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Reader’s Ride: 2009 Genuine Buddy Blackjack

June 10, 2015
Maverick and Jaylin at speed

Jaylin Billig and Maverick, setting another land speed record (Photo:

You’ll recall Jaylin Billig’s trip to Bonneville last August, where she and her trusty steed Maverick (a 2009 Genuine Buddy Blackjack) set a third AMA Land Speed Record. While Triple Crown winner American Pharoah‘s owners say he will race again, Jaylin had decided 2014 would be Maverick’s final trip to the salt; it could be said he’s been put out to stud. In a manner of speaking.

As is quite possible in the realm of scooters and motorcycles, Jaylin bought Maverick new in 2011. In fact, it was one of the last two Buddy Blackjacks ever made. The success of Genuine’s Buddy International models pushed the Blackjack to the back burner; Maverick sat in Genuine’s warehouse half-finished before she placed her order.

Maverick, before

Jaylin Billig photos

This is what Maverick looked like before that first trip to the salt. Jaylin didn’t buy Maverick to race; the idea of going to Bonneville came later. A Google search of “fastest scooter” revealed what Jaylin describes as a wild, crazy world of high-speed land racing. “Dude, that looks like fun!” she thought.

That first trip to the Bonneville Salt Flats was originally intended to be a fun run, but as is often the case after a few beers are consumed in a bar, the plan changed. A wind-up toy car and a $100 bet led to a 3-day work frenzy to get Maverick ready for his first (successful!) AMA-sanctioned record run. Jaylin and Maverick teamed up for two more records in the 175 P-AG class.

Maverick’s engine got a new 4-valve cylinder head, expanded cylinder and performance pipe for the most recent trip to the salt. Jaylin having described the resulting increase in power as “frightening,” a return to stock was called for. So was pulling the bike completely apart to replace fasteners and other bits that were simply rusted out. Remember, the surface at Bonneville is salt. And the salt gets into everything.

Tire cleaning

Things that weren’t caked in salt were simply dirty, and needed cleaning.

Maverick, after

Here’s Maverick, all cleaned up and ready for the road. The stickers on the legshield are the tech inspection and AMA sanction items required on all bikes running for records. The racing number, 210, happens to be an area code for San Antonio, Tex.; Jaylin had initially asked for 21 (the number you try to match in Blackjack, the card game) but it was taken. She is a former resident of San Antonio and a dyed-in-the-wool Spurs fan.

Maverick’s return to street duty happened at the (rather wet) 2015 North Texas Lakes rally.

Maverick out camping

Jaylin lives in the sprawling metropolis that is Houston, Tex., a place she readily admits is not scooter-friendly at all. Maverick will now settle into a life of commuting, running errands and traveling to scooter rallies. Stud fees are yet to be determined. Favicon


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