After the American company’s drawn out receivership proceedings, Erik Buell Racing seems like the brand everyone has forgotten about. Posting a press release to its Facebook page today though, EBR says it has some interesting projects in the works.
To unveil for the 2017 model year, EBR is teasing an urban street bike that is “quick, dark, and low”; meanwhile for the 2018 model year, EBR says it will debut a sub-$10,000 motorcycle platform.
There also seems to be some movement on the 1190 platform, presumably with model updates to the RX and SX sport bikes, and the 1190AX adventure bike could finally be coming to market.
Taking these news items in turn, we can start with speculation about what motorcycles could meet the criteria of being “quick, dark, and low” in the urban street bike segment.
An all-new machine is likely too big of an ask from the American brand, so our first guess would be to see something built off the 1190 platform. Whether that means just using the 72° v-twin engine in a different chassis, or the whole rolling machine, is up for debate though.
I have to admit to being stumped on this announcement, especially when considering the position of the company when it closed and where it is now rebooted, so I’ll be curious to see what comes forth at the annual trade shows.
Erik Buell Racing’s goal of making a sub-$10,000 motorcycle platform for 2018 is perhaps easier to decipher and understand. It is easier to woo dealerships when you have a full-line of motorcycles to offer.
Add into that mix the growing divide on who can afford motorcycles of a certain value (cash vs. credit), and there’s a strong argument to push for models below the $10,000 mark.
Truthfully, the price break happens closer to $6,000 to $8,000, and we have see price-focused bikes like the Yamaha FZ-09 selling very well. It makes sense that EBR would follow suit, though hopefully sub-$10,000 means closer to $8,000 than it does to $9,999.
As for continuing to develop the 1190 platform, that might be a mixed bag. There are a lot of people in the motorcycle industry that would like to see what an EBR 1190AX looks like, and there’s also some precedent from the Buell Ulysses that such a machine could be a success, relatively speaking.
Updates to the EBR 1190RX and EBR 1190SX sport bikes though are likely necessary to keep the bikes relevant against the competition, but EBR also does so at its peril. That might be a story for a different post though.