Buell is back

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It’s been a long and bumpy road for Erik Buell, after all the work that went into his previous nameplate brand and its unceremoniously sudden closure by Harley-Davidson.

But his perseverance is poised to pay off: presenting the Erik Buell Racing 1190RS streetbike, which Buell unveiled for its first pulic appearance at the 2011 Dealer Expo. The key points of the new machine: a 1190cc Rotax engine completely rebuilt to EBR specifications (producing “sufficient” power, according to Buell), a newly developed fuel-cell concept frame, newly designed magnesium wheels, racing-derived Öhlins suspension and braking components, and, perhaps most importantly, nearly complete EPA approval. “Our EPA testing is done,” Buell claims. “Now it’s just down to paperwork.” By using a combination of racing development and AMG-style performance vehicle production, Buell’s plan is to create an initial run of 100 machines for $39,995 each, with lower-spec machines to follow soon.

Buell aims to develop a sportbike-specific brand creating competitive and aspirational machines. The next step is the growth of a new EBR dealer network.

“This will be less about a dealer’s brand and location and more about a passionate dealer principle looking to create customers for life,” Buell explains. With experience gained during the years of working with suppliers and developers on his previous machines, Buell is confident that he’ll be able to deliver a worthy machine for riders serious about sportbikes. — Bruce Steever

This story originally appeared in the Dealernews April 2011 issue.