Erik Buell has come full circle with the introduction of a 2007 Buell XBRR, a limited-edition motorcycle designed specifically for racing and in particular the AMA's Formula Xtreme, although it will be eligible for almost any Battle of the Twins series anywhere in the world.
For Buell the XBRR marks a return to his racing roots. Buell was a successful private rider as well as an engineer and eventually built his own machines for AMA Formula 1, then the United States' premier motorcycle racing class.
It was called the RW750 and only two were built before the AMA discontinued the class in 1986.
Buell then started his own company building street-legal sports bikes with Harley-Davidson engines, until the Motor Company bought him out and then employed him!
But he never forgot that he started by trying to build a successful American racing motorcycle.
Erik Buell's first race bike in two decades is based on the very compact fuel-in-frame, oil-in-swingarm XB9 street bike, with a billet rear axle adjustment system and chain final drive to allow gearing changes for different race tracks.
It's powered by a modified XB air/oil-cooled V-Twin engine bored out to 103.6mm bore x 79mm stroke for a capacity of 1340cc. It spins to 8000rpm - astonishing for a Harley-based pushrod V-twin - and Buell claims 112kW at peak and 136Nm at 6500rpm.
Induction is via a downdraft electronic fuel-injection system with dual 62mm throttle bodies and a ram-air intake system integrated with a new carbon fibre fairing, developed in a wind tunnel to improve aerodynamics and reduce drag, and incorporating cooling ducts for the engine and oil cooler.
The XBRR is in fact the first production Buell since the 1988 RR1200 with a full fairing.
Suspension is by 43mm Ohlins fully-adjustable inverted forks and a remote-reservoir rear shock from the same maker. The front wheel has a standard XB rim-mounted brake disc but with a new eight-piston calliper.
The wheels themselves, cast magnesium, are 33 percent lighter than standard Buell hoops.
Its only instruments are a rev-counter and indicator lights for shift, power on and low oil pressure.
Buell will produce 50 XBRR motorcycles, some in a short initial run in late February and the rest in April, at a cost of $30 995 (about R189 000). No decision has yet been made as to whether any will come to South Africa.