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Buell Teases Return to Production of Street-Legal Bikes (Includes Video)

 

Just when you thought Buell was dead (or at least confined to closed-course competition), Erik Buell Racing posts a video of one of its bikes with turn signals, a license plate holder and a radiator fan (just so you won’t overheat in stop-and-go traffic).  What gives?

37 Comments

  1. Alec says:

    Looks like there 1190RR, hope they can get it down in price. Like the bike but as it stands the 1190RR is over $40,000. In Lancaster, CA the HD dealers are giving away $1,000 cash card if you buy a buell from there. I have to finish paying off my XB12scg first, but wish i could pick up an 1125CR they got there. But if im lucky, this will be out about the time im debt free….. So i can get in to more Debt with this bike..lol

  2. highpocket74 says:

    As a current Buell owner and having read about Buell’s past, I fully expect them to once again make street bikes and return quite strong. A partnership with Rotax completes the formula for their bikes. Great handling just need the power. Can’t wait to see some new bikes. If they offer stock I’m in.

  3. Dave says:

    Go public with stock, and I’m buying that too!

  4. Dave says:

    It’s criminal the way Harley held you back Erik!? You are a pioneer! Build a bike you can be proud of free of corporate fat cats and I will buy it! A superbike and a liquid cooled Ulysseys are on my wish list……..

  5. Joe says:

    If those Giant bulbous scoops are gone , I’m in!

    • fastrob691 says:

      If you do some searching, they had pics of the concept bike, in nearly production trim, Cycle World showed it a few months back as well as RRW. The bike looked great, it was not funky like the last model. This would have been the machine that sent me to the Buell camp without a doubt.

  6. lighting says:

    Mr. Buell those people don’t deserve to own you passion, move on and do what you always done, achieve excellence. I’ll waiting, my XB will always be with me……………

  7. lighting says:

    I currently own a XB and would be more than willing to park another BUELL in my garage. Mr. Buell please, if you read this, which I beleive you do see what you can do to bring American pride back. Buy your name back from those people, they don’t deserve to have any association with your brand……….

  8. Trpldog says:

    Go Erik! I’ve owned two XB’s and would certainly own more – Go Go Go!

  9. Jim says:

    I have an ’09 Kawasaki Versys, with gull-wing swingarm, under engine exhaust, long travel suspenson and a compact twin(albeit vertical)motor. Where did Kawi get such ideas? Anyway, I always thought that a nice next bike woulda been a Uly XB12XT. I wonder if Erik would ever do such a beast again? Maybe with a Rotax wet engine….??? I hope so. I’d love to have an American bike one day, but I ain’t a cruiser kinda guy. Keep up the good work, Erik. Don’t let the bastards get you down!

  10. Max says:

    This guy won’t quit! And the motorcycle world is all the better for it.

    I even like how they did the video. Simple, no BS, builds buzz. Buell unrestricted just may build the best bike yet. If I was loaded, I’d invest in his future products right now.

  11. Mark Orr says:

    It would be great to see Buell back, but I was never crazy about any of his street bike to be honest. Styling was so so…and only the very last bikes had decent powerplants. If he comes back I hope he will do something completely different…like a two stroke DI engine for example…how about a CVT tranny as well? I think that would work better in a bike then on a car.

    • Patrick D says:

      blipping down gears before tipping into a corner…. why would anyone want to ride a bike without that? A twist and go is fine about town, but on a sports bike? Might as well ask for a cup holder too.

  12. Jnycanuk says:

    Rotax makes killer lightweight direct inect two strokes How about an ultrlight 800 with over 160 hp.You wana go unique Buell this ones for you.

  13. Bill says:

    Go Erik! — I agree with “Roxx” that Harley’s focus on the “retro/James Dean” motorcycling subculture is very different from the Buell focus on precision engineering and performance. Under financial stress, Harley CHOSE to concentrate on its core retro market and walked away from its sportbikes. Hard-core Hoggers do not see Buells as motorcycles and sport bikers do not find HD old-school engineering to be attractive. I do not see that the two firms compete for the same customers. While Fischer and Roehr have nice concept sportbikes, they have not yet established the corporate and distribution structure to support their products. I am very happy with my 2010 xb9sx Lightning. Even in October 2009, I never seriously considered an HD. With no Buell, I would have sent my US dollars to Italy with a Ducati purchase. I hope Buell will re-enter streetbike production so that Americans (and others!) will be able to enjoy street Buells for decades to come. — Go Erik Go!

  14. Richard Grumbine says:

    Would love to see Buell back in business again! Though I would prefer he keep the company all american, I will understand if he does not. I have ridden several Buells and liked them one and all… though admittedly not enough to pull me off my European hardware… but they were always close and I always went to check out everything that he put out… Good luck Eric!

  15. ROXX says:

    I’ve heard about this “non-compete” clause, but can someone tell me what harley competes with a buell, and vice versa?
    I sure hope he starts it up again!!!
    Go Erik!

  16. Danny says:

    It was written by multiple magazines and web sites when Buell’s non competition portion of his severance expires. It was either November 1 or November 30, 2010.

    The last I read was Harley has made it clear it will not release any trademarks or patents relating to Buell Motor Company, so any new project will have to work around them. That can always change but I’m sure they were a lot more valuable when Bombardier tried to buy them last fall than they are now.

  17. jimbo says:

    The narrator’s voice sounds exactly like actor Bill Macey’s character in Fargo.

    Does that thing have a stout enough frame? Sheeeesh! Love it!

  18. Luther says:

    I think the US is ready for small bore bikes built for urban areas and commuting; bikes with an emphasis on style, performance, and economy. In urban areas there is so much traffic that a lightweight small bore machine is the way to go.

    • Ruefus says:

      Nah. The Ninja 250 sailed off shelves……….to new riders, and pretty much ONLY new riders. It’s very demonstrative to note that no other Japanese manufacturer has even tested the waters with a competing unit. They all have them – but don’t see an advantage to homologating one for America.

      No manufacturer is going to take a risk on small, seriously low-margin bikes right now. Especially in America, where it’s failed miserably virtually every time before. The Ninja 250 has such little margin, even sold at full-retail the salesman only makes the minimum.

      Why risk so much, for so little – when history shows America doesn’t like nor want these bikes?

      • Justin says:

        I’d like to agree with Luther, and disagree with Ruefus. I really would.

        But what America seems ready for, sadly, is small cars and a few more scooters.

        For some odd reason greater America just isn’t ready to commit to throwing a leg over a motorcycle. But we can fool them into sliiiiding their legs through the middle of a scooter.

        Doesn’t make any sense to me. Stupid little wheels and tiny little brakes. Not enough power to get out of their own way. Can’t lean ‘em over or reposition your body in a corner. eh, parking on the sidewalk must be nice. ?

        On a scooter, you’re just kind of sitting there. I guess that’s what most folks are comfortable with doing.

  19. Chris says:

    Guess the non compete clause in his severance package with Harley has expired. I would expect a joint announcement from him and Bombardier shortly.

    Hey Erik, doesn’t Bombardier make smog legal direct injected 2 stroke engines?

    • jimbo says:

      50cc is the USA limit for street 2-strokes.

      • PeteP says:

        Not true. If you can build a large displacement (over 50cc) that meets emissions standards, you can get it approved for street use. Evinrude has done it for outboards. It is not impossible.

        KTM recently verified that they are developing direct injection two-stroke engines for street use.

        • Chris says:

          Yeah I read about those Evinrude outboard motors being cleaner burning than any 4 stroke outboard. Evinrude is part of Bombardier (BRP) and they already make the Helicon v twin Buell uses, so they have the technology to make 2 stroke street bike engine. One of Buell’s guiding principles is light weight and mass centralization (less weight=higher cornering speeds). A typical 2 stroke is nearly half the weight per horsepower. Having a 2 stroke would be a real differentiator for his brand. Do it Buell.

          Glad to hear KTM is working on a street legal 2 stroke. I like the low maintenance of 2 strokes- valve adjusts and top end jobs on modern high performance 4 stroke bikes are too time consuming and expensive.

          • Marc says:

            It would be nice to have a modern replacement for my 1979 Yamaha Rd400 Daytona. Do it Eric and I’ll be the first to put down a deposit.

  20. Scott in the UK says:

    As a second bike I’d love an original 990cc Firebolt – its my idea of a perfect sporting fun bike. Though I would prefer a new 1000 Le Mans from Guzzi (I’ll be Guzzi for life)…

  21. Marc says:

    Go Eric, you deserved more than HD was willing to give.

  22. Dave says:

    How about an 1190cc Ulysses to compete with the new BMW R1200GS, Ducati Multistrada, KTM 990 Adventure and Triumph Tiger (but beat the prices on all 4)?

  23. Mark says:

    Go Mr. Buell,

    I will buy when a street legal bike is available without the tupperware body work of the previous bikes. At that point, I will buy stock as well

  24. Cal Harling says:

    It would be great to see Buell Motorcycle Company rise from the ashes. I really love my XB12STT. If you have ever ridden a Buell its easy to understand how passionate Buell owners are about their bikes. A new Buell, without some of the unfortunate compromises forced on them by Harley, could be a gamechanger for the market.

  25. kpaul says:

    Would love to buy a 1190RR that is street legal. Great looking bike like the original Firebolt. When Buell starts selling the 1190RR for the street they can start racing it in AMA Superbike. Right now they are limited to racing the 1125 RR. God willing there will be naked version that will be awesome. Keep dreaming Eric. If the 1190RR was priced around $12000-15000 I would bite. I am sure this would also appeal to Gen X and Y riders. For those over 40 if the seating position of the production bike was like the 1125 it would be appealing. If seat height, peg height and bar height were adjustable that would be even better.

  26. NickRam says:

    Go Erik! You are da man! You can not knock this man off his feet. He’s got springs in his arse that pop him straight back up! Nice looking bike too!

  27. Gary says:

    Go Erik! Can’t wait for the day I can buy a new street-legal bike.

  28. vtx1300 says:

    I really hope this is true! I was on the verge of buying a 1125R but didn’t when they fell through. And from the looks of this video this bike is smoking compared to the looks of the old 1125R. I’m pretty sure too that this bike uses the 1190cc motor, which is the same mill they use in their current race bikes.

    From a UK website they mention that Buell should be free from a contract agreement they made with Harley to not produce any road worthy bikes this year!

    I’m curious to see how this plays out!