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.

Source: EBR

  • darren636

    here we go again…


    Buell motorcycles are like herpes. They’re ugly and they just keep coming back. Or maybe cockaroaches.

    On the other hand… “quick, dark, and low” – sounds like a Harley. And that would be the ultimate FU to The Motor Company. Buell building a cruiser. Of course it would not compete because it would not be an HD. It might be able to compete with Victory or Indian though.

    And a sub $10K bike… sounds like a re-branded off brand re-badged. Chinese or Indian (dot not feather) motorbike.

  • mackja

    This is great news! I love my Buell/EBR motorcycles, from my 07 XB12r, 09 1125r, and 14 EBR 1190rx and 1190sx, I have had nothing but great fun with these bikes. Great handling bullet proof engines, and extremely fun to ride. Hope they can pull it off and make a real go at it. Looks like its time for a new bike in the garage!!

  • Dustin Nisbet-Jones

    Question about Buells: When you say ‘bullet proof’, what does that mean in terms of miles? I see a lot of people with 10 or 20,000 miles on their bikes talking about how they’re bulletproof but it’s pretty meaningless to me at that kind of mileage.

  • Schyler

    I had 129,000 on my 2004 xb12r. It lost crankshaft bearings at 20,000 but after that it was smooth sailing till someone decided texting was more important than driving and ran me over on i95 completely destroying the bike. I had a zx6r on the street and r1 and triumph 675 Daytona race bikes since then but I still miss my Buell.

  • Jeram Mallis

    Sounds like EBR is going to release a ‘Diaval’ style bike using a modified 1190 platform :) could be the best buell yet if it’s still able to smash it’s way through a corner!

  • MichaelAndTheArgonauts
  • Phil Klostermen

    Great news. I hope the adventure bike is a success.

  • Pete M

    Is Hero going to build the sub $10k bike for them? ;)

  • mackja

    The water cooled engines (1125r, 1190rx, 1190sx) are extremely durable, I keep up with the EBR/Buell community through blogs, Facebook page, and personal interaction. Many 1125r have been ridden well over 60k miles, with no mechanical issues, the 09 1125 model had a stator problem. My 09 1125r was ridden 20,000 miles on the street , then put on the track for another 6,000 miles with only the clutch plates being replaced. Retired the 1125 (going back on the street) and have put my 1190rx on the track, so far no issues at all, and I ride an 1190sx on the street. If these where not strong capable, reliable machines I would not spend my money on them. I have owned 14 motorcycles, Harley, Honda, Kawasaki, KTM, and Buell/EBR, by far I have the most fun on my EBR bikes. I know many are critical of Erik Buell and his designs, why I do not know or understand. They have the best chassis in the industry, excellent engine, easy to ride fast, and reliable. I know most people point to the front brake, but it works great, never have had an issue, I run advanced group pace at the track and they have never let me down. Granted at the top level of racing their have been some issue with the system, but how many here can keep pace with the likes of Roger Hayden, Geoff May, or Corey west? Go ride one and you will have a big grin on your face when done.

  • mackja

    Hero cant even bring to market the bikes EBR designed for them. After stiffing EBR 20 million, Hero brought all the R&D in house, the four bikes EBR designed for them where to be released this year, Hero has since announced bikes are not ready and will not be brought to market. EBR and Hero will not be doing any work together, that bridge has been burned!

  • Dustin Nisbet-Jones

    Thank you for that! Great info :)

  • Tom Jahn

    That’s exactly what I was thinking. Diavel/ v-rod style

  • Moto 949

    Can’t wait! EBR always does something worth looking into. Too bad so many riders just automatically resort to other so called ‘name’ brands. I know a couple Panigale owners who won’t even ride their bikes because of the exhaust heat and OTT GP riding position. ‘Bet they each wish they bought a 1190rs…

  • Jason

    Hero bought Erik Buell Racing R&D and Consulting back in 2015.

  • Chris Gagnon

    With his $20K+ bikes having abysmal fit and finish, and the cheapest looking plastic available, seemingly sourced from whomever makes Harbor Freight tools, can you blame me for shuddering at the thought of what a sub-$10K buell will look like?

  • mackja

    You have no idea of what you are talking about. Another blowhard who wants to bash something he has never owned or ridden. 2017 EBR 1190rx is $13,995 and the 1190sx is $12,995.00, so where do you get 20K+ bikes? Fit and Finish is fine, and the plastics are also the lightest weight in the industry. Mine have held up with no problems. You are obviously one of those who have never ridden one. Take a close look and you will see some really trick stuff on these bikes.

  • Antihero

    My thoughts exactly.

  • Antihero

    In a world where sewer rat tastes like pumpkin pie people not surprisingly still choose pumpkin pie.

  • Farmer Channing Kraemer

    The 20k bikes are made with carbon fiber fairings and weigh roughly 400lbs soaking wet. Next time get some actual facts before blowing your own horn.

  • Farmer Channing Kraemer

    Have you ever ridden one or do you only ride a bike because it’s pretty?

  • Farmer Channing Kraemer

    Why? Because he actually has a drive to prove the industry wrong? I don’t see you trying.

  • motobyte

    As a 2008 XB12S owner, I will agree that the bike works great as a whole. The chassis is excellent and the comments about ZTL not being adequate are unfair. My only gripes with the bike are working on them is not very easy and the exhaust has broken on me a few times. Otherwise, it’s been a great machine for the past 8+ years.

  • Actually the $20,000 EBR 1190RX comes with plastic fairings, which do have a sub-par fit and finish. The bike also weighs 446 lbs wet. So…

  • mackja

    BMW weighs in at 449lbs our point being? I agree the plastics are not as good as they could be, but they fit and come off and on easily. I will let Cycle World sum this bike up.
    http://www.cycleworld.com/2014/06/13/ducati-1199-panigale-vs-ebr-1190rx-superbike-comparison-test-review-photos-specifications. After this test Ducati would no longer allow any comparison test with the EBR. Why all the hate for these bikes is boggling, they are really amazing bikes to ride. All bikes have issues, it took BMW 3 years to work out the suspension and electronics problems, Yamaha has had transmissions blowing up, and Ducati… well it is Ducati. If you want a V-twin sport bike you only have 2 choices, Ducati or EBR, EBR is much easier to do maintenance on and requires very few special tools, Ducati is expensive to own, uncomfortable to ride and generates a ton of heat. To each his own, But don’t bash what you don’t know about. You should be happy that someone in the USA can build something besides cruisers.

  • darren636

    mistakes .

  • Ryan Donahue

    Except the industry isn’t wrong.

  • conchop

    I miss my Ulysses – The AX is something the Uly Community has talked about for a long time – I’ve all but given up hope of a Uly II – Now perhaps it can be a reality – Price it right – build it bulletproof and the ULY II AX will be their best selling bike … https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c0dce3c95699a884175a91ef4c9f70fe91dcb11a1d77f779c375a4d5ef0649aa.jpg

  • MikeD


  • Benji

    I love it on everything else, but they should ditch the under pipe on the AX

  • Auphliam

    EB seems to indeed be learning from previous mistakes.
    1) He is no longer is in a business relationship with a company that mandates he use a boat anchor for an engine
    2) He’s no longer in a business relationship with a shyster company
    3) In his current role, he personally is now focused solely on designing and building world class bikes and he has business people running the business

    Seems like he’s learned quite a bit. Just because his lessons make headlines doesn’t diminish what he’s still able to accomplish.

  • Auphliam

    That’s a little misleading as stated. Yes, they bought what remained of the unfinished R&D and Consulting that EBR worked on as part of the Hero partnership. After they ruined his company, they bought only the stuff he worked on for them…the small displacement bikes. It was part of the settlement agreement after they pulled the plug on the company and let it crash.

    In a fitting dose of karma, Hero just announced that they are unable to complete or produce any of the proposed bikes.

  • Jason

    Talk about misleading statements how about this one: “After they ruined his company”. Hero did not ruin EBR, Erik ruined it by chasing the same impossible dream of selling a super premium sport bike.

    Hero saved EBR once but the second time he came hat in hand for more money they said no. No reason to throw good money after bad.

  • Auphliam

    That’s a special batch you’ve got ahold of there.

    Not to oversimplify, but Hero promised $40million to EBR in exchange for their engineering and design expertise. EBR was to design a line of small displacement bikes for Hero, and also provide an outlet for Hero products in America. When said design work was completed, and it was time to actually pay the note, Hero pulled the plug, thus allowing EBR to go into receivership where they ultimately purchased said work for $2.8million.

    But you go ahead with your “story” there. It sounds like you’re enjoying the trip.

    He ruined his company by chasing a dream. Wow. Did you really just say that?

  • Jason

    Interesting version of events. How about what really happened:

    Hero bought 49% of EBR in 2013 for $25 million. Erik used that money to tool up for volume production of the 1190SX and 1190RX. These models were a sales flop and EBR burned through all of their cash and racked up huge debts. EBR came to Hero asked for a second bailout and Hero said no. No one else was willing to loan EBR any more money (because it is a failed company) so EBR went bankrupt. Hero bought the part of the company that was doing work on their small bikes. Nobody else wanted the rest of the company that contained the 1190s so it went to a liquidation company for pennies on the dollar.

    The 1190s failed, plan and simple. Nobody except Erik and a small number of diehard Buell fans expected any other outcome. The current version of EBR will fail too and likely is just a scam to sell off the inventory on hand to unsuspecting buyers.

  • mackja

    I not wanting to start a bunch of arguing, but your understanding of events is not accurate at all, Hero had a 20 million dollar bill for engineering services rendered and did not pay, that is a reality.
    EBR only had one client and that was Hero. Hero wanted 13 new models developed, EBR delivered 4 new prototypes and had 2 others moving forward. The 20 million was for those projects.
    The 1190 has not failed, it is really awesome machine, currently an EBR leads the Superbike series in the Neatherlands, has won numerous championships in Germany with the Pegasus Race team, has won 6 of the 8 Pan Delta series races with Splitlath Racing, and Pat Mooney is leading the AHRMA superbike series here in the USA. I know both SBK EBR riders, I know their crew chiefs while they where here in the AMA along with some management of HD. So I have a little inside view. The new company has established a European distributor Jens Kruper, and the distributor in Australia is back on board. While it has not been an easy go of it, EBR is far from dead. It is amazing how different Motorcycle.com and Cycle World present these bikes and EBR from all the other media. They actually ride and test the bikes, what a novel process!

  • Auphliam

    Sorry, but EBR didn’t “burn through” the $25mil. Hero and EBR decided to go racing…at $10mil per year. There was no hat-in-hand begging for some second “bailout”. The deal was, EBR would begin production of the small displacement bikes for US distribution through EBR dealership network (existing and planned expansion of such). Hero was to foot the bill for that development of infrastructure. EBR started down that road to massive expansion, which incurred substantial debt. Once Hero saw this deal was going to more than double their initial investment, they said “Um, sorry. We’ve got to get home”, and bailed on the whole deal. EBR was left holding huge debt and subsequently went into receivership. Once it was in the hands of the courts, Hero came back and bought all the small bike R&D at a SUBSTANTIAL discount ($2.8mil).

  • Jocke

    Hope 2017 models will have ABS otherwise it cannot be sold in EU :'(