2011 Erik Buell Racing 1190RS Breaks Cover

02/17/2011 @ 7:25 pm, by Jensen Beeler39 COMMENTS

It looks like we didn’t have to wait until tomorrow to see the 2011 Erik Buell Racing 1190RS finally out in the open (and with its clothes on this time). Finally breaking cover, we can see the details of the EBR 1190RS that Erik Buell has been hiding from his fans for all this time. Called the Erik Buell Racing 1190RS Carbon Edition, the name implies what material the bike mostly consists of, as this is supposed to be the premium model that will be sold in limited quantities to help get the 1190RS homologated for racing duty.

Only 100 or so models are needed for such a purpose, meaning this will be limited-run, and one expensive endevour for the intrepid few (Buell isn’t quoting prices just yet, but Ducati 1198R prices are being banded about). While the high-cost will keep many Buell fans left out in the cold, cheaper, more production-ready examples of the 1190RS are expected down the line. It seems Erik Buell Racing wants the 1190RS Carbon Edition to be its halo bike, as the company looks to recreate a dealer network, woo investors, and begin racing on a more even playing field with the other 1,200cc racing v-twins and 1,000 racing inline-fours.

From the photos we can see EBR’s new lighter magnesium wheel design, and while power figures aren’t available (the race-ready EBR 1190RR, which the 1190RS is based off of, makes 185hp), the bike is said to be on the anorexic side of the scale…the race kit even includes ballast to help meet minimum weight requirements (which come in around 380 lbs wet sans fuel). Other items include the dual-muffler exhaust we’ve been moaning about for a while, but there is apparently some method to the madness as the exhaust can we’ve seen in spy photos is the second stage to the muffler system, which is located in the belly pan of the EBR 1190RS. This design helps lower the Cg, meet emission and noise regulations across the world, and doesn’t suck too much power from the peppy v-twin motor. Ok, those are good things Erik, but we’ll still be excited for a nice aftermarket option.

Styling will be subjective, but we happen to like the double-stacked headlight look that EBR has done here, while the mirrors with their integrated turn signals stick out oddly at us (and by oddly we mean the bike looks depressed). Looking at the bike head-on you can see the teardrop design in the fairings, which should make for good ground clearance (like on previous Buell models). Of course our favorite color for any motorcycle is going to be carbon black, which the EBR 1190RS Carbon Edition has plenty of in spades. We’ll live with the minimalist tail, and cardboard looking race seat…we’ll even live with those funky mirrors as they’re not needed where this bike was born to thrive.

Of course the thing no one is talking about yet is whether the EBR 1190RS can sell itself on the the merits, like Erik Buell originally intended, or is it back to appealing to people’s sentiments to move models out of the dealer doorway. While the technical specifications are presumably present this time around, we suspect the price tag will be a deal-breaker for everyone but the most loyal of Buell fans (that could very well be the intention though). Compare the EBR 1190RS Carbon Edition’s expected price of nearly $40,000 to the offerings of KTM, Ducati, and Aprilia, and see where customers come down on their purchasing decision we say. Let us know what you think about Buell’s latest creation in the comments, would you sign-up for one?

Source: Road Racing World; Photos: Steve Anderson / Erik Buell Racing

  • fazer6


  • I love it, between this and Motus, I am excited for the future of American motorcycles.

  • MikeD

    Sweet Piece (on Randall’s Voice from Ugly Americans).

    BUT, if i had the $$$ to buy, It would rather go to something more “conventional” like: Ducati 1198R , Benelli Tornado 1130 or some other high end/exotic equipment.

    Keep at it Erik and don’t forget to “eventually” build regular bikes acce$$ible to regular folks who can’t purchase such high end ass jewelry as this 1190RS.

  • Andrey

    Certainly looks the business. I am sure EB has done his homework and it will probably be his best machine yet. Would love to see him successful and make the HD decision to let him go become a big error

  • Ades

    I think that Erik Buell needs to contract the services of a good (European?) designer. Mechanically, and frame wise it looks great. The Bodywork though, is all sorts of ugly……….

    It looks like they took a bit from the RC8R, a bit from the MV Augusta F4, and a bit from the Ducati 999, then threw in the 2-stroke RGV style exhaust.

    Not a fan.

  • It looks like the bike I wish my 1125R was. IF I was able to come up with the money, I’d get one though I’d ask for the 1125R head fairing.

  • Dave

    The bike looks fantastic!
    MikeD, I take it you’ve never ridden a Benelli. If you had you probably wouldn’t call it “high end”.

  • Good for him, and good luck to him, I really look forward to seeing what he comes up with next!

  • gildas

    Where is the airbox intake? Behind the fork?

  • Other Sean

    Pyrogen, I feel you. If they’d produced something with the low front fairings like this that match the aggressive/marketable profile of everything else on the market, the 1125R might have actually sold.

    Too little, too late? But it is the best looking Buell to date.

  • Rick

    EB finally builds a great looking serious sportbike. Its really cool, but I’m thinking not $40K cool. Too many ‘as good’ or better choices for us regular guys. Its also a shame that the only venue to demonstrate its competitiveness is the AMA, which is sinking fast.

  • MikeD

    @ Dave:

    No, i have not. But it can’t be that BAD , can it ? I have talked to some owners on YouTube they say is just fine, no major Flaws or anything, they have improved a lot since it’s launch back then, from metalurgy related failing primary drives to weak/bad electricals.
    Anyways, for w/e riding i would be able to perform i believe it would be more than OK…most probably i wouldn’t even use a 30% of what it has to offers, so… lol.

  • Jeremy

    The cooling ducts for the front caliper is pretty slick!

  • Ken C.

    I agree with fazer6. “meh”

    The bike has some nice things going for it, but that headlight and exhaust more than make up for them.

    Obviously, they didn’t learn from Ducati’s mistake on the headlights. Just look at Ducati’s (sportbike) headlights from 2003-2006 and look at their sales numbers. They are pretty much directly correlated. Granted, the Ducati’s of that era had a lot of other styling quirks working against them, but if I were designing a new bike, I’d use Ducati as a cautionary tale.

    That exhaust is hideous. Looks like they ran out of money and cut a stock muffler off a small car and stuck it on the side of this bike. It just ruins the look. That’s the first thing I would be cutting off this bike if somebody gave it to me (because there’s no way in hell I’d actually pay that much for it).

  • gnmac

    Aesthetically speaking, it’s pretty uninspiring, especially compared to te offerings from Ducati, MV, and even KTM. Especially the headlights and the fairing around them…yyyyy-aaaaaaaaaaaaaaawwwwwwn. At least the mechanica is something to not sneeze at. One step closer to my dream for one day a legit American-made super/gp-bike to successfully take on the big int’l boys!

  • F1

    Finally, something respectable from the relationship between Buell and the AMA/DMG. Nothing was more pathetic than seeing the old version thumper race against 600s. It was the epitome of “please don’t put us up against other 1000s cuz our bike sucks”. It was sad to see two years ago, that title was void IMO.

    And now,, proper liter against proper liter, the world is rotating again, good looking bike,, Good luck Erik

  • Joe

    “fazer6 says:


    That’s the first thing i thought when i saw it. Not my cup of tea but more bikes to choose from is always a good thing.

  • BikePilot

    I agree that its rather uninspiring to look at, but at least that’s a dramatic improvement over previous efforts! If they’d made the first 1125 simply uninspiring instead of fugly it might have actually sold ok.

  • Alfonso Rodriguez

    Overall, I like the look. Yes, the exhaust tip looks a little weird but I am sure someone will soon market a nice setup for the bike. My question is, “What’s it got?” Somebody do a test on this thing already! I’m tired of the “teaser” stuff. Thanks Erik.

  • patron

    To each their own when it comes to aesthetics, but I love it. I agree w comments on the exhaust, really bad, but that’s usually mod # 1 on most sport bikes. As for the rest of the bike I think it looks great. I don’t agree at all that vertically stacked lights make or break a bike. The styling for a bike is all about subtle differences. A half inch here or there and it appeals to people differently. I think that looks WAY better than the 999 and MV which I never really liked. The fact that one light is on the front and the other is sunk in makes the difference to me. EB has always had hit or miss styling on his bikes IMO. The Buell XB12s hit w me so I bought one. The 1125 was just god awful. Even w money in hand I couldn’t bring myself to buy one when they were all but giving them away. But this looks so much more interesting than…say…a GSXR. Price aside for the moment, and this bike beats out all its liter competition on looks save maybe the 1198. It’s a real American Superbike, it’s different, it’s a twin, and I can’t wait to see it race and see how it stacks up.

  • Mark

    I love all you design experts critiquing this bike. If EBR would have incorporated design elements from Ducat, MV or KTM, you’d be saying that he copied, now since he didn’t, you’re complaining that he should have. Get real!

  • Richard Gozinya

    The styling could perhaps use some polish, but it fits more with Buell’s design philosophy of function over form. I don’t see any problem with it really, just surprised he didn’t stick with the underslung muffler, or even that spiffy exhaust in the swingarm thing he came up with.

  • Westward

    What it lacks in looks I hope it makes up for in engineering. The MotoCzysz is way better looking, but it does look better than the Britten…

    Oe things for sure, it ain’t a passenger bike, unless that passenger weighs less than 10 lbs. that tail section looks a might thin…

  • geokan

    Mark is right.
    What exactly do you want ???
    A company has to keep its own ‘identity’, and according to this point of view this is an updated Buell, not an Italian or a Jap.
    For example 1098 is an updated 916, but no one is grumbling about Ducati.
    I think Eric is on the right track, and by the way, I like the double pipes in the exhaust, they remind me the Ducati Supermono in a strange way…
    I am waiting for a new Lightning …

  • 4Cammer

    “The MotoCzysz is way better looking”

    And they have yt to make a street bike. Or a production race bike. Or……..

  • Phill

    I love it! I’m so sick of the boiler-plate-design of the Jap-4, that this is refreshing. Honestly, it’s not perfect just now, but I say, give it 5 years. We’ve got to be nearing the end of ‘the pointies’ (ever notice how product cycles swing from sharp lines to curves back to sharp lines, then curves … etc). I bet in 5 years we look back at this bike and say DANG! That’s goooood looking! What an innovator!

    I just hope that his company is still around in 5 years to recognize his brilliance.

  • Alexander

    even America can’t kill American ingenuity.

  • Dave R

    This bike is gorgeous and any sport bike enthusiast which doesn’t agree needs their head examined. The exhaust on this bike is designed as you see it to meet ever increasing EPA emission requirements. The major appeal to me is the fact that it’s Buell and it’s American made. Buell has a tremendous and loyal following (myself included) and will be soon producing and offering bikes at competitive prices. As long as I ride, there will always be at least one Buell in my garage. Keep up the great work Erik….congratulations!

  • MikeD

    LMAO. Is always the same…so many different opinions about the same topic from “Haters” like me to “Buell Cool-Aid Drinkers” like Dave R. It never gets old. Keep it up people, im having a Blast(no pun intended) at ur expense.

  • Mike L.

    There’s still no excuse for not using a professional designer. Again. It’s the same cronies that would never be employed by another design firm or motorcycle company.

  • Mike L.

    err, Mark, rather.

  • xbEvans

    True to the form of proggression in an ideal few understand.
    Eriik Buell built my hot rod.

  • xbEvans

    pardon me greatly * Erik

  • Ades

    It seems more a case that EB has always claimed that he wants to build a genuine American sportsbike that can compete (sales wise etc) on an international level. It speaks volumes about the design aesthetic that Buell’s biggest market was the US. Buell’s are well received in the US, but not at all aesthetically in other parts of the world.

    So, if EBR wants to sell to a worldwide market, maybe they should get serious and employ a designer who can design something unique, yet aesthetically pleasing to the world market.

    My previous comments still stand though. You can see at least an attempt was made to do this, however, it seems very clear that the design was a little from Italian A, a little from Italian B, and a little from Austraian C, and then uglied up by Buell’s designer to make it more in line with Buell’s evolutionary designs.

    That said, mechanically it looks the ducks nuts, so why ruin it with a poor exterior?

  • ds

    Looks cool. The design experts are laughable

  • ds

    F1 – don’t forget to include Aprilia and KTM with your criticism about the liters racing with 600s since teams used them as well

  • MikeD


    And so is each and every one of us and our little stinking opinions…what else is new ? (o_O ) Is a NASTY CYCle.

  • bill

    This bike is sweet, I cant wait to see it in AMA this year.
    go Buell

  • david

    eric buell has made what i think is the best bike in the world.it is so far a head in design that it makes other bikes look sad.it is most likely the safest bike on the road as it is so well balanced.it is hard to conseve that it design could be improved upon.what a man the motor bike world should be so proud of him the years of working to make this most wounderful bike come to life.lets hope that one day h.d. will come there sences and put the bike back into production as it just too good not to be made nice one u.s.a. you are inovative