How do you turn a profit operating a tiny European race team that runs bikes from a tiny American manufacturer? If you’re Pegasus, you leverage your experience and expertise racing Buells into designing parts for the hundreds of thousands of brand loyalists who suddenly find themselves hung out to dry by Harley. First, they unveiled the EBR 1190RR Typhon and plan to sell conversion parts for the 1125R and CR, now they’ve designed this Cerberus hardtail to accommodate any air-cooled XB or tube frame motor. The idea here is to combine race performance with chopper looks at an affordable price.
Pegasus operates the largest Erik Buell Racing race team in the world, but it’s an all-volunteer operation. Despite that, they took an EBR 1190RR to victory in the European Sound of Thunder championship and routinely beat bikes like the BMW S1000RR and Ducati 1198 on the track.
“We are pushing forward with projects like the Typhon and developing additional parts, but we’re also looking backwards to the XB and old tube frame Buells. There are nearly 140,000 bikes sold and somebody needs to take care of them,” say Jens Krüper, the team’s manager and CEO of the newly-minted VTC Sweden AB, which will be handling sales of spinoff products like Cerberus.
The Cerberus is the team’s first foray into offering complete chassis kits for Buell models and comes in response to consumer demand for a conversion kit. “We looked at what’s on the marked, but found all of it was too heavy and wouldn’t go around corners. So, we started development in 2009, but then Harley shut down Buell and we put all our power into racing the EBR superbike in 2010. We won the title with Harald Kitsch, so that mission’s been completed. No we can go back to work on products,” continues Jens.
Since Pegasus is a race team, Cerberus isn’t just another hardtail Chopper. Not only does it accept Buell XB wheels, forks and engine, but it comes with enough clearance for real cornering. 52 degrees of lean is possible on both sides, according to static measurements. Like the Typhon, the entire Cerberus project was executed in CAD, which makes it possible to CNC all the parts.
“Our prototypes were made in the usual steel tubes, but the plan is to use TIG welded 631 Reynolds tubing, which should really bring the weight down,” describes Jens. “The goal for the Cerberus weight is 180kg ready-to-run. We are, at the moment, about 8kg over that, but we have a steel tank and other heavy stuff on the showbike that won’t carry over to production.”
The engine in this bike is a 1,200cc XB unit with 42mm Mikuni flat-slide carbs and a Dyna 2000i ignition that’s good for 100bhp. Further work has gone into the BKG triple clamp which carries adjustable clip-ons with a “dogbone” design that allows for variations in height. The oil tank is finned and mounted on the front of the engine for effective cooling.
“On the first chassis, the oil tank was too high to bring the heavy battery as low as possible. But, we found a Lithium Ion batter from BF which weighs less than 900 grams, so we could move it up and bring the oil tank lower.”
The self-supporting tail was made by PRT and doesn’t include any metal support structure at all. The ZTL brake is a combination of an EBR disc with an ISR caliper. Wheels are tubeless spoked items from Alpina Raggi and the big analog speedo and shift light were made by Motogadget. The forward controls look like superbike rearsets and were made by LSL.
“It feels like a moped when you grab the handlebars, it’s so light,” says Jens. “And what weight there is is very low.”
“You can bore the XB12 engine with the stock stroke to 1,430cc, but that 100bhp should do the trick,” says Jens. “We geared the bike with our own sprockets so that it maxes out at 112mph. The acceleration in comination with the traction of that long chassis should be very competitive. For the ‘Busas, you push the NOS button.”
A wet NOS system was designed by Wizards of NOS to delivery an extra 25bhp at the push of a button.
The frame has already passed Swedish road-worthiness regulations and Pegasus is evaluating whether or not to submit it for EU type approval. It can accomodate all XB and Sportster motors. As a neat feature, the frame doesn’t require the XB’s swingarm pivots, which often break off in a crash. That means you’ll be able to build a Cerberus from a crashed XB for under €10,000.
“It’s light, powerful and simple,” says Thomas Wanner, the owner of Pegasus Race Team. “We’ve been thinking about a suspension version, maybe in kind of a roadster frame. We just need to do our homework on the market.”
The Cerberus took first place in the Bike Builder’s Trophy at the Stockholm Motorcycle Show last weekend.