They say (who are “they” anyway?) that success in business has a lot to do with timing.
Larry Brinker and Rex Marsee can’t be blamed for their poor timing. Sometimes in business you need a crystal ball. Larry has over 40 years of automotive design background, and has even taught design in Italy. Rex has been involved in the motorcycle industry for more than 40 years (most notably in the design and sale of motorcycle clothing and luggage, such as tank bags) and has even taken a crack at creating his own custom motorcycle, now and then.
Admirers of Erik Buell (aren’t we all?), Larry and Rex set out to modify the Buell 1125R. You may recall that I tested the 1125R when it was introduced back in August of 2007. After riding the bike both on the street and at the Laguna Seca racetrack (only occasionally hanging off), I came away quite impressed. At that press intro, I spoke with one of the engine designers (a Rotax engineer) who told me that the v-twin in the Buell was “state-of-the-art” and even superior to the Ducati superbike motor of the era. The chassis was the usual brilliant combination of frame, suspension and braking à la Erik Buell.
Although a naked version of the 1125R would eventually be introduced (the 1125CR), Rex and Larry acquired this original model and set about modifying it. They expected the bike to be very popular (so did I), and a great platform for tuning and other custom parts. A great business model given the unforeseeability of H-D’s axe falling on the brand a few years later. What you see here in the photos are the result of their efforts.
The thoroughness of their approach is evidenced by the fact that the bike was completely disassembled before the frame, wheels and other components were powder coated grey. The original fairing was replaced with a mini-variant together with a pair of small, vertically stacked headlights. Air scoops were fabricated to extend over both sides of the air intake and blend into the radiator scoops.
From the back, the huge stock plate, signal, and taillight bracket has been replaced by a single compact unit that fits into the original mounting location, becoming almost invisible from the side. The stock signals have been replaced by tiny models. The rear passenger pegs have been replaced by fabricated grab handles that double as tiedown locations.
The original café style bars were replaced with motocross bars, creating a much more comfortable riding position.
Not content with these cosmetic and functional changes to the bodywork and chassis, Larry and Rex decided to develop their own exhaust system with the help of Big Gun. The unit they developed is tucked in neatly, and does away with the need for a heat guard. This attractive unit posed considerable tuning challenges, however, but after modifying the intake and fuel injection mapping, the pair ultimately coaxed an additional 4 hp from the already efficient stocker, along with a beefier torque curve. The new exhaust also dropped a boat load of weight. In total, roughly 40 pounds were removed from the Buell 1125R.
I took a brief ride on this naked monster. It was nimble, and the weight reduction was evident. The fuel injection was rough, however, and the bike is definitely too loud for road use in its current state. I understand that there is an insert available for the exhaust, however, that can bring the decibels down to a more acceptable level.
If you have one of the Buell 1125s (R or CR), you might be interested in contacting Larry and Rex. Depending on the volume of the demand, they might be willing to provide some of these parts for sale. In any event, if you think you might like to buy something, or simply have a question, contact Rex directly, and take a look at their web site.