Opportunity Lost: Dave Osterman’s Thank You to Buell


Dave Osterman wanted to share this note about the sudden demise of the Buell dirt bike project:

Having to start the week following the 2007 Red Bull Motocross of Nations’ victory by Team USA was definitely a high note and a plus. Went into work (Buell) on Monday feeling great. No worries. In fact, one of the engine supplier’s techs was flying into to Milwaukee to test with us for the week. We had the dyno and track ready for us as we'd roll through it. I couldn't wait!
You see, I was hired to help the Buell Motorcycle Co. attempt to build an "American Off-Road Bike." I was brought in by the company namesake, Erik Buell himself. In fact, when he called me up after leaving Yamaha of Troy, I didn't believe it was really him—I thought it was a buddy playing a joke on me.

It wasn't. It was real and I took it very serious. Not many ever get this kind of chance—the chance to make history—so failure wasn't an option for me. I even coined the phrase for the many engineers there I interacted with as "the end user." We're all end-users, really, even RC, James, Mitch Payton. We are all end users and that's fine. I've been on some of the best teams in the history of American motocross, but even at the factory level, you’re still largely just an end user (but with better connections, so to speak, to get what and where you want).

So to the Harley/Buell organization I say “thank you” for the huge opportunity you instilled in me. Though many times I felt like giving up, the team effort and many of my team kept me going strong. During this project, still living in Southern California and commuting to Wisconsin was tough. Since January I've been home less than I've been back there at Buell. At times even my dogs thought I was a stranger at first. So thanks to my family, who have always been behind me. Thanks to my team, the cast and crew I worked with daily—through the good and bad, I'll miss you guys.

So hence, this is the "opportunity lost." We would have made history. Now I'm home, time to move on. Once again, to all the Buell people, thanks. The pleasure was mine and maybe we'll cross paths again. Also, a huge thank you to Live Nation and to the NPG for all your help, in helping me to show my guys—my team—SX and MX at its best, as we went to many races. To all my buds on the many teams out there that took the time to talk to my guys, and the several brands I tried to bring into the fold of our project,  I appreciate all your time and help. See you at the races everyone.

Dave Osterman

(To reach me please feel free to contact me at : ozzydeo@yahoo.com  or  (661) 510-8563)