What’s going on at the Buell factory, formerly known as Erik Buell Racing? Well, it looks like the new owners are still working on their 1190 Baja project, planning to deliver this bonkers dirt bike in 2023.
Actually, it’s hard to know if we should call this a dirt bike—it’s sort of a weirdo evolution of the 1190 superbike platform, morphed into a high-speed off-road machine. It’s not really an adventure bike, although Buell says it’s the evolution of the old Ulysses platform. And it’s certainly not an enduro, certainly not a play bike, and certainly not a motocrosser.
Buell has been racing it, though, in AMA hillclimb competitions, where it did pretty well for itself. It’s not hard to see why. As Buell’s press release puts it:
As to specs, the Baja 1190 will be the fastest production dirt bike on the market, boasting a 185hp liquid-cooled, 72-degree V-twin engine with 102 ft-lbs. of torque. The Baja 1190 also has a trellis frame, adjustable swing arm for a 64-70″ wheelbase, and an industry-standard seat height of 37.5″ with a 26.75-degree rake. It’s on track to be the unmatched, uncontested, top speed and performance dirt bike in the world and designed and built from fairing to tailpipe in America.
Taking a step back and looking at this thing, you’ve got to wonder how it would perform with a track kit installed. A long wheelbase bike with that much horsepower and a track kit might be a ton of fun, if you could adapt a Timbersled setup or something similar.
But, you’ve got to buy the Buell Baja first, and we still don’t have a solid production date, only an estimate of 2023 arrival. And, asking price is an estimated $20,000 US. Yikes! That will buy you a KTM Six Days Edition, with a lot of cash left over. But, that KTM wouldn’t have almost 200 hp on-tap …