I met Buddy of Unknown Industries fame a few year ago on the HotBike Power Tour. I was already quite familiar with his riding, having seen his infamous YouTube videos (they were already at over a million views), as well as numerous photos in print and on social media. So, I wasn’t surprised when I witnessed Buddy, Kade Gates and Nick Leonetti ripping wheelies and carving up midwest parking lots on the Tour. What I was blown away with was how cordial and approachable the entire crew was, especially Buddy. We ended up talking here and there on each of the stops and I was stoked when after perusing our catalogue, he said he was interested in running some of our parts.
Since than, I’ve hung with Buddy on a handful of occasions and we’ve ridden a time or two as well. Seeing him rule on the same bike I like to ride (FXR), I was intrigued to know what mods he’d performed to make stunting easier. I was bummed when I figured out all his bikes are pretty close to stock. They’ve got switches on the bars, no extra brakes or levers in funny places and not a crash bar to be found. The reason for the lack of sport bike mods is simple: Buddy just doesn’t need them. Multiple brakes and levers aren’t necessary since when you’ve got skills like him and you don’t need a crash bar when you never crash.
When went to see Buddy to shoot this little episode of WTF, we caught him in his garage, fiddling with his new dirtbike and hanging with his dog. Just a normal dude doing normal shit. Or so you think. After catching up for a second, we followed him down the street to get some gas for his Big Al’s-built and Taylor Schultz spritzed Dyna before we headed out to film some 12 o’clock action, and being that he was running on fumes, when he went to pop it up, the bike spat and sputtered a bit. But Buddy, being the G he is, kept that front mag up, even with almost no gas in the tank. Being able to perform when things aren’t perfect is part of what separates Buddy from the crowd.
With gas in his tank, we followed Buddy south on PCH and and hooked a left into the neighborhood some basketball player named Kobe calls home. Maybe this wasn’t the best spot to get loose, I thought to myself. But, Buddy picked the spot so I wasn’t gonna argue. After a quick pass up the hill, I was reminded how good Buddy actually is and I realized we’d probably only need a couple minutes of him doing his best unicyclist impression before we could call it a wrap. And thats what happened. One rip up the hill (after a quick fly-by from local law enforcement) and back down, we had the footy we needed and it was time for tacos.
We made our way into the local poké palace and ordered up some grinds but not before Buddy grabbed the door for a couple of people on their way into the same establishment, reminding me once again what a humble, down to earth dude he is. After stuffing our faces on the company dime and talking about riding mountain bikes and other fun stuff besides motorcycles, we high-fived Buddy and headed back to the IE. It’d been a fun day and it was good to catch up with our friend.