I’ve communicated with the people at Erik Buell Racing to see if they could give up any more information about the 1190RS street bike, their schecule for producing it and making it available, etc. Their response is essentially as follows:
Currently there is no information available from us on the 1190RS, other than that it is in development. What surprises us is how many people are already publishing specifications, business plans and limitations, and more. Even though the information they have is incorrect. Not sure what to do about that other than to let time take its course and as the facts are released then people will know them. There is much information that simply cannot be released yet.
In other words…nothing.
As far as the speculation goes about EBR’s “specifications, business plans and limitations, and more”, well, all you can really say is that this sort of thing inevitable happens when you’re unwilling–or unable–to provide any solid information. Under the press of deadlines, reporters will often publish something that they hear from someone who they trust, who has been reliable in the past with inside info…and it’s still wrong.
About all you can do is ignore it, and release information as you’re able.
Yesterday I got an official press release from EBR that specifically mentioned the 1190RS again, saying once more that it is “under development”. Other than that, it looks like we’ll have to wait until February for hard and fast–and reliable–news about Buell’s plans.
There is this, however:
Click for the hi-res version. I’m hoping that won’t be the production exhaust.
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.
Previously, I’ve reported on the American dirt bike manufacturer ATK getting into the street bike business. Previously, ATK had a deal to assemble and badge 250cc and 650cc Hyosung (S&T Motors) sport bikes and cruisers here in the US. Well, last week, during Speed Week at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, ATK unveiled an entirely new cruiser, a 700cc bike for the US market.
Not only that, but S&T’s chief operating officer, Jimmy Park, piloted the new cruiser to a speed in excess of 100MPH on the salt flats.
Details and specs on the new cruiser are lacking, but presumably will be released in due course. The full press release from ATK is here (PDF).
Vacation is over, so it’s back to our regularly scheduled motoblogging.
This vacation was a cruise to Mexico. I mention this because it was interesting to see the differences in the motorcycling communities in other countries.
Mexico is definitely NOT a sportbike or cruiser environment. I saw exactly one sportbike, a CBR1000RR that was on sale in Mazatlan. I saw a couple of cruisers, including one Harley-Davidson, in Mazatlan as well. The remainder were scooters or 125-250cc dual sports. In Puerto Vallarta, it’s almost entirely dual sports.
That city is a special case, though, because it sits at the foot of the jungle, with huge amounts of water runoff from the rain forest. As such, many of the streets consist not of asphalt pavement, but fist-sized stones set in concrete. City driving there is much like a well-maintained fire road here. You need a Dual Sport just to drive around downtown, as the even the best-maintained stone roads are suspension-punishing monsters.
Motorcyclists in Mexico also ride with a mix of elan and courage that is…well…frightening. But then, automobile drivers do, too.
They have mandatory helmet laws in Mexico, but they certainly aren’t fanatics about it. That is to say, most motorcyclists obey it…at least with some kind of helmet, anyway. Whether it’s a motorcycle helmet is a different story.
Anyway, it’s good to be back.