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Long Beach motorcycle show: Erik Buell rides back

December 09, 2012|By Charles Fleming
  • The EBR 1190RS is the latest work of motorcycle art from designer-builder Erik Buell.
The EBR 1190RS is the latest work of motorcycle art from designer-builder… (Erik Buell Racing )

The latest creation from American motorcycle designer and entrepreneur Erik Buell was on display at this weekend's Progressive International Motorcycle Show, and -- it's a stunner.

The EBR 1190RS competition race bike retails for $39,999 and up -- at the high end for the new 2013 models on display at the Long Beach show. The 1190RS is a massively powerful, massively fast bike -- 175 horsepower and only 389 pounds -- showing up on some podiums around the GP circuit, under the ridership of Geoff May and Danny Eslick.

It is said to be more or less exactly the bike Buell wanted to put on the market under his now-defunct deal with Harley-Davidson, which wanted a more traditional sport bike. (The two have parted ways, unhappily, leaving Buell owners in the lurch.)

Only 100 were manufactured in Buell's East Troy, Mich., factory. Only 15 remain unsold, according to EBR representatives at the show. (Two were bought by a Buell fanatic who said he intends to ride one and leave the other in the box, believing it will increase geometrically in value as a collectors' item.) The one I saw had been brought to the show by San Diego BMW Motorcycles.

But fear not, riders with lighter wallets. Buell intends to get a lower-priced, street-legal version of the 1190RS into showrooms in the next two years. He plans three versions -- an RX street racer, an SX sport version and an AX adventure version. The RX will be available in time for the 2014 riding season, I was told, with the SX and AX coming later.

They are to be priced under $20,000.

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