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administrator 02-14-2008 02:37 PM

Erik Buell Interview
 

The first 1125R bikes saw production and are on their way to dealers.

Erik Buell, the Chairman and Chief Technical Officer of the company that bears his name, is the kind of guy who makes a great conversationalist about all things motorcycles.

He was a real-deal racer, competing at Daytona racing a fire-breathing Yamaha TZ750 against riders such as the legendary Kenny Roberts. And in case you think Buell’s theme of putting a hot-rodded Harley engine in a sportbike chassis is a fairly new thing, consider that Erik Buell created his RR1000 Battletwin in the mid-'80s, a Harley XR1000-powered sportbike with modern-day Buell innovations such as an under-engine muffler and shock absorber.

Back in 1979, fresh with a mechanical engineering degree from the University of Pittsburg, Buell talked his way into a job at the then-struggling Harley-Davidson, turning down lucrative offers from Pratt & Whitney, General Motors and Black & Decker. During his time there, he was still racing and was in the midst of developing a 750cc two-stroke Formula One racer, eventually taking a leave of absence in 1983 to pursue bringing his bike to market. Well, the AMA put the kibosh on the F1 class that year, and with it went Buell's prospective racebike business.


More: Erik Buell Interview on Motorcycle.com


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