Video: building an EBR 1190RS

Dailies -



Good rock and an awesome motorcycle. We wouldn’t expect anything less of Erik Buell. He and his small team convert each EBR 1190RS from a Rotax 1125 by hand at their tiny East Troy, Wisconsin garage. In this video, you can follow that process from build to dyno test.

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Music by Erik Buell and The Thunderbolts.

Thanks for the tip, GHoover.

  • NickP

    I think I saw a dust molecule on the crank ;)

    Seriously though, you can’t beat hand-built in a U.S. garage. Erik, you know I’d buy one if I could!

  • Scott Pargett

    That’s about the same speed as cheap Asian labor.

  • Wereweazle

    That top photo suggests someone might need to see the school guidance councilor…

    I didn’t expect it to sound that good. Rarely am I impressed by an exhaust note from youtube, but damn that sounds nice.

  • Thom

    Watching a Master Mechanic build what I have no doubt is a brilliant motor , then hearing it run .

    Gets no better than this first thing Saturday Morning !

    I’ll bet Harley will rue the day they let go of Buell .

    Bet Buell won’t be though !

    Rock On Eric !!!!!

    • BeastIncarnate

      I decided that I ought to start my Saturday off in the same way. It’s going to be a good day.


    Damn, it does have a sweet sound!

  • Paul

    Pure sex.

  • Tony

    Love the way Erik & the Thunderbolt’s ‘Anthem’ fits so well with what they’re doing.

  • Scott-jay

    Are motorcycle engines assembled by robots? That’s a video I’d enjoy, too.

  • slowestGSXRever

    I friggin’ love engine porn videos, you have no idea. Awesome way to start Saturday morning.

  • Glenngineer

    Awesome video.

  • Paul

    Up the highway, not across the street.

    • Core

      Reference to the bandaid?

      • Paul


  • Tony

    Interesting to note that people often say: “Yeah, it’s an American bike, but where’s the engine made?” In the case of the 1190, my understanding is the answer is: “East Troy Wis. – from Austrian and American components.”

  • Core

    It was pretty cool seeing an motorcycle engine being built. (Good video quality/angles/close ups and a nice soundtrack was like icing on the cake)

  • Gene

    Damn. I watched that 4 times in a row. I only *wish* I was 10% of that good…

  • Brook

    Anyone know how long it takes to build the engine in real time?

    Oh yeah…for those that subscribe, the album is available on eMusic.

  • Jim

    Great build and awesome exhaust note.

  • RT Moto

    I can’t wait to hear one in person!

  • mugget

    Great video. Somehow watching that vid it seems like the engine is not really all that complicated? And usually when I see anything of the inside of an engine I am immediately confused and break into a cold sweat – but I enjoyed that vid!

    • noone1569

      I thought this same thing. After watching it twice, I almost convinced myself that I could do that. . . yeah right.

  • Gene

    Since I can’t buy an 1190RS, I went to iTunes and bought Erik’s album. It’s the only way I can afford a Buell!

  • DoctorNine

    If that doesn’t get your gearhead juices flowing, you aren’t alive.

  • Spencer

    Where is the assembly lube?

    • David

      Yeah, his hands looked wet putting in the camshaft retainers, like very light oil, but no moly on the crank or cams…

      Probably skipped that part :-)

    • ontheroad

      Crank and cam bearing are likely lubed before assembly. I think alot of manufacturers are moving away from moly use, some even caution against it’s use in workshop manuals, and all the modern plane bearings I’ve seen have fancy mystery coatings applied during production.

      I was more curious about the omitted checking/setting of valve clearances. They edited a good deal of the minutia of motor assembly out.

  • ontheroad

    Thanks guys, always love to see this kind of footage. Can’t wait to see one of these things in person!

  • Mark D

    Sick build video, but Erik should leave the music to the professionals. You don’t see me building engines, after all ;)