Monday, June 15, 2009

Buell Patent Application Leaks Dirtbike Design?

We've all heard rumors of a dirtbike from Buell before. There's been speculation on what form that machine might take. Much of it centered around the idea that the Ulysses would serve as the starting platform for Buell's dedicated closed-track, off-road machine.

A search of patent filings at the US Patent office found an intriguing image buried in an application for a patent for what is described as "A motorcycle frame having integral fuel tank and airbox." While that might ring familiar with owners of any recent Buell offering, the really juicy part comes when you go to the trouble of downloading an applet to view the accompanying images/drawings that come with that patent application.

Purported leaks in the past have come up with images such as the one below from speedzilla.com that shows an XB-derived bike with the trademark Buell fuel-in-frame and ZTL front brake:

















Or this one from automotive.com:


















Looking a lot more like the latter image is this drawing from the Buell patent application. Is this the long-lost (and perhaps soon-to-be-resurrected) Buell dirtbike?
















And here is that patent application we found:












It's been thought that this project was scrapped in order to devote resources to the rollout of the Rotax-engined Buell 1125R and 1125CR models, but with their launch in the rearview mirror, how long until we see another, more rough-and-tumble member of the Buell motorcycle family?

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