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Since his business related near-death experience under Harley Davidson HD ownership, American motorcycle engineering legend Erik Buell has been busy. Today, Erik Buell Racing (EBR) presented his latest cutting edge superbike, the EBR1190RX. The EBR1190RX is a long anticipated motorcycle that Buell envisioned to satisfy the vacant American superbike contender spot and satisfy that desire for a more affordable street-version of the beautiful 1190RS.
If you love bikes but don't follow the business side of things, that's okay, but the Buell Motorcycle Co. and HD business relationship is one to be at the very least vaguely familiar with. In the most succinct version possible; Erik Buell founded the Buell Motorcycle Co. in 1983, and made innovative, under- rated motorcycles. HD assumed control in 1998 then shut it down in 2009 during the recession when the company underwent a restructure and strategy change.
EatSleepRide posted the specs of the 1190RX specs and they stay true to Buell's habit of bleeding edge design.
The V-twin mill on the 1190RX is massive, cranking 185 hp, producing 102 lbs.-ft and redlining at 11,500 rpm all in a package that weighs just 419 lbs. The horsepower and torque are very impressive but once the specs are considered together the innovation really shines through. For context, my 2007 R6 has an engine less than half the size of the 1190RX and weighs in at 427lbs.
Now consider the torque output is 102lbs.-ft and 8,500 rpm, which is more than any other superbike produces but the torque never dips below 80 lbs.-ft anywhere in the power band. The CBR1000RR Fireblade peaks at 82lbs.-ft and 8,500 rpm. The engine will rocket the bike to a top speed of 186 mph and it is cradled by the magnesium sub-frame an industry proven design seen on Yamaha's R6.
No shortage of Innovation
Considering this is a twin, the EBR1190RR has a high redline usually attained by screaming in-line fours. The EBR achieved the 11,500 redline by using forged pistons resulting in reduced internal friction. The alternative, cast pistons require pistons to be machined before installation to remove imperfections in the casting process.
The low internal friction also boosts fuel economy. You can travel 234 miles (376 km) before refuelling and the combined fuel economy is 40.2 mpg. When you do fuel up you'll be filling fuel cells mounted in the frame.
Just like Buell's XB1125R, the EBR1190RR uses a large rigid chassis with spars that double as fuel reservoirs. Vacating the space that is usually reserved for a tank allows for a larger airbox which includes a built in charcoal filter and forces more ram-air into the V-twin's ports.
Big Piston Showa Forks support the front wheel and the ‟Zero Torsional Load” front rotor. The lack of two front rotors further reduces weight and the elimination of torsional weight usually caused by dual calipers allows for smaller wheel spokes. The steering damper, which I'm sure is essential is also Showa and sits behind a large full colour digital dash.
Wisconsin-based production starts in December
As stated, full scale production is set to commence in December at the reclaimed East Troy Wisconsin manufacturing plant that built the 1190RS superbike and built the former Buell Motorcycles Co. models. Buell had entry level bikes like the Blast and the XB1125R was a mean litre-class bike with track and street appeal but something was missing.
EBR and the Americas needed a production level street bike to compete with the international marques, namely Aprilia and Ducati, so that's where the 1190RX, America's superbike, comes in. EBR has 2014 race plans to enter a factory team in the World Superbike which will put the EBR1190RX against the Ducati 1199 and the Aprilia RSV4.
Nothing short of passion and resilience has allowed Erik Buell and EBR to remain a corporate entity yet alone produce another beautiful machine. The sheer existence of the 1190RX is a feat and for it to be such a promising machine is exciting. Erik Buell, all riders and especially those that are true to shoving it to the big companies commend you.