American sport bike builder Erik Buell is back in the street game with the just-announced 1190RS
Legendary American sport bike builder Erik Buell, who put himself on the motorcycle map with Harley-Davidson powered sport bikes, is getting back into the sport bike business a little over a year after Buell Motorcycles was shuttered by parent company Harley-Davidson in December 2009. Buell showed off a new Erik Buell Racing 1190RS at last week’s Indianapolis Dealer Expo, and will be the guest of honor at the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum’s annual Breakfast at Daytona fund raiser.
Hall of Famer Buell will host the breakfast March 11, 2011, at the Daytona Club in the infield of Daytona International Speedway, and you can bet the major topic of conversation will be his re-emergence into the sport bike scene with the new EBR 1190RS. Developed from Buell’s 1190RR race bike, which was developed from the 1125 series Buell launched just before Harley shut it down, the 1190RS is a street version of the 1190RR that EBR raced in the 2010 Superbike season.
For a brief time at least, it looked like Harley’s closure of the Buell division would put an end to any dreams Erik Buell might have had to continue building an American sport bike. Importantly, when Harley killed the line, its contract with Buell restricted him from building street bikes. Buell could still build race bikes, however, and in short order he set up Erik Buell Racing and launched into building the 1190RR. Now that his agreements with Harley have ended, Buell’s free to market a street bike, and the new 1190RS is the result.
The 1190RS makes extensive use of exotic materials, including a cast-aluminum frame and special magnesium alloy wheels using a new casting method that makes them far less damage prone than standard magnesium racing wheels. Power comes from an 1,190cc version of the Rotax-built 72-degree V-twin used in the 1125. The race version produces 185 rear-wheel horsepower. None of this will come cheap, of course. Base models start at $39,995 and can hit $50,000 fully optioned. Exclusivity is further guaranteed by the fact that only 100 will be built. – Richard Backus