Erik Buell is passionate about racing motorcycles, and now the company that bears his name is going Superbike racing. The new 1125RR is a race-only version of Buell's 1125R streetbike, and we'll get to see it in action at this weekend's AMA Pro Superbike race in Ohio.
"The 1125RR is designed to give privateer racers a turn-key machine to compete in the American Superbike class in AMA Pro Racing," said Buell, the Chairman and Chief Technical Officer of Buell Motorcycle Company. "We want to build on our program that has proven so successful for privateers in the Daytona SportBike class."
The Buell 1125RR uses some race components already used on 1125R that has taken victories in the Daytona SportBike class, such as a billet axle-adjustment system for the aluminum swingarm that incorporates chain drive for simpler gearing changes. In the axle's center position, the double-R has a 55.5-inch wheelbase, up nearly an inch from the streetbike's 54.6 inches. The chassis itself is unchanged from the standard 1125R's twin-beam aluminum frame that doubles as the bike’s fuel tank.
Buell has made several modifications to the 1125cc Helicon engine, although it's a bit surprising to see its displacement unchanged (the class allows twin-cylinder motors to be up to 1200cc). Engineers concentrated mostly on improved breathing for the 72-degree V-Twin, gaining a larger airbox and intake manifold and a titanium exhaust system. Inside you'll find "revised" valves and camshafts, a higher compression ratio, and "other weight-reduced components."
Suspension is from Showa, like the 1125R streetbike, but the 1125RR gets Showa's new Big Piston Fork with race-kit internals and an upgraded remote-reservoir race shock. Braking is via Buell's ZTL2 (Zero Torsional Load) system that uses a single perimeter-mounted rotor (modified for race use) and the massive eight-piston front caliper. The use of lightweight magnesium wheels improves suspension performance and handling but adds a big chunk o' change to the RR's spendy $39,995 list price.
Now, $40K may sound like a lot of money, but it's a relative bargain in the world of Superbike racing. It will be interesting to see how Buell rider Taylor Knapp performs on it this weekend at the Mid-Ohio races and for the rest of the AMA Pro Superbike season.
But perhaps the most significant aspect to the announcement of the 1125RR is what it may mean for Buell's production streetbikes. If Erik Buell is involved in racing, he's going to want to put the most competitive bike on the grid. In Superbike, this means having a full 1200cc of displacement. Thus, we speculate that we may see a Buell 1200R streetbike in 2011.
More: 2010 Buell 1125RR introduced