Buell 1190RR Breaks Cover

Erik Buell Racing has a facebook page with pics of the the new 1190RR being prepped for shipment to a racer in Germany.  It’s a nice looking bike.

Buell Racing 1190RR Buell Racing 1190RR Buell Racing 1190RR Buell Racing 1190RR

Erik Buell can’t build streetbikes until February 2011, according to his non-compete clause with Harley-Davidson, so you won’t see one of these screaming up the street any time soon.  But, clearly, there are things going on at EBR that might betoken some future streetbike model.  And I’m sure that there are a number of people who’d like to speak to Eric Buell about opportunities as soon as they are legally able.

What I find really interesting here is that motorcycle didn’t just materialize out of whole cloth.  I mean, all du respect to Eric Buell as a motorcycling genius or whatever, but I find it hard to believe that the 1190RR’s motor just materialized out of thin air between the time Harley dumped Buell and now.  It hasn’t even been a year yet. So, it seems to me that this was a concept that had to have been on the drawing board prior to the Buell shutdown.

Harley Marketing to the Perv Community.
Harley Marketing to the Perv Community.

Jebus Cripes, that decision still doesn’t make much sense to me.  Imagine what the response would have been to an American sportbike in the same performance class as a Ducati 1198 or Aprilia RSV4.  For a company that became a textbook business school marketing case study for the way they sold the Harley “lifestyle” to the baby boomers, they are slack-jawed morons when it comes to marketing to the younger biking community. I mean, just look at this Harley ad.

That’s your baby-boomer wet-dream right there.  Old men getting married to under-18 girls.  Great image to put in your advertising, MoCo.  Classy.

Not that anybody believes a 17 year-old girl would f*ck that hairy pervert.

But, that’s Harley-Davidson for you.  They are so focused in on the baby-boomers that they just don’t seem to have a clue about how to reach out to anyone younger.  They can build all then trikes they want, to keep their geriatric customer base riding along for a few more short years, but without learning how to hook up to younger riders, they are going to face trouble in another 10 years or so.

And they already had a brand in Buell that they could have built into a sportbike–and maybe a racing–powerhouse…and they just threw it away.

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Buell Racing’s New Motorcycle

Buell 1190RR
Buell 1190RR

Erik Buell Racing has unveiled it’s first brand new racing bike, the 1190RR.  the 1190cc 72° V-Twin shaves 30 pounds off of the 1125RR, giving it a dry weight of 360lbs, with engine output sporting a boost to 185HP, and 93lb-ft of torque.

That puts the 1190RR’s specs into WSBK territory.  And in that vein, the bike is kitted out to full superbike race spec.

The multiplate-slipper clutched transmission can put that power to the rear wheel in six different gears, via a chain final drive.

It’s also a pretty sharp-looking bike, with a full fairing, instead of the controversial air scoops on the side.

So, I guess the only question remaining about this race bike is…where can you race it.  It isn’t homologated for either AMA or WSBK, so that’s right out.  And, of course, it’s not street-legal in any way, shape or form.

So, at the moment, even if you do get one, you still have to figure out what you can do with it.

Free Erik? Done.

As of this afternoon, Harley Davidson announced that Erik Buell has left the MoCo, and is opening a race shop.  His new venture, Erik Buell Racing LLC, will specialize in creating race-use only 1125r motorcycles under a lciense from Harley-Davidson.

As such, he will no longer be an employee of Harley-Davidson, and will once again be directly involved in the motorcycle racing world.

The fascinating question is whether or not this is just a stop-gap venture to take up his time until February 2011, when his no-compete contract with H-D expires, and he is free to join up with another motorcycle company to begin building bikes for the rest of us again.

The full press release from Harley-Davidson is below the fold.

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