Browsing a couple of the Buell forums, I found several references to a Buell dealer meeting that just took place. In that meeting, the dealers were told that Buell was planning to introduce a complete line of competition dirt bikes within two years. Details were sketchy, what engine would be used was not disclosed, whether these would be derivatives of current bikes or totally new was also not known. There was also mention of some sort of Buell Hypersport bike.
I’m not exactly sure what they mean by dirt bikes, would these be MX bikes or flat track or what? Who would they be competing against because there is some pretty well entrenched competition in that segment. A nice flat track style street bike would be neat but serious competition? Hmm …
On the hypersport side of things, that is anyone’s guess.
All of this was mentioned at the meeting and that’s as far as the information goes. If a knowledgeable insider would care to comment, please feel free to jump in. Maybe that’s why there were a couple of XBRRs for sale on ebay recently. Maybe they’re changing direction. Interesting. File this under “yes, no, maybe.”
UPDATE: According to Motocross Illustrated magazine (MXi) Buell will be building a motocross motorcycle powered by a 450cc liquid cooled 4 stroke Rotax engine.
Buell could theoretically break cover with the bike in 2008 and race it under the AMA rule that allows a one-year exemption from the production rule for prototype motorcycles – the same way that Yamaha did with its YZ400F in 1997. MXi cannot confirm that Buell currently has such a plan, however.
The dealer source did say that Buell plans to produce the motocross version first, before moving into other segments of the off-road market, such as enduro and supermoto.