Ask MO Anything: Should I Buy a Buell?

John Burns
by John Burns
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ask mo anything should i buy a buell

Dear MOby,

I commute and tour on a Yamaha FJR1300, cruise occasionally on a Dyna Glide, and think I may need an EBR 1190SX to reduce the residual Ducati pangs I sometimes feel as a result of 1098 withdrawal a few years ago. Will I like the EBR? Will I be disappointed? The price seems suddenly right…

Seamus O’Connor
San Jose, CA

Before EBR’s most recent financial, ahhhhh, setback, this bike was selling for $4 less than our 2014 Motorcycle of the Year KTM Super Duke R – $16,995 – and it was worth every penny. Now you can get one for $4,000 off. Or less. Who knows? Why not make Erik Buell’s pain your gain like every other heartless money-grubbing capitalist in the world?

In a head-to-head comparison with the KTM, the EBR lost but not by much. If you wanted a comfortable bike you could ride every day, the KTM is the more polished marble. The EBR, on the other hand, is a more raucous, rough-edged 156-horsepower beast ideally suited to the discriminating moto connoisseur who has other bikes to ride for quotidian tasks, and wants a bike he can flog mercilessly on road and track as needed when the sap is rising and really doesn’t care if its around-town fueling isn’t exactly perfect as delivered.

“Yes but will I be able to get parts if EBR fails for good,” sensible types will be asking? F*#k that! It’s the same question guys asked before not buying a Crocker in 19-whenever-that-was. What’s a Crocker worth now? $200,000 and up. If EBR does go boobs up, they’ll be liquidating all their parts inventory and you can stock up on oil filters and brake levers then. In the modern world where there’s now a thing called the www, your human parts are going to wear out long before the Buell parts cache runs out. So just stop whining before you start, Dick Ruble.

MO Survey: Would You Buy An EBR Motorcycle?

Erik Buell can never quite be the Preston Tucker of motorcycles, since Buell has sold well over 100,000 motorcycles over the last few decades. But if the 1190s (RX and SX) do represent the high-water mark for Buell, these are definitely going to appreciate over the years – and might very well prove to be a great investment in addition to being one of the most exhilarating motorcycles you’re allowed to ride on public roads. Either way, it’s hard to see how you could lose at $12,995. Pick one up here.

Cue motojournalism stock phrase #543: Make mine red!

Send your questions to, and we’ll make up more answers.

John Burns
John Burns

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2 of 39 comments
  • Mog Mog on Aug 19, 2016

    The 2016 EBR 1190SX with more dealerships coming on line, weight lighter than the KTM, 3 inch shorter wheelbase, $12,995 price and better fueling.... might be a really good idea to keep the KTM away from track day demos against the new EBR 1190SX.
    So get your test riders out to a track day to see if the KTM ergonomics keep you from getting your knee pucks blown off by an EBR loafing by on the inside of turn 1.

  • Richard Delcorde Richard Delcorde on Apr 06, 2017

    Got one , an old 1997 tuber and its a great ride .stop the fairy tales of company insolvency and scarcity of parts or roi .IF YOU ARE a real motorcyclist you don't care and carry-on because you can ride when it rains or snows or the wind blows so hard you grit your teeth and you carry-on and if it breaks you fix it and carry-on.RIDERS ride ,pussys argue .