topbanner ad

Wednesday 23 March 2022

Buell Motorcycle

Buell Motorcycle Company Teases at Daytona with Two New Motorcycles

Words and images by Steve Piehl

Visitors to Destination Daytona near Bruce Rossmeyer's Daytona Harley-Davidson got a sneak peek at two future motorcycles from the new Buell Motorcycle Company of Grand Rapids, Michigan.
With great ceremony, CEO Bill Melvin revealed two bikes on March 5, the Baja DR Dune Racer and the SuperTouring 1190. The company says both motorcycles are destined for production in late 2022 or 2023; both are dubbed as 2023 models.

The Baja DR Dune Racer was called "the world's fastest production dirt bike," and with a claimed 172 hp, it just might be. It features the long-travel suspension you would expect, and this model has the extended swingarm of a hillclimber. The display bike was nicely assembled, but was clearly a one-off created for show (and perhaps testing). It's expected to sell for US$20,000.
The Buell SuperTouring 1190 is an interesting exercise in trying to be a sport tourer/adventure bike, while flexing its muscles as a sport bike. The 1190 cc twin-cylinder bike is said to deliver 182 hp. It looks small compared to most sport tourers and adventure bikes, and its street tires and relatively short suspension made it clear that this tourer is designed for adventures on pavement.
The carbon fiber bodywork was well done and actually was a great complement to the massive Buell frame (with fuel tank) and large swingarm. It was displayed originally with the boxy-looking aluminum bags that ADV bike owners seem to love (which of itself is worthy of a separate editorial), but on another visit to the Buell display it was being shown sans-bags - which gave the bike an almost naked bike look. It's expected the price will be in the region of $22,000.

Buell staff at the reveal said that both of the models are far beyond being prototypes, giving us the impression that testing is going on right now, and likely sourcing of parts and supply chain building taking place as we speak.
Both bikes are available for advanced orders now.
Buell also had several of its current offerings on display, including the Hammerhead, which was introduced last year. The display bikes were ready for sale, so these new offerings were there, in part, to drive some traffic and awareness of the Buells that are available today.
Buell's approach on retailing isn't typical of most motorcycle brands today, and that's probably appropriate for a company of this size. As company officials explained, the organization is moving to a consumer-direct sales model on all of its products. 

When a customer orders a Buell motorcycle, they'll advise the company what dealership would be a good pick-up point. If that dealer's not currently a Buell dealer, the company will vet the dealers and work with them to deliver the bike to the purchaser.
Interesting process for a company from Michigan, the state that fought Tesla's consumer-direct model longer and harder than almost any other.
Die-hard Buell fans are likely overjoyed to see that Liquid Asset Partners didn't just sell off the remnants of Erik Buell's former company, but stuck around and are evolving the product into new bikes and new categories. That's a much better "next chapter" than just about anyone had expected.