by Tom McCarthy
On September 22, 2019, the Pro Street motorcycle drag racing duo of Brad Mummert and Richard Gadson closed out their regular racing season with the XDA motorcycle drag racing sanction in fine form: $10,000 worth of fine form to be exact. At the DME Racing sponsored Fall Nationals, the team won the XDA’s 7th annual Pro Street “Battle Royale”, netting a 10K cash payout and bragging rights with incredible side-by-side times of 6.403 to 6.403. Gadson defeated Jeremy Teasley with a .082 reaction time to his .114 for the Win and the large baby. And by the way, that side-by-side 6.40’s: that’s the official world’s quickest Side-by-Side pass by a pair of Pro Street bikes ever recorded in the history of the class.
Not bad for an antique motorcycle facing off against the latest in Pro Street motorcycle drag racing.
Yes, the drag bike of Brad Mummert is based on a 1981 Suzuki GS1100E, square headlight and all, but to be fair, that’s not your granddaddy’s Suzuki GS 1100 out there. That’s the latest in technology and the best parts that money can buy from the 16 valve MONSTER cylinder head, thanks to Mitch Brown, to the billet crank by Vance & Hines. The 1655cc motor was assembled by Rick Smith and has a 5 speed Robinson Industries gearbox ready to handle close to 600 HP generated by the combination and sent to an MTC clutch package.
Not to mention the state-of-the-art ECU by MaxxECU controlling the 54mm Lectron throttle bodies. And for extra measure, the Nitrous Express system will go through two pounds of NOS on a typical six-second, 200 + MPH pass. Thanks to the Energy Coil ignition system, this thing is tuned like a Gibson Flying V, ready for the hands of James Hetfield of Metallica.
With pilot Richard Gadson driving the bike like he’s pissed at it: Gadson comes off the line like Hetfield screaming the lyrics to Fuel “Gimme fuel, gimme fire, gimme that which desire!” Throttle wide open to the stops, button released, 600 rampaging ponies head to the rear tire, no wheelie bars for protection and no fear present – none. This is Pro Street racing at its best in the new millennium.
So, to address the obvious question, why race an old school Suzuki GS in the modern era, bike owner Brad Mummert had this to say “I love these bikes and always have and always will. We race an updated old skool GS because we just wanted to do something different and prove it could be done.” In a cookie-cutter world of Suzuki Hyabusa’s and the new 1 Liter combinations, Mummert and Gadson are like Thor’s hammer; sometimes you just have to beat the hell out of the opposition to get the respect you deserve.
During the summer months of 2019, Brad Mummert, the owner of the bike announced that 2019 would be the last year of competition for Brad and Richard on this magnificent machine. Brad is now moving into his retirement years and his many years of employment with Harley Davidson, his long-time employer, are coming to a close. So are the extra overtime dollars that funded this race bike. So, Brad announced this was the last year of competition for their bad baby of a Pro Street bike. Then came the Fall Nationals with the XDA and their unreal performance of 6.403 @ 221 MPH, which stunned even Richard and Brad.
“I never envisioned these bikes or this bike going this far – it’s just amazing – and I know there’s more in it!” commented Brad Mummert in a post-race interview. “We don’t want to retire, we don’t want to stop, we know we can run 6.30’s, we just need to keep developing.” So, his intentions to stop racing are in a state of flux. “We went to the Man Cup Fuel Tech World Finals and wanted to see that 6.38 up on the board, we knew we can do it.” However, they qualified #1 in the APE All-Star Shootout with a 6.52 and then lowered that to 6.49 elapsed time over the weekend.
And this is the frustration facing Mummert & Gadson right now: they know they have more and can produce more, but the season has ended and to keep going in 2020 will depend deeply on finding a sponsor. Brad commented “We want to keep racing and we will, but only if we can continue to compete at this level. That’s going to take a lot of money and if we can find a sponsor, we will be back out in 2020.”
So there it is. It’s a 1981 Suzuki GS1100EX, in 2019 trim ripping off 6.40’s at over 220 MPH. Very Old Skool Cool! If the sponsorship money is there, in 2020, perhaps their 20-20 vision will lead them to the 6.30’s and another winning season!
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