2012 Erik Buell Racing 1190RS | First Ride

No excuses

By Aaron Frank, Photography by Brian J. Nelson

tech SPEC

A Buell 1125R with a bigger, better engine, normal chassis geometry and a 70-lb. weight loss.

Aprilia RSV4 Factory, BMW S1000RR, Ducati 1198SP, KTM RC8R.


Price (as tested): $43,999
Engine type: l-c 72-deg. V-twin
Valve train: DOHC, 8v
Displacement: 1190cc
Bore x stroke: 106.0 x 67.5mm
Compression: 13.6:1
Fuel system: EFI
Clutch: Wet, multi-plate, slipper
Transmission: 6-speed
Claimed horsepower: 175 bhp @ 9750 rpm
Claimed torque: 97 lb.-ft. @ 9500 rpm
Frame: Aluminum twin-spar
Front suspension: 43mm Ohlins inverted fork with adjustable spring preload, high/low-speed compression and rebound damping
Rear suspension: Ohlins shock with adjustable spring preload, high/low-speed compression and rebound damping
Front brake: Nissin eight-piston caliper, 386mm disc
Rear brake: HB Performance two-piston caliper, 206mm disc
Front tire: 120/70ZR-17 Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP
Rear tire: 190/55ZR-17 Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP
Rake/trail: 22.3°/3.8 in.
Seat height: 30.5 in.
Wheelbase: 55.4 in.
Fuel capacity: 4.5 gal.
Claimed curb weight: 384 lbs.
Color: Carbon Fiber/Black
Available: Now
Warranty: 24 mo., unlimited mi.
Contact: Erik Buell Racing
2799 Buell Dr. #C
East Troy, WI 53120

VERDICT 5 out of 5 stars

Yes, it really is that good. Wave that flag with pride!

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Way to expensive! Kool bike but not 44k
Comparing the bike to how you imagine not-yet-released bikes may perform?  Come on.

Price reductions come through volume.  Amortizing the costs of all of the tooling (molds for bodywork and cast metal parts, jigs and fixtures, etc.) drives up prices of these first bikes.

Other ways to cut costs include substitution of less expensive Showa suspension components for the Ohlins, aluminum wheels instead of magnesium, and cast parts rather than the CNC-machined parts used in the limited production bike.

Rotax could deliver ready-to-install 1190 engines that don't require that Buell disassemble each engine, swap out clutches, valves, pistons, rods, and cranks, bore cylinders, etc.  It costs a fortune in labor and results in a lot of money being spent for stock engine parts that are then not used.
From everything I've read Erik was targeting the Ducati 1098/1198, he seems to have come close enough there, yet Ducati is ready to roll out their Superquadrata, not to mention the Kaws and Honda. It's a tough segment, I think you really need to aim two years ahead not at present targets.

I don't know how he's going to chop enough expense off that bike to make it competitive with foreign companies.
Now is the time for the Buell haters to STFU and learn something from this master class in motorcycle engineering. We are all tired of reading post after post from Harley apologists and insecure owners of lesser sport bikes.
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