EBR 1190RS: from great tragedy comes great triumph

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17 months ago, the hearts of motorcyclists everywhere broke when a talented, passionate engineer released a video announcing that his little American sportbike brand had been killed by its evil corporate overlords. Today, Erik Buell Racing releases its first new streetbike, the EBR 1190RS. Gone are the air-cooled engines and bad boardroom decisions which saw sport tourers released as sportbikes. Gone are the compromises and gone is the cost cutting. Instead, we have a no-holds-barred, ass-kicking American superbike that’s going to show the Japanese and Europeans what a fast motorcycle can be. Congratulations Erik, we’re sure this is the start of many more great things.

Compare this video to this photo.

Included in this photo gallery are 26 exclusive, high-res photos snapped for us at the Indy Dealer Expo this morning by Matt from Footshifted and Scott from Cleveland CycleWerks.

  • http://bloodfalcons.blogspot.com motoguru

    Not really much more to say besides “fuck yes!”.

    • http://www.facebook.com/beastincarnate BeastIncarnate

      I’ll add a “Hell yeah!”


      • DoctorNine

        Goddamn Right!

  • Frosty_spl

    Bimota who? Gawd that bike is so sexy!

  • Will

    Poor bike has to suffer some silly laws, I take it. How many screws do you figure one has to take out to replace the mirrors and tail-light scaffolding? (What do you call that? Armature? Anglerfish lure?)

    • aristurtle

      Look at the close-ups. Some of this stuff looks like it’s designed to be taken off quickly. I think there’s two exposed screws holding the bracket for that giant muffler on, for example.

    • MotoRandom

      I was amazed at how simple it was to pop the D.O.T. reflectors off of my XB. It’s almost as if Eric wanted it to be easy. Then again, the old Buell website had this disclaimer on all of the race only aftermarket parts:”You’re an adult. Act like one”. Nothing like a stern finger waving to make you keep your bike street legal.

  • Andreas


    Where is the air intake, and no shock linkage?

  • Nick

    Congratulations Erik, best of luck to you! I can’t afford your current model but I’m sure I’ll be buying a different one soon enough :)

  • Barry

    At least you shouldn’t feel the need to blow another 5k on carbon fiber googaws…

  • Thomas

    …strange – ventilator is not fixed! How should that work? Hope that will be fixed soon, bike seems to be half finished yet… :-(
    Would like to ride teh 1190 road-legal, not only on the track!

  • Courtney

    The bike in these photos is street legal, having passed all testing.

    What an amazing machine. I’ve been riding Buells for 23 years and this one is a game changer.

    The leash is loose.


    • noone1569

      Couldn’t have said it better, Court. Glad to see you’re over here on HFL too.

    • http://rohorn.blogspot.com rohorn

      Looking forwards to the second book…

  • wwalkersd

    I thought H-D owned all Erik’s patents and wasn’t gonna let him use them, but I see he got the ZTR brake on there.

    With all that carbon fiber, a garage tipover would probably cost you more than a new GSXR! And that “seat” is a joke, right?

    Cool bike, though, and I wish EBR all the best.

    • Thomas

      ZTL2… ;-)

  • http://greatjoballweek.blogspot.com/ Case

    Damn this thing is hot. I don’t mean the looks, I mean the performance. Can’t wait to see this bish on the track.

    • Thomas

      …check the video-channel of pegasusraceteam.com on youtube and you might see some features about the 1190R in action on the track! This is a killer-bike – winning all races last year – always with pole position and fastest lap – also against IL4′s like the BMW S1000RR and the V4 like teh Aprilia RSV4…

      • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

        If you guys would send us that DVD of race footage we’d have made a nice video by now!

        • Thomas

          …sorry Wes, thought, that Jens already did that – and he thought the same about me… Will call him tomorrow to fix that! End of March you’ll get some video-footage of the Typhon on road and track….

  • T Diver

    That is pretty nice. Screw you terrorists!

  • http://overshadowed.com/ overunder

    This bike represents the most American of things, the come back story! Thank you for making this and congrats Eric, makes me happy to live in this country.

  • Tony

    Awesome! Amazing! Words fail me. When HD shut down Buell, I thought I’d have to wait another 30 years to see something like this. That front brake disck looks pretty trick. Did anyone else notice that it looks like ceramic sandwiched between the metal surfaces (photo 13)?

    • Thomas

      …that is just the standard-finned brake rotor! No ceramic in there ;-)

  • http://www.firstgenerationmotors.blogspot.com Emmet

    uhh can we talk about how sleek and sexy this bike is? So much carbon fiber… gorgeous subframe… I wonder how much that exhaust bracket weighs? You could smoke its weight in weed in no time. Maybe that’s what Eric Buell did in that crazy smile picture!

  • Liquidogged

    I dare anyone to find five things on this bike that aren’t made of carbon fiber, but could be. I’ll make my list:

    taillight bracket
    rear shock reservoir mount
    aaaaannnd I’m spent.


    • Zach

      Rear hugger if it isn’t already an extension of the swingarm?

  • je

    First GM makes a CTS-V wagon in sparkly black and now EBR makes this carbon fiber two wheeled god. If land rover releases an up to date Defender 90 my dream garage will be complete.

    That back wheel. Speechless…

  • seanslides

    When I pull the fairings off my GSXR, I look at the frame, the motor, the subframe, the wirings harness, pretty much everything, and I’ve always wondered how things would turn out if you got rid of everything extra, lost a few pounds out of the engine cases, ditched the beefy subframe, etc.

    Other than the stuff required by the man, there seems to be no such bullshit on this bike. Just motorcycle, with a small side of mirrors emissions and lights. I can’t wait to see what these things do.

  • http://www.lgdm.fr stempere

    Damn that bike is beautifull.
    Any word on euro ditribution (i doubt it would pass euro3 as-is, even with that exhaust)? Not that i could afford it, let’s just call it wishfull thinking.

    European blokes will now drool over this bike, wich instantly became the hottest exotic around here. Congrats Erik.

    • smoke4ndmears

      From Buell’s mouth via RRW:

      “We’re just finishing up the EPA and DOT testing, and the emissions look really, really good,” said Buell. “We put a couple of catalytic converters in the muffler. It has a secondary muffler because it has a pretty high output engine, and we wanted to make sure it was well legal. And it’s actually 2 decibels under the limit and well controlled. But to do that we needed more muffler than we could fit under the bike. There just wasn’t enough room. And it also makes us world-legal because you have to have a high, rear-pointing exhaust outlet for Japan to pass the sound test. So it will be legal there.”

  • Kentaro

    I love how the “RS” on the side of the bike has the American flag within the letters. Bravo!

  • Corey

    Do these still employ the oil in swing arm design like the HD era Buells?

    • smoke4ndmears


  • Isaac

    This bike makes me proud to be an American. I hope he gets a production certificate soon with some coporate backing for mass production so use mere mortal’s can get one.


    Sweet ride,where do I sign?

  • DoctorNine

    This thing just screams:

    “Why? Because we CAN that’s why!”

    • dux

      I’d estimate it says:
      “Why? Fuck you [big manufacturers] we can kick your ass, that’s why!”
      Or at least I hope so :)

  • Core

    I looked at image 14, seen the woman with boots in the background, and thinking about what happened with the creator of this bike recently.. and the crap he went through. I thought this song was fitting.


  • steve

    It’s a small detail, but I wish the mirrors were up-swept (devil horns) instead of down-drooped (sad flower petals)…

  • ward

    I have to be the only person thinking Tonka Toy …. Butt F-N UGLEYin my eye, but I am glad to see E B back and out from under the “removable tattoo & clothing people” mentality.
    I am sure of one thing, it is fast……

  • ezblast

    With EBR’s attention to details, especially the last few years, I’m sure the fit and finish is perfect. To see that bike is to want it, every detail handled cleanly and made to do one thing extremely well – go as fast as a rider wants to go around a track, the rider knows the quality of every component, and the engineering behind the bike means no excuses for the rider. This bike simply says it like it is – it’s the real deal.