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Erik Buell Racing Gains Momentum With Dealer Financing Arrangement and Three New Models in the Pipeline

When Harley-Davidson killed its Buell brand back in October of 2009, Buell had only recently entered the liquid cooled era with its then state-of-the-art 1125cc v-twin built by Rotax. This engine was extremely impressive when it debuted at the press launch of the Buell 1125R in 2007. The genius engineer Erik Buell finally had the engine to complement the incredible chassis he had developed to house an archaic air-cooled Harley motor. Things were looking awfully good.

When Harley decided its future was in the past, Buell’s future looked bleak.  Initially, the Erik Buell Racing venture looked like it was aimed at a tiny niche, i.e., the production of race-ready bikes and extremely limited-edition bikes such as the $40,000 1190RS (pictured).

Buell has been teasing three new models on its web site, denoted RX, SX and AX, but with a financing commitment from GE Capital now in place, Buell can begin to realistically develop a dealer network and proceed toward production of these three new models, expected to be a lower cost sportbike, a naked and an adventure model.  Importantly, each of the new bikes is expected to be priced under $20,000 in the United States when they arrive in 2014.

Erik Buell started in his garage, had to be largely disappointed with his eventual marriage with the giant Harley-Davidson, and now appears to be moving towards his ultimate dream of unfettered, independent development of state-of-the-art performance motorcycles.  We watch with great interest.

74 Comments

  1. ebr dealer says:

    EBR,
    Well i filled out my dealer app over 5 months ago,I even offered to buy the first models outright as there was no G.E at the time.
    i have spoken to 8-9 other so called dealers and they are very upset with the progress off EBR.
    Jim Dorman (saleman now VP) offered the world and due to our size we throught we could sell quite alot off units,but as the months go by the contact came less and less till nothing.With the amount off money and effort we have put forward with this extra venture it has been a JOKE!.
    I thought H/D was hard to deal with but i think the dealers they got (within 6weeks) was to show investors that they had a plan and were worthly off investing in.
    we gave up after a call from another EBR so called dealer who also hasn’t recieved anything with the dealer agreement,he was going to solely EBR and it sounded like it went south after many broken promises.
    The bike is great but the people behind Erick Buel are the ones dropping the ball.After 6 mths now if i was a consumer ,i would not buy one.panigali for the same price with a solid dealer network and parts backup would be a better choice .Sorry but this has been Very painful experience.

  2. Mike says:

    And…….just how fortunate motorcycling is that Harley Davidson has no ownership or control of Erik Buell Racing

    Eric Buell…….a hero for all of us that love motorcycling and motorcycles.

  3. fast2win says:

    The bottom line is the 1190rs is a great racing motorcycle and proves his designs work. The more important issue is EBR will be building 3 more bikes, presumably a street version of the race bike a naked and a Uly type replacement. The uly will most likely be his best seller because it will be the more versitile of the 3. I hope to see him with many more bikes

  4. SloJon says:

    After viewing the 1190RS- on display with the Stars & Stripes effect in the fairing….I got over the pipe attachment 2stroke4stroke look. Want one. Being a biased BikeNut; I want almost ALL machines with 2 wheels & an engine. My Gal says I am a Horder. Gee, only 6 machines currently registered. MUST I take a day off? Decisions, decisions…..Fa50, RX50, Ruckus, CBR250r, Breva, 1125rB(Ulysses bagged),WAIT, Speed Triple on loan for yrs….ride everyDAY!

    SAD. No longer do financing. Just one payment. Will have to ride old junk…..unless:)

  5. Barry B says:

    Come on guys, this is the internet age so why does he need a network of dealers with their mark-ups… sell direct to the customers and do a deal with an existing chain of service centres. I think the engineering is great but would love to see a “cooking” model with a mere 100 horses.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “Come on guys, this is the internet age so…”

      Q: why does he need a network of dealers with their mark-ups… sell direct to the customers(?)”

      A: because not EVERY BUSINESS MODEL MAN HAS EVER CONCEIVED automatically lends itself to the internet.

      warranty issues aside, you’re idea actually has merit and would fit buell’s mantra of “fierce independence”. the rub however comes in that most consumers don’t purchase HUGE ticket (not just big ticket) items sight unseen… not yet anyway. like buying a house, most still need at least the sensory input of a touch or a feel (of cotton) before pulling the trigger. disclaimer, any 1% types subscribing to the robb report, dupont registry, or who’ve done any christmas shopping this season from the neiman marcus catalog may ignore everything i just said. :)

      “do a deal with an existing chain of service centres”.

      by “deal” i assume you mean “play a shell game with the costs” in such a manner that somebody OTHER THAN the consumer absorbs it. ironically, what you describe brings you full circle BACK to the brick and mortar dealers you seek to harm (cavalierly i might add). realistically, they’re going to be the only ones to have long amortized the capitol costs necessary to ensure long term success. though perhaps a hybrid of your idea is possible…? there could be just a handful of flagship stores (think the D-store) placed regionally like NY/LA for visitation, but the rest are all service centers (read warranty work) like you suggest. but of course, there’d be the hurdle of no dealer willing to consciously take on the “non-profit” burden of just doing warranty work without there being some concrete “for-profit” means of offsetting this. perhaps DIY types would even be willing to purchase sans warranty…? i don’t know. not sure if DOT/NTSB would even legally allow such a thing so it could be moot. maybe if you “self-assemble” like so much ikea bookshelf…? again, i don’t know. i’ll let you do the investigating.

  6. Provalogna says:

    A friend of mine is professional master craftsmen machinist, ex-crew chief for one of Doug Henry’s AMA pro race bikes. He built and rode an early-mid 2000 YZ400 street bike with 14:1 compression ratio that did not pre-ignite on Pemican (Mexico) pump gas. The sum total reason for my paraphrase is not to condemn Buell or anyone else, but to show variation in professional opinions. I don’t remember his exact words, but certainly, he had absolutely no use for Buell’s engineering ideas, at least those he knew of mid-2000.

    I know people love the Ulysses. That’s fine. Mine was for sale a few weeks after I bought it. Certainly it tended to stand up vertical when braking and leaned over. The screen flew off and hit my helmet the first time I got to freeway speed. Low rpm vibration was nothing short of insane. No top end power. No center stand was not fun after putting 37k on 2000 BMW R1150GS, the most refined bike I owned of about 75 or so.

    • Mike says:

      And your 2000 motorcycle era friends experience …..master craftsmen machinist company………. has designed and built/sold how many motorcycles? He told you that he had no experience with the all new Buells …..so why did you comment on this anyway?

      Finally……the air-cooled Ulysses is not what this article is about….nor your BMW for that matter.

  7. Stretch says:

    I had 2 Buells, an XB12s and an XB12Ss. I liked them, don’t get me wrong, but they aren’t Harleys. I’ve been riding HD for 14 years, and I like the predictable response I get from it.

    I don’t much like sports bikes. I kind of figure that the days of go fast riding are behind me. I guess with Harleys you either love or hate them. There’s enough Harley hate on this board.

    BTW, lighter and faster doesn’t always win. Ask the people who flew the P-40 warhawks against the Hayabusas that Japan had. Now, they build bikes called Hayabusas. Some of us turned our swords into plowshares, and some didn’t, I guess. Race on if you want to. Not my thing.

    • paul says:

      I guess Ford had better ditch the name “Mustang”.

    • MotoChris says:

      there’s room for both of ‘em in my garage. Some days i like to just cruise along with the thump of a big strong lazy engine beneath me. Other days i need the g-force accel/decel and nothing else will do.

      • Lynchenstein says:

        Yeah man – it’s all good. We all ride for different reasons and there’s room enough on the road for all kinds.

    • HalfBaked says:

      Fighter planes and motorcycles are like comparing apples and oranges riding a street bike really has nothing in common with an aerial dogfight. BTW the Mitsubishi “Zero” was lighter but had a slower top speed than the P-40 and the AVG flew Tomahawks and eventually Warhawks when they became part of the USAAF.

  8. Dan W. says:

    The main factor that stopped me from buying a Buell (I REALLY wanted a Lighting Long androde a Uly too I thought was very good) was that I’d have to buy it FROM the local Harley dealer, who just plain sucks out loud. Literally. I’d go there for parts for my Aprilia (RST1000) and be just keep my ear plugs in until I was inside because there’d always be some pirate blipping away on an open-piped land barge demonstrating his mastery of internal combustion, and I want NOTHING to do with that.

    That, and the dealer staff seemed to treat the Buell line like something they stepped in on the way across the backyard, and the “factory certified” Aprilia/Piaggio techs there never could sort out my Futura – even after 30 k miles it still had wonky electrical issues and fuel leaks – after they’d done the recall work. Hardy confidence-inspiring.

    Just for the record, I’ve owned 15 bikes in the 31 years I’ve had a motorcycle license, so I DO buy bikes.

  9. Bob Karpowicz says:

    If you ever get the chance to speak with Eric, he is, first and foremost, a motorcycle rider. Met him at the Indy Dealer Show 2 years ago. Wonderful person with passion in his blood. Ask him about the Kawasaki TRIPPLES of his youth. Wish him nothing but the BEST!!!

  10. Dale says:

    I bought a brand new Thunderbolt S3T back in 2000. I still have the bike today, and love every minute. I lived about 45 minutes from the plant, and visited many times. Great people working there who really cared about the customer. We all know why H-D did what they did, but in turn, we knew they were throwing the baby out with the bath water when they did it.

    Now for the “next” S3T, one with the same plush suspension, the same stylized, cool looking saddlebags, the same relaxed seating position…

  11. Auphliam says:

    I have always loved Buell bikes. It was embarrassing what HD did to him…making him flounder for years with a brick of a motor, then just pulling the rug out from under him. Polaris should buy up EBR and give him the backing he deserves.

  12. Jan Henson says:

    Go Eric go. Harley should have a forever limp from shooting themselves in the foot, first with your motorcycle and then with MV Augusta. In both cases they were dealing
    with “class”, which they just couldn’t understand. From a marketing standpoint they
    effectively closed the door on new customers who are not interested in their grandfathers
    motorcycle, and the customer base they have is getting older with each passing day.

  13. Miles McMillan says:

    Under $20,000, eh? Probably come in at $19,999.99.

  14. Dave says:

    I have owned an 06 XB12SS I thought it to be the funnest motorcycle I ever owned …till I got the 09 1125CR I can’t wait to see whats next!!!!!!!

  15. Provalogna says:

    I am former (extremely brief) Ulysses owner. Re. Buell’s single over-size front brake disc/rotor vs. generic dual rotor/caliper. Buell’s brake might be pure marketing tool providing net zero performance advantage.

    Comparing Buell’s single huge/heavier rotor and over size/heavier caliper vs. generic dual rotor/caliper. Un-sprung weight affects fork performance. Really don’t know which setup is lighter but if I had to guess I’d say slight advantage Buell.

    Two things affect gyroscopic effect, being overall rotor weight and distance from the axle: the closer to the axle (smaller dual rotor) the less gyroscopic effect, and vice versa, the farther from the axle (Buell) the greater the gyroscopic effect.

    There’s also a fulcrum affect on steering, same as above: overall weight and placement affects performance. Closer to steering axis (generic) the less the effect, and vice versa, the farther from the steering axis the greater the effect (Buell). Buell’s weight is all on one side of the fork, and this must negatively impact performance whether or not it’s perceptible and/or measurable.

    Only a good engineer knows the winner on this challenge. I’m open to comments.

    • stinkywheels says:

      I’m glad to own 3 of the single disc bikes. I’ve ridden a LOT of different bikes and have found the singles to be as good (on the street) as any out there. I’ve not gotten to the monoblocs yet though. I’d take the single just from the maintenance point if anything. Only one set of pads, easier to bleed.
      LOVE the belt drive, expecially the later nonadjustable version. Again, maintenance is lessened.
      I’ve only got 8k on my Ulysses and 1125CR, 20k+ on my old S1. I don’t ride a magazine or dyno so I don’t want to split hairs on which is slightly better, just which works best in my garage and on my limited abilities as a rider.

    • fast2win says:

      No marketing gimmock. Depending on which 1000c supersport you compare, it;s about 7-8 lbs. lighter. As for the distance from the axle it was never an issue, the only problem they used to have was with heat disapation in racing conditions, such as superbike. That seems to have been fixed with the front scoop. Proof of the front end working better can be seen in some of the battles this year when Eslick or May could dive into corner harder and with more conifidence than the others. This was due in part by the unsprung weight advantage.

      • vince says:

        I think it is a marketing gimmick. If it works so well, why isn’t it used in MotoGP?

        “Distance from the axle” was always an issue. Yes the unsprung weight is less, but a few years ago Sport Rider magazine compared an XB9 wheel to an R6 wheel, both with rotors attached. The XB9 was much lighter in mass, but when they measured the “moment of inertia” which essentially is how ‘heavy’ something is when it spins, they were equal. Something with a larger diameter has more resistance to change of motion when it is spinning than something with a smaller diameter. So the heavier R6 wheel with 2 smaller rotors had the same moment of inertia or ‘gyroscopic effect’ (as mentioned by Provalogna above) as the lighter XB9 wheel with one larger diameter rotor. That means they both felt the same when trying to change direction while spinning. But the conventional 2 rotor setup has superior braking as measured by every magazine and any Buell racer off the record. The cooling scoop has helped but as far as I know, heat dissipation is still an issue. I hope I’m wrong.

        • Fred M. says:

          “I think it is a marketing gimmick. If it works so well, why isn’t it used in MotoGP?”

          https://www.google.com/patents/US6561298.pdf

          It’s the same reason why you are just now seeing sport bikes moving the exhaust under the center of the bike — Buell had a patent that only recently expired.

          “The XB9 was much lighter in mass, but when they measured the “moment of inertia” which essentially is how ‘heavy’ something is when it spins, they were equal. ”

          Buell’s purpose in reducing the mass is to reduce unsprung weight, not gyroscopic effect. And that unsprung weight includes the weight of the calipers and brackets. It’s to let the suspension work better, not to make wheels that offer less resistance to acceleration (due to their lower mass). As to the wheels being “equal” in terms of gyroscopic effect, that very much depends on how fast they are spinning.

          “I hope I’m wrong.”

          You are, as evidenced by the way the Buells would dive inside of other bikes in the AMA Superbike series last year. Also, consider this from Motorcyclist magazine:

          “But for the rider, the big advantage is that brake feel is superb, light, powerful and controllable, with the possibility of dialing in a very precise amount of braking when the bike is leaned over. And it’s light: The 1190RS front wheel, disc, mounting hardware and caliper weigh only 14.9 pounds, compared to 21.1 pounds for the lightest dual-disc system on a competitive open-class bike.”

          Does that sound like a gimmick to you?

          • Dirck Edge says:

            Great comment. Buell is about function. He would be the last engineer to sacrifice function for beauty (much less a gimmick).

          • vince says:

            Do you actually think no one is using it because it’s patented? The package according to racers still suffers from brake fade. One rotor can’t get rid of the heat fast enough.
            I’m a fan of Buell. I knew the reason for the lower mass of the wheel was for lower unsprung weight. The fact was the product never performed as promised. Using the evidence of road tests. The unprung weight ‘advantage” was never noticeable. That was tacit in first comment. I thought most people had known that the journalists never raved about the unsprung weight advantage. So if the promise of unsprung mass wasn’t salient(maybe due to poor suspension components beacuse Eric’s budget was limited), then the downside was same MoI and higher brake fade. Evidentaly the package is sorted out NOW as stated in the article you mentioned.I stand corrected!
            As for your other comment, the move to under bike exhaust is due to sticter noise laws. That under engine design wasn’t patented. There is no where else to hide that extra baffling on bike now. Eric was ahead of his time. KTM was maybe the first to copy him, then the 2006 R6, then the 2008 CBR 1000.I loved to see that idea get accepted.

            Dirk: yes he has always been about function. Mass centralization brought forth the low slung exhaust that everyone criticized but now I’m happy to say is being copied. That brake though, next time you’re in the AMA paddock, I defy you to find someone that says fade and heat isn’t a real problem. Granted for the street I guess it is sufficient…

          • vince says:

            Greetings Fred: I found a patent for a “through the swing arm ” exhaust by Buell that even he hasn’t employed but nothing for an “under engine” exhaust that you were mentioning.

          • vince says:

            Fred, Dirk: have you noticed how successful BMW are with their S1000rr by abandoning their ‘gimmicky’ paralever suspension and going with a conventional fork? They wanted to win…

          • Dave says:

            Vince, they wanted to sell to customers entrenched in the Japanese sport bike marketplace. These customers are more conservative in nature than the category suggests. Fast, light, bells n’ whistles. Going outside the norm by too much is a risk, as we see with Buell (in-frame gas tank, single rotor brake, etc.).

          • Norm G. says:

            re: “I found a patent for a “through the swing arm ” exhaust by Buell that even he hasn’t employed but nothing for an “under engine” exhaust that you were mentioning.”

            don’t think eric would’ve even tried. he knows it would’ve never passed an examiner’s test for “novelty”. recently had the pleasure of adding a a visit to Motorcyclepedia to my travels.

            http://motorcyclepediamuseum.org/

            not to take anything away from eric, but a walk along the indian timeline reveals Hendee and Hedstrom were doing underslung exhausts on both singles AND v-twins as far back as 1907…! :-O in fact, the pics are still on me camera. :) oddly don’t recall seeing this on any of the indian boardtrackers at barber (likely later models)…? pretty sure i would’ve noticed it.

          • Fred M. says:

            Vince:

            Underslung muffler is U.S. patent 6,267,193. It has other aspects to it also. There is also a patent Harley owns for the muffler in the V-twin air-cooled Buells having to do with out-of-phase exhaust pulses.

          • Fred M. says:

            Vince,

            You wrote: “Do you actually think no one is using it because it’s patented?”

            Have you ever seen what patent infringement lawsuits cost?

            “The package according to racers still suffers from brake fade. One rotor can’t get rid of the heat fast enough.”

            As shown in the AMA Superbike, the brakes on the Buells were really outperforming the competition. The rotor can shed heat fast enough. It has a huge swept area and air-scoop cooling. While Eslick reported some brake fade at the beginning of the season, changes to the pad material and rotor resulted in a brake that was outperforming the competition. By the end, he said fade was a thing of the past (and it’s not as if conventional discs never exhibit fade).

            Motorcycle.com’s review of the 1125R included: “No matter, though, because it could all be reeled in by the single, big hoop 375mm perimeter-mounted front rotor/caliper combo. Snatched right from the XBRR, the eight-piston ZTL² brake is among the best available. Similar to the ZTL found on other Buells, this system has a number of advantages inherent in its design. For one, braking forces go straight to the rim, thereby removing most of the torsional load on the rest of the wheel. Hence the “Zero” in Zero Torsional Load (ZTL and ZTL²). Subsequently, a lighter wheel can be used, with lighter steering as the benefit. I can only hope other makes will grasp this concept, soon.”

            You wrote: “The unprung weight ‘advantage” was never noticeable. That was tacit in first comment. I thought most people had known that the journalists never raved about the unsprung weight advantage. So if the promise of unsprung mass wasn’t salient(maybe due to poor suspension components beacuse Eric’s budget was limited)”

            I don’t think that the Showa suspension components on my 1125CR are “poor.” In fact, I think that they are damned good. Same with the suspension on my XB12Ss Lightning Long. Sport Rider magazine had this to say about the XB9R suspension:

            “The chassis and suspension do an admirable job-fantastic if you consider the characteristics of the engine they’re around-and the bike is great fun on a tight track or twisty canyon road.”

            That said, the average journalist is not up to the riding skills of a professional motorcycle racer. They may not be able to detect the effect of lower unsprung weight or they may detect the effect and just call it “good suspension,” never fully comprehending what makes it ‘good.’

            You wrote “As for your other comment, the move to under bike exhaust is due to sticter noise laws.”

            Untrue. In fact, Buell had to raise the exhaust outlets on the 1190RS because the under-the-bike position would not pass various noise limits (probably due to sound waves bouncing off of the pavement).

    • RSVR says:

      I am well sure that Mr. Buell knows the I=mr^2 formula and gave it consideration in choosing a front brake setup. This is moment of inertia, which you call gyroscopic effect. Mass multiplied by the radius squared. Unsprung weight is a separate issue. So while the inertial effect of the rotor is greater at a larger radius, you can likewise take advantage of the increased distance to apply a greater braking effect with less powerful calipers (torque arm); lighter, smaller caliper can be used with thinner, lighter rotor setup to give the same brake effect. You’d really need all the numbers to do a comparison; rotor mass alone will not tell the story.

      • Provalogna says:

        I have design experience. If engineers all agreed on the subjective weight of any math formula then every design would be by computer software consensus.

        Nothing tell the whole story because human beings still ride the bikes. Stoner won MotoGP #1 Ducati. No one else can do the trick including maybe the world’s greatest Rossi.

    • vince says:

      Sport Rider magazine compared a Buell XB9 wheel with its one large rotor to an R6 with its two smaller ones. The gyroscopic effect you mention is called the ‘moment of inetia’ in engineering and physics. The quantity depends on distance from origin (axlein this case) squared. The further from the origin (or axle) the more pronounced the quantity gets. The conclsion of the magazine’s experiment was the moment of inertia of both wheeels was the same. The big R (radius) of the XBs single rotor behaved the same as the smaller r of the two disc setup when spinning. With the conventional dics setup having more power and none of the heat dissipation problems. I’m a fan of Buell. I just wish he’d go to the conventional setup. All evidence (I’ve read every bike magazine for the last 20 years; I’m an engineer, maybe not a good one) from road tests points to the single large rotor having no advantage.

      • Norm G. says:

        re: “I’m a fan of Buell. I just wish he’d go to the conventional setup.”

        i’m a fan of Buell (have even met the man) and i’m glad he DIDN’T go the conventional setup. :) in the cookie-cutter business of motorcycling, having a USP (unique selling proposition) out ranks any performance concerns. the success of harley davidson has taught us this if nothing else.

        • Jake says:

          re:…having a USP (unique selling proposition) out ranks any performance concerns. the success of harley davidson has taught us this if nothing else.

          “All my friends were non-conformists so I became a non-conformist too.”
          (thanks to: the A L L) :o)

      • Fred M. says:

        Vince, the 11 year old Sport Rider article you were quoting was wrong. Erik Buell is one of, and hires, the best engineers in the motorcycle industry. Sport Rider trying to critique Buell’s design made is abundantly clear that they did not understand that the primary mission was to reduce unsprung weight, not gyroscopic effect.

        Again, maybe you missed this issue of Motorcyclist, where they wrote: “But for the rider, the big advantage is that brake feel is superb, light, powerful and controllable, with the possibility of dialing in a very precise amount of braking when the bike is leaned over. And it’s light: The 1190RS front wheel, disc, mounting hardware and caliper weigh only 14.9 pounds, compared to 21.1 pounds for the lightest dual-disc system on a competitive open-class bike.”

        • vince says:

          How was the article wrong? Did you remeasure the MoI?

          “Sport Rider trying to critique Buell’s design made is abundantly clear that they did not understand that the primary mission was to reduce unsprung weight, not gyroscopic effect.”

          Not really; tacit in my statement was the fact that with every bike until now, there was never any percieved advantage of the unsprung weight. In theory it should have been salient but it practice the suspension never responded beter than it’s competition. From the road tests of the M2, X1, XB9. I guess he has it sorted now, I stand corrected. I must have ignored that Motorcyclist article due to my bias I had from my X1 and M2. They would not trial brake, they would very overwhelmingly stand up on the brakes. I’m glad Mr Buell has it sorted now!

    • Rocky says:

      The weight of the front wheel is where the big savings are intended to be, not purely in the rotor/calipers. Because the rotor is fixed directly to the rim, rather than to the hub, torsional forces due to braking aren’t propagated through the spokes, allowing for a much lighter wheel construction. Have a look at the spokes on the front wheel of any buell and compare them with the spokes on a comparable bike with a conventional setup. The reduced weight in the wheel is the prime contributor to reducing the unsprung mass and the gyroscopic effects. Incidentally, Buell have always refered to this braking system as ZTL, or zero torsional load. It is a clever idea, and of the buells that I have ridden, I have never complained about the brakes; however the lack of uptake of this or similar systems in prototype racing suggests that the actual benefits from this system are negligable, and that Buell use it principally for product differentiation. And lets face it, non-Japanese manufacturers need product differentiation to sell sports bikes.

      • Norm G. says:

        re: “however the lack of uptake of this or similar systems in prototype racing suggests that the actual benefits from this system are negligable, and that Buell use it principally for product differentiation. And lets face it, non-Japanese manufacturers need product differentiation to sell sports bikes.”

        see, rocky get’s it…! :)

        btw, wasn’t there an aftermarket ZTL system that was was available not long BEFORE eric commercialized it…? i remember reading an article about it and the first one i ever saw was actually NOT on a buell. it was at a trackday on a yamaha or a ducati…? i have the picture (taken with a film camera no less, anybody remember those? LOL) scanned and archived somewheres.

  16. JR. says:

    Regarding the Buell XB Lightning motorcycles.. they are unique machines to anyone who has owned one. I owned a 2004 Buell XB12S Lightning for four years and only sold it to buy a new 2008 HD FXD Superglide. Needless to say, I’m sorry I let the XB go and I wish at some point that Harley decides to produce these machines, since they now own the Buell motorcycle name lock stock and barrel, and that EBR say’s it will “never” build another XB. Motorcycles that are designed and built in America, that are reliable and simple to maintain, which are light weight and “affordable” make sense. It’s as simple as that. High revving, very high horsepower, exotic motorcycles that cost an arm and a leg.. should only belong on the racetrack.

  17. vince says:

    That is a beautiful bike. Congrats and best of luck Eric! I owned 2 Buells; Buells got me off of 18 yrs of Harleys ( Buell had demos, I discovered the joy of an HD motor in a chassis that could corner, with brakes). Next came a Freddie Spencer school and after trying a modern import sportbike, I sold my Buell and bought a 600. To be fair, the old X1 wasn’t what Eric wanted to make, it was all he was allowed to make under HD. The new Buells handle on par with anything current, is my understanding. However, I won’t buy a Buell until he ditches that perimeter brake that he stubbornly keeps promoting. It may have less unsrpung weight but it still has the same moment of inertia ( rotational mass) due to it’s large diameter, of a conventional system. And it doesn’t work as effectively. I’ve heard it from racers in person. What are your thoughts on this Dirk? Norm G?

    In closing, the bike is a work of art. I wish Eric much success in the future.

  18. ApriliaRST says:

    The new sport-touring bike I am always on the lookout for doesn’t have to say “Aprilia” on the tank…

    It just has to be better than my Futura, a bike I’ve kept and ridden 70k miles over the past 12 years.

    • stinkywheels says:

      You’re a lucky man, I’d love to own a Futura. They gave up on those waaay to early. I’ve ridden a couple Milles and loved them, enough to buy my 1125CR, which has a frame from Verlichi(?) and engine from Rotax with a belt drive for the topping. Wish Erik luck and maybe he’ll give us a Futura at a good price.

  19. Craig Jackman says:

    I thought the Ulysses was one of the best bikes I’ve ever ridden. I look forward to what comes next from EBR

  20. Gary says:

    Go Erik! Can’t wait to see what’s next.

  21. Ricardo says:

    All HD had to do was to put the V-rod engine in the Buell chasis to have a decent sport bike, and with Erik’s tunning it could have produced 140+HP, shame on HD for not taking advantage of this and creating a great American sport bike. I am sure HD is now thinking about this very same thing…

    • Brian says:

      Too bad the V-rod engine weighs a ton… The was a company that built a V-rod powered sportbike a few years back…

    • Brian Hansen says:

      Even though they owned him, they couldn’t keep up with him. He wasn’t going backwards using outdated overweight components. I am glad he is rid of them. Their new ads are hilarious; smokin burnouts on 600 lb sportys with candy paint – riding in packs – twitter handles – Seriously? That’s all you got??? Embarrassing!

      Meanwhile the other manufacturers are “Engineering” (they should look that up) faster, lighter and better handling bikes – even instant reacting suspension bits…

      Their aging clientele has money now – but how are you going to attract new riders???

      Hint – its not with ads but MOTORCYCLES

    • zx7Ramsay says:

      The VROD motor was initially suposed to be for Buells and then Harley took over the project and ruined it.

      • TimC says:

        My take is Porsche is good at a lot of things, but (especially prior to now, when the new 911 FINALLY weighs less than the outgoing one) saving weight really hasn’t been one of them.

        • vince says:

          The weight of the V-rod motor is not the fault of Porsche. Hey Tim: if you read the May 2010 CycleWorld there is an article by former HD engineer and CW contributor called ” The Demise of Buell Motorcycles”. One of the topics the article covers explains that Buell comissioned Porsche to help make a motor. Soon loud voices in HD said that is ours!, but we need it bigger and to look more like a HD and we need a bike to put it in too! Porsche built two engines. The tiny 1000 the Eric wanted to put in a superbike was scrapped by the order of Harley.

    • goose says:

      Ricardo,

      I am sure HD is now thinking about this very same thing…

      No, Harley’s new CEO isn’t smart enough to have thoughts like that, he saw Buell as diluting Harley’s image. Apparently in his sad excuse for a mind everything has to fit into neat little boxes.

      Back to the real point, Go EriK Go. I was at the point of gathering the funds to buy an XB12XT (thrust blue, please) when Harley pulled the plug. Like somebody else said, the Ulysses was a great bike. I’m really interested in seeing what he can do with a more modern engine and (the big point) transmission. It would be great if a touring version had a belt drive like the old Buells but I’d put up with a chain to have a new EBR Ulysses type bike. The other point is price, how far under $20K can he get?

      Goose

      • Norm G. says:

        re: “The other point is price, how far under $20K can he get”

        better question is, why should he…? this country is RICH. logic dictates nobody consumes motorcycling that doesn’t already have the means to do so.

        • Dave says:

          Indeed. If he doesn’t have the means to make 20,000 copies then there’s not much reason to go after mass market. If his brand grows he can leverage his relationship with Hero and start making the numbers. For now he should work in his core competency and build the reputation of Buell’s post-HD brand.

  22. Dave G says:

    Typical Harley move, to get rid of the best engineer the company ever had on the books. Good for Erik. I’m sure his company will do well under his leadership. And unlike Harley, without multiple tax payer bail outs…

    • Gary says:

      Harley seemed crazy when they dumped Buell. Then they took it to full-bore bat-shit crazy when they dropped the only decent motorcycle they had left – The XR1200.

      Very, very soon Polaris/Victory/Indian will be the biggest US motorcycle manufacturer and then Harley won’t even have that bragging right

      • Scotty says:

        They dropped the XR? Thats terrible! Best looking Harley ever made and the closest they ever got to a proper sporting motorcycle. Sad,

        • Josh C says:

          If it’s not selling here… doesn’t matter how good a bike it is in some people’s eyes, it’s got to sell to be of value to the mfg. That’s what killed Buell within HD, the sales weren’t there in comparison to HDs. There are lots of reasons for that, many of which were HD’s fault, but that’s why they gave it the axe.

  23. Jamo says:

    It’s funny how Harley dealerships still denominate themselves as “Harley-Davidson Buell” both on their store signs and when you call them on their telephone. THey always answer “Harley-Davidson Buell…”

    Why do they give a hit?

  24. Chris says:

    I don’t like that the front rim and rear rim don’t match.

  25. John says:

    Harley sucks mightily. But at least they freed Buell and he didn’t give up and built even better motorcycles.

    I always loved the Buell design, but would never buy one because of the Hardly engine.

  26. John says:

    Race X? Standard X? Adventure X?

    Roadster X? SuperMoto X?

  27. allworld says:

    My next bike will be a product of Eric Buell Racing, if available for under $20K.

  28. Tom says:

    As a current Buell XB12R owner I look forward to seeing more from EBR. Maybe they will become a dealer supported brand and honing in on fringe market products. An EBR Rotax super single would be hard for me to resist. My days on mega horse power bikes is over. I keep getting teased by pictures of 450cc conversion, Supermono styled bikes that would be so much fun on those CT back roads. When is someone going to produce a proper, lightweight, adjustable suspension, full kit super single?

    Oh they cost too much… Come on, I paid full ticket on a KTM 350EXC-F that could have easily been the 500cc for $200 more. Nope the 350 is perfect for me. The market is there. Anyone???

    • stratkat says:

      go find your self a used 400 – 525 KTM supermoto. i bought one new from the dealer, had them swap the slicks for road tires and added a headlight/tail light kit. it was legally registered here in Virginia. fantastic machine.
      fully adjustable suspension, the travel was reduced a bit on the supermoto versions.

  29. stinkywheels says:

    He’s the ultimate American. Made lemonade from Harley lemons, made some waves in AMA Superbike with an outdated design. Now he’s dealing with the most despicable people on the planet to maybe see his dream to the end. His own brand of motorcycles!

    • TimC says:

      If you think “GE Capital” (at least that’s what I take you to mean) is “the most despicable people on the planet” I suggest you look around a bit….

  30. Gary says:

    The best of luck Eric! Everyone knows that Hardly Davidson gave you the shaft with their pityful excuse that they did to close Buell out. I think the fact is THEY could not make a competitive and reliable bike anymore to save thier soul (racing bike), You did, and embarassed them because you did not use that overweight Vrod engine. They may not realize it, but I think they also gave themselves the shaft for doing what they did to you. I’m sorry to say that I don’t much care about Harley because they did this, even though they are mostly an American manufacturer.

  31. Tom says:

    3 Cheers!