Buell coming back

EBR set to expand

ERIK Buell Racing – the firm formed from the ashes of the Harley-owned Buell brand which was unceremoniously closed down when the financial crisis hit – is set to expand and might actually be building bikes you'll be able to buy come 2014.

Founded by Erik Buell, who left Harley shortly after his eponymous brand was killed, EBR has so far made the massively-expensive 1190RS. Effectively a hand-made version of the 'Barracuda 2' prototype that Buell was developing as its next superbike model (to replace the ugly 1125R) when the Harley pulled the plug, only 100 1190RS models were made at around $40,000 each. 

Now, Buell has found a cash injection for his new company courtesy of GE Capital, allowing him to start the process of building a dealer network to supply and service more mass-produced models carrying his name.

The first of these is to be called EBR RX, according to rumours a lower-spec variant of the RS and effectively the Buell Barracuda 2 that would have been on sale since 2010 had the company not been closed. It will be followed by the SX, a naked street bike, and the AX dual-sports adventure bike. All are likely to use the same water-cooled, Rotax-made V-twin as the 1190. Effectively, the range will reflect the Buell line up of five years ago, when the XB12R Firebolt, XB12S Lightning and XB12X Ulysses were the three main models, but instead of plodding, underpowered air-cooled twins and belt drive they'll all have modern, water-cooled motors, drive chains and, hopefully, more attractive styling. As usual, Buell's unique fuel-in-frame chassis and rim-mounted brakes are sure to be used.

Prices for all three bikes are expected to be under $20,000 in America. That's £12,500 over here, although it's unclear if and when the machines will be exported.