Buell Motorcycles were innovative, and way ahead of their time in both style and design way back in the 80s and 90s. Then Harley-Davidson bought the marque, and killed it.
But then it came back under the Erik Buell Racing moniker, then transformed into EBR Motorcycles. Then the brand died again. But now it’s back, and called Buell Motorcycles. This time, apparently, without its namesake’s involvement, which must be kind of weird for him.
Anyway, now that you’re caught up, let’s talk about the Hammerhead. Word on the street is that Buell Motorcycles will start production on this bike in the next month or so (November 2021? Maybe?). The bikes’ model year starts at 2022.
The Buell Motorcycles website doesn’t have any timing listed and their online reservation tool isn’t functional yet, but if you harbor deep affection for the marque, keep your eye on it for updates.
Sadly, most of the images of the bike on the site are renderings instead of photographs. This is going to feel a bit KickStartery (you know what I mean) to those of you who have, perhaps like me, seen all kinds of vaporware motorcycles teased and then vanish in a puff of logic. Build more bikes, Buell, and take real pictures of them!
The upcoming Hammerhead – hang on, can we talk about the name for a moment? I am absolutely on board with giving motorcycles real names, like Hornet and Hurricane and Fireblade (OK maybe I just love old Hondas) but there has to be a cooler shark name out there than Hammerhead, right? Have you seen those guys?
The Real Stats
I’ll get this out of the way first: there’s no published MSRP yet. Let’s look at the guts and goodies and then start guessing about dollars.
An 1190cc liquid-cooled 72-degree V-twin fuel-injected engine that’ll put out 185hp with 101.6 ft/lb of torque at its peak, is stuffed into an integral-fuel-reservoir aluminum frame in very Buell fashion.
Supporting its 419lbs wet (with no gas) weight are USD Showa “big piston” forks and a single linkage-free Showa shock out back.
Also very on-brand is its single eight-pot inside-out front brake caliper that grabs a single perimeter rotor up front and a two-pot traditional disc brake setup on the rear.
Power is delivered to its seventeen-inch cast aluminum wheels by a 520 z-ring chain and a hydraulic vacuum-operated slipper clutch.
Unfortunately the bike is about as pretty as its namesake, while somehow managing to be simultaneously unremarkable. I do like the “gills” up front, though; that’s a nice touch. I guess form will follow function given wind-tunnel limitations.
The numbers all add up to a lightweight, fast motorcycle. Without a few more details it’s hard to guess what its pricetag will look like, but I’m going to bet somewhere in the $24K range. I’d ride it.