The Stuart family has been involved in the motorcycle industry in Gainesville Fl since 1948, with the opening of the Harley Davidson dealership on North Main street by Roland Sr. Having worked part time with the Gainesville Police department on special events since the early 50’s he joined full time after closing the Harley Davidson shop in 1965. Because of his expertise he was placed in charge of the motorcycle division in the traffic unit. Roland Jr. “Ro” continued to service the motor unit and the rest of Gainesville while attending the University of Florida where he developed his trade and expertise by transferring his Engineering skill to the motorcycle industry. After Sr Retired as a shift lieutenant in the 70’s and Ro finishing his tenure at the University of Florida. Ro with the help of Sr officially opened Stuarts Cycle.
The Stuarts have been servicing motorcycles for a long time, but we have also been Racing them too. Roland Sr. has raced motorcycles on both the beaches of Daytona and the high banks of Daytona International Speedway along with dirt track racing with some creative Harley Davidson backdoor Sponsorship. Once Sr. put up the helmet Ro started to race after his knee shattering wreck on his 1970 Sportster. He rebuilt his bike but not back into a street bike but into a super-stock drag bike. Ro along with Sr as crew chief raced around the country progressing up class from single engine Top Gas to Double engine Top Gas. Then retrofitting to run “Fuel” or Nitro methane. Once deciding that “TOP FUEL” was the class they wanted to race they built a new double engine injected Nitro Harley Davidson. After the progression of the sport moved to the Japanese manufacturers Sr and Jr built their first “blown” super charged injected Suzuki GS 1100. After years of competitive racing Ro won the biggest race in the sport The 1982 US Nationals in Indianapolis Indiana. Once again the sport demanded renovation and in 1985 The championship bike was redesigned into what is now considered the start of the modern Top Fuel Motorcycle era. With all the industry changing innovation that Sr and Ro built out of the same shop we are located today they changed the sport into a much safer and faster one than it had ever seen. With Sr passing to illness in 1986 and Ro no longer had the help of his father and being a new father himself retired the bike after the 1991 season. The bike still sits in the front of the shop to this day. But he was not done racing. In 1992 a fellow racer and longtime family friend, Larry McBride asked Ro to come help out on his race team at the world finals here in Gainesville. Unfortunately Larry crashed at over 200mph and destroyed the bike at that event. Again that did not stop him from racing. Once the McBride racing team healed up and reinvented the way to build the premiere class motorcycle, Ro was asked again to join the team. With the McBride and Stuart racing families joining to create a team with over 60 yrs of combined knowledge was the beginning of a dynasty in the sport.
The new generation TFB showed great promise but also had plenty of bugs to work out. Once the aerodynamic issue was solved a motor problem developed. After developing a new cylinder head between the team and Byron Hines of Vance and Hines performance a base line bullet proof set up was created. From 1994 to present the New McBride racing team had set the world on fire with the first bike to break the 230 and 240 mph barrier. On October 31, 1999 at Houston International raceway part during a N.H.R.A. National even the McBride race team was the first ever to record a 5 second 1/4 mile. With that feat the N.H.R.A. dedicated that as the “Run of the Year” award in 1999. They then proceeded to lower that mark every year to the now standing marks of 5.74 sec. and 248mph.
Along with all the drag racing that Sr and Ro has done, Chuck grew up on the pegs of a motocross bike. Starting out in the back yard on a 1986 Kawasaki kdx 80 at the age of 5. He then moved up to a 1990 Kx 125 and ventured on to local mx tracks. Once he decided that he wanted to race he then moved up to a 2000 Cr250 and began in the “C” or novice class. He raced up into the “B” class and started riding the new four stroke mx machines in 2003. He qualified to go to the biggest amateur nationals in the country twice only to fall to injury before both events. While racing himself chuck scheduled time to go to select event with his dad to help out the McBride’s and the Top Fuel team. Always looking for something new to try chuck started to road race. He converted his stock 2004 Gsxr 750 in to a super-stock class worthy motorcycle. After laying down his his technically street bike he began to search for a designated track bike but with hard times with the economy the road racing deal kinda just fell to the way side. Now working part time at the shop and full time racing with Ro and the McBride’s on the drag bike. There has been talk with the team that once Larry retires that chuck would take over the controls of the quickest and fastest motorcycle in the world. In the mean time chuck has been getting his feet wet in the world of lay down wheelie bar bikes by attending Johny Vickers ProDrag racing school in 2012. And, while at the national events racing with McBride he Makes Test hits on Friday and Sunday when time permits. His best time to date has been a 7.40 @ 169 mph.
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