New Buell 1125R revealed

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Finally America’s only sportsbike maker has become America’s only superbike maker with the launch of the new 1125R.

Marking the first water-cooled Buell motorcycle since the first, two-stroke 750RW of 1983, the new 1125R offers 146bhp from a completely new V-twin engine and costs just £8495, making it a real alternative to bikes like Aprilia’s RSV-R and Japanese four-cylinder superbikes.

To see the official video of the Buell 1125R click here.

Powered by a 72-degree, water-cooled, DOHC V-twin developed by Austrian firm Rotax – which also makes the RSV engine for Aprilia and the F800 engine for BMW – the new 1125R has nearly 50bhp more than any Buell before, but promises to retain the earlier bikes’ legendary handling.

The motorcycle uses a new chassis designed in line with Buell’s philosophy of keeping the fuel in the frame, and sticks with the same, steep 21 degree head angle of its predecessor, the Firebolt, which will be discontinued for 2008.

Weighing just 170kg dry, or 200kg with all fluids, it’s just as light as any of its competitors, and more compact than most, with a tiny 1385mm wheelbase. The short layout is helped by the narrow angle of the engine and the fact the twin radiators are side-mounted rather than ahead of the engine.

In a break from conventional superbike thinking, the Buell sticks with belt drive taking power from its six-speed gearbox to the rear wheel. It also features a slipper clutch.

A new, eight-pot caliper grips the single, rim-mounted front disc, and the bike uses a new cast-alloy swingarm. It’s set to go on sale this November.

For full technical details of the new motorcycle, see MCN on Wednesday

Ben Purvis

By Ben Purvis