Earlier this year we reported that EBR was making a(nother) comeback, and we were hopeful but not expecting much. For Eric Buell has made several attempts at resurrecting his namesake company. However, the latest return from the wilderness is looking more positive, essentially picking up again in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where things left off with stalwart Bill Melvin of Liquid Asset Partners at the helm. This is the firm that owns the rights to the Buell name, purchased from H-D. The figurehead himself is evidently not involved in the latest Buell resurrection.
So while the machine at the centre of the imminent launch has a certain familiarity about it, based on the 1190RX superbike, the firm says it intends to launch 10 performance models within three years. Next up is the supernaked bike based on the 1190SX, the Black Mamba. Both will feature superbike performance and handling typical of the Buell brand from the past. And the third will be even more interesting, the 1190AX to be known as the Super Touring, a competitor aimed directly at Harley’s Pan America.
Bill Melvin, CEO of the new Buell Motorcycles commented “We are excited to bring Buell back…and we start with the fastest American production motorcycles, hand built in the USA!” Expect “more touring & adventure models, then we’re expanding our displacements to be competitive with other global brands. The passionate Buell Nation can grow and thrive again. The future will be fast and fun on a Buell.”
The vision is a model for just about every sector. Buell is also considering a high-performance electric model.
The models currently in production are hand-assembled in Grand Rapids, Michigan and based on the 1190 platform which features Fuel in Frame, Perimeter Brake Rotor, lightweight handling (dry weight is 190kg), and high horsepower.
Buell Motorcycles was shut down by H-D in 2009. EBR Motorcycles acquired the Buell brandname in early 2020 and began developments to bring Buell back. Now a decade and more on from when the last Buell was built, that resurrection dream is about to become a reality, with production of the Hammerhead 1190 model set to kick off on Nov. 1, 2021.
Boss Bill Melvin said “We have former executives from Buell, General Motors, Lotus Engineering, Toyota, and Bombardier Recreational Products ensuring we are manufacturing and developing the highest quality products. Buell is Back!”
Powering the Hammerhead 1190 is a 138kW 72-degree V-Twin that also spits out 138Nm of torque. Buell’s unique chassis and braking system is the key to its success on the racetrack and on the road.
Reservations through the Buellvana online system will begin shortly, and three further models will be available soon, based on the same platform.
We’d have thought after all the stops and starts that this is last-chance saloon for Buell. Hopefully the rejuvenated company is lean and mean, the bikes aren’t stupidly expensive and there are enough customers and dealers to make a success of the new venture.