Erik Buell Racing 1190RS


Buell departs from his traditionally wide bodywork with this sleek new design. Photos: Steve Anderson/EBR

It seems that Cycle World were the first to publish photos of the entire Erik Buell Racing 1190RS, a hotly anticipated American supersport that until now we were only offered teasing glimpses of via Erik Buell Racing’s Facebook page.

Make no mistake, this is not a street bike at heart; under the carbon fibre bodywork and stacked headlights is a bona fide racing machine, apparently detuned from full competition form through a thicker cylinder base gasket, remapped electronics and a quieter, cleaner exhaust. 

It seems that Erik Buell has applied everything he’s learned at the racetrack and
on the drawing board onto this machine to drop the weight, including extensive use of carbon fibre, a narrow 520 drive chain and trimming parts to their minimum (just look at that skeletal front wheel). 


You’d be hard pressed to find places to remove more weight from this bike.

Buell used Ohlins fully adjustable suspension, and has incorporated his trademark inboard front brake, using an eight-piston caliper with cooling ducts added to keep the heat down.

The Carbon Edition shown here is reportedly so light that an optional 20-lb weight ballast is available to meet the AMA Superbike minimum weight limit of 380 lb. 

Power figures haven’t been released but the 1,190 cc V-twin should produce somewhere in the vicinity of 170 hp.


  1. The lump is the airscoop, executed in carbon fiber, feeding a lot of cool air to the caliper and disk and over the back of the brake pads. It’s not really needed for the street, but it can’t be used in racing unless it’s on the street bike.

  2. I understand the front wheel and brake, the wheel can be so “spidery” because brake torque is not carried in the “spokes”. But whats that lump on the forward side of the fork, opposite the brake caliper?

  3. The front brake is a very refined version of Buell’s ZTL design. Note the front air scoop, and note the new finned disk without holes. There is also a new mounting arrangement of the disk to the wheel, which improves both heat transfer and brake feel. Geoff May was outbraking Yoshimura Suzukis at AMA races with this configuration, and it endured a Superbike-race length test session on a 1190RR at Road America in the fall, the American track hardest on braking systems. It works, and weighs about 2kg less — all unsprung weight — than any competitive dual disk front system not running carbon-carbon disks.

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