Buell Pulls Plug On Dirt Bike Plans

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Oct. 04, 2007
Way back in March of this year Buell announced its intent to build an off-road motorcycle intended for "closed course competition." Seems times are a changin', because the American sportbike company recently announced that it would be putting its dirt project on the shelf "for the foreseeable future."

Citing a favorable reception from dealers, and allegedly customers, Buell says that it will be investing its energy on the new 1125R, and the rest of the XB line. Buell COO, Jon Flickinger says "Buell has made the business decision to focus resources on its street motorcycle business..."

Motorcycle.com asked Paul James, director, product communications, why Buell wouldn't want to capitalize on its higher market profile due to the apparent success of the 1125R, and expand market opportunities with something like the dirt project. James says that while Buell is focused on its core business of street motorcycles, the company also remains "committed to broadening our product range and reaching out to new customers as we seek out new market opportunities in the future."

We can't help but wonder if this decision to put their plans for a dirt bike on the back burner could be an indication that Buell may be spreading the 1125R engine platform across much of the XB line-up. Time will reveal any reliability or quality issues with the new liquid-cooled Twin, but considering it's essentially a Rotax motor, history tells us that such issues won't be of concern. Erik Buell has made it clear that the character of air-cooled motors is something that's important, but a powerful and reliable engine such as the 1125R deserves to find itself in more than one Buell.