MotorcycleDaily.com – Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Erik Buell Racing 1190RX: MD First Ride

061314top-i

061314side

After 10 years of moto-journalism, I can still be intimidated. For example: riding a $19,000, 185-horsepower superbike at the most famous racetrack in the United States. In the rain. And here’s what I found out about Erik Buell Racing’s (EBR) 1190RX superbike: it’s so comfortable, so easy to ride, I really shouldn’t have worried.

Does that sound like the mark of a very good motorcycle to you? Because it does to me. EBR’s 1190RX is far from a perfect bike, but is it as good as we’ve hoped it would be since Erik Buell first declared he wanted to make a “real American sportbike” decades ago?

We’ll find out, but now for something not-completely different: the 1190SX. EBR’s people whipped the cover off it while we were eating our pulled-pork sandwiches, and I was so excited I got barbecue sauce on my pants. Details are coming, but it looks pretty much like somebody took the fairing off the 1190RX and installed a handlebar and a small windscreen—my idea of a good time, and Erik Buell’s, too. I don’t think it’ll be much different from the 1190RX, which means it will be overkill for a naked-bike experience, offering “bragging rights and unlimited wheelies” in the words of MD reader Motoworrier. Well said, sir (or ma’am).

Back to the RX. I am a small, timid person, and my racing and trackday experience is mostly relegated to small, timid motorcycles. Blasting down 3/4-mile long straights at 160 mph is fun, sure, but most corners will be entered and exited at about the same speed on a middleweight as on the most hairy-chested open-classer, so what is all the extra power and expense for? Oh yeah—bragging rights and unlimited wheelies. I forgot. I lack the self-esteem required for bragging and the skill to do decent wheelies, so I’m not a fan of these license-burning monsters.

061314middle3

Luckily, I think Erik and his engineers get that, so rideability is a hallmark of his products. Styling? Not so much. But Buell is a racer first, so his design choices are for function, not form. The 1190′s aluminum frame is big, beefy and industrial-looking; think GSX-R750 c. 1995. No single-sided swingarms, and the bodywork, though purposeful, probably won’t win any beauty contests. The motor is just machinery, hidden under plastic covers.

But that’s okay, because a sportbike is built to make you go fast, and this bike is fast. That huge frame holds 4.5 gallons of fuel, putting the weight down low and close to the center of gravity. Chassis geometry (22.4 degrees of rake, 3.8 inches of trail, 56-inch wheelbase) was optimized, according to Director of Product Development Tony Stefanelli, by splitting the radiator like on the 1125R, keeping things tucked in and tidy without hanging huge, hideous pods on the side of the bike. Ready-to-ride weight is tidy, too: EBR claims 419 pounds dry and Cycle World  weighed its test unit gassed up at 453 pounds.

That’s 20 pounds heavier than the Ducati Panigale that’s the most-likely competition to the EBR. Both motorcycles are priced identically—$18,995—and appeal to the same demographic: “guys who love bikes, been riding for a while, in their 30s-early 40s and can afford superbikes,” Stefanelli tells me. Twenty pounds heavier, but it feels smaller and lighter to me than the Ducati. The seat is a little lower, and the bars are higher and less angled and the fuel-in-frame design further fosters the illusion that’s it’s smaller.

For me, small equals comfortable and easy to ride, and though I’m out for sighting laps on a bike I’ve never ridden, on a MotoGP circuit I’ve never ridden (very few street motorcycles have ever been on this track, in fact) dodging puddles in a light sprinkle, within a few laps I’m dragging a knee and building confidence in the excellent Diablo Rosso Corsas. The steering is very light for a bike with a long-ish wheelbase and it holds its line well while feeling as stable as a big Twin should.

061314middle1

The traction control isn’t this bike’s strong suit—but the motor’s drivability is so good an experienced rider will probably feel comfortable turning it off or down to a low level. At level 20 (Stefanelli told me you can drive on a gravel road with the T.C. set to max), it feels like the fuel injection is malfunctioning it’s so intrusive; down in the single digits it starts to feel seamless. You can still feel it, though, and judging by the settings on the bikes of other journalists (and racers) at the event, veteran riders will leave it at 1, 2 or, if they want to do a stand-up wheelie for an entire 3/4-mile straightaway, leave it off completely.

What the bike does do brilliantly is combine raw V-Twin power with control. It feels like a middleweight in the turns and then fires onto the straights with terrifying and brutal acceleration, rocketing you to triple-digit speeds much faster than you expect while delivering a touch of lumpy, chugging American-style character. One intake valve opens slightly ahead of the other, creating a swirl effect that enhances burn—better midrange, plus the bike returned better than 50 mpg in EPA testing (60 is you’re really careful, Stefanelli says), making the bike frugal as well as fast.

When it’s time to slow down, the giant single disc works much better than I remember prior Buell setups. There was no juddering or fade and one or two digits were fine for my pace. It does require a little better pull than the top-notch Brembo systems require, and isn’t as sensitive, but it’s very good. A notable disadvantage is the lack of ABS, but according to Stefanelli, while acknowledging European mandates would force EBR into putting it on all its motorcycles soon, the company decided to forgo it because its customers don’t ask for it. Advantage: European manufacturers.

Another bit of electronic kit missing is a quick shifter, which would work well with the vacuum-assisted slipper clutch. But it works well, and though the clutch pull is stiff with the engine off, I found shifting and clutch effort were reasonable, and I liked the gear ratios as well—second or third worked well in the tight stuff and fifth gear was more than tall enough for this leather-suited chicken to hit an indicated speed of over 140 mph before I rolled off early in anticipation of the Turn One puddle that didn’t disappear until about 2:00 pm.

061314middle2

I found the suspension as workmanlike and well-selected as the brakes. Showa supplied the outstanding 43mm Big-Piston fork as well as the linkage-less multi-adjustable shock. I asked why no linkage, and Stefanelli told me shock technology is advanced enough that the benefits of the linkage were largely superfluous and outweighed by the disadvantage of a linkage’s maintenance requirements, weight and potential for failure. And on the super-smooth MotoGP roadcourse at Indy, I didn’t miss the linkage one bit.

So here’s a bike that has some flaws—what bike doesn’t?—but more pluses. It’s made in the USA (I asked Stefanelli if any of it was made in India, given Hero Moto’s stake in EBR, but no, he told me “we have 163 suppliers from 14 countries, I’m sure none of these parts come from India.”), has a two-year warranty, is fast, fun and easy to ride all while being competitively priced with its European competition. It’s the American sportbike Erik Buell has been wanting to build—and maybe you’ve been waiting to buy—since Reagan was president. For additional details, specifications and color choices (two of which are pictured here) for the $18,995 EBR 1190RX, visit EBR’s site.

061314bottom

96 Comments

  1. ryan says:

    This is a work of art..Has any of you even seen a 2014 in person??This bike also has 20 hp on the 1199 from 3500 to 9500 rpm..The 1199 catches it barely at 10500..Erik should be given 2 thumbs up on his efforts and the ones who work for him..I also hear a dealer is working on a turbo charged unit ..

  2. Norm G. says:

    check it out guys, there’s spy video on the Tube of Gabe riding the red bike…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g5UO5LEWf54

    look at ‘em go…! :)

  3. Gronde says:

    What parts of this “American” bike were actually built in America? The engine? Injection? Wheels? Frame? Anyone know??? I actually like the looks of this Buell better than the Street Fighter.

    • Grey Matter says:

      The entire engine assembly is cast and built in East Troy. The frame is made here and so is the battery off the top of my head.

      • Norm G. says:

        re: “The entire engine assembly is cast and built in East Troy.

        im going to say leave out the casting part. thats specialized work requiring significant infrastructure and investment. its also a good way to court bankruptcy when you’ve got enough QC to tend to just assembling the bikes. the tasks are HERCULEAN enough.

    • Gabe says:

      The engine was assembled in Wisconsin out of german, Austrian and Italian parts. The frame and plastics are American. Brake calipers are Nissin, brake disc is Taiwanese! It’s a lot more American than many made-in-usa products, so no quote marks required when you call it an American motorcycle.

      • Gronde says:

        163 suppliers from 14 countries made me wonder how much of the machine was really produced here. A pretty good percentage it looks like.

      • Grey Matter says:

        I hope you’re saying Nissin is a US product cause they’re based in Finlay, Ohio. The battery is a Shorai from California, The engine is still cast here in the states. The internals of the engine are from various manufacturers for a reason.. quality. The bike is built 100% in Easy Troy. Oh, I left out Amsoil as well, corporate headquarters in Superior, WI. Every bike EBR sells is factory filled with it. Best oil period.

        • Dave says:

          Based on Erik’s quotes in the Amsoil ads, the engine will fail if you run any other oil in it. Lol

          FWIW, Nissin and Shorai are Japanese companies, regardless of where they have offices.

          • Grey Matter says:

            “Founded in 2010 and based in Sunnyvale, Calif., Shorai Inc. has quickly become the world’s principal producer of prismatic cell, lithium iron phosphate power sports batteries. Shorai is leading the market’s conversion from traditional lead-acid batteries to lighter, more efficient and higher performance lithium starter batteries.”

            Hate to tell ya this but, you’re wrong.

          • Grey Matter says:

            Oh.. and Nissin may be owned by a Japanese parent company, the braking components are still made here in the US in Ohio. It’s not just an office, it’s a manufacturing facility supplying braking systems to HD and Honda.

          • Dave says:

            Really? You’ve c & p’d the US office’s marketing statement and ignored that the logo is a Japanese word, over the traditional Japanese “Rising Sun”? They have offices globally but the engineering is in Japan and I strongly doubt any of their product is made on US soil.

            Nissin is exactly as American as Toyota, Honda (both great brands who employ 1,000′s of Americans).

          • Norm G. says:

            re: “Shorai is leading the market’s conversion from traditional lead-acid batteries to lighter, more efficient and higher performance lithium starter batteries.”

            (side topic)

            the real question you have to ask is why aren’t the established companies like Yuasa/GS, Exide, Unibat, etc with all the money, market share, and chemical engineers NOT leading the market conversion…?

            you cant say their white paper reading PHD’s don’t know about the technology…? or is it that they DO know something about the technology…?

          • Grey Matter says:

            The Batteries are built here in the US and just assuming their logo is Japanese is ridiculous because it has a red dot on it. Google is wonderful for info about these companies and there is nothing that states they are own by some Japanese holding company either.. It was also stated by Buell that he’s using the batteries because they’re based here in the US.

        • Norm G. says:

          re: “The engine is still cast here in the states”

          show me. (Morpheus leaning in with hand on chin)

          • Grey Matter says:

            Erik did state this in an interview a while back that is available somewhere in the black hole of YouTube.

          • Norm G. says:

            somewhere…?

            is there a chance you’ve simply mis-heard…? even in the link I’ve posted at the top which gives some of the latest video footage, don’t you find it odd that erik still hasn’t shown this mythical foundry…?

            he shows people assembling engines and bikes in the factory (same as earlier videos), but still no shots of people pouring molten aluminium….? what are these people, chopped liver…?

          • Grey Matter says:

            Norm, if you think EBR is pouring castings, your nuts. That’s takes a whole different skill set which they don’t have. It’s been said, I heard it and I don’t have the time to dig through endless youtube videos to find it. I almost want to say it was on the Craftsman experience videos but I’m not sure about it.

          • Norm G. says:

            re: “Norm, if you think EBR is pouring castings, your nuts.”

            substitute the name “Grey” everywhere you see the name “Norm” in the sentence above. there, now it reads properly.

            re: “That’s takes a whole different skill set which they don’t have.”

            I already said that. (annoyed Anton Chigurh voice)

            re: “I don’t have the time to dig through endless youtube videos to find it.”

            it’s your lucky day, you don’t have to. look in your viewing history. the Tube tracks for a year and half… Friend-O.

            re: “I almost want to say it was on the Craftsman experience videos but I’m not sure about it.”

            yeah, seen those. it ain’t there.

            (exhale/sigh)

            grey, what’s the most you ever lost on coin toss…?

            (quarter dated 1958 flicks into air)

            call it…! (Anton catches coin, slams it onto counter)

      • Norm G. says:

        re: “The engine was assembled in Wisconsin out of german, Austrian and Italian parts…”

        …by AMERICANS.

        that’s how it starts. (Det. Alonzo Harris voice) if not clear, this would be a home run for the enlightened who dare spend their money in ways that aren’t COMPLETELY myopic and self-serving.

    • Johnny says:

      The rear brake is made my Hayes Brakes in Wisconsin.

  4. Scotty says:

    Good luck to Mr Buell, the more different bikes out there the better and I am sure one day he will build a slightly more affordable bike. Its not my cup of tea, but if you that sort of thing go for it. Mr Bloor re-started Triumph pretty modestly, and admitted he wasn’t planning on making any money for the first 10 years. He’s making some now though. Maybe in 10 years we will look back and see a whole Buell range of bikes, with good market penetration.

  5. Mick says:

    I think that bringing this bike to market at that price is a very impressive feat for any company this size.

    Buell dashed my hope in them producing the street bike I wanted over a dozen years ago. Something around 325lb wet, for electric start, and 80ish HP. I haven’t bought an off the rack street bike since 1994(916 Ducati). I build my own bikes from motorcycles made for the off road market now days. Not that I’m happy about that. Because I’m not.

    Heck, the OEMs don’t even make a new dirt bike that I can get fired up about any more. It was the worst of times. And then they got even worse.

  6. Tommy D says:

    I once got to ride an Aprilia RS50 around on the street for an hour. It was balls out, wide open, racer tuck, rowing the shifter and stretching the throttle cable, FUN! I don’t think I broke the speed limit. Can you tell where I’m going with this?

    I know in the land of plenty having too much is almost enough. These hyper bikes aren’t for me. I own a Buell XB12R. I hope EBR makes it. I think the recent naked EBR is a better looking bike but… I am one of those guys that owned a NT650 Hawk GT, lusted after the SRX and GB500.

    • samizdat says:

      Just buy a DRZ400SM and call it a day! Or hope and pray that the KTM RC390 makes it to our shores….

  7. Grey Matter says:

    I see people complaining about the 19k price tag. Yeah, it’s not cheap but, I constantly see people drop well over 20k on a HD that can make a turn to save it’s life and has the same antiquated technology from the 40′s, don’t even mention those ridiculous 700+ pound water cooled “beginner bikes” they just came out with. I don’t see an issue with the price. It’s superbike quality with a superbike price, not a squid bike like a GSXR, CBR, ZX or the R1 for that matter. This bike is not for the flip flop wearing, tank top flapping in the wind kids, this is a true adult motorcycle. Talk is cheap, go ride one before you let something spew from it that isn’t correct which many of these post are full of.

    • Blackcayman says:

      squid bikes…

      I was just out on a track day on Saturday and there were plenty of highly skilled legit riders riding said bikes…

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “this is a true adult motorcycle.”

      let’s be honest, they’re ALL adult motorcycles. kids can’t afford the insurance.

  8. JR says:

    Since having owned a 2004 Buell XB12S Lightning and three other Harley Sportster’s that span from 1973 to 1993, and since Buell has now moved away from building affordable machines, with no intention to build anything like my 2004 Buell again. Note.. I wrote them and they wrote me back saying we will “never” build another one period. So the way I see it, it’s up to Harley now who purchased all the Buell rights to design, to build an affordable American Made light weight Sportster, 395 lbs dry with the Lightning spec 1203cc V-twin 103 HP engine, belt rear drive with the fixed axle and tension pulley. In short.. with all the features my 2004 Buell XB12S Lightning had that made it not only lots of fun to ride, but also made it simple to service at home. Other’s want high rpm engines, with valve bucket and shim adjusters, rear chain drives and water cooling.. that’s fine. They can keep them. What made the “American Made” Buell XB’s fun to own needs to be started up again. The fun factor starts with the first test drive.

    • Blackcayman says:

      good luck on that one

    • Gronde says:

      The entire Harley management team would have to undergo a mind meld reprogramming to accomplish such a feat. Interesting, but not too likely.

    • check out BTR Moto. He can build any bike you want with any motor you want. He has built several sport bikes using a Twin Cam HD motor (big twin, not a Sportster or Buell motor). These bikes have his own trans case which allows him to achieve the same geometry as the liter sport bikes (wheelbase, rake/trail, and even weight).

      http://www.btrmoto.com

  9. Philip says:

    I like the bike, I like the reviews, where do you buy one?

  10. Martin says:

    I can’t tell if EBR is trying to go mainstream or continue producing “customs”. If they want to establish themselves in the general marketplace, they need to put out a product like this at a couple thousand less than the Japanese liter bikes. There are so many choices these days in the superbike class; with the polish of the big 4 from Japan, and the exotics from Europe, I can’t see too many people putting down 20k for a prototype like this. Then again, Josh did almost score a point in Moto2 today…

  11. Jdilpkle says:

    Erik, I rejoice in seeing the outcome of all the blood sweat and tears that you and the team have put (all these years) into giving us these bikes to consider and to enjoy. You and the team have many many supporters, and like myself, when I can – I would be proud to have an EBR in my garage to ride and enjoy. I even now ride a Buell because it is wonderful to ride something that was conceived and built with a passion. Let ‘em ride the metrics. Their choice. Press on.

  12. samizdat says:

    A more impressive effort than I expected, to be honest. Wish Buell would invest in a proper designer though, damn thing is fugly!!

  13. Chris says:

    Hey Tonifumi,I own a Buell Firebolt and have an 1190sx coming how’s that ?

  14. neutron73 says:

    Article mention “most famous racetrack in America” and yet, did not name the track. For those who don’t know racing, I’ll assume they mean “Indianapolis Motor Speedway”.

    • Gabe says:

      Ha, ha! I’m so glad you spotted that! I changed my introduction and forgot to write that fact back in there!

  15. Stella says:

    I don’t understand why anyone needs 185 hp. on the street. If you can’t have fun with 100 hp. or less, you must be doing something wrong.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “I don’t understand why anyone needs 185 hp. on the street”

      ’cause car world puts 500hp on the street. routinely this.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      “If you can’t have fun with 100 hp. or less, you must be doing something wrong.”

      Simple math: I can have lots of fun with 100 hp. But I could have 85% more fun with 185 hp.

      • Tank says:

        I thought it was more fun to make a slow bike go fast than to make a fast bike go slow.

        • Jeremy in TX says:

          “I thought it was more fun to make a slow bike go fast than to make a fast bike go slow.”

          I am sure it is, which is why I recommend making a fast bike go, you know, FAST!

        • Norm G. says:

          re: “I thought it was more fun to make a slow bike go fast than to make a fast bike go slow.”

          it is… for 5 mins.

          but here’s the thing, once the high wears off (and it will) you realise the woeful inadequacy of the situation, and the danger of the 18-wheeler bearing down on you…

          “objects in mirror are closer than they appear” (T-Rex roars in the background)

        • Norm G. says:

          re: “The problem with slow bikes is that even when ridden fast, they are still slow.”

          LOL, and there it is.

  16. TimC says:

    +1000 on the CityBike leathers.

    MAN I miss living in SF. I’d subscribe to CB but then I’d miss it even more, or possibly move back.

  17. Tank says:

    This bike was tested on a racetrack because that’s where it belongs.

  18. dave says:

    braggin rights.

    thats what you get.

    better than any japanese superbike (at a lot less money) how?

    I mean – it’s great, but what question does it answer?

    ELECTRIC dammit. gasoline is already almost 5 bucks.

    of course – it aint for me is it?

    how many yuppie (is that term still functional?) bikers are out there?

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “braggin rights. thats what you get.”

      well that, and the understanding for those enlightened that you’re recycling your quid, so that’s actually a “2-fer”.

      re: “better than any japanese superbike (at a lot less money) how?”

      it ain’t Japanese. (click/click, “that was easy”, norm presses the EZ-button)

      re: “what question does it answer?”

      wow, these Cycleworld shows are huge, can you point me to the display of all the American sportbikes….?

      re: “ELECTRIC dammit. gasoline is already almost 5 bucks.”

      suck it up buttercup, a gallon equivalent is 6 bucks in France.

      re: “it aint for me is it?”

      not so much.

      re: “how many yuppie bikers are out there?

      wait here, I’m gonna run to the BMW dealer and take a head count.

  19. tonifumi says:

    NOBODY with a clear mind will buy this over a Ducati Panigale…….

    But I love the fact that EBR exists. Maybe HD should buy EBR to expand their production and achieve economies of scale so the price can go down…………hehehehe

    • Dave says:

      Re: “NOBODY with a clear mind will buy this over a Ducati Panigale..”

      Why do you believe that? Leaving out the American born aspect, everything I’ve read so far indicates it matches the Ducati in every way, even surpassing it in some ways. Check the dyno sheet to see the perfectly linear HP/tq lines this puts down, compared to the large dip in the Duc’s profile.

      • tonifumi says:

        Why do I believe that??
        Buying a bike is a lot more than a linear dyno chart !!!
        HAVE A LOOK AT THE BIKE !! The best you can say is that it is no better than a Duc mechanically BUT it looks horrible.

        For those of you who defend the bike, buy one !! I dare you…..I thought so.

        • Norm G. says:

          re: “BUT it looks horrible.”

          it’s a damn sight better than the original mille and it looks about as good as triumph’s MkI 675, which honestly, I didn’t think looked all that great relative to the Japanese, but the people and press loved them. go figure…?

          re: “buy one !! I dare you”

          I’d buy one. sure, why not. but see to my “moto-IQ”, the name Rotax is a known quantity…? whereas others might draw a blank. add to that, i’m into BIG TWINS both of the mechanical and female variety. it’s kinda my thing.

          • Tom says:

            “…triumph’s MkI 675, which honestly, I didn’t think looked all that great”

            Wash your mouth out! :D

        • Dave says:

          Re: “HAVE A LOOK AT THE BIKE !! ”

          1. It’s American made
          2. It’s made by an American Phoenix who lost his company in the 08′ econ crash (everybody loves a comeback).
          3. It’s innovative, with features that don’t exist on other bikes. Those features define many of it’s stylistic elements.
          4. It’s race proven, the 1st gen EBR’s were competitive without electronics.
          5. It equals or exceess the performance & tech of every other bike.
          6. For once, the American product is MORE exclusive than the Euro/Japanese stuff.

          That list makes it more beautiful than any Euro product to the people who appreciate them. Its “all business” look will sell for the same reason American muscle cars do.

        • Jeremy in TX says:

          I know two people already that have one, and they are not the die-hard, buy American Buell-blood types I would have thought would be the first to take a stab at these.

        • The Panigale is not beautiful in everyone’s eyes. Not bad, but there’s been better-looking Ducatis.

          The main market for the EBR bikes are riders that have track days in mind, not aesthetics. From what I read about the Ducati, it suffers in mid-range while the EBR excels in the mid-range. That’s big.

    • Tom says:

      ever ridden a Buell? Ever ridden a modern Ducati sportsbike?

      They are about the two most different feeling machines to ride you could imagine, V-twin motors notwithstanding.

      I find it very, very easy to see why someone might choose the Buell over a Ducati – they have test-ridden both and prefer the way the Buell rides. It isn’t all about holding your dyno sheets up out front of the cafe.

    • Provologna says:

      Woosh, feel that icy wind blowing?

      Everyone with a clear mind thinks everyone else can do whatever they want with their own money.

      I have never for a moment lusted for the Panigale, especially compared to the 919 of days gone by. This EBR piques my interest.

      A version of what you said was said about the people who left Europe on a boat and landed in N. America. Ditto the moon landing and thousands of other land mark historical events.

      Confucious say, “Some ride horse too high.”

    • Tim says:

      Tonfifumi,

      No one with the intention of riding a superbike anywhere besides the track would select a Panigale over the EBR. The EBR is a far better street bike, more comfortable, easier to ride, and not nearly as hot.Plus you can change tires brands without loosing the use of your traction control. It may not be as pretty but it get way more attention than the Panigale and its easier to maintain. As far as cost, you have to look at what you’re getting. I agree the bike should come with a quick shifter but the reality is the tranny is so good it doesn’t really suffer unless you are trying to shave .10′s of second off your laps, the adjustable rear sets that come stock are worth their weight in gold. I don’t have to defend it because riding one says enough.

    • Jorge says:

      I’m sure plenty will shout but I agree with the vs Panigale comment 100%. If EBR could have kept some of the nicer parts from his $40K EBR bike, e.g. the mirror pods with the integrated signals, then it would have been a more compelling choice. As it stands, as someone shopping in this price range, hell no.
      BTW I drive a C6 Corvette because I love American products and it can chase a Ferrari at the track. Make it the same price as the Ferrari and I know what I’d be driving.

  20. Norm G. says:

    re: “I asked why no linkage”

    re: “Stefanelli told me shock technology is advanced enough that the benefits of the linkage were largely superfluous and outweighed by the disadvantage of a linkage’s maintenance requirements, weight and potential for failure.”

    hot damn, is that an engineer’s answer or what…? :) stick that in your pipes and smoke ‘em…!

  21. Provologna says:

    Article: A
    Images: A+
    Bike: A

    Gabe and Erik: kick it up a notch!

    /sarc off

  22. HM says:

    They look good to me,admittedly a form follows function type.I hope that EBR is successful in its journey.

  23. Norm G. says:

    somebody cue “Eye of The Tiger” music.

  24. xlayn says:

    First time that I notice the beautiful rims, hollow center, nice

    • Gabe says:

      Yeah! I forgot to mention–superlight wheels, and no cush drive in the rear hub! It’s on the countershaft–very clever.

      • TimC says:

        Yeah, I saw this – Motorcyclist IIRC pointed it out as a highlight, mentioned computer analysis showed no need for hubs so why have them. Clever man, this Buell.

      • MGNorge says:

        For less unsprung weight I’m supposing?

  25. t says:

    Looks like a fine bike. At least for people who can afford a $19,000 bike. A small demographic for sure.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “A small demographic for sure.”

      you’ve just described the entire niche business of motorcycling. well done. (insert Anton’s voice here)

    • MeanChuck says:

      Have you priced a Harley, Indian, Ducati, BMW, MV Agusta, Bimota or even a Goldwing lately? There are plenty of bikes selling for that price (or higher). People said the same thing about his last bike that sold for $40k and he had no problem selling those. Twenty year olds who want a cheap sportbike aren’t his target audience.

      • t says:

        20 year olds who want a cheap sport bike should be his target audience. Start on the low end, and work your way up. You can help me prove my point by sharing how many $40k EBR’s Erik sold last year? Honda sold 16.8 million bikes last year. 80% of those bikes were well under $10k

        • MeanChuck says:

          “how many $40k EBR’s Erik sold last year?” That’s easy, every one he built and planned to sell!

          He isn’t Honda and has no plans to be so why copy their business plan? He is the head of his own company and builds the bikes HE wants to build now that he doesn’t have Harley holding him back. The last time I checked that’s called “living the American dream”.

          It’s funny how people who don’t own their own motorcycle company seem to know the best way to run one, he has his own WSBK race team so he must be doing something right.

          • t says:

            35. He sold 35 bikes last year. Thats called failure.

            He should be importing the Hero bikes out of India and selling those in volume first. Create a revenue stream and then go after his dream bike.

            There is a long list of failed motorcycle companies that tried to sell expensive boutique bikes first and like Erik, couldn’t make any money.

          • Dave says:

            You don’t understand that success isn’t always how many units are sold on year 1. He attracted significant investment from Hero and an ongoig partnership that will gain him access to globally competitive manufacturing. He’s now launched a competitive product at a competitive price after only a little more than a year into his new venture.

            And 35 x $40k = $1.4m, which isn’t exactly nothing for a small outfit.

        • Dave says:

          Honda has been at this for decades. Buell is just beginning. It is nearly impossible to begin a moto or car company with a low cost/high value product. A new brand can’t achieve the volumes necessary to drive prices down from the beginning but a low volume/high tech item can be done on more equal footing. What Erik is doing is building his brand and creating separation from the former HD venture. As time goes on and that brand grows I would bet on seeing Buell branded Hero products importing into the US.

        • TimC says:

          “20 year olds who want a cheap sport bike should be his target audience.” – um you HAVE noticed the current market right? (Hint – look at what bikes Ducati and BMW are selling, and how Big 4 600 supersports (aka sport bikes for 20YOs) are doing….

          • t says:

            So you’ve failed to see the sudden interest and growth in the entry level 250-300cc class bikes? That’s the fastest growing segment right now.

    • mickey says:

      You’d be surprised how many people can easily afford $19,000 motorcycles.

  26. mkv says:

    Did you pay for that custom Helimot suit with your hard earn cash Gabe?

  27. Don Fraser says:

    Rode one at demo ride in San Antonio and was surprised at the comfort, couldn’t get up in to the power, but it fueled well, shifted nice, felt good.

  28. Chris says:

    That is a good review on a bike that certainly show’s a lot of potential and quality for a first year effort, The SX model also looks great Just think the so called motor company, (you know who I mean the company that continues to look at it’s past instead of actually looking at the present or future to give us modern performing motorcycles,had erik buell and other skilled people working for them . Any way I like the white 1190SX and little Biaggi you’ll never catch it.

  29. Bob says:

    Beautiful photos of a beautiful bike.