Like the Black Knight from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Erik Buell Racing just won't give up and die. After ceasing production for the umpteenth time in early 2017, EBR has basically said "It's just a flesh wound" and is gearing up to put the famous EBR 1190RR back into production—at least, in limited quantities.
After its most recent shutdown, EBR continued to provide parts and support to dealers and customers of existing bikes out of a warehouse in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Now, EBR has brought long-time builders Eric "Eroc" Weber and Elliot Malzahn to Grand Rapids to build three more brand new EBR 1190RR superbikes.
"We are going to keep the iconic brand in production with specialized and performance builds," says Bill Melvin, who acquired the company from Erik Buell in 2016. "The approach is to keep it boutique and high performance-driven, ala Bugatti, Koenigsegg, or Lotus." The 1190RR is just the first bike EBR is bringing back from the dead. Melvin says that more updates and motorcycles are in the works for 2019.
Though Erik Buell is no longer part of the company that bears his name, the 1190RR was his design. It incorporates unusual features like fuel storage inside its aluminum frame to improve the bike's center of gravity. It has a huge front brake rotor along the perimeter of the wheel, with an inside-out 8-piston caliper to squeeze the binders on. This is important on a supersport motorcycle with 185 horsepower.
While many of us would like to see EBR return to full production rather than the on-again, off-again relationship it seems to be having with the market, something is certainly better than nothing, especially when it comes to monster bikes like these.