In September of this year, EBR Motorcycles let it be known that the American brand was working on new models for the 2017 model year, in addition to a sub-$10,000 platform that would be available in 2018.

Teasing that we would see something “quick, dark, and low” by the year’s end, we subsequently saw EBR trademark the name “Black Lightning” for use as a new motorcycle model. This certainly got our imaginations turning, wondering what the folks in East Troy had up their sleeves.

Unfortunately, it would seem we alone had our imaginations at work, since EBR Motorcycles has given us a glimpse of its Black Lightning project today, which shows a true lack of inspiration, as it turns out to be an all-black EBR 1190SX that sits about an inch lower than before.

To be fair, EBR has revised the gearing on the 1190SX to better suit the superbike-powered bike’s engine for street use. EBR has also added lower foot pegs and higher bars, and also gives the option for a comfort seat.

We will get out first glimpse of the Black Lightning at this week’s International Motorcycle Show in Long Beach, starting on Friday the 18th. And would-be customers and dealers can expect felivery of the Black Lightning in Spring 2017.

Hopefully at that point in time, EBR Motorcycles will be ready to tell us when we can expect to see bikes from the American brand that are actually new, like the eagerly anticipated EBR 1190AX adventure-tourer. Insight on its sub-$10,000 platform would be welcomed as well.

Source: EBR

  • Rob Evans

    What did people really expect? From my brief seat time on the 1190sx, I think it can’t be beat for the $8500 dealers on CycleTrader are giving them away fro brand new!

  • Brett Lewis

    It seems we forget about EBR, when we wish for an American alternative.
    Or is it that we worry about them going down for the third time and not
    being around when we need parts and service? Or a little of both… We
    want them to win, but… There was a comparison between the 1190RX and the Panigale 1199 a couple years ago, and the Ducati barely edged out the EBR, now the EBR has an MSRP that is $4-5k less than it was in 2014.

  • Fidel Cash-Flow

    “This will surely appeal to all the drag-bike customers we didn’t catch the first time with the original SX”…. :|

  • Phil Klostermen


  • Michael Howard

    Is this not in the same genre as the S1000R, Tuono, FZ-10, etc? And are they not popular? Seems like a sensible “stepping stone” to getting EBR up and rolling (yet) again.

  • They’re so good, it almost makes you wonder why they are selling them for so cheap!

  • Rob Evans

    Oh there’s definitely no wonder in terms of dealer support, parts availability or even whether the brand is going to be around in 18mos when you have a warranty issue that needs to be dealt with. All I’m saying is in terms of $8500 new machines, this would be at the top of my list.

  • Ryan Donahue

    Except missing all of the electronics, dealer support, parts, fit and finish, and components that work.

  • paulus

    My spaghetti monster is underwhelmed…..

  • Ground clearance? Who needs it? Evidently, Erik expects his customers to wheelie over speed bumps and forego serious cornering. Honestly, I’m shocked that they are sacrificing the very thing that separated them from HD back when they were joined at the hip – cornering clearance! Maybe the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree, after all.

  • conchop

    This might be a comfortable bar hopping drag bike – Still looking for the AX [ Ulysses 2 ] …

  • TheGreatViking

    However you slice it, its still a High HP supersport that consumers are (finally) understanding are just plain silly. Only the 1% of 1% can actually use their power. 400-900cc bikes that cost around 5-8k that are just way more fun and practical. EBR needs to come up something different, innovative, but practical for world sales. US sales are just not enough. How about a lightweight, twin 500cc ADV bike. Or a 500cc Twin Motard. Or a Hybrid Sport Cruiser. Just look at Ducati with the new Desert Sled…they are giving consumers what they want, and EBR is not.

  • Jason

    More proof that the liquidation company that bought EBR is just using up the parts they got for a song in bankruptcy court.

  • simply beautiful…

  • Harley Davidson is looking smarter for having rid itself of this mess. I guess third time’s the charm.

  • Michael Howard

    Of course. But this is based on a platform they already had — hence the “stepping stone” to designing and building “something different, innovative, but practical”.

  • Doug

    Oh, here we go again….he’s back for round 3. What happens when you piss off dealerships all over the US by stranding them with multiple bikes they can’t sell, with no parts availability, and pissed off customers? Those dealers have no desire to ever do business with you again. I’d love to see a US sportbike mfg make it, but I won’t go anywhere near an EBR. My guess is, most won’t.

  • motobyte

    Ugh. Why? Release that ADV and sell bikes for Pete’s sake!

  • motobyte

    I really want the brand to succeed, but it’s hard to buy a bike from a manufacturer when you’re waiting for the other shoe to drop. I would love to have a modern Buell to park next to my 2008 XB12S.

  • Dan Weaver

    All it’s missing is the 6″ bolt on swingarm extension and a Sneaky Pete nitrous bottle. Once they add that to the accessory catalogue it will fit right in with all the other lowered and stretched sport bikes I see everywhere (in florida at least.)

  • mackja

    Anyone who keeps up with the brand should not be suprised, EBR has responded to what the customers have asked for with the SX, improved gearing and engine tuning for urban driving, more comfortable seat and riding position, lower seat height for shorter riders. Their is to be a whole new line of accessories for the bike which should also fit the sx and rx models. Blacked out looks pretty good. I am interested in what else they are working on.


    Can we just pretend this never happened. Thanks.

  • Bruce Steever


  • Doug


  • Typenschild Delete
  • Nicko55

    This is really sad, particularly in a year when so many stunning new models have been released or announced. The bar is being raised at an exciting rate in the industry right now, lowering an existing model to appeal to… not any substantial demographic I’m aware of, is bizarre and tone-deaf. Let clowns lower their stock 1190SX if they’d like, and sell relevant models to further the brand. America’s contribution to modern motorcycling is almost non-existent at this point.

  • Phil Klostermen

    I guess it amazing they are even open for businesses

  • jake woods

    Hypothetically I have $13,000 to buy a bike; why would I ever consider EBR? Honest question.

    I have no skin the the EBR game (dident like most buells), but I honestly want to see the man and company succeed.. more competition is always a good thing.

    But being honest and truthful, why would I chose EBR over lets say any of the Japanese bikes? If its not the fact that the bikes look generic, or the fear that the company is going to die in 6 months…. the idea of parts availability, which even mainstream brands can be a headache to get things from ( looking at you KTM), it just gives me a headache.

  • Fidel Cash-Flow

    well said

  • Nick

    EBR, why won’t you stay dead!?

  • Nick

    Hey Rob, I rode the same one you did and thought it was one of the biggest piles of junk I’ve ever been on!

  • Rob Evans

    I wouldn’t disagree about materials, but dynamically it was fantastic. Same thing I’ve said about corvettes for 15 years.

  • MikeD

    Can confirm, Floridian here.

  • paulus

    I wonder if it ended up black because that is the best colour to cover all the mismatched coloured parts sitting in inventory…. cynical? Maybe.

  • TheGreatViking

    True, and I truly hope they succeed. Did you know that the US accounts for about 5% of the worldwide component demand for building and maintaining gas engined bikes? Besides huge cultural differences, I think a large reason why American [non-cruiser] motorcycle demand and culture will always be limited is the lack of lane-splitting/filtering (and boring roads). Combined with a crowded marketplace for liter sporty bikes, I think EBR must innovate or will die again. (especially if they are relying on just the US marketplace)

  • Croak

    As a long-time super naked/streetfighter owner, I can’t agree with your “just way more fun” premise regarding lower displacement bikes. More practical, maybe (but I tour on my Tuono just fine, other than having some range anxiety when out west). But little bikes are more fun? No, categorically no.

    Please don’t confuse a “super sport” clip-on, fully faired, high peg “race replica” with a super naked/streetfighter, despite any shared parts they may have.

    Could I live with a sub-liter bike? Sure, and I’ve done it in the past. But I’d always be pining for the real thing.

    Oh, and I’ve owned bikes (and scooters!) in the US, Canada, UK, and Malta, so I’ve had my taste of “world bikes” and the environments they’re used in.

  • Croak

    You need the halo bikes to help sell the entry level bikes. You really do.

  • Croak

    Dude, it’s not like they’re turning it into a floorboard cruiser…it’ll still have more than ample cornering clearance for the street (and track), more clearance than 99.9% of the riders will ever need. If you’re dragging a peg on the street with this bike, you’ve got a lot more things to worry about. And if you’re dragging a peg on this bike on the track, you brought the wrong bike.

    Go look at the farkle dealers, one of the most popular accessories for any “sporty” bike is peg-lowering kits to make them more livable on the street (along with bar risers and comfy seats). Modern sport bikes tend to over-cater to being “race ready” when most buyers never set foot on a track.

  • Buell did something similar to this years ago on their XB12SCG. Basically, a slammed Lightning. And yes, you guessed it, they didn’t handle as well or have as much cornering clearance as their ‘normal’ brethren.

    Lower pegs are only part of the problem when it comes to ground clearance. The cornering forces compress the suspension mid-corner, and this doesn’t have the travel to work as well. Plus, the question still remains on how the lowering affected the geometry. Unless they altered the chassis geometry to suit the new ride height… But either way, this bike won’t ride as comfortably with the reduced suspension travel. To each their own, I suppose.

    I’ll echo the comments below…this is a transparent attempt to warm over lingering stock.

  • TheGreatViking

    Croak I agree we are in the same boat, but I wasn’t trying to debate the nuances of naked bikes. Models with superbike engines are the extreme minority sales of moto companies. Liter streetfighter sales have historically been terrible. I agree a company with the name ‘racing’ should have a halo bike, but if they can’t even score points in WSBK and have their ONLY bike this market focused, well they’ll die again. As Specialized says, innovate or die. Their collab with Hero was exactly what they needed to have the foundation, but we see how that went. Indo is the fasting growing 2wheel market in the world, and the US is a declining market especially in ‘racing’ bikes, so you can paint the picture, right? I just don’t see them overcoming the deeply established Japanese liter market in the US, so like I said they need to take cues from Ducati and create some more practical, stylish, but still fun bikes.

  • proudAmerican702

    Exactly. “Laughable” is the only word I can conjure to describe EBR’s attempt at resurrecting themselves again. What’s this bike represent, about $1.98 worth of R&D?
    When the horse has 3 broken legs, maybe it’s just time to grab the rifle, and head out behind the barn.

  • J Boy

    Man that’s a good looking bike. I’m just glad that bike makers are finally focusing on the 300-500cc bikes again. Sub-10k Buell? I’m liking the sound of that direction for EBR.

  • Chris

    In what way may I ask was it a piece of junk? was it because it ONLY makes 185 horse and over 100 lbs. ft. of torque and is among the lightest out there? and is probably the best handling bike out there,, obviously you did not ride one.