Front 3/4 view shows just how radically different
the 1190RS is from the 1125RR. Side pods
For a long time we wondered what Erik Buell could do without Harley-Davidson’s corporate goons second-guessing his every move. Now we know. Less than 16 months after Harley shuttered Buell Motorcycles for good, Erik Buell Racing is up and running and ready to begin delivery of its radical 1190RS. Gorgeous, technologically advanced and unquestionably exotic, this is everything we dreamed an American sportbike could be.
This is not a re-skinned 1125R. “Nearly every component, from the front axle to the rear wheel bearings, is new or heavily modified,” Erik Buell says. “A stupid amount of work went into this bike.” Fuel is still carried in the frame, but that frame casting is all-new and narrower, with cutouts to clear clip-on handlebars and an airbox that’s twice as big as before. Wheels, suspension, brakes, bodywork, structural components and controls are likewise new and unique. Rotax-built 1125cc motors are converted to 1190cc at EBR’s East Troy, Wisconsin, production facility with oversized, 106mm forged pistons, titanium valves, race cams, forged and machined connecting rods and much more. Expect power output similar to Ducati’s 1198R and an even lighter weight—Buell says he’ll need to add ballast to meet the AMA’s 380-lb. minimum for Superbikes.
EBR has assembled a staff of 20 employees—many re-hired from the old company—and hopes to deliver the first of 100 street-legal customer bikes as soon as June. Base price is $39,995; the Carbon Edition seen here will cost slightly more. EPA testing was finished at press time, and racing homologation was still in progress. Ironically, the Superbike homologation special might be less exotic, as AMA rules don’t allow carbon-fiber bodywork, fairing mounts or airboxes, which are all standard on the 1190RS. Buell hoped to have the machine cleared for Geoff May to debut it at the Miller Motorsports Park round in late May.
The single, rim-mounted Zero Torsional Load
front brake remains, though the components are
Cast-magnesium rear wheel is one of the trickest
components. Though difficult to see here,
A steering damper is something we’ve never seen
on production Buell motorcycles, and under