Making 11bhp more and weighing a full 20 pounds less, this fully-faired superbike was intended to replace the Buell 1125R for the 2011 model year. Other advantages? Chain drive, Showa BPF forks and forward-facing, side-mounted radiators that draw air through the front fairing opening before exhausting it through slats on the sides, eliminating the awkward radiator cowls and running more efficiently. Inside the 1125cc Rotax v-twin bore is down, stroke is up, valves are titanium and the compression ratio is increased to 12.8:1 resulting in identical peak torque delivered in a flatter curve.
The Buell Barracuda 2 was supposed to be the Buell that we’d finally not
have to make excuses for. Dropping the weight to 355lbs (161kg) dry
would have made it about 22lbs lighter than the Ducati 1198, making up
for the power deficit: 157bhp and 82lb-ft would have seen it down 13bhp
and 9lb/ft. The chain drive, decreased unsprung weight (.75lbs
front/3lbs rear) and high-quality suspension could have combined with
the hugely stiff frame to finally deliver the handling the Buell’s spec
sheet always promised, but the bike’s reality never delivered.
The Barracuda 2 would have been a looker too, adapting the 1125R’s
awkwardness into a purposeful angularity that better compliments the
huge mechanical elements of the fuel-filled frame and heavily braced
swingarm. Sadly, Cycle World, which grabbed an exclusive last ride,
didn’t bother publishing any photo angles aside from these two or any information aside from the above. You can
read the May issue online here.