Buell 1190RR Superbike First Look

March 5, 2010
Bart Madson
By Bart Madson
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Bashing away at the MotoUSA keyboard for nine years now, Madson lends his scribbling and editorial input on everything from bike reviews to industry analysis and motorcycle racing reports.

The AMA Pro Road Racing season opens at Daytona this week, and one bike not in competition but still making news is the new Buell 1190RR. Wait, wait, wait… Buell Motorcycles is dead – caput. True, but Erik Buell hasn’t closed up shop entirely, having opened the Erik Buell Racing to provide parts support and sell Buell racebikes for 2010.

Buell 1190RR Superbike
The Buell 1190RR: More power and lighter than the 1125RR, but where will it be racing?

Announced earlier this year, Buell unveils details regarding its latest racebike. As as the name implies, the 1190RR bumps up the 1125R displacement. The two cylinders are bored out to 106mm (from 103mm), with stroke unchanged at 67.5mm. Bike description on the Erik Buell Racing website states that: “Engines are completely disassembled and blueprinted, with top-shelf internal parts added to deliver reliable performance at the extreme rev ranges required for a twin-cylinder bike to compete at these power levels.”

The spec sheet reveals use of a dual injector with showerhead for the fueling, rather than the single injector on the 1125RR. The 1190RR also sources a titanium 2-into-1 exhaust, rather than the 1125’s steel unit. All told the mods add up to a claimed 185 rear-wheel horsepower and 93 lb-ft torque. That’s a 10 hp and 7 lb-ft claimed increase over the 1125RR. The 1190 drops eight lbs as well, with a claimed dry weight of 360 lbs.

Erik Buell poses with his original racebike  the RW750.
Erik Buell poses with his original racebike, the RW750. More than two decades later, Buell continues to make purpose-built racers.

The 1190RR represented the next step for the Buell marque. In our Erik Buell Interview exclusive, the company founder was explicit about future racing plans, focusing on American SuperBike in 2010 and plans to jump to World Superbike in 2011. Without question, the 1125 would have to be altered to take advantage of the 1200cc displacement gap for Twins to be competitive – a la the 1190.

As for its immediate racing future, the EBR website states of the new 1190 that: “Although it is not currently approved for AMA ASB class racing, this bike can be raced in many classes around the world and should add new excitement racing against other premium street-based twin roadracers.”

One team that will campaign the new 1190RR is the German-based Pegasusraceteam.com, which purchased two of the rides to compete in the European Sound of Thunder Series (Erik Buell Racing Makes First Sales). Addition to the AMA Pro Road racing series seems improbable, though Buell has courted AMA homologation controversy in the past – most notably with its XBRR racebike in the old Formula Xtreme series. Plus, the EBR site does use the terminology “not currently approved.”

Whether that statement reflects unrealistic optimism or not, it gives Buell fans a glimmer of hope for the future. At the very least, the 1190RR is proof of what they’re missing.

Buell 1190RR Specs
Engine: 72° V-Twin, 4-Stroke, 4-valve DOHC FF valvetrain
Displacement: 1190 cc
Bore and Stroke: 106 x 67.5
Compression Ratio: 14.25:1
Heads: CNC ported
Valves: Titanium, 42.0mm intake, 35.4 mm exhaust
Power: 185 RWHP @11,500 RPM (Dynojet Rear Wheel)
Torque: 93.0 lb-ft @ 9,500 RPM (Dynojet Rear Wheel)
Piston: Forged alloy slipper type
Rod: Forged H-beam high strength alloy steel
Crankshaft: Lightweight forged steel
Fuel System: IDS Technology DDFI 3 electronic fuel injection and engine management system, fully programmable, 61mm throttle bodies, dual injector with showerhead, PWM fuel pump
Exhaust: Titanium ultralight 2 into 1 system.
Clutch: Multiplate Slipper
Primary Drive: Straight cut gear, 1.806 ratio
Transmission: 6 speed
Ratios: 6th – 24/25 (0.960:1)
5th – 25/24 (1.042:1)
4th – 27/23 (1.174:1)
3rd – 29/21 (1.381:1)
2nd – 28/16 (1.750:1)
1st – 32/13 (2.462:1)
Final Drive: 520 Chain
Frame: Light alloy large section beam with integral fuel cell
Subframe: Light alloy tubular
Wheelbase: Adjustable – 1400 to 1460 mm (55.1 to 57.4 in.)
Rake: Adjustable – 21° to 22.5°
Front Suspension: Showa Race 43mm inverted fork, fully adjustable with BPF technology providing true separation of rebound and compression damping.
Front Wheel Travel: 120mm (4.72 in)
Front Brake: 387.5 mm (15.25 in) semi floating ISO multi-fin rotor with 8 piston ZTL2.5 caliper
Front Wheel: 6 spoke ZTL magnesium, 3.50 x 17
Front Tire: 120/17 ZR-17 Pirelli Diablo Corsa III
Rear Suspension: Light alloy swingarm with Showa Race damper, adjustable compression, rebound and ride height.
Rear Wheel Travel: 127 mm (5 in)
Rear brake: 240mm lightweight disc, 2 piston caliper
Rear Wheel: 6 spoke magnesium, 6.00 x 17
Rear Tire: 190/55 ZR-17 Pirelli Diablo Corsa III
Fuel Capacity: 4.6 US Gal
Battery: Buell Li-tech Lithium Nanotech
Dry Weight: 360 lbs (wet, no fuel)