If you’ve been riding for a while, you’ve probably heard of Rex Marsee Designs. They made a wide variety of pretty popular magnetic tankbags and some motorcycle apparel, too. These days, Rex Marsee and workshop partner Larry Brinker, are building a few other projects and while looking at a Buell 1125 thought it might benefit from a little rework to reduce weight and change the appearance.
Since Larry has a pretty well equipped shop that’s where the work began. They took the bike completely apart and began removing pieces and fabricating some new ones.
Rex says that along with removing a few parts, they made some new ones, too:
- A tiny one piece assembly housing the license plate bracket, tail light, stop light and turn signals replaced the bulky production unit.
- The passenger foot pegs were removed and handy grab rails were fabricated and installed.
- Ram air scoops were incorporated into the air cleaner cover to not only bring in more air but to enhance the overall looks of the bike.
- Several exhaust prototypes were created and tested until we finally had an increase of eight horsepower. The additional air intake and fuel adjustments added another four horsepower to the bike.The exhaust is tucked in completely under the bike and the header pipes were turned away from the riders right knee, reducing rider discomfort a lot.
- MX style handlebars replaced the cafe style bars improving rider positioning and comfort and also improving rider maneuverability.
- Up front the fairing was removed along with the huge turn signals and mirrors and to replace them are two small vertical headlamps hidden by side shrouds, mini turn signals and a left side bar end mirror drastically reduced the front end mass.
Initially we were going to mount a transverse radiator so we could eliminate the huge radiator air scoops on each side of the bike, but decided later to keep them intact as we planned to introduce the exhaust system for sale to consumers and the transverse radiator would have prevented us from using the after market pipe.
The frame, swing arm and many parts were powder coated a dark grey and the bike was reassembled. All body panels are painted a glossy black and highly polished.
The bike has been ridden quite a bit and it performs very well. Currently we are working with a motorcycle exhaust company with plans on building the exhausts and marketing them commercially.
As good as the Buell 1125 was from the factory, the styling was something that took some getting used to. Though the side radiators may have been very functional, I don’t think anyone was really happy with them. The work done here lightens the bike by about 40 pounds and the stacked headlights and shroud get rid of the wide fairing and headlights to reduce the visual size on top, it looks good, but I think it might have benefited even more if they had been able to move or modify those side pods in some way, not easy to do, but the result could really pay off.
After seeing the Magpul Ronin article on The Kneeslider, Rex thought we might like to see what they had done with their Buell. He thought they accomplished much of what Magpul did for a lot less money, though no dollar figures were mentioned in the material Rex sent my way. It offers one more option for owners of the 1125 who are looking for something a little different.