great running condition.  Check oil, tire tread, tire pressure, air filter. Do a once over checking for loose bolts, worn parts.   But for me, the planning stops there.  When we hit the road we like that whole seat of our pants kind of touring. We pick a general direction and then just start riding.  We ride until we feel like stopping, then find a hotel and for R&R.  That night, I check out the maps and pick the road we will start on the next morning…then do it all over again.  Of course if you will be hitting an area that is very popular with tourists during the peak of the season, you may need to put a little more thought into your journey.   The more you tour, you will develop your own style and your own thoughts on how to prepare and execute your adventures.


My last piece of advice is good gear.  Gloves, boots and helmet are mandatory for every ride. A jacket and over-pant for inclement weather.  I have a hard time adjusting to wearing a jacket in warm weather but many bikes will not leave home without that piece of protection in place as well.  I prefer textile over leather for comfort, ease of packing and rain protection.  Also, separate rain gear is a smart thing to have. Especially when traveling, you will be so much more comfortable dry and able to continue riding than if you are wet and miserable.   I know without doubt that I am able put more time in the saddle because the gear helps me get there.


By doing your research and being prepared head of time, you will be able to write back and tell of the great times you’ve had on the road.   Happy Trails.





Riding is very therapeutic for me and has long been my chosen form of escape from the pressures of life.  I am lucky in the fact that my riding buddy is also my husband, so there is no difference of opinion as to how we spend our leisure time.  I will admit the economy was an issue and the price of gas a source of conversation as the time for our summer adventure approached.  We questioned the fact that paying nearly double the price of fuel would affect our budget so adversely as to force our hand and cause us to cancel the trip.  In the end though it was probably just that fact that motivated our spirit and made us even more determined to proceed – we may not have that choice next year.   Riding continues to be our release from the stresses of life.


Thanks for the warning.  I hope your friend is still riding and that ya’ll enjoy adventures of your own.  And never stop believing in what we can do as a United Nation, Free and Proud.


Sherry:  Congrats on the Blast!!  You will love it and while I can’t speak for all bikes nor all people, my has so far done all I have asked of it.   Erik designed an awesome bike. 



Cindy – All I can say here is when you know – you know.  And if the first bike you get doesn’t work for you, try another.  If you really want to ride, you will find a bike that suites you your riding style.    Then, look out….


Hey Steve – The Blast has a 2.8 gal tank and I can get about 150 miles before hitting reserve…all depends on what mods you do to bike, kind of weight you carry, etc.   It is a great machine.  Check out badweatherbikers.com  - Thumper Forum – there are a ton of guys out there using this bike as a daily commuter.   Good luck.


Rob  - I rode from Florida to Michigan, Maine and Texas.   You would love it, but that is my opinion.  You never know until you try…


The Blast will be a great bike for you.  It is inexpensive, handles great and is really fun to ride. You can do your own maintenance without any problems.


I have put 51,000+ miles on my Blast and have never had an engine or gearing problem.  At 43,000 miles I replaced a head gasket at the top end.  The leak was slight but I was planning a long distance tour and wanted everything perfect.   I replaced the clutch cable before my Texas trip and it stretched a bit while out on the road (not uncommon with new cables) and required an adjustment.  Simple easy fix.


As for top speed, the speedo says 100.  I have reached speeds just past 90, but only a couple of times. However, do I really need to go 90?  Nope.  IMHO there is no real need to push those limits.  I love my bike, I plan to get as many miles out it as I can.  If I am not working, I am riding and if I were to tear the hell out of it, then there will be no bike to ride. And with the economy, after filling the tank with $4 gallons of gas, no money left to fix the bike or pay for that expensive ticket.  So I do not tear around on it, I don’t lift the front end up – I just ride it. A lot.


Take a stock Blast, replace the exhaust (I recommend the V&H) rejet it, replace the stock intake with the Buell Pro-Series and use K&N filter and you will have enough power to get up and go, get up on the highway with no fear, pass those big 18 wheelers with no problem.  After your break-in on the motor (3,000 miles) replace oil with full synthetic and change oil every 3,000 miles – period. 


If you still have any doubt, check out www.badweatherbikers.com and click on the thumper-forum link.  This is a page dedicated to everything you need to know about the Blast – everything.  Those guys are very knowledgeable.


Thanks for reading and writing – always great to hear from new Blasters! Good luck. Have Fun.  Be Safe.

DinDallas & Neil



WOW – It is great to hear from you again.    Congrats on the 32 year marriage and the 11 little grandchildren running around. You are very lucky.    You have the best of both worlds now – a huge family to enjoy and the open road to add more adventure to that life.   It make me feel great that I was there (in heart and spirit) as the new ventures in your life started taking shape. 


We will be in the Austin area during the time of the Rot Rally.  I found out that event was taking place quite by surprise.   We usually kind stay away from the bike event arena, preferring to experience the hoopla on the outskirts, but who knows….


Be on the lookout for us, we’ll be the Blue FJR and Blast Blast with Florida tags and road wear all over our faces!





Neil – We passed through a little of that area on our trip to Maine last summer.  Very beautiful.  The Blast would be a perfect bike for those picturesque New England Country Roads….Happy Trails

Lisa & Megan

Have fun, be safe and get ready for the time of your lives.  This is just the start of an exciting new life on two wheels – soon you will be hitting the road and writing about your own adventures.


Happy Trails


I have been to your part of the woods.  Took a 10-14 day kayaking trip through the Inside Passage – it was awesome.  Changed my life.  I actually believe that I am doing what I am now just because of that one trip to the Pacific Northwest. Congrats on the Blast, what a place to ride it!  Tell me more…pics would be great too!

Go Far



HHmmm, what does it take to get someone to write for a motorcycle magazine – Heck, enough money to quit my job and hit the road?


You’ve got a great magazine there Mike with covers that really catch a riders attention and great articles inside. Keep up the great work.  I would love to help out, will have to consult with my co-photographer & road manager/mechanic – are we both for hire?    Ultimately we all have the same goal – to get the word out about our passion for touring the open road on two wheels.  Who knows….

Sara & Jennifer

Sara – I’m so glad you checked out the photographs.  We have truly enjoyed combining our passion for riding with the joy of photographing places we have been.   The memories will keep us going when we are no longer able to hit the road a ridin’!!


Jennifer:  HHmmm, a unique rider?  If I said I was a unique Blast rider that would indicate I felt I was “one of a kind”, “exceptional”, “matchless” – and NO I am not the only one out there doing what I am doing on a Blast.  I am just a little more vocal about it.  I love the bike so much and I am having so much fun that I can’t seem to keep quiet even for a moment.  I have heard from other riders (Hello Michelle) who are setting up the Blast for long distance riding.  Our numbers are beginning to grow.


We may not be representative of the typical Buell Blast owners because many of the bikes are sold as entry level bikes for the novice rider or to those who are looking for a commuter bike.  But I do recommend the bike for all types of riders and the bike can handle the task.  Erik Buell, in his own words about the Blast, said it was a bike meant to be ridden.   


As more and more riders discover the adventure of touring by motorcycle, we are seeing a more diverse population of makes and models out on the road.  I have said it before; the best touring bike, sport/touring, cruiser…is the one you enjoy riding so much, you will want to ride it all the time.  


For me the Blast was a great fit and has stepped up to the task of doing what I need it to do; long days on the road, many miles on the motor. 


For touring my biggest recommendation is planning and lack of planning.  Let me explain.  Plan well for your adventures by making sure the bike has been well maintained and in great running condition.  Check oil, tire tread, tire pressure, air filter. Do a once over checking for loose bolts, worn parts.   But for me, the planning stops there.  When we hit the road we like that whole seat of our pants kind of touring. We pick a general direction and then just start riding.  We ride until we feel like stopping, then find a hotel and for R&R.  That night, I check out the maps and pick the road we will start on the next morning…then do it all over again.  Of course you will be hitting an area that is very popular with tourists during the peak of the season, you may need to put a little more thought into your journey.   The more you tour, you will develop your own style and your own thoughts on how to prepare and execute your adventures.


As for maintenance, the Blast is easy for some things: I change my own oil, spark plugs, air filter.  Big jobs require special tools and I have a great HD mechanic at an independent shop (Hi Scott @ RTM, Tom the owner, Brian the service guy and Eric, the parts God) which helps keep my bike in top touring form.  A chat with area bikers about shops and mechanics always brings out a plethora of information.


With your height you will probably want to opt for the high profile seat and you may go through a tire a little quicker than I will, but you will love the fun you can have on this bike.  Oh yeah, check out badweatherbikers.com – thumper forum.  You will be amazed at the number of people out there riding this bike.


My other advice for traveling:  I am always glad to hear from other riders so keep me posted with stories from your own adventures you are soon to be taking.  Happy Trails




Hi Annie:


Congrats on the purchase of your ’08 Blast.   Let your adventures begin…


The saddlebags are Tourmaster Cortech Sport Saddlebags and the Sport Tailbag.  Top loading with tons more room than the Buell line of bags for the Blast and are more durable as well. They are one of the best purchases I have made for the bike.  They are great for long distance traveling, but are so convenient, I leave them on all the time. 


The tailbag is a very quick, easy mount – just set on the passenger seat, hook the built-in cord on the back under the rear fender and pull the front cords down and hook to frame right in front of the rear passenger pegs.  On and off in a jiffy. 


The saddlebags are a bit more technical and complicated to mount.  My husband did some slight mods to permanently mount them on my bike.  He used a piece of poly-carbonate plastic behind the bags and bolted them to the holes where you would put bungee cords.  You may be able to find a pair of brackets that work as well.


I also get some vibration in my mirrors, although it is better since I put the GIVI A-760 windscreen on. This is because the top brackets of the windscreen are attached to the bottom of the mirror brackets and this provided a little more stability.  I like the visibility I get from the stock mirrors and have just never entertained the idea of a replacement.  Check out the thumper forum at badweatherbikers.com, they have information regarding bar end mirrors as well as tons of other information about the Blast.  Sign in and tell them Maggie says hi!


Be safe & have fun, Maggie Mae

Lori & Missy

I had never given much thought to my height, or lack of, until I started riding.  That goes way back many years and three motorcycles ago.  What I have learned is that I can’t make myself taller, although if I wanted to look like a KISS rocker I could give myself an edge ;)  And I have learned the best bike for you is the one you have most fun on and will make you want to ride all the time.  I had that with my 2nd bike, the Yamaha V-Star and thought I would never find a bike I liked better, until the Blast came into my life.  It is hands-down the most fun I have had on two wheels.


Don’t let a bad first experience throw you.  The Blast is an excellent bike to learn on but more than that it is an excellent bike to continue riding even after you feel like you know all there is to know about riding.  (By the way that is a fallacy – no matter how much you learn, how much you ride – you must never stop learning, or trying to learn more.  Riding well is a life-long, ongoing process).


The Blast has the lowest seat height for any sport type bike on the market, utilizing the lower seat option.  It has a very low center of gravity, it is not top heavy and there is no “tippy” feeling.   It can be easily “manhandled” to get you out of minor scrapes with gravity like popping the clutch accidentally. 


But, don’t let anyone tell you it is JUST a beginner bike.  A quick check of the thumperforum at badweatherbikers.com will prove that theory completely wrong.  Guys and gals from across the US already know what you are just learning – the Blast has the power to ride the big road all day if needed, the sporty lightness to handle the meanest curves a mountain can throw at you, and all with a huge smile on your face.  The more you ride it, the more you will love it.  


I would encourage both of you to make your own choices about riding and bikes. In my humble opinion don’t just listen to what a sales person tell you, what a significant other may tell you or what I may tell you.   Ride your own ride.  Find a bike that feels comfortable for you and when you find it, you will know.  Then practice, practice, practice. If you are nervous being around others during your learning curve, find an empty parking lot to ride around to practice your short turns, stops, etc. The more you ride, the more comfortable you will become.  The Blast is a great place to start. 


Keep me posted, Happy Trails

Cyndi Thompson:

Hi Cyndi  - pick the Blast, pick the Blast!!  Personally, I think you will be very happy with it. 


The Blast has had very good reviews in print and by history, the 500 cc thumper has a great reputation for reliability and performance.   As long as you don’t abuse the bike or perform radical modifications, it will be kind to you in return. 


As far as highway riding and long distance touring – if YOU can do it, the bike can do it.  I say this with confidence from personal experience.   The best bike is the one you will ride and take care of.  


An aftermarket exhaust and the Buell pro-series intake with K&N filter help boost the power a little and add to the overall performance.  I have no problem getting up on the big road and up to speed with little worry about that big Mack truck coming up behind me.  I am not saying that I can get up to that speed as fast as my husband will on his FJR, but I am not too far behind and then we ride along together for hours with no problems.  It performs well on the highway and can pass that big semi with relative ease.


It handles great on the curves, can do tight little turns in parking lots and you will find it easy to do your own routine maintenance.


But in the end it doesn’t matter what bike you pick, as long as you get out there and ride.  If you like your bike, you will ride it. Anywhere, everywhere, all the time. 

Hi Steve – miss you so much. 


You can bet we will be back up in Georgia – that is one of our favorite riding spots.  Especially the area around Suches, Blairsville, Helen, Dahlonega.  Are you still around Villa Rica?


Will give you a heads-up prior to our next northerly ride and plan to get together, it would be great to see you.  


Hugs, Margaret (aka, Maggie Mae)

Another Blast Rider???



Hi Art – Thanks for taking the time to write.  I truly believe if you pick the Blast – you will love it!! 


Being 5’7” – you will probably want to opt for the stock high profile seat, which puts you at about 27” I believe. The low seat is 25” and may be a bit too short for you.   Check out www.badweatherbikers.com and click on the “thumper forum”.  This is a link dedicated to Buell Blast riders and there is lots of good information.  A lot of the guys get custom seats; Corbin seems to be the favored one.


Ultimately it is a great bike to cut your chops on, it’s great on the corners and really fun to ride.  Also, it’s highly customizable – again that is where the thumper-forum comes in.  Anything you need to know about this bike, that is the place to start.   Very friendly, knowledgeable posters there, and they love to help. 


Bottom line:  Go For It!  You never know until you give it a try…


Enjoy the journey!

Steve Hall, Eric  - Glad you could check in – tell all my friends at BadWeb I say hello and Steve – tell the morning crew they are still my favorites!!







BREAKDOWNS????   Heck, there is a word that any rider likes to avoid.  But it is one that you will have to address eventually if you ride long enough and far enough.  


Tools:  First, I recommend getting to know your bike on a personal level from the moment it becomes your bike.  You need to know the sizes of bolts, types of fuses and any special little needs that are specific to your bike.  Mine for instance used to have a little problem with the carb boot – so in my saddlebag you will find a flat head screw driver and an extra carb boot. My husband engineered a great fix for this BTW so no problem, no more, but I still carry that screwdriver and boot, better prepared than not.   I also always keep a small Phillips head screwdriver (good for carb adjustments) and a roll of electrical tape.  Just never know.  That tiny little sticky black stuff can sometimes make the difference of getting home or calling for help.


For our long 2-3 week rides, which usually cover 3,000 to 4,000 miles the tool kit pack contains: 3/8 inch ratchet, sockets to match your bike, right angle hex set (Thumper prefers the ball end hex), needle nose pliers, utility knife and a small, inexpensive volt meter or light tester.  And a tire repair kit.  


You should get to know your bike on a very personal level, even if you never intend to actually wrench on it.  Before your bike ever leaves the stall on a ride you should check the air in your tires, make sure you have no leaks, no loose bolts. Make sure your signal/horn works.


As for what problems I have encountered.  As I noted before, I used to have a little problem with the carb boot coming loose, but the fix job has eliminated that problem.  On my way to BikeWeek in Daytona last year I stalled out and had a hard time keeping it running.  Thumper messed around with the float in my carb for a bit and then we turned around to head for home.  A few miles down the road it was running great again. Thumper saved the day. 


While on my way home from Maine this past summer, I picked up a screw in my rear tire in the driveway at Harley Davidson, Kitty Hawk.  Thanks to good preparation, Thumper was able to plug the tire right there in the HD parking lot.  They allowed us to fill up with air and I was on my way again in no time at all.  The only time I have been stranded was last year on my way to Daytona for Biketoberfest.  Clutch cable snapped right off.  The area was way to preoccupied with the bike events and I could not locate a replacement cable (something that is a little too bulky to keep an extra on hand).  So that is the first and only time in 44,600 miles that the Blast has ever traversed these roads without me at the controls.


I hope this information provides some insight and answers your questions.   Be safe out there.


Maggie Mae



Hi Angela – how is the newlywed?  Tell everyone I say hello and send my love….











Thanks for the nice comments on the web page, I try to keep it updated, but every minute I spend at the computer is a minute not spent on the bike, and well, I’d rather be out riding.  After a full day in the saddle, thoughts of the computer rarely enter my mind. 


Anyway – to your question about if I think the Ninja 250 is a better bike, mechanically speaking….


My belief is this, simple and to the point:  The best bike out there is the one that you will actually spend hours on rolling down that two-lane road.  For you it may be a 250, your best friend may want a 500 or 750.  There are many to choose from.  I believe that you should spend a little time researching bikes, sitting on bikes and when the right one comes along, you will know it.  And many people don’t keep their first bike forever.  Any avid motorcyclist will talk fondly of the many pieces of machinery that have flowed through their garage doors. 


As far as which bike is the better bike mechanically speaking, I’m not the expert in this field of topic.  There too, you will get many different responses depending on who you talk to.  The sport guys and touring guys will tell you “Jap is where it’s at”, BMW riders rarely waver from dedication to German technology.  Harley riders stand firm in their belief that HD makes the only real American bike.  There is good in all bikes, all bikes will at some point eventually require some type of mechanical tweaking, some more than others true. 


In the end, you will never know what bike is good, and what bike is good for you, unless you get out there and ride.  So go, now, get on that bike and ride.  Far.  Anywhere.  Don’t look back. 


Happy Trails.




The saddle bags are Cortech Sport Saddlebags and Sport Tail Bag, you can view information at www.tourmaster.com.   I ordered mine from my local bike shop. I believe the web page gives the option to search for a local dealer. 


I absolutely love them. The saddlebags are top loading and have tons of room.  My husband did some slight mods to permanently mount them on my bike.  He used a piece of poly-carbonate plastic behind the bags and bolted them to the holes where you would put bungee cords.  You may be able to find a pair of brackets that work as well.


The tail bag is a cinch. It has built in bungee cords. Just set it on the passenger part of the seat and the rear hooks right on the lip of the back fairing, the front cords I pull down and hook right on the frame in front of the passenger foot pegs.   When I check into a hotel, that bag is off and ready to carry in about 10 seconds.  Great bargain!!


As for the clutch, I can’t complain, I had around 35,000 miles on that clutch cable.  Barnett makes a great cable, check them out. I have watched my husband change it, a bit technical for me, but he says it’s not too bad. He has taught me everything I know about bikes. I can confidently do some small wrenching on it, always with his watchful eye and helpful hints. It is very gratifying to know what makes it tick and be able to do things without having to take it to a shop for work. Although when I need them, my buddies at RTM Motorcycles in Tampa are always ready!


Ride Safe, Happy Trails,





I’m glad you like the site.  It’s great you are taking the time to check out different bikes and have an open mind to look at different manufacturers.  A good decision always starts with good research. 


I loved both the V-Star and the Blast and put lots of miles on each bike.  I am a little biased now towards the Blast because I have had such great fun on it.  Only you will know which bike is the right one for you.  Good Luck





Congrats on the new Buell.  You will come to absolutely love it.  Guys on the badweb site (www.badweatherbikers.com) say all the time how they have more than one bike in the stable, but the Blast is by far the one ridden the most.  It’s just plain lots of fun to scoot around on. 


Good luck on the hunt for another.  If she is a novice rider, I firmly believe it is the BEST entry level ride out there.  And if she is experienced, it will just bring a whole new level of joy to her riding.  


Thanks for writing and keep me posted on your adventures.


Maggie Mae



“Uncle” Steve – hey stranger, it’s so great to hear from you.  Sounds like you haven’t put your feet on the ground since we last met.  Oregon and California are such beautiful states to ride in, brings back great memories.   


We would love to hook up, buy you a cold one – and hear about your travels.  Give us a holler, we could meet anywhere, just not in Daytona!!


Thumper & Mags

To Lisa


Hi Lisa (From Colorado!!)


Thanks so much for taking the time to look the site back up after two years, that makes me smile.


Yes – Colorado is absolutely beautiful. We are so blessed to have great friends, especially friends that will hook us up with a motorcycle and take us to all the best places out there in God’s Country.   I can’t wait to head west again.


As for safety of single female riders, I think much of it has to do with choices you make. 


Being comfortable with your riding skills and ability to handle any mechanical problems that may creep up is paramount.  And having a cell phone with you in case there is a problem you can’t take care of.


Stopping in safe locations for gas, food and lodging is vitally important as well. 


I would not travel at night and would be sure friends and family are aware of my routes and kept updated as to my location, etc.


I would miss having someone to share the ride with, but understand there are some things beyond our control.  If I had to choose between not riding and riding alone, I would ride alone, because I love it so much.  


Wishing you many joyous rides, solo or not!


Happy Trails, keep in touch,



January 10, 2008

Squidley:   WOW – We miss ya’ll too.  Hope all is well with you and yours.  We don’t know when a Michigan trip will be in the works, this summer we are going to try and head west again.  If you are ever down here or need a warm, sunny place to escape to, drop us a line, you have a place to stay. Tell the Michigan crew we said hello.


Gentry:  As always – You Are The Man!!  It is always good to have a chat with ya.  


See you soon…


Hello Captain Mark:   Thanks for the note and as I have said before on this site, sorry it is taking me so long to get back with ya’ll.  


Sounds like you do get around.  Holopaw – home of Gene Langford’s Holopaw Corevette, who also happens to be the only local Ural dealer.  (Hi Gene).   Have also spent many miles around The Big Lake, as I like to call it.  We got stopped for speeding on the reservation down there, guess we did not realize the speed limit went down to 45 once on reservation land.  Cop was nice, gave us a warning and a tip; there was a bikini contest at the casino…free food, entertainment.  We think he just wanted someone to have lunch with, nice guy, he too was a rider.


Bummer about being towed.  We got a couple of low blow tickets back on St. Patrick’s Day for parking too close to an unauthorized parking area.   The key here being too close. We were not necessarily in a restricted area, but too close.  Both bikes parked right next to each other, two separate very expensive tickets.  Did not pay to fight, we lost.  More money.   We try to stay away from parking anywhere remotely questionable now.  Tough lesson.


How do you like the Uly??  I was excited about it until I learned how tall it was.  Bummer being just 5 foot, when “tippy toeing” is not even remotely possible.  I have heard good things about it. And I am glad your wife likes to ride with you.  I have had many, many happy, joyous miles in the “navigator” seat.   


Michelle – Congrats on your new ride!!!  I am sure it is the start of many, many adventures for you.    Feel free to send me a picture and I will post it.   The more you ride, the more you will be hooked.    Enjoy the journey.


Dan:  I am very sorry to hear about your accident.   My prayers go out to you for a speedy and complete recovery.   I was in a bit of an accident myself a while back (not on a motorcycle, go figure) and have had a bit of a motivation problem, especially where this web page is concerned.  But I am trying to get back in the swing of things.  I was lucky enough not have my riding affected.  In fact, I always seem to feel better when I am out on the road heading to nowhere in particular. 


Again, I send warm wishes that you get back on your feet soon.


Happy Trails to all and thanks for being patient with my less than speedy replies to your messages.


Maggie Mae




Eric & Thumper

Now boys – no fighting.  Do I have to pull this bike over and whup you both?    Truth be had, I learned everything I know about riding from Thumper and my Dad.    And you Eric are always there when needed – THANKS. 

Also – I agree with Thumper – RTM is THE Motorcycle Shop of Tampa – you have had my back for every mile logged on the Blast and I appreciate all of your expertise and care.  My helmets off to Tom, Eric, Brian and the whole RTM crew.   


Happy Trails

"Uncle" Tim


Thanks for checking out the site.  You are right on the money about everyone finding a bike that fits them; in size, style and riding ability.  Some people are more suited to cruisers, others touring and for my husband and I – sport touring.  


Too often I see riders, men and women alike on bikes they are unable to handle.  Sometimes it's because they are too tall, too wide, sometimes too powerful, etc.  I have also seen guys on bikes that look way too small for them.  But this is just my view and everybody has a right their own opinion and to ride whatever they want – the beauty of living in a free nation.


Speaking of which – My hats off to all our Veterans, your service to Our Country is appreciated.  Happy Veterans Day!!


Have fun on the Road King – Happy Trails

Busa Bobby 'N The Dale

Welcome Home!!  We know what you like...

Mr. Gentry

Thumper and I  always enjoy our visits with you when we stop in at the Hog Pen.  It has been a while since we were there but you will see us for sure before December.  


Heading over to Daytona on Friday for Biketoberfest and will be sure to stop in for a chat when we return. 


Thanks for keeping an eye out on me.  I can always count on you.


Happy Trails Mr. Gentry (Best cook on the strip…)


Lori Pegg

Congrats on the Blast - I look forward to hearing about your

journeys.  You have many miles of joy ahead of you.

Keep us posted.

Dave Williams

Hi Dave!


I have been on a quest to try and discover the secret to fixing our mutual dilemma.  I am not sure where you read about my head injury, as I have been to so many places and posted messages, but admit got a little frustrated at lack of info and responses.  I am sorry I did not get your message. 


As for me, there has been no change.  To those of you who do not know, on Easter Sunday I fell off a golf cart and unfortunately was not wearing my motorcycle helmet at the time!  I hit the back of my head on the asphalt and since then cannot smell or taste anything.  I have the same problem as Dave, everything tastes very, very bad, almost like rotten cucumber.  Don’t ask me how I arrived at that particular comparison, but that is as close as I can come to describing it. 


As you can tell, it has affected my motivation somewhat.  I am still riding, in fact, other than spending time just being with Thumper, riding is where I get the most relief these days, just getting out and concentrating on the task of riding gets my mind off the sucky taste in my mouth.   I have not had much enthusiasm to write, but will get back in the swing soon.  Biketoberfest in Daytona is only two weeks away and you can bet I will have something to say when I return. 


Dave – all I can say is keep eating!  We may not enjoy it, but we need to keep healthy for those who care about us.  Any tips we can share would probably benefit us both.  I have discovered the hotter and spicier, the more it kills the taste in the mouth and that is not a bad thing. 


Keep in touch.   To my riding comrades, see you out on the road.


Happy Trails…


Joel & CB750F

CB750F – I have been blessed with a killer motor.  My husband used to have a CB750 – he loved it.  I still like this 500!!




Hi Joel


Congrats on the new Blast purchase.  You will love it and I suspect will have tons of fun on it.


The fairing is a GIVI A750 and I got it direct from GIVI.   The top brackets I mounted directly to my stock mirrors and the bottom mounted to the same place as stock windshield utilizing longer bolts.  


The seat is a Rick Mayer custom.  I like the lower profile seat and it has been tough to get the comfort level where I want it for the long haul riding I do.  For my Michigan trip I used a gel insert and that was pretty good. You will have to try things to see what works best for you.  Good luck and Happy Trails… www.rickmayercycle.com

Ken AKA Klaus

Hi Ken


Glad I can help your work-day move along…


Pictures for Maine start on page 12 of Photos 2007, I don’t know why I did not do a separate album for that trip. 


Do you ride?  Michigan has some beautiful roads to cruise around on.  I miss it most in the fall.  Hope you and yours made it safely through the wicked weather that recently passed through the Great Lakes State. 


Take care, Happy Trails

Mike & Tony

Hi Mike & Tony

I am addicted to riding.  No way around it. Even more addicted to
touring and hit the road whenever possible.

Mike, you ever find a way to quit your job and make a living
riding around on a motorcycle, let us know.  We are packed
 and ready!


DGYPZ – AAAHHHH Glacier.  What a beautiful place.  That trip sounds very similar to our trip from Florida, through Glacier down the Pacific Coast Highway and back through the Sierra Nevada’s, Grand Canyon… Don’t you just love those long days on the road?


Not sure if we will make the panhandle, but thanks for the heads up, sounds like fun.  If at all possible, who knows what could happen…


Thanks for signing the guestbook. 

Richard Koch

Hello Richard:  About the windshield:  I put many miles on with the stock fly-screen but wanted a little more rain protection for the 2-3 week trips.  The Buell windshield was a huge improvement.  However, I did get more wind on my chest than I thought I would.  Not bad in the summer heat but a disappointment in the winter cold. I like the GIVI A760 much better.  I think it looks pretty cool. However personally, I am more into function than fashion.  If it serves my need, I don’t really care too much if everyone thinks it looks good. 


On our trip to Maine we put an average of 350 to 400 miles on in most days.  Pretty much the same for the Michigan trip.  We are usually on the road by 7:30 or 8 and try to be off by 5 PM.  In the heat it made for long days, but the tired was a good tired.  Obviously there were days when we did not go as far, but I truly like the long haul days better.  I am happiest when the road is in front of me.


I was an avid camper when I was young, but am pretty much spoiled by hotel jumping now. 


Sorry about the lost trip but just look to the future…Happy Trails

Brad Figiel


Hey Brad – feel the same way as you about reading that the Blast is JUST a starter bike.  With over 38,000 miles in the saddle and two major journeys, I feel it can pretty much do what any touring or sport-touring bike can do.   I may not have the comforts of a Gold Wing or Road King, but my smile is just as big as I fly down the road!


How about that new Kaw Concours?  My husband has had his eye on it since he first read about it.  A friend (Hi Jeff) just added one to his already rather large collection of bikes (one now for just about every day of the week, do I sound jealous?). Waiting for his road test analysis. 


Enjoy the Blast.