Like many others, I’ve always felt that Erik Buell got a raw deal when Harley-Davidson decided to shut down Buell Motorcycles. Having met the namesake and even raced one of his motorcycles (XB12R) for my very first AMA race, I even have a personal connection to Erik Buell. So when news broke that Buell was making a comeback, I couldn’t help but be excited for him. Getting a chance to ride his new 1190RX, the first of the new EBR models, was an exciting prospect, but getting to do it at the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Statements like that don’t come around very often in the moto-journalism world because what many casual motorcyclists would call once-in-a-lifetime seemingly happens once a month for us. But this? This was truly rare.

As it turned out, the ride day was wet in the morning, making it very tricky trying to learn a new bike and a new track, all while trying to stay upright. The memorable part for me, however, was simply being at the Brickyard, riding an American sportbike. Moments like these are special, and this moment surely wasn’t lost on me. Although the bike itself can’t compete against the kings of the literbike class, it’s still no less a thoroughly enjoyable and visceral motorcycle to pilot quickly. Which only enhances the memory.