Erik Buell readies for a comeback
His non-compete agreement with Harley-Davidson is still active, but Erik Buell Racing is already looking ahead to February, 2011, when he can once again begin making street bikes. The marketing for the EBR 1190RS has already begun, however, with a cool new EBR logo on all the standard clothing.
The 1190RS is supposed to deliver 180HP at the rear wheel, putting it smack dab into competition with the Ducati 1198, BMW S1000RR, and other superbikes. That’s about all we know about the bike so far, though EBR is promising more info next week.
What we don’t know yet, is how EBR is actually going to manufacture it. EBR has the bike in pre-production/prototype form, but so far EBR doesn’t have a manufacturing facility that is capable of producing anything like an acceptable number of bikes. Especially bikes that can be built with enough economy of scale to make them affordable to anything other than the extremely well-heeled rider. Nor do they yet have investors who are willing to pony up the money to build one in these tough economic times.
The marketing for the bike is also being done not through the EBR web site, but rather through Erik Buell’s Rat Pak Records web site. That’s an interesting strategy, i.e., an apparent attempt to market a bike that Buell isn’t legally allowed to produce. If Harley-Davidson really wants to push it, they would have an excellent chance to get an injunction against EBR/Rat Pak to cease and desist marketing the 1190RS immediately, especially since there’s not any appreciable degree of real separation between Eric Buell, EBR, and Rat Pak.
I have to say, though, it would be sweet to finally see an American street bike that has the same power specs as the S1000RR hitting the road. I’ve dropped a line to EBR see if we can set up a brief discussion about the company, the 1190RS, and other possible subjects of interest.