It was such a pleasure finally meeting Buz Ras of Seattle Speedometer at The One Motorcycle Show in Portland, Oregon a couple weeks ago. Buz is the go-to guy when it comes to custom gauges, with many of the best builders out there tapping his shop, because the design, quality, and finish are top notch. For me, seeing the 12 custom speedos that he did for The One Show blew my mind. Lined up on his tidy table like little soldiers, each one was a beautiful work of art. I wanted to buy one on the spot, but they were all CB (Honda) speedos, great for display because of their big faces that really show-off his incredible work. After a couple drinks, a few hugs, and many laughs later we headed over to Sassy’s across from The One Show and kept the good times lubricated while we shot the shit about what he does.
TSY: So Buz, I’m not the sharpest knife in the drawer– but I couldn’t help noticing at The One Motorcycle Show that you are one tall drink of water, brother. I mean, how the fuck are you 6″10″ and allowed to profess that you hate sports? Ain’t nobody got time for that! Did they just tear your poor Dad up?
SS: My dad was an amazing basketball player in school, won awards. I played basketball for one season in high school. Fouled out of every game, and got ejected from 8 games. After that I decided I was not a sports guy. I kinda regret not pursuing it more because I could have made a ton of money with very little effort, but there’s no going back now…
TSY: (That’s what she said, Buz.) So have you always been a motorhead, Buz? Was this a natural career path for you, or did you just kinda fall into it?
SS: I’ve always loved motorized things. Taking stuff apart, seeing how it worked. I was going to go to college to be an engineer but I quickly learned its 95% paperwork, 5% actual building. So, I ended up with a degree in anthropology.
TSY: This is so interesting for me, because I’ve always been drawn to speedometers since I was a little kid. I remember walking up to cars and bikes and going straight to the speedo to get the critical 411. And I’d be so matter-of-fact in stating, “Yes, this Mercury Bobcat will do 150 mph. I know because it says so on the speedometer right there!” Funny, doesn’t quite work like that, but as a kid…. Anyway, how do you go from anthropology to speedometers?