Finally, a Buell motorcycle regular people can buy—though at $19,000, it’s still pretty pricey. But, maybe it’s worth it. Coming in at a claimed 419 lbs. the Buell guys have gotten a solid 185 HP and a monstrous 101.6 lb-ft of torque from the Rotax Helicon V-Twin motor. Other Buell-y things, like the fuel in frame design and perimeter front brake rotor are still there. All that power doesn’t seem to have made it very thirsty, though, as EBR is claiming an average 40 MPG. That’s 4 MPG better than I’m getting from my VFR1200F. It’s got a pretty cool instrument panel, too, that I really like, consisting of a color TFT display. It’s like riding a motorcycle from the future! Except that it uses gasoline, instead of fusion, or unicorn tears, or whatever power source they use in the Star Trek era.
It’s also the first EBR production bike to incorporate traction control—21 levels of it, in fact. The headlights are an LED setup that puts out the legally allowed maximum 2,000 lumens. EBR also says it’ll be competing in World Superbike racing in 2014.
There’s a clickable wallpaper gallery below. The full specs of the 1190RX can be found here.
Erik Buell left—or, more properly—was kicked out of Harley-Davidson in 2009. A non-compete agreement kept out of making streetbikes for several months, but he came back with the 1190RS when he was able. But, since he only made 100 of them, and they cost forty grand, you didn’t get one and I didn’t either. But, based on an announcement today—and securing some financing from GE capital and a partnership with Indian motorcycle giant Hero MotoCorp, that may be changing.
The secret is finally out! Here is the high-res image of the new 1190RS from Erik Buell.
As you can see, it’s a race bike, albeit one that has mirrors and turn signals grafted on to make it street legal. The body is all lightweight carbon fiber, and a small number–just enough for racing homologation–will be hand-produced. No word on the cost yet, but you can bet the price will be in the jumbo jet altitude. More reasonably priced street models are planned for later, although that will take investors and production facilities.
I do have to say, though…that exhaust isn’t doin’ it for me.
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.
Here’s a picture of an Erik Buell Racing 1190RR. As we all know, the 1190 is a pure race bike, designed solely for the track, and destined to never, ever be ridden on the street.
That’s why this image is so odd. How does Buell ever expect to win races on a sport bike that’s dragging around the extra weight of turn signals and radiator fans. That’s just insane. Why, the next thing you know, they’ll be sticking rear-view mirrors on it, in defiance of all logic!
What possible reason could there be for putting turn signals and radiator fans on a race bike? We may never know the solution to this impenetrable mystery.
UPDATE: Hey! Those aren’t just turn signals. That looks like a license plate holder. But that simply can’t be, as the 1190 can’t be registered as a street bike. Clearly this is part of some new scheme for displaying the name or logo of a racing sponsor. Or something.
Man! This just gets wierder and more inexplicable, doesn’t it?