Erik Buell Racing will be displaying a pre-production example of its new 1190RS Carbon Edition street-legal Superbike during this coming weekend’s Powersports Dealer Expo in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Like the name indicates, the Carbon Edition will be a special version of the bike with many carbon-fiber pieces, including carbon fiber bodywork, secondary muffler, radiator shroud and fairing brackets. It will also have an Aim Sports digital dashboard, Öhlins suspension and more premium components, but all street versions will come with magnesium wheels and the same spec of 1190cc V-Twin engine.
No horsepower numbers were available at post time, but the finished product is claimed to weigh under 400 pounds wet, so light in fact that among the optional racing kit parts available will be a ballast kit so racers can add weight to the machine to meet minimum weight requirements.
The minimum weight limit for a twin-cylinder machine in the 2011 AMA Pro Superbike Championship is 380 pounds, as it comes off the racetrack.
A fiberglass bodywork kit will also be available for those wishing to go racing in AMA Pro Superbike, where carbon fiber bodywork is not legal, and the standard race kit will include a racing exhaust system and Engine Control Module (ECM).
“I’m sorry, but I don’t have a lot of specific details on it,” Erik Buell Racing founder Erik Buell told Roadracingworld.com Thursday evening. “We just came to the Indy Dealer Show so we could talk to people a little bit about it. We don’t have any brochures to hand out here or anything.
“We also have the [current] 1125RR AMA [Superbike] with us down at the show in AMSOIL colors, because we just announced the three-year title sponsorship deal with them, and when we wheeled the bikes into the hall we could tell the 1190RS is a lot lighter than the 1125RR racebike. I mean you can just feel it pushing it around.”
Buell said other examples of the 1190RS are currently undergoing regulatory testing with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Transportation (DOT), and testing is going well.
“We’re just finishing up the EPA and DOT testing, and the emissions look really, really good,” said Buell. “We put a couple of catalytic converters in the muffler. It has a secondary muffler because it has a pretty high output engine, and we wanted to make sure it was well legal. And it’s actually 2 decibels under the limit and well controlled. But to do that we needed more muffler than we could fit under the bike. There just wasn’t enough room. And it also makes us world-legal because you have to have a high, rear-pointing exhaust outlet for Japan to pass the sound test. So it will be legal there.”
If all continues to go well with testing and the company does not encounter any unforeseen problems the first Erik Buell Racing 1190RS street-legal Superbike could be in a customers’ hands by the end of March and another 99 examples (at least) will follow it out the door before the end of 2011. Price has yet to be announced.
But in the meantime, Buell is going to enjoy showing the EBR 1190RS this weekend in Indianapolis and showing, yet again, what is possible by him and his dedicated and talented group in East Troy, Wisconsin.
“It’s really rewarding for all of us,” said Buell. “To get this done we’ve been working really, really hard for the last year-plus. We’ve been designing all these new parts and getting everything together and finally doing kind of what we want to do, a real, genuine street superbike.
“It’s high-end, it’s expensive but it is absolutely premium. Where we are — and we’re tiny right now — this is the first bike we have to do as a small-volume manufacturer, but we wanted to do it right so that if you rolled it out against the best Ducati, Bimota or any high-end exotic it would be no-joke, the real deal. This is a wonderful bike. This can stand up to anything like that in the world, any limited high-end bike. That’s why it has an Aim dash and high-end rods and Ti [titanium] valves and high-end valve springs, premium stuff.
“We thought about showing it [in Daytona] first, at a consumer show, but we thought the dealers really are the core. The customers are the real business, but the dealers are really important, you know? We wanted to show it to the sportbike dealer network to make the statement that we are in the sport motorcycle business with EBR. That’s what we are. That’s what our focus is – pure sport motorcycles.”
Asked if he was going to put the first production version of the EBR 1190RS aside for himself, Buell, a former Pro road racer, said, “I was just telling the guys the other day, ‘I’ve got to have one of these,’ but I don’t have any money. My money’s all tied up in the business. I’ve got to have one of these. It’s so beautiful. It’s so very, very nice, and it’s exactly the kind of bike I would love to own. I just don’t know if I can afford it right now. I’ve got to sell my car and drive a Pinto or something. I’ve got to have it.”
As published in RoadRacingWorld, February 17th edition by David Swarts, ©Copyright 2011, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.
Photos by Steve Anderson/Courtesy Erik Buell Racing