Erik Buell Racing 1190RR: Erik returns with 185rwhp

Dailies -


Buell_1190RR.jpgAfter being canned by Harley, Erik Buell is back with the fastest motorcycle he’s ever made. The Erik Buell Racing 1190RR develops 185bhp at the rear wheel thanks to a larger, 1190cc version of the rotax v-twin. It’s also 8lbs lighter than even the cheater 1125RR thanks to higher quality chassis components. The worst part? This probably would have been a street legal model if Harley didn’t have its head so far up its ass.

Update: Dyno comparison between 1125RR and 1190RR below.
Dyno image via BadWeatherBikers

Here’s what Erik Buell Racing has to say:

The 1190RR is the first new motorcycle from Erik Buell Racing. Based
on the 1125R and 1125RR, the 1190RR brings engine displacement close to
the AMA American Superbike (ASB) class limit for twins and the WSB limit
overall. Although it is not currently approved for AMA ASB class
racing, this bike can be raced in many classes around the world and
should add new excitement racing against other premium street-based twin
roadracers. The 1190RR models are constructed at our shop from new
1125Rs with a complete kit of Superbike level components. Engines are
completely disassembled and blueprinted, with top-shelf internal parts
added to deliver reliable performance at the extreme rev ranges required
for a twin-cylinder bike to compete at these power levels.

The chassis is completely updated with the finest components, as
well as all the details for adjustability and comfort requested by the
top test riders who have been involved over its development. Test riding
of the 1125RR by Alex Barros, Jeremy McWilliams, Chris Ulrich, Taylor
Knapp, Cory West, and more – plus the 1190 motor and a winter of further
engine and CFD development – means we can finally deliver an exotic
American racing motorcycle that will deliver world-class track
performance and excitement for sponsors and fans.

And here’s the specs:


Type: 72˚ V-Twin, 4-Stroke, 4-valve DOHC FF valvetrain

Displacement: 1190 cc

Bore and Stroke: 106 x 67.5

Compression Ratio: 14.25:1

Heads: CNC ported

Valves: Titanium, 42.0mm intake, 35.4 mm exhaust

Power: 185 RWHP @11,500 RPM (Dynojet Rear Wheel)

Torque: 93.0 Ft-lbf @ 9,500 RPM (Dynojet Rear Wheel)

Piston: Forged alloy slipper type

Rod: Forged H-beam high strength alloy steel

Crankshaft: Lightweight forged steel

Fuel System: IDS Technology DDFI 3 electronic fuel injection and engine management system, fully programmable, 61mm throttle bodies, dual injector with showerhead, PWM fuel pump

Exhaust: Titanium ultralight 2 into 1 system.

Clutch: Multiplate Slipper

Primary Drive: Straight cut gear, 1.806 ratio

Transmission: 6 speed
Ratios: 6th – 24/25 (0.960:1)
5th – 25/24 (1.042:1)
4th – 27/23 (1.174:1)
3rd – 29/21 (1.381:1)
2nd – 28/16 (1.750:1)
1st – 32/13 (2.462:1)

Final Drive: 520 Chain


Frame: Light alloy large section beam with integral fuel cell

Subframe: Light alloy tubular

Wheelbase: Adjustable – 1400 to 1460 mm (55.1 to 57.4 in.)

Rake: Adjustable – 21˚ to 22.5˚

Front Suspension: Showa Race 43mm inverted fork, fully adjustable with BPF technology providing true separation of rebound and compression damping.

Front Wheel Travel: 120mm (4.72 in)

Front Brake: 387.5 mm (15.25 in) semi floating ISO multi-fin rotor with 8 piston ZTL2.5 caliper
Front Wheel: 6 spoke ZTL magnesium, 3.50 x 17

Front Tire: 120/17 ZR-17 Pirelli Diablo Corsa III

Rear Suspension: Light alloy swingarm with Showa Race damper, adjustable compression, rebound and ride height.

Rear Wheel Travel: 127 mm (5 in)

Rear brake: 240mm lightweight disc, 2 piston caliper

Rear Wheel: 6 spoke magnesium, 6.00 x 17

Rear Tire: 190/55 ZR-17 Pirelli Diablo Corsa III

Fuel Capacity: 4.6 US Gal

Battery: Buell Li-tech Lithium Nanotech
Dry Weight: 360 lbs (wet, no fuel)

Erik Buell Racing

  • Cameron Baum

    I wonder how hard these would be to acquire and maybe put a plate on? Does one HAVE to have race credentials to order one of these?

    This is what Erik should have been building all the while instead of those gilded proto-turds. All he really needed for his recipe was a good engine instead of that albatross sportster engine around his neck.

    All the best ingredients go into the soup and you get a fine meal. Drop one turd in, and it ruins the whole effect.

    • Wes Siler

      I feel like we have this conversation in every Buell article Cameron, but the air-cooled motor was actually pretty neat. It was refreshing to ride bikes that required you to work for the performance rather than just sit back and be lazy. Think of them as accomplishing the same thing as the Aprilia RS250, just getting there in a completely different way.

      • buellboy

        the air cooled engine is the beast in speed, but for a street bike the air cooled was adequate.
        when i go riding with guys in the twisties, i have no problem with keeping up or passing guys att he corners, which was the main focus of buell at first.
        own the corners, not the staright aways, that is for the hayabusa.
        but witht he 1125r it can own the track as it did by wining last years AMA. ofcourse with the best rider buell fans could have prayed for danny eslick.
        that young guy is extremely talented and I hope he defends well the plate on his suzuki

  • deckard

    You suck, Harley.

  • uncle ho

    does that 14.25: 1 compression mean I can’t use el cheapo gas? I’m out!

  • Donald Henschel

    I’m with Wes here. Have you ridden an XB bike at all, Cameron? I’ve only had mine about 2 months, but that’s been a 5,000 mile two months of winter, and I’m thrilled with the machine. It fits the bill very well for the kind of riding I’m doing and the chassis (Ulysses XT) wrapped around it. It’s smooth and calm at cruising speeds, with no fatigue-inducing high frequency vibration. It has more than enough power for my girlfriend and I to whip along back roads, dusting the occasional squidly sportbiker, for hours. The new big Yamaha adventure tourer has about the same power to weight ratio as my bike, and is competing for exactly the same market (guys who like to think they can ride a dirt road now and then, but basically are riding one or two up comfortably on suboptimal roads, sometimes carrying stuff). I don’t hear a lot of complaints about that power plant.

  • Donald Henschel

    Oh. And that sounds like a marvelous bike. Maybe kind of KTM RC8-ish in spec/performance/intent?

  • C Mad

    ^^^^^^ What he said! ^^^^^^^

    • C Mad

      i meant the harley you suck dude.

  • Frank Scardera

    “I wonder how hard these would be to acquire and maybe put a plate on? Does one HAVE to have race credentials to order one of these?”

    No race credentials required, just bring your checkbook. Only problem is, it will lack a street legal VIN. If you are really determined you could figure something out, but I doubt it would be worth the effort as it would need to be retuned for pump gas, plus I don’t know how streetable a 100% thoroughbred race bike would be. Your best bet would be to pick up one of those fire sale priced 1125R’s, and contact Erik Buell Racing to get some trick parts.

  • Stacius

    Wow. that’s a lot of progress in a really short about of time. Buell Motorcycles closed just a few months ago. I heard Erik’s non compete agreement is for 15 months, so around this time next year, I suspect we’ll see something really awesome from EBR.
    I bought my bike in October and it only has 1600 miles on it.
    I know a lot of us 1125 owners are really excited about the continuation of the breed. Hopefully, Erik’s dream will be realized sooner than later.

  • Mitch

    I can agree that the air-cooled H-D motor is wonderfully different and only broadens the experience of motorcycling, and am glad it had a chance to be put into a Buell frame.

    But that’s all we got. There was no other choice besides ‘big’ or ‘small’. It hamstrung the brand, because what if you didn’t like the experience that motor gave you? You went somewhere else, and people did.

  • Skipper

    Boy Harley really missed the boat when they scrapped Buell and just when Buell was dumping the boat anchor Harley motor for the modern Rotax V twin. Harley is stuck in there outlaw image. Harley wants to sell a bike and then all the Harley crap to go with it. Every Harley rider wares Harley undies, Harley belt buckle etc. Buell riders didn’t sucker for that crap. Younger buyers did not want to go into a Harley dealership either. Man, Harley really sucks big time…..

    • pauljones


      I hate to break to you, but the world is a slightly different place than you envision it being in your comment. I am 24 years old, and am saving up for a Harley-Davidson. My father just bought a new Harley-Davidson. And neither of us own anything else that says Harley-Davidson or has Harley-Davidson logos on it. I realize that you sportbike guys like to hate on cruisers of any kind, and especially Harley-Davidsons. But really, as a collective, you need to get the hell over yourselves and quit spewing such a dualistic load of crap.

      I want a Harley-Davidson because I’m not the kind of guy that really gives a damn about hauling ass at 90+ mph, or scraping my knees in a hairpin turn. I’ve had enough experiences with going fast in the past 10 years to last me a life time. In my experiences, I’ve learned that life goes by pretty damn fast on its own; there’s no real need to hurry it along. I just like to slow down, relax, and enjoy the scenery. And when it comes to doing that, no company does it better than Harley-Davidson. Their bikes may not be the be the most innovative things in the world, but then, neither are Porsches. But that doesn’t mean that they aren’t still great in their own way. Rather than try to define themselves by their ability to change at a moments notice and move from fad to fad, Harley-Davidson stuck with a single formula and let it evolve, ironing out the kinks along the way. Sort of like GM did with their small block pushrods; everyone laughed at them for sticking with such an outdated configuration, but the end result was one of the best engines of all time.

      Harley-Davidson may still have some kinks to work out with their bikes, but I give them credit for being committed enough to stick with a concept and work at it. Yeah, they offer a lot accessories. So what. The ability to personalize your bike to your own taste is no bad thing. Yeah, they depend a lot on image. That’s because they’ve been around long enough to build that image. BMW, Honda, and Ducati all rely on image too; it’s just a different kind of image. There’s nothing wrong with that.

      And yes, Harley-Davidson made a mistake killing of Buell. I don’t deny that. But in light of their philosophy of picking a single philosophy and sticking with it, it makes perfect sense. They were not the right company to make the best of Buell. In fact, I would venture that in a few years, Buell will be selling bike again, and they will be better bikes because they are allowed to operate under a philosophy that is better suited to sportbikes. Again, that doesn’t mean that Harley-Davidson and its philosophy is bad. It’s just different, and not the right philosophy for developing sportbikes.

      I also admit that there some middle-aged rich bitches that have all kinds of Harley-Davidson logos everywhere they can stuff them. By the same token, though, there are plenty of douchebags that ride around on sportbikes in sneakers, short-sleeve t-shirts, shorts, while cutting in and out of traffic that is going 60+ mph. Certainly, real sportbike riders don’t quite claim those douchebags as being representative of them. Why make the stereotype that the occasional rich bitches are representative of all Harley-Davidson owners?

      Seriously, get over yourself.

      • Cowpieapex

        Ouch! It seems skipper touched a sesitive nerve. I think I can concure on the HD experience and I find that my S3T keeps me very happy on the open road.But I think your comparing HD to Porsche as an example of classic design is a little wide of the apex. My ’84 Porsche is more comprehensively developed than even a ’74 porsche where the charm in the HD cruiser is more like a PT Cruiser, cute fun not a world leader in performance or design.

        • pauljones

          You gave the comparison of a 1984 Porsche being more comprehensively developed than a 1974 Porsche. Let me give this parallel: Try riding a Shovelhead Harley, and then try riding an Evo-equipped Harley. The difference in refinement and reliability is every bit as much of a quantum leap as it was in the Porsches that you mention. Then compare both to a Twin Cam Harley, which was a quantum leap over the Evos.

          There is nothing basic or inferior about the cruisers that Harley-Davidson puts out. They have the some of the best chassis in the market; try comparing a V-rod to a Victory Hammer, a Sportster to a Honda Shadow, a Dyna to Yamaha V-Star, a Road King to a Triumph Rocket III, or an Electra Glide to a Vulcan Voyager. In every instance, the Harley is as good or better than the competition. They are better balanced bikes, too; for instance, I weigh about 140 lbs, and I can comfortably ride a Street Glide; I can’t quite say the same for a Kawasaki Vulcan. In fact, the only large metric cruiser that comes close to matching the Harley’s balance is the Star Roadliner. Harleys also have a electronic fuel injection system that is comparable to any of its competitors. Twin Cams are air-cooled, but then, so is most of the competition; only Suzuki makes widespread use of liquid-cooled engines. Harley offers ABS on its bigger bikes, just like its competitors.

          Also, everyone and their brother likes to bitch about how heavy Harleys are. The problem is, no one has actually taken the time to look at the stats on them, otherwise they would have a pretty damn hard time explaining why a 950 V-Star weighs in nearly as much as a 1600 Dyna model, while the 1200 Sportsters are actually a little lighter. And that’s just one example. Yeah, Harleys are heavier than sportbikes. All cruisers are. That’s just the way it is. Another thing that people like to harp on Harleys about is the price. And, in some cases, they have a point; there are some models in the Harley lineup that are more expensive than their metric competitors (but, interestingly enough, are comparably priced with their competitors from Triumph and Victory). A Road King is more expensive than a Vulcan Nomad, for instance. On the other hand, an 883 Sportster is actually a little less than a Honda Shadow.

          But even in those models that are more expensive than their metric equivalents, you are getting a bike that is as well screwed together and as well-developed as any of their metric counterparts, as well as the support of the very large Harley-Davidson community, infinite ways to customize your bike without killing its resale value, and a bike that holds its value far better than any of its competitors ever will. Not for nothing do the say that the biggest competition for new Harleys comes from used Harleys. You get what you pay for.

          All of the criticisms that have been directed towards Harley-Davidson are equally applicable to any manufacturer of cruisers. So why are they aimed solely at Harley-Davidson, as though Harley-Davidson is the root of all evil?

          The only thing old-fashioned about Harley-Davidson is the basic V-twin bike layout, something that is shared by Honda, Triumph, Suzuki, Moto Guzzi, Star, Victory, and Kawasaki. So, then, where is it that you get the idea that Harleys aren’t a match for the “World leading designs”?

          • christian

            My issue with Harley is not the basic design of the bike, but rather their marketing scheme. Late last year, with my Duc Monster almost 14 years old, I was in the market for another bike. I was curious about the Nightsters, and I was seriously considering either the Nightster or the smaller Iron. I went to 3 dealers in my area and no one had the basic Nightster — the ones available came with “custom” tanks and loads of cosmetic crap that, in my opinion, deviated from the “less is more” aesthetic that made the bike attractive to me. As for the Iron, I was told by all 3 dealers that they haven’t seen one out of the factory in ages. They were, however, more than happy to sell me a Dynawidescreamingeaglesomethingwithchromeallover, which is not what I want. I saw an ’06 Ulysses on the floor and they wanted 8K+ for the bike — and it’s been in the showroom for 3+ years! And yeah, they wanted me to buy the bike with no test rides — though they’d be more than happy to have me “rent” an 1125 CR (so I can decide if I want the Ulysses)… It was obvious that I was not the target market for the bike and it showed — the motorcycle I want is not available, and the bike I was somewhat interested in can only be (gently) touched in the showroom.

            Either way, I went to the local Duc dealer, test rode the 08 Hypermotard and bought it the same day (for about the same price as the 06 Ulysses) and I haven’t looked back — I’m too busy looking out for the next Hog I’m going to pass.

      • Papasan

        Yeah 24 years old and the smartest guy in the room…

        • pauljones

          I didn’t suggest that I was the smartest guy in the room; I just don’t understand the genesis of all of the Harley hate. The AMF-era is over, and Harley puts out great cruisers now. There may be room for improvement, but that’s always the case with any manufacturer; and I haven’t found a whole lot of evidence to support the claim that Harley doesn’t work to improve and innovate with each new generation of bikes. I know that some people don’t like cruisers or don’t like the Harley-Davidson image; I get that. I have no problem with that. I just don’t like it when people use that as justification for asserting that Harley-Davidsons are inferior crap, when clearly, that’s just not true.

          I’m not big into sportbikes, but by the same token, I’m not going about claiming that Gixxers, Ninjas, etc. are pieces of crap.

      • sburns2421

        I find it hilarious you tell someone to get over themselves then pontificate forever with two of the longest posts I’ve seen on HFL. You sound like the perfect customer for Harley-Davidson.

        There are many reasons for the disdain people feel for Harley-Davidson. If there was a “H-D hate index” IMO it would be as high as it has ever been. Here are a few of my personal ones:
        1. It certainly appears H-D killed off Buell out of spite rather than selling. Bombardier made two bids for the company and was rejected.
        2. The arrogance of their resoning for killing Buell. Buell did not compete with H-D. The 1125R buyer is not going to buy a Sportster once the Buells are gone. Returning to their core also alienated a new demographic they were just starting to penetrate.
        3. H-D has done nothing with MV, and will probably kill off the brand if they cannot recoup their $109M. MV could have been an alternative to Ducati, but will remain a boutique bike because H-D doesn;t have a clue how to market anything other than their “lifestyle”
        4. H-D does one thing well: expensive low-performance cruisers with great paint jobs and a dubious record of quality otherwise. Americans KNOW that “we” could build a world-beater. Harley just chooses not to do so and it is frustrating.
        5. Dealers are, generally speaking, arrogant and even during this Great Recession insisiting on MSRP for H-D bikes. It is not 2004 and probably never will be again. Floor inventories are rising despite drastic cuts in production.

        So if you like Harleys by all means buy one. Just don’t expect anyone with some experience on other makes to fall all over themselves at the latest Dyna Screamin’ Eagle Super Heritage FXTLDBXYZ Anniversary Edition you saved for years to buy at full MSRP.

        • pauljones

          I see. The ability to lay out a rational argument on the internet is a failing.

          Let me, then, try it your way:

          1) I don’t deny that Harley-Davidson made a huge mistake in killing off Buell, particularly in light of the fact that they didn’t seem to do much in the way of an analysis about whether or not that would actually be good thing to do.

          2) No shit. I acknowledge that. And the part about a Buell buyer not buying a Sportster is what I have been pointing out all along. A Buell buyer is a sportbike person. Sportbike people don’t like cruisers. I get that. I’m cool with that. But to simply knock Harley-Davidson cruisers because they aren’t sportbikes is sophomoric at best.

          3) I also agree that Harley-Davidson has done nothing with MV Agusta, and had no business buying it in the first place.

          4) Seeing as trying to point this out rationally and giving examples to support my argument just isn’t working, I’ll try it the good-old fashioned interwebz way: You’re full of shit on this point. The AMF-era was 26 years ago. Harleys are actually reliable bikes now whose performance is comparable with any other similarly-sized cruiser on the market. Some of their bikes are more expensive than the competition, some aren’t.

          5) I won’t deny that, either. Arrogant dealers are nothing new, however, and is not limited to the motorcycle world or even the Harley world. If you can’t find the right deal, don’t buy it. If the dealership is a bunch of pricks, don’t go there. But recognize that as is the case everywhere else, dealerships are independent franchises. Just because the dealership you went to sucked, doesn’t mean that your experiences are representative of every aspect of the Harley community. It just means you were treated like crap by a dealership full of dickheads.

          I’m not expecting you or anyone else to join the Harley fan club. I’m just trying to point out that much of the crap you level at Harley-Davidson is precisely that: crap. I’m not here to defend the recent management decision of Harley-Davidson execs with regards to Buell and MV Agusta. I really can’t. But don’t use their poor decisions to irrationally knock their cruisers because you expect them to be sportbikes, or their owners just because they don’t own sportbikes.

          • Wes Siler

            Paul, we’ve had this discussion on Jalopnik, but it probably bears repeating. The world isn’t divided into cruisers and sportsbikes.

            Cruisers are good at looking shiny.

            Scooters are good at riding around town.

            Standards are good at doing everything, slowly and are comfortable.

            Nakeds are good at doing everything and are comfortable.

            Dirt bikes are good in the dirt.

            Dual sports are good in the dirt and street legal.

            Supermotos are good at low-speed corners.

            Adventure Tourers are good at going long distances, hitting some dirt and are comfy.

            Sport Tourers are good at covering long distance quickly.

            Tourers are good at covering long distances in luxurious comfort.

            Sportsbikes are good at doing everything, very quickly.

            See how everything but cruisers are good at doing things? Charging a premium for a brand within a non-functional category is just silly to reasonable people, a Harley is not objectively better at anything than any other cruiser, which is saying they’re essentially expensive objet d’art. And yes, that French was intended to sound fruity.

            Try a bike that can do something, I think you’ll be impressed. I think I suggested a Triumph Bonneville or Scrambler for you once on Jalop.

            • motoguru

              haha, i love that.

          • christian

            If your idea of innovative motorcycles involve a radiator, you should educte yourself and check out the new Multistrada, which is miles away (literally and figuratively) from anything Harley manufactures.

            As for the bikes themselves, Harley has been pursuing an idiotic business model — “hey, our profits are down 80 some odd %, let’s leverage our brand to our core market” dude, the HD “core market” have the brand tattoo’ed on their skin and/or spend too much time arguing that HD makes “innovative” motorcycles” on the internet — how in the holy screaming eagle wide glide hell are you going to leverage the brand even more???

            In spite of what you (remarkably) type while your head is in the ground, the buying public has made their opinion known — almost 90% drop in profits. Granted, the market is down across the board, but you see BMW attempting to out-squid the Japanese bike industry and Ducati horn in on the sports touring crowd, not to mention the new Adv tourers from Yamaha, etc… everybody else is responding to the current market by striving for true innovation while the holy HD MoCo churns out the same basic bikes (with auto shut off pistons to kep the prostate happy woo hoo!!!) to reach out to the same core group. Next year, they’ll include heated Depends in their catalog to “further leverage” the brand.

          • sburns2421

            1. We agree apparently. H-D was stupid to kill of Buell.

            2. I think we are arguing apples to oranges. I don’t knock Harley for making cruisers, but their handling by the board of the Buell closure also means that many “sportbike” guys bow have a bad taste for H-D products and when the time came later for a more sedate ride, IMO many will not even consider Harley. I’ve never owned a Buell, and really had nothing against Harley per se, but I doubt I will ever buy one if I wanted a cruiser.

            3. We agree. Buying MV was stupid and probably result in another eight-figure hole in their balance sheet.

            4. Before you in your infinite wisdom proclaim me full of shit, please research the recalls Harley has had with every new motor they have introduced in your lifetime. The Twin Cam for example underwent “4 million testing miles” and it still had a major recall in its first model year. The 45 degree design itself is inherently flawed and prone to shaking itself, and the bike, apart. But “heritage” stills bikes. Ironically one of the least troublesome bike they have had is the V-Rod. Developed in part by Porsche and mostly rejected by the Harley faithful.

            5. I have been to many dealers for every brand. And you are right, there are good dealers and bad dealers for all. In my experience Harley has more jarks than the average. IMO this is because for most of your life they have had waiting lists and been able to effectively charge over MSRP for bikes (bike at MSRP, then pile on overpriced chrome crap you have to also buy even if you don’t want it). This leads over time to an arrogance that remains to this day. Many of these dealers do not have a clue that there is NOT another guy waiting to buy once the in the showroom trying to pay a fair price gets pissed off and leaves. There will be much pain for H-D dealers in the next couple of years.

            I have said this before but will restate it here: given current economic climate, Harleys current serious financial problems with its finance arm, life changes with its aging, hope-to-retire-someday demographic, and the path of doubling down on what is not working…I say 50/50 chance Harley goes through a bankruptcy in the next five years.

      • joedimaio

        Paul- the great thing about buells is not that they can go way over 90, despite the fact that this is perhaps the first thing that distinguishes them from harleys. The great thing about Buells is that they are built to be shit-eating-grin fun when you are doing fifty in a hairpin marked twenty. That is why I want to unload my XLCR and buy either Erik’s next street-legal offering, or another Alfa-Romeo GTV6- to make a bare-assed mockery of the posted limit in the many twisty roads of coastal California.

    • JasonK

      I own nothing harley except the FLTR. All of my riding gear says Buell. get a thinner paint brush.

  • SoCal Buell Riders

    I am in absolute lust.

  • Tony

    Damn you Harley! Damn you to hell. If they would have just accepted BRP’s offer I could be putting a deposit down for the street version.

    What excuse does Harley give for not allowing Erik to put lights and turnsignals on this bike?

    I’ll never consider a Harley if they won’t do that little thing.

  • Ray

    I had the opportunity to test ride both an 1125 and an XB12 almost back to back last year and I honestly had more fun trying to make the XB go fast than trying to keep the 1125 from hyper-speed (it was a borrowed bike after all). I also felt the XB had more character than the 1125. Biggest gripe with the XB was heat from the rear cylinder.

    That said, both were pretty cool bikes in their own way and if timing had worked out differently I’d probably have one of them in the garage right now. Alas, I’ll just have to settle for my ’06 Speed Triple.

  • GeddyT

    You would not want this bike for a street bike unless replacing engines constantly is your thing. 14.5:1 is a crazy high compression ratio. To put it into perspective, Alstare Suzuki is running 13.5:1 and factory BMW is 14.1:1. These motors are being tore down and freshened up constantly (after every race?) and running on race gas only.
    I’m wondering what the recommended time between rebuilds is with this bike. Good thing it’s not a MotoGP competitor, as I don’t think six engines would do! On the bright side, goes to show how strong the engine castings are.

    Either way, this is pretty F’ing awesome, and had they produced a bike that looked like this–even at the 1125R power spec–when there was still a Buell brand, I would have bought one.

    • Sean Smith

      When it comes down to it, 14.25 isn’t too crazy. You can get away with pump gas at 13.5, shit even 14 sometimes. With 185 at the wheel, this motor really isn’t working as hard as you think it is. Engine casting strength has nothing to do with it, it’s just heat management. You could ride that bike at race pace for at least a full season and not have a single issue with the motor.

      I’ve built some engines that, on paper, seemed like a sketchy proposition at best, but in practice lasted through a full season of drag racing; think KTM 525 pumped up to 640ccs at 15:1 compression. A cam so big that it looks like it’s just going to bend rockers, barely there piston skirts, and a crank that’s got over two pounds milled out of it. As long as you’ve got good tuning, bearings that can handle it, and you can move enough heat fast enough, you’ll have a motor that’s going to last.

      • GeddyT

        You sound like an engine builder, so I’ll take your word for it. My only experience with what can and can’t be done is from reading what IS done, so my knowledge is limited. All I see is World Superbikes that get tore down after every race with lower compression ratios and think, “Huh, that’s not streetable…”

        I had a 600RR for a track bike. The engine had what I was told was a “mild supersport build” and put nearly 116hp to the ground. So this is about a 20% increase in rwhp and, I’m guessing, probably a bump in compression from 12:1 stock to, I’ll guess, 13.5:1. I got one season out of it before it blew up. Put a stock motor in it, ran it half a season, sold it to another guy, he got another season out of it, then it blew up again. So that’s my experience with reliability when running race pace.

        I also look at the only other V-Twin superbikes on the grid, the 1098Rs for a comparison. In streetable form (on pump gas) the 1098R makes 156rwhp (according to Motorcyclist) with a 12.8:1 compression ratio. That’s with a 3mm bore advantage over the 1190RR as well. I just couldn’t picture how Buell could add 19% more power to Ducati’s ragged edge in street form without introducing reliability issues.

        Having said all that, I’ll take firsthand accounting over conjecture any day, so I’ll trust your experience on this one.

  • Dave Tweed

    That is a wonderful motorcycle. I have an XB and a CR Buell all I can say is F Harley they suck.
    Oh and BTW hows that XR1200 working out?

  • Scott Free

    Has it occurred to anybody that Erik may be exactly where he’s wanted to be all along–running a small but competitive race-bike shop? Remember, he started with a race bike (the RW750). The twenty-some years of street bikes that followed may have been simply the necessary detour on the road to that competitive racing platform. While I’m just speculating (like many of the commenters above), and I suspect we’ll never know for sure, I wouldn’t be particularly surprised to learn that Erik had planned for some time to retire from the Buell street bike division and go into race bike work once the 1125 was properly debugged and showing itself competitive on the track. And it may have been nothing more than bad luck that the economy tanked and H-D needed to cut costs at the same time. As I said, we’ll probably never know for sure. But bitching about Harley and its customers strikes me as kinda unjustified.

  • Zach

    They always bitch. Its like their gag reflex. I think it was a bad break up.

  • Skinstains

    The 1190 is the top tier of EBR’s offerings. I don’t know off hand the specs for the others but I think one is 135 rwhp and another one in between the two.

    I have six Buell XB’s and have no interest in the Rotax. Different strokes I suppose.

    If I were ever to boy a cruiser it would certainly be a Victory. The new and improved American Motorcycle. I will be buying one of their Vision Tours and anticipate nothing but bliss. Go to the Victory website and Harleys and compare the two. You will see that H-D’s is all smoke and mirrors they try to push that tradition Horse-s**t on you so you don’t realize that that old faggot Willie G. is trying to stick it to you.

    The reason many hate H-D is because they have pulled the wool over many peoples eyes. They are selling an image that doesn’t even exist outside of their boardroom. It’s all overpriced CHINESE JUNK and the masses are eating it up…for now.

  • DoctorNine

    Well done, Erik. that’s one sexy ride. Looks like something that would be fun to go campaigning on. Makes me wish I were younger.

  • generic1776

    That’s a beautiful bike.

  • shinigami

    Quote from EBR’s website: “The 1190RR models are constructed at our shop from new 1125Rs “

    …from the dumpster?

    Seriously though, if this proves one thing, it’s that Buell really didn’t have to have a fairing that looked like a bad War of the Worlds prop.

    This is a very attractive bike.

  • Steve

    How is it Harley’s fault that Buell made a ugly bike that nobody wanted?

    Erik Buell killed the brand with a untested bike that was hard to look at.

    • Scott Free

      Well, the lobster-claw radiators didn’t exactly help things (if I ever got an 1125, it would have been bright orange and fitted with the vanity plate “ZOIDBERG.” Probably good that I didn’t)… And the bike’s teething pains (wholly avoidable if they’d been in a bit less of a hurry to get it on the market) didn’t help…


      I think the Mothership signed the Buell company’s death warrant close to ten years ago, when they decided to put the road-racing-developed Revo motor into this abomination called the V-rod (sound of finger being stuck down throat). Buell’s whole corporate identity was tied up in the idea of an “American Sportbike”–a legitimate performance machine with a Harley motor in it. The V-rod put Buell into a catch-22: if they stayed “American” (keeping the XL motor), they’d lose their credibility as a sportbike; if they tried to stay a proper sportbike (by outsourcing a modern engine), they’d lose their credibility as an “American” motorcycle. In the end they tried both, and neither worked.

      By the way, I stopped by the local (huge) Harley dealer yesterday. He still had three Buells (two new, one used) on the floor… as well as three V-rods (also two new, one used). Come to think of it, I see more Buells than V-rods on the road. Makes me kinda wonder… how’s that techie-techie thing workin’ for ya, Willie?

  • Ray

    I’m curious to see how they dealt with the radiators, this is what the 1125 should have looked like in the first place. Nowhere in the specs does it mention the cooling system.

  • Tyler

    Crainial – rectal insertion is correct

  • Ammerlander

    There are quite a few used Buells for sale at a dealer near where I live, for prices I could actually afford and I am really tempted because I really like the looks, the sound and the extravagant engineering of those bikes.
    But what really puts me off are the reports of shoddy built quality and recurring reliability issues especially by owners in the german
    How come this never gets mentioned in the many Buell-related discussions on this site i.e. ?

    • Urban Rider

      Internet forums tend to get more posts from people with problems than satisfied customers in my experience. It’s probably not a fair reflection of the true build quality.

  • Dave Tweed

    H-d has an 800lb bike with a small single front disc but I guess thats ok cause ya got a big rear brake huh?
    Vulcan dual discs/Suzuki m109 dual discs/
    Have you ever looked at the spec sheet on a harley?
    Even the victory has the rotor sizes not Harley.
    I am 45 years old and portly I don’t knee drag or race but either of my Buells will stop when I need them to and accelerate out of trouble. None of the Harley’s I ever had would except an aermachi sprint I had some years ago go figure.
    I don’t think Eric Buell planned to fail or the demise of the bike with his name on it thats not really plausible. Especially when H-d refuses to sell the company.

  • Emmet

    what a gorgeous design. it’s a tragedy Harley killed Buell, it was the biggest chance for an American sportbike. looks like we have to keep our fingers crossed another company will try again sometime down the road.

  • cowpieapex

    First Pauljones. When I refer to design Im talking about engineering innovations that allow a motor vehicle to accelerate, decelerate, and turn more effectively and therefore safely. I have owned and enjoyed riding antique bikes with hard tails and no front brake whatsoever, but I have had to reconcile myself to the fact that they were not really transportation devices so much as amusements like bungee jumping or rock climbing. As I believe that motorcycles can suffice for over 80% of my transportation needs riding all roads in all weather.It is imperative that these machines allow me to travel at a reasonable to entertaining pace while giving me the tools necessary to negotiate roads shared with brain dead, cell phone transfixed, droids in 2 ton boxes.
    Ammerlander, As to the questions of reliability. I have toured on my ’97 thunderbolt and have used it for around 55k miles.I have enjoyed weeks of ecstatic cycling to remote parts of the American west. That said, there is virtually no part of this machine I have not serviced and improved, if not completely re-engineered. In 30+ years of cycling I’ve ridden Japanese, English, Italian and (4)German bikes and this machine is the most fulfilling comparable only to a brilliant Ducati GT 750 from the ’70s. My Buell has been a dialog with Eric, with cursing and laughter.I know he’s had the courage and genius to bring me the opportunity to experience cycling on a rare level only seen once in a generation. If you can embrace the challenge don’t let the opportunity escape you. Otherwise we live in a golden age where for so little money we can buy machines of impeccable quality and beauty which we can operate so affordable as to be virtually cost neutral for the average working Joe.Perhaps a nice HD cruiser. Have you seen the prices on them lately.

    • Ammerlander

      “I have toured on my ’97 thunderbolt and have used it for around 55k miles.I have enjoyed weeks of ecstatic cycling to remote parts of the American west.”
      Good for you, cowpieaapex.

      “That said, there is virtually no part of this machine I have not serviced and improved, if not completely re-engineered.”
      Something I wouldn´t be very inclined to do, not only because I lack the necessary skills.
      I just want to ride.

      “Perhaps a nice HD cruiser. Have you seen the prices on them lately.”
      Thanks but I´ll pass. Cruisers don´t appeal to me.

      If Buell would have made bikes with reliability to match the japanese, I´d buy one in a heartbeat.
      But it seems that is too much to ask.

      • 4Cammer

        If the Japanese made bikes with character and unique engineering (like my Buell XB9R…) maybe one would be in my garage.

  • shinigami

    Looking a bit more carefully at the full-size image of this on the EBR website, I must say this has the sniff of a photoshop job about it…leading me to wonder if indeed this actually exists in the first place, or if it’s a concept image.

    • Wes Siler

      Well, there isn’t a larger version of this shot on the EBR site, but yeah, it’s a render, not a photo.

      • shinigami


        My apologies- you’re right, there isn’t a bigger image of the 1190RR.

        It was the big image of the 1125RR (also a render) that made me cotton to the fact that it’s a render. Hope the real bike looks like the photoshop job.

  • Papasan

    $7500 for Buell 1125cr in my garage equals happy Papasan.
    The sun is out and I’m going for a ride!

    Papasan in AZ

  • Dave Tweed

    But see I have owned both and Harley Davidson does not really do much to improve there machine in comparrison to the others out there.
    I hate Harley now because AMF is back they are not a motorcycle company anymore they are a public companay.
    Harley davidson is small potatoes compared to Yamaha Kawasaki and Honda. So they should care even more about the machine they build and sir the proof is in the pudding.
    Ride an XR 1200 then ride an xb12ss Buell there simply is no comparrison and if you are honest with yourself you would see that in a moment.

    • pauljones

      I’ve never gotten the chance to ride a Buell, so I really don’t know crap about them. But what I do know is that Buells are sportbikes, and no Sportster will ever be a sportbike; they are simply two entirely different kind of bikes. So, how, exactly, is it valid to compare the two? If you want to bring a comparison about a Buell, then out it in the context another sportbike. If you want to bring up a comparison about a Sportster, then it’s only fair to compare it to the other bikes in its class, like the Honda Shadow, Triumph America, etc.

      My dad bought his Harley, and Electra Glide, right before this past Christmas. He was all set on a Victory Vision after comparing it with a 2008 Electra Glide. He didn’t care for the looks of the Victory, but he liked the ride better. Just for kicks, he went over to the Harley dealership and was able to take a brand new, 2010 Electra Glide Ultra Limited for a ride. He said the difference between it and the 2008 Electra Glide he had leased was night and day, and he felt the 2010 was a match for the Victory Vision, and he liked the way it looked. Two days later, he bought it. We later found out why it felt so different; for the 2009 model year, Harley massively revamped the its Touring lineup, including a brand new frame, improved ground clearance, a new 4-point engine isolation system, re-tuned suspension, and a new swingarm with a forged pivot section. They also added a feature that shuts down the Harley’s rear cylinder when it’s sitting in heavy traffic, to reduce the heat felt by the rider and passenger.

      At this point, here’s where I am: If that isn’t an example of improving their bikes to keep them competitive, then what is? I suppose Harley could invest in aluminum chassis, but really, what other major improvements to the bikes do you see that they aren’t making?

      Look, I recognize that a Buell or any other sportbike is going to out-perform a cruiser in just about every way. And the truth is, I really don’t care about that, and I’m not making the argument that any Harley will ever, in any way, be the performance match of any sportbikes or sport tourers. But what I’m still not getting is a solid example to back up the claim that Harley does nothing to improve its bikes. Do they still have a few areas that need improvement? Yes. So does every bike from every manufacturer. But that’s a very different thing from saying that Harley has done nothing to improve their bikes. If that were the case, they’d still be selling Shovelheads.

      Instead, all I’m seeing are a bunch of comments that range from “Harley you suck” to “Harley never innovates or improves its bikes”. Okay, fine. I’m wrong. Harleys do suck, and Harley-Davidson never does anything to innovate or improve their bikes. If that’s the case, fine. Just tell me what innovative quantum leaps other manufacturers have made that Harley hasn’t. Liquid-cooled engines? Is that the only thing? What else is there that you can see?

      • Random

        Quantum leaps H.D.s didn’t have? Traction control. Oops, there´s no traction to control anyway.

        A particular depressing thing to watch is people still asking, “how could it be the MoCo’s fault? They weren’t selling anyway…”. Considering Erik wanted to go water-cooled still early in the nineties but wasn’t allowed…

        Another one is see the demise of Buell’s street bikes after all these racing developments. Damn, imagine the the possible improvement to street bikes based on racing prototypes (something like crossplane crankshaft?). The worst is, Buell apparently was set to go WSB racing. Alex Barros leaked to brazilian magazines (his brother writes in one) that he was testing prototypes and talking about riding in WSB for an unrevealed “american manufacturer”… (duh, maybe Roerh?). The bike in development was finally revealed, but the WSB manufacturer team is now (out of) history.

  • Dave Tweed

    AMF made very reliable machines …
    They were however pin setters.
    Harley right now is making AMF like decisions period. There were offers on the table to purchase Buell they didn’t want to sell.

    My XB 12 SS will not only outride a sporster it will outperform and is more comfortable than a dyna as well.
    The xb12x and xt are everybit as capable touring bikes as baggers. They just cost alot less.
    I have never owned a sportbike. The closest I have is a CR that bike can do it all period.To me its not that Harley can’t build good motorcycles its that they won’t.Thats were my dislike for the MoCo started.
    The AMF days are back look at the business decisions made in the last year by the MOco. incurring $125 million debt to close Buell and trying to sell MV augusta who sold 65 bikes in the US last year. I’m a godammed grease monkey and I can see somethings up there.

  • ezblast

    HD kiss asses please fag off – their mistake was in loosing Buell and dropping their flat-track/circle track racing team – and they where winning as well for once! Are there any riders on their board? Are they not the ones who coined the phrase ‘Win on Sunday, sell on Monday!’ – Buell has always been about performance, while HD just polishes chrome, making the same stuff new you can buy just as good used. Plenty out there – what market is there in that. Just old folks protecting their pensions, and willing to let the company suffer in the act.
    Shame on HD for being tools, And may the talent of Erik Buell continue to set great American standards of performance!

  • JustPete

    “Sportsbikes are good at doing everything, very quickly.” Really? So they are good at off roading? Ha! Just had to thow that out there.

  • wade

    if you dont know the history of eric buell and the daytona 200, you dont know much about american road racing or the 200. almost 30 years ago buell made a name for himself at daytona after ending his employ with HD as a designer. after that, buell made a name for his self with a line of production motorcycles with race design. at that time, HD had their sites on winning motorcycle competition and absorbed buell as a sport bike model marketed through HD dealers. THIS sunday brings his prowess to the line with 8 competition tuned ducati and a great money expenditure by yamaha to win the daytona. bikes way beyond the average riders abilities. may the best man win. and may the best machine be heralded.

  • wade

    P.S. i have an old harley in my kitchen that is number 12 out of 24 bikes that i have owned. she is a keeper. 200 lbs lighter than stock and i wont tell speed secrets beyond the engine is bored out. i will admit this bike is the only one to ever scare me and i ride it with respect. bring on your high dollar screamin eagle factory built bullshit or your high dollar automobiles and live with the embarrassment of it all. and your corvette. long cool woman said it all.

  • MountainStorm

    Love Buells. I own several and have great repect for the EBR outfit. Harley will never see a sale from me: they are the AIG of the MC industry. Sold a bunch of notes that were not properly secured and now they are hurting. Amazed that they were not included in that stupid “bailout” plan.

    The 1190 is all race. I would not expect to see this trickle down to the street because it requires Sunoco GTX 260 to run.

    Keep them coming Erik. You rock.

  • Skipper

    This very true:
    4. H-D does one thing well: expensive low-performance cruisers with great paint jobs and a dubious record of quality otherwise. Americans KNOW that “we” could build a world-beater. Harley just chooses not to do so and it is frustrating.
    5. Dealers are, generally speaking, arrogant and even during this Great Recession insisiting on MSRP for H-D bikes. It is not 2004 and probably never will be again. Floor inventories are rising despite drastic cuts in production.
    If pauljones wants to wear his Harley underware and ride an outdated overweight piece of crap fine. Just don’t try to tell the rest of the world that a Harley Davidson is anything other than what it really is. – An outdated overweight overpriced piece of shit. Harley loves suckers like you and your dad. You buy a bike and then load up on the underwear, belt buckles, shirts and other overpriced crap. Best of all you most likely bought the Screaming Beagle Kit for you bikes so you can at least get your 1940′s bike up to maybe 70 asphalt ripping horsepower. No thanks – I will not and many others will not sucker for the Harley mentality – being a show off with loud pipes and your pirate costume.

  • Knows Better

    Harley Davidson spends most of there R&D money on next years paint color and where to put more or less chrome and new belt buckles, jock straps, do-rags and other worthless shit like that. Harley can sell the same old motorcycle every year with a new paint color and more chrome. Example: The new “48″. It is the same old worn out sportster with a different tank, paint and tires. This is why Harley is in deep shit. The old 60′s crowd and the “pirate dress up” crowd will soon be too old to ride. 90% of the younger riders would not be caught dead riding an antique Harley. I think it is too late for Harley to make the necessary changes to stay in business in the future. They shot themselves in the foot by killing Buell. Buell had marketing mainly because of the stupid Harley 1200 boat anchor motor and having to go to a Harley dealer to buy one. Who in there right mind would want a sport bike with a Harley lead weight out date motor? Just when Eric gets the Rotax motor Harley shuts them down.

  • Right On About Harley

    Boy is this stuff every true or what?

    American Thunder?

    What a joke! You should be scared of thunder. The only thing I’m scared of when a Harley is near is that either a piece is going to fall off and cause me to wreck, or I’ll slide in a patch of oil that the Harley leaked onto the road ahead of me. American Thunder my ass! Thunder is powerful and loud. Harleys are just loud. I think the truth in advertising should apply to Milwaukee as well, if so, it would be called “American Noise”.

    The American V-twin. What a overweight, underpowered waste of good material and metal. Freedom. Power. Blah. Blah. Blah. All canned pure marketing bullshit from Milwaukee’s own spin doctors. The American V-Twin. The American embarrassment is more like it. This thing is a clunker, a boat anchor. It takes 1203ccs of American V-Twin to even come close to what 600ccs of Japanese in-line four can pump out for performance, and even then the 600cc ‘rice rocket’ will always blow the chrome off of the Harley. We don’t build anything else, just twins. No straight fours, no V-fours, no singles, nothing. Just old, outdated twins that have been around since before World War II.

    No innovation.

    No high technology.

    No change whatsoever. Just proven sixty year old designs that make a lot of noise and clunk along at legal posted speed limits (barely).

    The target buyer for Harley Davidson, if I read their ads correctly, are male overweight, middle aged, sexually repressed ex-cons with an abundance of tattoos, body and facial hair, and odious personal habits. They also tend to have a severe leather fetish with a passion for chains, tassels, and metal studs.

    So, what does that make Harley Davidson? A Harley is the world’s best selling motorized wheelchair for hippies and wannabes, and for those who would rather buy an reputation than earn one.

  • doug s.

    i don’t like cruisers. but, in the past, when buddies i know talked about getting a cruiser, i always said “check out h-d; those are real cruisers”. now, if someone says anything about cruisers, i will point them to victory, or any other company besides h-d that makes a two wheeled bike. in fact, i will steer them away from h-d if at all possible. F**K H-D! and, this has nothing to do w/the product – i don’t know or care about it. it has to do w/them being total assholes.


    doug s.

  • Bueller


  • KurveRider

    Harley Davidson is a clothing company that just happens to produce an old outdated line of motorcycles to go with there clothing line. Whenever I see a Harley Davidson it has no muffler, 3 foot tall handle bars and some moron with no helmet, a pony tail, tattoos, and a pirate costume riding it. Oh, don’t forget the tassels on the the handlebars.

  • Michael

    As I understood it, this post was about a new Buell racing bike, and had nothing to do with Harley Davidson. HD and EBR are now two separate entities, and I believe it’s time to stop associating one with the other.

    Wes, I love your blog and plug it at every chance, but statements like the last line before jump serve no purpose but to incite e-manifestos from commenters who have trouble accepting what’s done is done.

    • Wes Siler

      Thanks. How does the last line serve no purpose? This was a much anticipated future model from Buell.

      • Cowpieapex

        Like a digital Rorschach, this line explodes the Culture x Style x Design paradigm and lets us look at the fragments of our identity as cyclists.
        As one who loves what life on two wheels means, I find it hard to dismiss anything, from an antiquated stinkwheel to a $250,000 non functional show bike. Let the first rider who has never looked in a storefront as he rode past dismiss style as an element of the biking experiance.
        God bless HD for the part they have played in bringing us one more facet in the gem of motorcycle culture.Cursing them for their failure to do more is like cursing Howard R. Davies because his shop is no more.
        Just remember next time you see some dork on a chinese scooter, smile, wave and respect one who is more like you than any tool in a SUV.

        • pauljones

          With that, I think that we have at last come to a sensible end to this debate.

      • Michael

        The content of the line is valid and informational, but the way in which it’s worded is instigative. Anyone who frequents or browses your blog can get an inkling of how you and the majority of your commenters feel about HD MoCo; why reignite those feelings now that the HD/Buell feud is drawing to a close?

        Reading the above comments and comments from past articles referencing HD, I see repetition, vitriol, and repetitive vitriol. Sometimes I think the same guy writes all the HD-blasting posts under different aliases – always something about “Screamin’ Beagle pipes,” 60-70 “asphalt ripping” hp, “pirates.” It quickly loses validity as an argument and approaches ad hominem.

        No matter, these types of comments, which in the case of this post are irrelevant, take away from the several thoughtful, insightful comments that your blog harbors.

        Also, big round of applause to Scott Free above me. Killer point.

  • Logan

    Thanks Yall that was some of the best reading I have had in months!! I love the guy that was writing about HD he made great valid points and wrote very well. But I TOTALLY AGREE WITH EVERYONE ELSE! I remember going in to HD Dealer looking at bikes and I was young granted still am but they always treated me like a little kid. I remember going to look at Buell and it was like an embarrassment if someone had to come over and ask you if you needed help. The HD Dealers didn’t even want Buell they were even against the brand. I thought Buell was always innovative and different just the design was a little to far off for me.

    My dad wanted to buy a Harley so bad! I just started laughing! I was like Dad “Your not Hard-Core enough”! You have no tats, pony tails or nipple piercings!! He test rode a few and even rented some but every time he mentioned the price he cringed!!

    Then he really wanted a BMW 1200 GS-A <—–24,000!

    Then I suggested he go and test drive a Triumph Tiger 1050 w/ ABS…. He went back the next day and bought it! Only spent 13,000 on it!

    No it joins my Beloved 2008 Triumph Daytona 675 SE

    I get so tired of hearing open pipe Harley’s damn things are soo annoying! Most of the douches that ride them, try and act so bad ass never flinching riding with sweet Pirate Gear and worthless helmet. I always wonder if HD riders go home and cut off all the sleeves on their shirts and then tell their wife’s or GF to Gain 300LBS!

    Sorry I’m 24 and will never buy a HD! I will own anything else before I submit to buying that over priced chromed steel BS!

    I would rather buy a Victory, something with some style and still hauls ass! Oh yeah its got a 6th gear and Big ASS BRAKES!

  • PrincipalDiesel

    I dumped by Harley for a Ulysses. What a fun ride! HD is on the outside edge to the Boomer sales spike, and obviously falling fast. They made a move, dumping Buell, that will cost them forever. Look at the stats as to where the growth is in motorcycle sales before the economy gave out. It was not in the farty old Harley-Davidson’s 1930s technology. Harleys are fun, just like riding an Orange County chopper on 4 mile beer run. Why would anyone want to spend 35,000 on a bike that offers nothing new? Same of S_ _ _ different color. Oh yes, now chrome is out and black is in.

  • BearM

    Every day you read in the newspapers and on the web how communities are passing noise ordinances. My city will have one on May 1st. Every car and Motorcycle must have a OEM muffler and a catalytic converter. Obliviously they are after the motorcycles with straight pipes. Laws like this will put Harley Davidson out of business. I believe that most of there sales are to guys with an inferiority complex. Riding a Harley with straight pipes gives these morons a chance to get noticed and to show off. If these morons can’t have there loud exhaust then why buy an outdated motorcycle like a Harley. Harley can’t sell bikes on there outlaw image forever. Soon they will have to wake up and I think it is too late. Harley does not have the hundreds of millions it would take to redesign there aging motorcycle line. Young buyers are not interested in the Harley image or any of Harley Davidson’s aftermarket line of pirate clothes.

  • Ralphie

    14.25:1 compression? Sure you get good performance numbers like that, but let’s see if she holds together. Based on Buell’s track record, they haven’t been able to build a reliable bike with 20 years of practice. What’s up with THAT?

    Also, how about this year Buell tries to win in a class where they don’t have TWICE the displacement of their competitors.

    Buell couldn’t build a bike that sold on its own merits, and Harley couldn’t – and didn’t really try to – sell it through their branding and marketing. To me this is a sad tale of inflated egos and corporate politics, not about bikes.

    Buell’s hardcore fan base will not expand, and Harley’s are shiking due to attrition. Good riddance to both brands, IMHO.

  • doug s.

    my ’95 buell s2, w/36k miles, slightly modded to make 90rwhp/90ft-lbs torque, had only two reliability issues – gasket failures – both attributed to the bike sitting too long, whilst i was going thru a diworce.

    buells are unique reliable motorcycles; their sales held back by incompetent marketing, thanks to the h-d “parent”. h-d dealers trying to sell sport & sport-touring bikes? kinda like republicans trying to sell universal healthcare. it’s not gonna happen!

    h-d coulda grown buell market share by opening up separate dealers for them, or selling them in other dealers that aren’t h-d dealers. erik buell was wanting a watercooled buell for ten years, before he got it. the motor in the v-rod was initially slated for the buell, but the bean-counters nixed the plan and turned it into a cruiser motor instead. both buell and h-d likely would now be in much better shape if they’d developed the motor for erik’s buells as originally planned. if h-d didn’t wanna bother properly marketing buell, they shoulda sold the brand to buyers, (who are still interested in buying the company), instead of killing it off.

    h-d is now going after the foreign market in a big way – they’d do better having real motorcycles – like buells – to attract motorcyclists…

    buell will be back, as soon as erik’s non-compete clause expires.

    doug s.,
    long live buell; death to h-d!

  • hootowl

    Ralphie – I’ll race you. Me on a two cylinder 1125, and you on a one cylinder, oh hell, ANY size you want. Any takers on who would win?

    Reliability? Buell had ZERO mechanical DNFs last season.

    “Buell couldn’t build a bike that sold on its own merits”

    Buell saw 26 years of steadily increasing sales.

    You did not state a single fact in your entire post, and your opinions about Buell are demonstrably false.

  • read t.

    When the current 55 to 65 year old Harley buyers are in wheelchairs and walkers Harley will be out of business. Everybody else sees Harley for what it is – an outdated and overpriced motorcycle. HD cares more about selling clothes than they do about updating there out dated line of motorcycles. There bikes are heavy, ugly and have appeal to the moron crowd that likes loud exhaust and showing off. Killing Buell was a huge mistake and just when Beull was getting rid of the terrible HD motor in favor of the more modern and technologically advanced Rotax motor. Hell, with the Rotax motor I was even giving some thoughts of looking at a Buell. Of course I would not be seen dead in a HD dealership as I will not put up with there BS.

    • Scott Free

      So you whip yourself into a bloody froth about H-D’s decision to shut down Buell, and then you finish by noting that you were “giving some thoughts of looking at a Buell.”

      You’re a big part of the reason the company’s gone. Thinking about maybe looking at one someday (once they build a dealership just for you and others who are afraid they might be seen in the presence of Harley riders) doesn’t sell bikes. Doesn’t put money on the “revenue” side of the balance sheet. Doesn’t give the bean counters who are in charge of any publicly held company (not just Harley) any reason to say, “let’s keep the Buells and cut costs somewhere else.”

      We who actually own and ride Buells thank you so much for your support. We couldn’t have gotten where we are today without you.

  • Skinstains

    + 1 read t. Harley will die when it’s retarded customers do. Unfortunately that’s not soon enough for me. FTF Harley sucks a bag of dicks!

  • +1 to Skinstains

    Performance is speed, handling, acceleration, deceleration, braking and a host of other factors which allows you to meet danger and avoid it. All the tassels and official logo endorsed leather clad teddy bears in the world won’t save your ass if your machine isn’t up to the task, and a Harley is an inferior piece of shoddy production if I ever saw one. I wouldn’t bet my life riding a Harley. I’ve seen far more hurt Harley riders than I have ‘Jap’ riders. Riding upright and ‘comfy’ imposes a false sense of security on you that you cannot afford to have, if you want to ‘ride to live’. 1200cc Sportster with barely 80 horsepower. Don’t you see something wrong with that? It would be like owning an American car that had a 500 cubic inch V8 but yet had the same amount of power as a KIA inline four cylinder from Korea. I see a big problem with that, when it takes you three times the engine to make the same amount of power. Where is the technology in that? Oh, it rumbles and shakes windows when you ride past. Whoop-de-do. Let me cut off the mufflers of my Ninja, lose a lot of horsepower in the process, and I can probably do the same thing. Of course, I’ll be stepping back twenty years in technology when I do that, but that would put me about even with Harley Davidson then, now wouldn’t it?

    • Cowpieapex

      Something wrong with 80 hp?
      If you have a modicum of riding skill and a well engineered and maintaned motorcycle, 80hp will allow you to spank-frustrate-embarrass and humiliate boy racer posers in matching one-piece leathers in real road situations all day long. Stoplight drags accepted, the real joy in riding well comes with the knowledge of how to set up and operate any machine to its full potential. There are amongst us those few riders who will show you and I magic using devices that would loose any bench racing meet.
      And for you strip mall heros, keep an eye on your aerodynamic mirrors I think thats a 500hp Boss Hoss aimed straight up your……

      • pauljones

        Regardless of whether or not out opinions differ, you have my utmost respect.

        The same goes for Scott Free, Michael, W, and one or two others.

  • Start a new company Eric

    What’s stopping Buell from re-constituting the company? His engine supplier Bombardier is eager to continue. I understand the chassis components came from various Chinese suppliers who are presumably able to resume production. Is it because Harley Davidson has copyright and patent restrictions on various design elements of the bikes? I’m sure Buell could design around any of those restrictions with the help of a patent attorney (they’d have to be sold under a new trade name- Cruel perhaps). Plus he’s got a readymade dealer network with Bombardier Skidoo/Seadoo/CanAm.

    I realize venture capital is tight right now- but if he received several thousand deposits from customers I’m sure Bombardier and China Inc. would help set him up. Tessla motors had their customers place an 80% deposit into escrow prior to beginning production.

  • W

    Buell didn’t sell enough units.

    H-D’s mistake was not killing the project earlier. They weren’t going to sell in H-D dealerships and they weren’t going to sell at stand alone dealerships (as long as they had a Sportster core).
    And most people considered them kinda ugly.

    Buell was the answer to the question that only about 6000 people in the U.S. were asking. Hard to justify manufacturing vehicles on those numbers. I am not sure, but I don’t think world-wide sales added much.

    Buell owners are like Guzzi riders. Loyal to a fault, well educated inside the brand, and vocal has hell, but really not that many in absolute numbers.

    Wes – before you bash too much on cruisers ask Mr. Buell what he did in the H-D factory before Buell….

    Cruisers can be fun just like driving a 59 Caddy. Sure you can drive across the U.S in a Ferrari but you can drive across in a ’59 and have just as much fun, even if it doesn’t stop, steer, or turn well…..

  • Start a new company Eric

    I just noticed Stacius’ comment up at the top mentioning Eric is under a non-compete agreement for 15 months. That explains it.

    In the mean time I’m sure he’s busily cranking out CAD drawings and having several conference calls a week with Bombardier in preparation for his new product launch.

    • Scott Free

      I sincerely hope you’re right about Erik starting a new company once his non-compete with Harley expires. But… the speed with which the whole Erik Buell Racing thing came together after H-D pulled the plug makes me strongly suspect Erik was already in the process of leaving the (admittedly rather annoying) business of running a street bike company. Unless something dries up his supply of parts, or Bombardier or Polaris or somebody else makes him one hell of an offer (like his own, fully-funded race team, and somebody else responsible for deriving street bikes from the racers), I doubt he’ll want to get back into that grind. Heck, he’s been running a street bike company for what, 26 years? Guy deserves some time to do what he really loves.

      I’m just happy he was in the street bike business long enough to make my M2. That bike is about as perfect for me as a bike can get.

  • Reply

    Cowpieapex makes a good point but why would I still want to pay HD top dollar for yesterdays technology? Harley’s are way overpriced if you take into consideration you are buying 50 year old technology. I’ll spend my money on other bikes that keep up with the times and have less focus on selling aftermarket junk with there name on it.

  • Dave Tweed

    Cowpiepex you are very correct in hp is not at all what matters, that being said getting what you pay for means alot as well,22K for a cvo bagger with 85hp to the rear tire well you know. The other thing I think I must add is it isn’t a good thing when you can outride a motorcycle, I want a bike that can help me instead of hinder me when I make a boo boo and we all make boo boo’s. Harley isn’t it. Grinding a peg or board into the pavement and flinching in harriman state park can be a mistake that will cost you dearly. I know on any of my buells even the triumphs I owned, the bike would handle a sharp right or left hander I know the machine will take the hard inputs and hold the line. The harley me and the ALMIGHTY are having a meaningful get me outa this one please conversation.

    • Papasan in AZ

      Precisely Dave! My last such speedy request from the Maker (whichever you believe in) went unanswered, thus I landed in the ditch with Mr. Harley Davidson’s compliments…

      P.S. 1125cr makes the corners just a bit nicer without the pesky urgent desire to bellow the Lords name in vain.

  • Rich L.

    Easy guys! I have read all of these recent argumentative posts and it seems that each person has validity in each of their own minds. No one person is right about which bike is better than the next. I read a lot of facts being tossed back and forth along with some speculations about HD and so on…. We may never really know why HD decided to close Buell, but its all history now. I personally hope Erik has the opportunity to re-introduce his street legal motorcycle line in the near future as I enjoy riding each of the four Buells in my garage in the mountains where I live at my own pace. I also enjoy riding my Yamaha dual sport on occasion or maybe the Low rider for a little relaxing cruise. My point here is not to own a bunch of bikes and tell everyone about it but enjoy riding the bike that suits you best. If you enjoy riding as much as I do then maybe a couple of bikes will allow you the opportunity to choose depending on your mood, ride trip planned for the day, two up, long distance, off-road adventure or just a simple cruise. I have had the opportunity to own a vast assortment of bikes over the years and have noticed a common denominator between them all…They provided a whole lot of fun! Sure I liked one maybe better than another for some small reason or another, but when everything was said and done each bike performed as its designer had intended. You see my friends its not which bike is better than the next, but simply what a person gets from the bike they choose to ride. Some people may want to “fit in” to a specific crowd or scene. Some may want to “explore” many miles at a time. Some people may want to ride “two up” and enjoy each others company etc.. etc.. The bottom line is we all share the roads together! Give each other some respect out there and always the benefit of the doubt. Sure I may ride what some may consider “too fast” from time to time in the mountains but I do it as cautiously as possible and never jeopardizing a fellow rider on any type of bike by following to close or passing at an unsafe opportunity. Likewise I move over as a courtesy to others whom posses skills higher than mine or to let riders in a group stay together. So enough with the debates and on with respect for your motorcycling friends on the road ahead! Ultimately we all share motorcycling in common…ride safe.

  • Dangerous Harley

    I was just reading in this months Rider Magazine about the “NEW” 2010 Harley line-up. The “NEW” CVO Ultra Classic Electra Glide lists for $36,499. A person would have to be insane to pay HD that much money for that bike. The only thing “NEW” on it is the all black paint scheme – there rest of it is the same old 50 year old bike that HD has been pushing for years. Other motorcycle manufactures improve there bikes yearly with innovations like traction control and electronic suspension adjustment and engines that actually have some horsepower. Harley is selling you a motorcycle for $36,500 that has a 70 or 80 horsepower motor. This becomes a point where that bike is dangerous to ride. It is heavy and underpowered. I would hate to be on that pig with my wife and then try and pass a car. If you need power in an emergency it just is not there. HD should spend some money and design a modern motor, maybe a V4.

    • Scott Free

      “Harley is selling you a motorcycle for $36,500 that has a 70 or 80 horsepower motor. This becomes a point where that bike is dangerous to ride. It is heavy and underpowered. I would hate to be on that pig with my wife and then try and pass a car. If you need power in an emergency it just is not there.”

      I beg to differ. Even my 20-year-old Evo bagger has a better power-to-weight ratio than 90 percent of the cars on the road. 80RWHP in an 800 pound bike is “underpowered” only on a race track, and if you honestly believe you need more power “in an emergency” I would suggest you need to learn a bit more about riding on the street.

  • Blake

    Way to go Erik! That bike rocks. Hope it gets a fair chance to prove itself in racing. Go Erik Buell Racing!

    I was a Buell and Harley-Davidson enthusiast.

    I’m now just a Buell enthusiast. The heavy-handed and ill-conceived actions by HDI to kill off what was virtually certain to be a huge American success in the sport bike market put me off entirely from any H-D purchase, no matter how much I might like some of the bikes for cruising around on the lazy mood days.

    I can cruise lazily just fine on my Buell Ulysses XB12X and will do whatever I can through non-H-D aftermarket to keep it running well and strong. What an amazing motorcycle! Thanks again Erik and associates!

    Buell Forum Custodian for

  • Peter

    Maybe HD would be able to make better motorcycles if they weren’t spending so much money on ‘jury tests’ to figure out which exhaust sounds best, or a ’3 million pound room’ suspended in air.

    This video is pretty informative.

  • RanDry racn

    Harley left there fledging supporters in the dust. Literally. They’ve abandon the flat track program which put them were they are.
    Rumor had it a while back they were looking at producing a 450cc dirt bike. What happened to that logic ?
    Why did they never produce a single for the up and coming privateer ? They let Honda, Rotax, Suzuki take all the hardware for past several decades ( in singles). What about your proud past HD ? Do you realize how many dirt bikes you could have sold ?
    Buell was your platform to the new world and you crapped on it to stay with your chrome.
    I own a Glide and two S3′s (ones a drag bike). Love them both, but you better know how to service your own stuff. You’ll go broke doing the service with the dealer. They are easy to work on and get many miles for a little labor.
    That aside, metric sportbikes are great, but they have there place – A RACE TRACK

  • Thomas

    Good god I can not believe that. No wonder Harley is so behind the times. All they care about is how there motorcycle sounds. That is pure bullshit. HD better get there head out of there ass as they can’t sell there blacked out outlaw image forever. They are spending there money worrying how there bike sounds when it is cruising down the street. They should be spending there money on a modern suspension, engine and braking systems. Right now HD builds the most out of date bike on the market and now I can see why a Harley is a real piece of shit.

  • doug s.

    all you guys bashing h-d motorcycles miss the point completely. it doesn’t matter what kinda bike they are – good or bad. (btw, imo 70-80hp is plenty enough hp for an 800lb bike w/two 250lb riders – still decent-enough hp, especially when compared to many of the cages on the road.) anyway, what matters is what moronic assholes the folks who run the company are – and that is why i say death to h-d.

    doug s.

  • Tom

    Anyone who says that they do not understand the hatred toward Harley must be telling the truth. They do not understand because they do not want to understand. The evidence against such a pretentious, arrogant, quitter company is legion.

    William S. Harley was an ENGINEER. Does H-D have any engineers not dedicated solely to sound?

  • Stacius
  • Tom McNicholas

    They’ll still race it against 600cc bikes, I’m sure.

  • Dude, really?

    Read the article above your comment there Tom.

  • Just Wondering

    I wonder what the 2011 Harley lineup of ashtrays and clocks are going to look like? I need a new clock and I just got the new 2010 line of Harley panties. I sure hope they can get next years line of bikes to even sound badder. I love the new black paint job as it is less chrome for me to polish before I go out riding around the block.

  • Juke Joint Jezebel

    You losers have this much time to write this much crap about one lousy article? What a colossal waste of time, losers.

    • Cowpieapex

      I think the coments count can be used to seperate the cycle trivia from articles that reveal what is really going on in the culture.
      This demonstrates the most significant aspect/ differance of on-line media.
      Unfortunately if you are just online because your too cheap to pop for a copy of Cycle World you’r going to have to deal with the rabble. Just like walking into a scooter bar for free drinks, but without the risk of STDs.And I don’t mean an overhead valve, narrow-front,softail HD.
      And I do note that you also commented. I look forward to your reply.

  • Mike

    Holy shit! I can not believe how much time, effort and money that goes into the Harley “Sound”.

    It shows where Harley’s piriorites are for sure. What a joke!!

  • dodge

    Buell gave HD a fighting chance to make, I’m not so sure…

  • http://billeevee billy venticinque

    I’ve been reading the very entertaining comments here. One item-fact-which no one has even mentioned,which is serious and noteworthy is this: For all the money it costs to have a genuinely American HD, some 80% (80% !) of parts are made in the orient. The Gold wing was 80% manufactured in the USA. Check it out,my fellow American,