Behold The Buell SuperCruiser: An Odd Mash-Up Of Buell History

Credit: Buell

In case you missed it: Buell is back in business, and now it’s building a cruiser.

One or both of those pieces of information may come as a surprise to you—for us here at CMG, we’ve been paying attention to the Buell saga and have even kept you up-to-date on the company’s developments, but the new Buell SuperCruiser surprised even us.

Club bike styling; opinion is divided on the esthetics of that aluminum radiator. Credit: BuellB

The Buell Rebirth

The current iteration of Buell is actually the Erik Buell Racing company, which went bankrupt back in 2015, combined with the Buell name that Harley-Davidson owned. The new EBR owners put the Buell badge back on their machines and over the past few years, they’ve been showing off new designs based around the same liquid-cooled, made-in-Michigan 1190cc V-twin that’s based off the Rotax 1125 engine. The new machines include the ADV-esque SuperTouring model and the Baja 1190 dune racer. Neither of those bikes is in production yet, though.

Erik Buell is no longer with this company, since the 2015 bankruptcy.

A bit of, uh, different styling. But that non-traditional cruiser styling is necessary, if you want the bike to have better performance. Credit: Buell

The Buell SuperCruiser

So what of the SuperCruiser? This machine was built with help from Roland Sands Design—if you pay attention to what goes on in the world of motorcycles, you should know that name. Roland Sands was a successful AMA 250GP racer who went into custom motorcycle manufacturing.

If you squint, you can see the SuperCruiser is basically a mash-up of the 1190 V-twin (making 175 hp in this application) with club bike styling, mid-controls, 17-inch wheels and a frame that bears a strong family resemblance to Harley-Davidson’s much-loved FXR. That’s particularly interesting, because guess who was one of the key designers of the original FXR chassis? If you answered “Erik Buell,” you’d be correct. So, in a weird way, even though many former Buell owners will not like the idea of a cruiser bearing the badge, this is sort of an all-in-the-family project. And even though it’s a cruiser, it’s lightweight, with typical Buell perimeter brakes, and those 17-inch wheels should take some fairly sticky rubber, should the owner so desire.

See an excerpt from the Buell press release below:

With 175 horsepower and no electro-trickery to interfere, this bike should absolutely rip. Credit: Buell

“When Bill (Buell’s current owner, Bill Melvin–Ed.).first approached us about building a high-performance cruiser using the Buell motor, it was as if the bike designed itself,” said Roland Sands. “Considering the history of Buell and the market’s need for a truly high-performance cruiser, and the build quality of the existing Buell chassis parts, motor, and rolling kit, the project was a natural fit.”

The Super Cruiser will take advantage of Buell’s unique high-performance V-twin engine and innovative perimeter braking system and structural swingarm, delivering a bike with exceptional handling in a non-sport bike format.

The design lends itself to the West coast scene where customization is part of bike culture,” said Melvin. “And Roland was enthusiastic about incorporating Buell technology into that culture, creating the fastest, coolest cruiser on the market.”

“I’ve been working on projects like this for 20-plus years, and this is the first time we’ve been able to build a performance cruiser without the typical V-twin performance compromises of weight and motor width and length,” said Sands.

At 450 lbs. and 175 hp, Sands’ chassis geometry delivers road-friendly handling that’s ready for the track. Using much of the standard Buell rolling kit, Sands engineered his chassis design to work with the swingarm, forks, original 17″ wheels, and brake system. “Ground clearance, bar position, and comfortable seating and foot positions are key to getting the cruiser look with sport bike handling,” said Sands.

The Super Cruiser solidifies that Buell is Back and building more than sport bikes. Out of the gate, this cruiser will lead performance in the category. It’s light, nimble, and high torque, incorporating all the main points that connect the rider to the ground, and it’s cracking open another part of the market – a younger crowd craving speed and performance in a cruiser.”

Credit: Buell

Like the 1190 Baja and the SuperTourer, the SuperCruiser is not in production yet, although you can lay down a deposit. See more details at Buell’s website here.


  1. I’d rock that at 15 K or under BUT being a boutique brand likely with RSD badges that’s not gonna happen. 25 to 30 K is my best guesstimate.

  2. Would have been a lot more relevant 10 years ago before Indian released their Scouts, and before, more recently, H-D released its new bikes with the new engine.

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