Erik Buell Racing has quietly been “tipping” sites off to the fact that Buell’s record label, Rat Pak Records, is selling t-shirts for a Erik Buell Racing 1190RS motorcycle. What is the 1190RS you ask? “The 1190RS will be the new street bike from Erik Buell Racing! The design is currently in the pre-production / testing stage and is not yet available for public sale,” says the website (Asphalt & Rubber brought you the first teaser of the 1190RS way back in July). However, a video of the pre-pre-production 1190RS will be up on September 14th, officially making this a teasing of a teaser video (are you still with us?).

Before you Buell fans start getting all in a tizzy, we have to break the news that the hype being generated about the EBR 1190RS is more about raising money for Erik Buell Racing, than announcing an upcoming motorcycle. Erik Buell & Co. have been making the rounds to investors looking for capital to build-out its production line, reportedly with little success. With a company built around a “never say die” attitude, Erik Buell hasn’t given up looking for cash (buy more t-shirts people!), and the 1190RS announcement is a way for EBR to show that there is a market demand for its motorcycles. Once the market is proven to exist, EBR is hoping investors will then open up their wallets.

This isn’t exactly a new trick for struggling motorcycle companies, and there is at least one other motorcycle manufacturer pulling-off this stratagem as we speak (or is it as I type?). However there’s a thin line being walked here as well, sinceĀ Erik Buell has a non-compete with Harley-Davidson that prohibits him from making street bikes (February 2011 is the expect expiration date on that contract). While having someone tip-off websites, and promoting the new bike on a record label’s website sounds like a great way to get around the non-compete agreement, the legal reality is that it would take short work to link it all back to Buell, and run the company into legal trouble.

All the boring business and legal stuff aside, the Erik Buell Racing 1190RS, if it ever makes it to production, will be a welcomed alternative to the inline-four hegemony currently found in the motorcycle industry. Expect the 1190RS to be based off the 1190RR race bike, except with lights, horns, and shiny reflective devices. We’ll post the video on the 14th…or sooner if our Bothan Spies complete their mission with success.

  • joe

    If it has a chain drive, and isn’t too, pricey I’ll take one. Dual brembo monoblocks upfront too, please.

  • Mark

    As much as I’m wishing Erik & Co. all the success in the world, I don’t see this as a viable plan for the long term. If he is successful at bringing the 1190RS to production, there are a ton of roadblocks to overcome.
    Firstly, how are they going to get access to a new supply of engines, frames, etc. from Rotax and all the other suppliers when HD owns the rights to everything? I’m sure Erik has a fairly good inventory of left over parts, but what do they do once that stock is depleted?
    If he’s only planning on building as many as his current stock will provide, that won’t be too many and will guaranty that the bike will be very expensive and limited. Who is going to invest money into a company with a plan based around building a few handfuls of bikes, before having to start all over again from scratch?

    The only way I see this working is if HD decides to sell Erik the full rights to produce the bike, which will cost a ton of money, if HD even decides to sell it at all. My hunch is that this may be exactly what Erik’s plan is, and I hope he is successful in doing so.

  • Jaime

    At the Buell Homecoming this past summer, Erik announced that he was released from the non-compete agreement EARLY. There is no legal reason he can’t produce street bikes now… only financial ones.

    As if ANYTHING from the mind of Erik Buell even REMOTELY competes with the over-priced, underpowered museum exhibits from Harley Davidson…

  • How much of a change to the Helicon engine would constitute a new engine, and therefore separate the new engine from the engine built under HD ownership? If a new engine doesn’t require a significant change, then it would seem EBR/Bombardier could move forward. (e.g. radiator placement).
    Same goes for the frame.

  • JB

    where is the stick beating the (dead) horse on their logo…’s over…let it go…move on….

  • lemonchili

    “…since Erik Buell has a non-compete with Harley-Davidson that prohibits him from making street bikes (February 2011 is the expect expiration date on that contract)”
    Really? He said at the Buell Homecoming in June that he was no longer under any non-compete clause.

  • lemonchili

    Oops… didn’t notice Jaime had already posted that.

  • Greg

    Whatever Erik ends up doing with his 1190RS bikes, I hope he’s successful. What I would really like to see is for him to team up with U.S. Highland. I’d love to see him continue to apply his outside-the-box ideas to another American branded motorcycle.

  • MikeD

    Best of luck… i would be happy if his success “pressured the others” (besides Ducati) to build something along the same lines (1200cc V-Twin 180hp Sport Twins).

    A man can dream, lmao.

  • Sid

    JB – that is one of the biggest coward comments in the blog world

  • Jim

    If, and a big if the 1190RS becomes a reality, my guess is that the price will be $25K or higher. It would be nice to see it happen, but given the economic environment, the prospects of the motorcycle industry in general and the reticence of investors, I won’t hold my breath.

  • buellracerx

    Sid – you beat me to it.

    JB – you suck.


    Jim – the market is driven by buyer confidence. get some confidence! it can/will get better.

    I’d love to see what Erik and the others can produce w/o big bro H-D looking over their shoulder. If they get this 1190RS out, I’ll be one of the first to throw down.

  • Tom

    Gotta join in against JB. Wuss move man. At least Erik isn’t a quitter like Harley and keeps trying. A lot of people lost their jobs so how in the hell is that a good thing? There are those who pray for the demise of Harley and I ask the same thing, with thousands out of work how in the hell is that a good thing?