Liquid Asset Partners LLC, owners of Erik Buell Racing, have filed a trademark application for the name “Black Lightning” for use on “motorcycles and structural parts therefor.” The application was filed Oct. 27, just over a month EBR sent out a press release promising something “quick, dark and low” this fall. The name “Black Lightning” would certainly fit the descriptors “quick” and “low.”

Of course, the name also conjures up memories of the Vincent Black Lightning, a classic bike recognized as the fastest production motorcycle in the world during its production run from 1948 to 1952, thanks in large part to Rollie Free and his record-setting Bonneville Salt Flats run.


The name “Black Lightning,” however, isn’t currently trademarked in the U.S. for use on motorcycles despite four attempts to do so since 1996. In an ironic twist, one of those applications, filed in May 2001 by Feuling R&D in Ventura, Calif., was  abandoned after facing opposition from Harley-Davidson which claimed the name infringed on its trademark for the Buell Lightning.

In a press release from Sept. 23, Liquid Asset Partners Chief Executive Officer and EBR’s Chief Financial Officer Bill Melvin said: “This fall, we have something ‘Quick, Dark, and Low’ in the works that should be exciting for urban street riders, and we are making real progress on expanding the range of models of the 1190 platform, as well as developing and delivering accessories that our EBR riders want. There is a bright future for EBR, and as part of that, work is proceeding on a sub-$10k platform for 2018.”

From Melvin’s description, it’s easy to infer the Black Lightning would be a cruiser, which, again, would be ironic considering Buell’s history with Harley-Davidson. With the EBR brand’s focus on performance, a potential cruiser based on the company’s 1190 platform may be a potential rival to the likes of the xDiavel or VRod.

EBR is slated to be at the Long Beach IMS with what it describes as 2017.5 and 2018 model year prototypes, and from what Melvin says, it sounds like the EBR Black Lightning may be one of them. We’ll have more information here on as it develops.

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  • Old MOron

    I’ve heard that the Long Beach show is going to be epic this year. I can’t wait! Keep up the good work, DC. We dig your patent and trademark sleuthing discoveries.

    • spiff

      I think EBR could do a nice power cruiser. It would be cool, not for me, but cool. Would be funny if EBR stole some of HD’s market.

  • Born to Ride

    The R in EBR could and should extend to drag racing. I’d love to see an American built Diavel that doesn’t have a clamshell riding position or a pathetic fuel range. Throw in some rear wheel travel and lean angle too please.

    • Jeff

      ehh, fuel range isnt as bad as you think. You can easily get 150 on the highway on any of the current EBRs.

      • Born to Ride

        Wasn’t talking about EBR. Was referring to the Vrod. Note that there are also no EBR bikes with a clam shell riding position.

  • Starmag

    Oh no. Black Lightning? Really? Egan will be so disappointed.

    • AM

      Who cares about Egan?

      • Starmag

        Those with class, taste, and an appreciation of history. Possibly EB himself. Certainly not everyone.

  • mackja

    Needless to say I am really intrigued about new product form EBR. Now that the V-rod is going out of production their might be a market for a power cruiser. Maybe the elves have something really cool coming out. I would not mind a power cruiser, now how to make more room in my garage!

    • denchung

      Another possibility is a new take on the Buell S1 Lightning. Buell did make a S1 White Lightning in the late ’90s so the Black Lightning name isn’t without precedent. As a side note, USPTO documents indicate Harley-Davidson transferred the rights to the name “Lightning” to electric bike maker Lightning Motors a few years ago.

      • Old MOron

        What are you trying to do, get our hopes up? Do you know how crushed I was when Victory hyped its Pikes Peak bike, then delivered the Octane?

  • allworld

    Nothing would please me more than to have an American designed, engineered and built line up of bikes to rival those of Europe.

  • AM

    Liquid Asset will be better off liquidating it’s assets to EBR , that’s for sure. EBR innovations and formula doesn’t work. The bike is way off on technology, refinement and reliability. After I rode one I understood why they went belly up. Just unacceptable for the price they charge.

  • Brad Fellows

    I don’t think they’re suggesting it will be a cruiser. I think it’ll be more like a XB9 CityX style SX variant. Special dark paint, some “urban scrambler” features like hand guards, and some Pirelli Scorpions.

  • spiff

    Of everything Buell has done, if I could have one it would be the S1 Lightning. After that an S3 Thunderbolt. They were cool.

  • TheMarvelous1310

    A Buell cruiser? That would be hilarious! It’s much more likely to be a streetfighter than even a standard, but if it’s anything like a reasonably priced Gurney Alligator I’m all for it.