Buell Motorcycle Company, America’s largest manufacturer of sport-oriented motorcycles entered the liter-class sportbike market in the summer of 2007 with its early-release 2008 Buell 1125R. The 1125R superbike incorporates many signature Buell engineering traits such as carrying the engines’ fuel within the frame, its Zero Torsional Load (ZTL2) front brake which uses an oversized perimeter rotor and a single 8-piston caliper, a compact high-volume underslung exhaust system, and belt final-drive.
Powering the Buell 1125R is a Helicon 1125cc V-Twin engine that benefits from contemporary sportbike engine design including double overhead camshafts and 4-valve cylinder heads. The 1125R also benefits from liquid-cooling—a first for any Buell motorcycle. Engineered by Buell but manufactured by Austrian technical partner Rotax, the engine is claimed to dish out 146 horsepower. A close-ratio six-speed transmission and Hydraulic Vacuum Assist (HVA) slipper-action clutch complete the Buell 1125R powertrain.
The 1125R’s chassis is comprised of a thick twin-spar frame and swingarm both constructed out of aluminum. Suspension is comprised of an equally thick 3-way adjustable 47mm Showa inverted fork and a Showa rear shock that attaches directly between the frame and swingarm without linkage, which is typical on other sportbikes. The Buell 1125R returns for 2009 with only minor modifications including revised engine calibration settings and colors.