Erik Buell Racing 1190RS Debuts, Asks “Harley Who?”

Erik Buell Racing 1190RS side view

After having his streetbike brand closed down and being kicked to the curb along with MV Agusta during Harley-Davidson’s Great Recession fire sale, you could forgive Erik Buell for abandoning the bikebuilding business altogether out of disgust. But he’s not only stuck with building racing motorcycles under the Erik Buell Racing banner, but he’s also jumping back into the roadgoing bike business with both feet.

Initially, Erik Buell Racing was only going to build racing bikes, but the 1190RR proved to be such a potent package that apparently it just seemed criminal to not tame it just enough to register on the street. The resulting street legal superbike – the 1190 RS – is indeed little more than a racing bike with a headlight and license-plate bracket. But what are the specifics?

Erik Buell Racing 1190RS front 3/4 view

Well, as the name suggests, the engine is a V-twin measuring 1,190cc and is a based on the 1,125cc unit found in the successful 1125R racer. The engine makes 185hp in the 1190RR, but that figure will drop a bit in the 1190RS to meet emissions and noise regulations. However, there are more aspects of the bike that aren’t being watered down for road use than there are aspects that are.

Öhlins suspension front and rear, magnesium wheels and an Aim Sports dashboard with data-logging capabilities are just some of the race-bred bits you’ll find on this ride. The Carbon Edition seen in these pictures goes one step further by fitting carbon fiber bodywork that isn’t even legal for AMA Pro-Racing, so customers that want to go racing in the big leagues will have to stick with the standard model’s fiberglass pieces.

Erik Buell Racing 1190RS closeup view

But even in base form, the 1190RS is very, very light, and the Carbon Edition is projected to tip the scales to the tune of just 380 lb. with fluids. Credit the aforementioned competition-ready components, plus the meticulously-crafted frame that, as is customary with Erik Buell’s creations, doubles as the fuel tank.

So how much is this American thoroughbred going to lighten your wallet? Figure on a price somewhere in the neighborhood of its Bolognese nemesis, the Ducati 1098R: $40,000, give or take a couple grand. On the bright side, that kind of dough will buy you some serious exclusivity, as no more than 100 examples are scheduled to be made this year. So despite, by his own admission, not being able to afford one of these babies at the moment, Erik Buell is doing just fine outside Harley-Davidson’s castle walls, thank-you-very-much.

Source: Erik Buell Racing | Photos: Steve Anderson