Buell Motorcycles, building on its success in the fledgling AMA Daytona Sportbike class, announced a foray into the premier AMA American Superbike class with a race-only model, the 1125RR. Intended to “give privateer racers a turn-key machine,” according to Erik Buell, the bike will make its first race appearance at the Mid-Ohio race July 17th, with 22-year-old privateer Taylor Knapp on board. Knapp, a former ice racer, has been racing a GSX-R1000 with MDK racing. AMA Pro Racing, in a separate announcement, stated the 1125RR is approved for use in the class.
The bike is basically a heavily modified 1125R with many of the race-kit components we showed you in our ride report of the 1125R racer. It’s chain-driven instead of belt, and gets the full bodywork and abbreviated tailsection and magnesium wheels as well. However, the suspension is by Showa, not Öhlins.
The biggest changes are in the engine. Bore, stroke and throttle-body diameter stay the same, but Buell claims that “power increases come from components including a larger airbox and intake manifold, revised valves and camshafts, a higher compression ratio, titanium exhaust system and other weight-reduced components.” Let’s hope so for their sake; the stock bike makes a claimed 146 hp at the crank, and I don’t think it’s too big a stretch to say you’ll need somewhere around 190 to be competitive. That means they need a 25% boost.
Then of course, there will be the PR fallout of having basically the same bike competing in both the superbike and middleweight race classes…will this further sap credibility for the race series in the eyes of cynical race fans?
In any case, licensed racers should appreciate the chance to buy a turn-key racer for a mere $39,995. The bikes will be available next week; contact your local Buell dealer for more information.
MD Readers Respond:
- The 1125RR is an example of how DMG is quite happy in-season to change
the rules to favor one party or another (who just, shocking-
coincidence, shoved a dump-truck full of money to DMG to be the
THe 1125RR is clearly NOT legal as a modification of the street bike:
there are far too many changes specifically excluded from the
superbike rulebook that we both know about (airbox, fork diameter) and
are suggested (valve train and cams) that it doesn’t abide by the
rules if you consider it a modification of the 1125R.
Thus it is actually listed as a separate legal bike for homologation,
as a change on July 15th. Yet it is not widely available (only to
licensed racers, should any actually want it), it is not a legal
streetbike, and was not all available/imported by June 1st, all of
which are the stated rules for homologation.
So DMG clearly doesn’t actually care for even consistency on its
rules: it will shift the rules however it wants to favor Buell over
competitors (allowing the 1125R in “Sportbike” against Japanese 600s,
allowing a factory-works race-only bike to compete with modified
streetbikes in “Superbike”).
Which should only add to the humiliation when, even under cheater
rules, the Buells get spanked by privateers on almost-showroom-stock
Of course, this behavior will remain until one of two things happen:
The fans say F-you and don’t come to the races (I went to Laguna to
watch the GP bikes, and I boycotted Sears Pt because of the rain or
shine rule), or the Japanese factories decide to walk away for real
this time, and games like the 1125RR are a good excuse.
As Matt Mladin put it, “Buell in American Superbike. All you can do is
laugh. Purpose built bikes racing modified street bikes. What comment
is appropriate?” Nicholas
- About the 1125RR being allowed into the AMA Superbike chase.
It’s basically a slap in the face to all the other manufacturers, and
if allowed to continue. I’m sure Ducati & everyone but the Japanese
(who have too much sales at stake) will walk away.
What message does it send to allow a bike that doesn’t qualify under
the AMA’s own rules? It sends a message of nationalism, favoritism,
and basically, it’s OK to cheat to win if you’re the home team.
Awful. Shame on the AMA for allowing it, shame on Erik Buell for going
along with it, and shame on America for having this attitude. Let
Buell build the bike, make it street legal, & have the proper #
available for purchase at the prescribed time (last month), and THEN
go racing. This is why the Euros won’t come to race here, and this is
why WSB & MotoGP gets the attention – not for better racing, but for
FAIR racing on a level playing field.
You want real “Superbike” racing in America? Here’s the rules: Make
the bike a DOT street legal consumer model, must have shipped 250 to
America by the start of the series, ANY displacement, ANY
manufacturer, control tire from a single manufacturer, and the only
mods are suspension, brakes, and gear ratios (safety & control). No
electronics (unless stock on the consumer bike), no engine massaging,
and stock plastics. And just like in the OLD days – make the winning
bike of each race claimable, on the spot, for $35k. If you don’t
remember that “claiming” rule, you might want to read about it. It
kept everything very legal, and very competitive.
The AMA has pooped it’s pants, and is ignoring it. Maybe they can’t
see it, but we can smell it, and the stain is going to start showing
- Does anyone really care if DMG/AMA allows this bike to be used? Available as streetbike/modified racebikes to the “common man”…
Does some parts any racer monkey team can install really make an Austrian motor, inside a American bike made with Chinese parts place any higher than say 15th?
Does Jordan racing care?
Does Yoshimura care?
Does Graves care?
Does HRC care?
Do the 50 fans that DMG/AMA Superbike have left…really care? Jordan
- How do “larger intake manifold, revised valves and camshafts, a higher
compression ratio” square with superbike rules that require the bike be
a sold-for-the-street model with only limited mods? Brent