Friday, January 22, 2010

The Aftermarket Is The Only Market For Buell (for now)

We've always thought Buell was missing out on aftermarket sales, but now that production of new Buells has ended, that's the only market.

There have always been a number of companies making aftermarket parts for Buells. American Sport Bike, for example, continues to make new aftermarket parts. Their high bar kit for the 1125R hasn't been released, but already Buell riders are lining up to buy it. And good for Al and American Sport Bike. They've supported the Buell enthusiast for many years.

A strong argument can be made for Erik Buell Racing to concentrate on designing aftermarket parts and having other companies manufacture them. Erik Buell has the engineering know-how and he's demonstrated the rare ability to divorce himself from convention. And a lot of small factories are operating below capacity and would be happy to mill short runs of specialized parts.

While his heart certainly lies in the no-nonsense world of racing, there's a lot more money to be made catering to the street bike rider with street-legal performance upgrades and appearance kits.

One of our favorite Buell mod-shops was French builder Lazareth. While the open turbocharger belt seemed an impractical invitation to injury, the profile he gave the XB12S was undeniably beautiful, and we secretly hoped some of those design cues would filter back into the production bikes.

Well, now we have a new favorite modified Buell, this one based on our favorite, the 1125R.

What you're looking at is the Magpul Ronin. If that name doesn't sound familiar, that's because they've never had anything to do with motorcycles before. Magpul makes aftermarket rifle grips, stocks, magazines, etc. We can only imagine that they had idle time and CNC machine time, and did this amazing Buell in their spare time.

I like the front fork fairings, though I'd like to see how they perform at speed. I'm not as sure how practical the naked radiator front and center would be, though it does add to the overall look of mechanical brutality. What I think is absolutely brilliant is the use of the negative space between the seat and frame. I would throw my grandmother down a flight of stairs to have someone fabricate that seat, tail assembly and airbox cover.

For those of you who've been starved for Buell eye-candy, here are a few more shots. Get the whole story at

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