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Erik Buell Racing: The Trilogy

EBR brought these three videos to our attention.  They are promotional, and somewhat repetitive, but they are worth a look if you are interested in the future of American sportbike manufacturing.  Buell says the 1190RS (extraordinarily expensive, and limited to 100 units) is just the beginning.  Having sampled the best from Buell (the last, liquid cooled generation before Harley shut things down), we can’t wait.

59 Comments

  1. Eric says:

    I always liked the 1125CR, but it’s a bit too small, and no luggage/passenger accommodations. Make an 1190CR, size it for the American market (60 inch wheelbase.. come on man who wants to pour themselves into a 52″ cockpit?) and make the sub-frame have enough metal for a Givi luggage rack.

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    • Roadrash1 says:

      Eric, Ventura makes bolt-on frames for their bags for the 1125′s. (and about everything else on 2 wheels.) So, the luggage problem can be solved. I am six foot and don’t feel scrunched on my 1125R at all.
      As far as passengers go, I haven’t seen a large number of riders that would be looking to take a passenger far enough on a true sport bike to need luggage! :-)

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  2. Scott in the UK says:

    Always liked the idea of owning a Firebolt myself…..not asa practical long distance touring buke – I have my Guzzi for that. But as a sunny afternoon scratching bike….

    The w/c ones do nothing for me – but thats just me! I just happen to love air cooled bikes that can go around corners properly.

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  3. Ken says:

    Would be nice if he got picked up by Polaris…. They would do well with a Sport bike line.. and well.. they bought Indian….!?

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    • Jeremy in TX says:

      I had always hoped Polaris would get into the street bike market beyond cruisers. They wouldn’t need to buy Buell to do it though. I think it would be more sucessful under teh Polaris brand name. Start out with perhaps a single cylinder dual sport and a larger displacement adventure bike… yeah, that’s the ticket!

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  4. Foogunheimer says:

    He needs to learn how to build a successful business model before he comes out with another motorcycle model. There’s only so many fools around that will pay for his development dollars and odd motorcycles. You can build the greatest bikes on earth but will go slowly broke if you’re not a good businessman.

    • Mike says:

      Ohhhhhhhhhh…..geeeeze

      So now you are an expert on business strategy, motorcycle design and actually have the management skills to head up a motorcycle company.

      Just one post, one time, one day, once this year….simply state you do not have a legitmate opinion.

      Eric Buell is an American hero……… and has earned the respect of knowledgeable motorcycles all over the world.
      And your motorcycle industry resume is …….what?

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  5. T. Rollie says:

    Johnson Outboard Motors wants their Seahorse Logo back. Nice bike, however.

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  6. randy says:

    Wait!!! somebody said it – ” No reason why Buell could not get is own back on Harley by doing such a machine with Sportster kind of styling, I am sure he would do it better than most if he could be persuaded in that direction instead of the essentially boring race track stuff”

    hah! If EB would ditch this rode racing nonsense and make a XR750ish bike that, indeed, had XR750 performace, the world would be his.

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  7. Foogunheimer says:

    It would be nice if Buell would sell a bike that’s affordable. Kind of necessary if he plans on being in business for any length of time…

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    • Gary says:

      I’m sure that will be in the not too distant future.

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    • Norm G. says:

      re: “It would be nice if Buell would sell a bike that’s affordable”

      affordable relative to what…? SV650 or 1198R…? kia forte or ferrari 430…? both are sales successes. remember, everyone slots into either 1 of 2 categories. you’re either “top down” or “bottom feeder up”. now choose.

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      • Foogunheimer says:

        He not quite in the 1198R category, yet. Buell would be wise to make a motorcycle for the people instead of the favored few. Then he can use those assets to design boutique bikes to sell to the rich and famous.

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  8. bikerrandy says:

    How many spectaters go to WERA races? Buell needs to prove this bike’s worth in AMA races, IMHO.

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    • Wendy says:

      I think spec tater racing mostly takes place in Idaho and Maine.

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    • Scott says:

      Come to NJ in a couple weeks and you’ll se it racing in the AMA

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      • Norm G. says:

        and race they did. erik even had an 1190RS on static display. holy mother of carbon was that thing a sight to behold…! honestly, i wasn’t all that jazzed about the 999 style headlights in the pictures (who can forget that debacle?), but in the flesh it works. the phrase “pictures really don’t do it justice” is overused and may sound cliche, but in this case it’s true. i’ve seen and been around all manner of high end motorcycles and megabuck racing kit so i don’t impress easily. so when i say “i was impressed”, these aren’t words i throw around haphazardly. the carbon is literally mil-spec. one of the best if not THEE best i’ve ever seen. another something that doesn’t come across in the pictures is that there are actually 2 different finishes to the weave. there’s the traditional smooth gloss finish, but there’s also a rought matte or unfinished carbon being used in the high heat, high contact, high load areas. this thing not only LOOKS like a friggin’ stealth bomber, it’s actually MADE like one…! my only request is the frame and swingarm in brushed aluminum like proper works kit and a “comstar” version of the perimeter front rim to match the rear.

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  9. Neil says:

    I think using the Rotax is fine. Tried and true motor. How is that motor turned into a motorcycle with all the other parts? The motorcycle is designed and engineered in the USA. So I am fine with that. I just sold a Sportster and it really did not matter that is said MADE IN THE USA. After 25 miles, I wanted to turn around and come home. Looked cool. Sounded cool. Rode terrible on anything but smooth pavement which we have little of in New England. The motor shook even with rubber mounting. The suspension shook through the frame constantly. Shifted horrible. So if Erik can design and build something better and turn it into a street version that is affordable to more of us, then I am all for it. Yeah the Harley tourers are great but for me the weight is a deal breaker. So the lower cost Buells will be fine in my book.

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  10. Jeremy in TX says:

    Buell (don’t know if it was more the corporate parent or the man) has always surged ahead with a Field of Dreams “if you build it, they will come” attitude. He wanted to build bikes his way. Some of the solutions were quite brilliant, others were just engineering for engineering’s sake. Ultimately, the products had some pretty severe flaws and failed to find a solid enough place in the market.

    That said, this new bike is the first machine he has ever built (to my knowledge) that (almost) fits with what marketing types call a “defined market”. I has great potentital to be successful. To bring a mass production version that is still competitive with the heavy hitters out there right now price and performance wise will take a lot of money and some pretty lofty sales projections, not to menetion a dealer network. I am interested to see what other iterations of the machine may be up his sleeve. I hope he gets the momentum he needs to bring a full line of bikes to the (mass) market.

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    • Norm G. says:

      re: “To bring a mass production version that is still competitive with the heavy hitters out there right now price and performance wise will take a lot of money and some pretty lofty sales projections, not to menetion a dealer network.”

      motowarrior, this “buds” for you…

      re: “I hope he gets the momentum he needs to bring a full line of bikes to the (mass) market.”

      substitute the word “support” in place of the word “momentum” to help clarify the critical role WE motorcyclists have to play at closing this loop.

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      • Motowarrior says:

        Momentum is what he generates by providing a superior product at a price someone is willing to pay. Support is what you give your favorite charity.

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        • Norm G. says:

          re: “Support is what you give your favorite charity.”

          EXACTLY…! see, you DO get it. :) awesome. you simply need to reset your mind to begin patronizing motorcycling as though it WERE your favorite charity. which it is for all of us, no…? if it weren’t, why else would we be taking time to talk about it/participate in it…? LOL

          see, here’s a golden opportunity for you to do something in life that (for once) ISN’T self-serving (god forbid). remember, this is entertainment. we’re not buying egg mcmuffins and this is NOT the mcdonalds drive thru… although a “mcdonalds drive thru mentality” is often misapplied.

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  11. JoeW says:

    The general trend for road riders is away from sportbikes towards something more useful such as Speed Triples or F800Rs but there will always be enough fanatics around to support this kind of bike… personally I will be interested in next generation vee-twins that manage 80-90hp and average 70mpg (don’t laugh the amusing F800R already manages 60mpg) whilst weighing less than 400lbs. No reason why Buell could not get is own back on Harley by doing such a machine with Sportster kind of styling, I am sure he would do it better than most if he could be persuaded in that direction instead of the essentially boring race track stuff (unless you are actually racing them), some time down the line…

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  12. burtg says:

    Stop calling this an American sportbike. It isn’t. Not until the motor is fully made in America…and all the other parts too. My brother was born in the Philippines. But that doesn’t make him Filipino.

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    • Norm G. says:

      re: “Stop calling this an American sportbike. It isn’t. Not until the motor is fully made in America…”

      by that logic were early bimotas and aprilias not italian…? or was that simply a shrewd business model that allowed them to get to the point where they COULD build their own engine(s)…? keep in mind we’re talking about america here. ironically not a culture in recent history known for “valuing” domestic production of many things. 180 degrees out this from the rest of the world. now who’s fault is that…? again, could it be we have seen the enemy, and it is us…?

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    • Tim says:

      Harley Davidsons and Victory’s have some electronics and other components made in Asia. So, we should call them “rice burners” then?

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    • Ruefus says:

      Ridiculous. Utterly ridiculous. Harley – the bastion of American Motorcycling………sources parts from China. Not just a couple, either.

      By your woefully myopic point of view, IT’S NOT AMERICAN!!!! Neither is your Ford, Chrysler or GM vehicle.

      Heck….It wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest if Ferrari had a piece or two built in China.

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    • burtg says:

      Norm, Tim and Ruefus:
      All three of you idiots just proved my point. NOTHING is truly 100% from its country of origin. Thanks.
      So let’s stop trying to so hard to call something American when it isn’t.

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      • Norm G. says:

        temper temper… no need for name calling. you can do better.

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      • Ruefus says:

        oohhh…..Idiot. Never heard THAT one before. *chuckle* Get a grip.

        Are you a full-blooded Native American Indian? If not – you can’t call yourself an American by your narrow definition.

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      • Tim says:

        “Stop calling this an American sportbike. It isn’t. Not until the motor is fully made in America…and all the other parts too. My brother was born in the Philippines. But that doesn’t make him Filipino.”

        My post was intended as sarcasm to point out the absurdity of the above statements. I guess it was too subtle for some. My bad.

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  13. Tom R says:

    Does anyone else find the music on these videos incredibly annoying?

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  14. Motowarrior says:

    Buell is a guy you have to admire for his innovation and dogged persistence. For about 95% of motorcyclists, however, he has become irrelevant. You won’t get the normal flood of responses to this article and his promotional videos, because most of us just don’t care. Harley finally figured this out.

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    • Roadrash1 says:

      The only thing Harley “figured-out”, was that most of their dealers had no idea how to, or interest in marketing Buell.

      They are wicked fun sport bikes for the people who do get it….

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    • Norm G. says:

      re: “Buell is a guy you have to admire for his innovation and dogged persistence. For about 95% of motorcyclists, however, he has become irrelevant. You won’t get the normal flood of responses to this article and his promotional videos, because most of us just don’t care.”

      well this begs the question…? is this his fault…? or the fault of the 95%’ers who claim (perhaps falsely) membership in the fraternity that is motorcycling…? discuss.

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      • Motowarrior says:

        Well, as a 95%er I think my membership is paid in full. Owned 54 motorcycles, ridden over a half million miles in 34 countries. As I said, I respect Buell and his efforts to make a competitive American sport bike. He really did not succeed, however, and now he is making bikes for the elite. He chose to partner with H-D, which in hindsight was a mistake (except financially for him). I’d like to see him do what BMW did – make a sportbike that is (relatively) affordable and which kicks Japanese bikes in the butt. Then he would be more relevant.

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        • Norm G. says:

          re: “I’d like to see him do what BMW did – make a sportbike that is (relatively) affordable and which kicks Japanese bikes in the butt. Then he would be more relevant.”

          and i’d like to be tall, dark, handsome and a winner of the powerball…?

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  15. Roadrash1 says:

    Erik Buell has used the Pegasus in one form or another for as long as I can remember. I am a huge fan of the man and his machines. I’m on my 5th Buell. (2010 1125R)
    I can’t afford the latest machine he is making, but will be watching closely to see what comes next!

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  16. brian says:

    Looks like the long time eccentric bike maker is coming around and beating the big boys at their own game. But then, I ride mostly dirt bikes so what do I know…

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  17. Gutterslob says:

    That EBR + logo is definitely some sort of joke/pun on Honda …. heh.

    Loving the look, though all bikes (and cars, for that matter) look better in black.
    Nice legs too…. and those brake calipers look astonishingly trick!!

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  18. kpaul says:

    Note to self: After I win the Poweball lotto, create Buell based racing team for both AMA and WSBK. Hire as many as the Haydens as possible, or Danny Eslick, or Josh Herrin, or Blake Young and or Josh Hayes. Need 4 riders 2 for WSBK and 2 for AMA.

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    • bikerrandy says:

      Geoff May is no slouch, given a competitive bike. Still waiting to see what the Buell is made of on the race track with real competition.

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      • Stinky says:

        I don’t know why the twins aren’t competetive in the US. They sure have their moments in WSB with Ducati. Budget has to be one of the reasons, but they stick them in classes with too big a displacement advantage or hopelessly outgunned. I just like to see something besides inline 4s. The Aprillia should be more of a force over here with their V4.

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      • Norm G. says:

        re: “Geoff May is no slouch, given a competitive bike. Still waiting to see what the Buell is made of on the race track with real competition.”

        you should attend some WERA events.

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      • Gary says:

        Ummm, remember Danny Eslick and how he did with real competition? He did with a Buell what Harley could not do with the VR1000. Kicked A$$! I sometimes think that Harley shut down Buell not because they were not selling well enough, but that Buell did what Harley couldn’t. Buell had to do it with something else besides a Harley 2 ton engine, and won. Shame on you Harley, I lost much confidence in you over the Buell situation.

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