Sport bikes require real engineering. You can't just toss a huge overbuild factor at everything and end up with a 600 lb middleweight.
In the cruiser world, you can just buy a crate motor, string together a simple stone age frame and bold on lots of chrome. Add paint and a really loud exhuast and voila, a mnaly cruiser is born. Massive profit margin, no engineering risk.
As an American engineer, I am saddened by the utter lack of competitive American alloy. Cannondale was a great hope for me, but they bit off more than they could chew.
Ah, but who's supplying the engines for them? It looks like Fischer is doing the body & suspension work, but choosing a third party from whom to buy the engine. I mean, is it still an "American Sportbike" if Yamaha provides the engine? Is the Pontiac Vibe really an "American Car" if it's really a rebadged Toyota Matrix?
Buell and sport bike do not belong together in the same sentence. Sport bikes are race replicas and any one of following can be had off the showroom floor. Just a few examples of sport bikes:
Super Bike or liter class; Honda RC 51 winner of 2002 WSB and AMA super bike. Suzuki GSXR 1000, future 2003 AMA super bike champion. Ducati 998/999 and Aprilia Mille R.
¾ liter class, GSXR 750; three time winner of AMA super bike championship
How about Super Sport; Yamaha R6, Suzuki GSXR 600, Honda CBR, Kawasaki ZX-6R, Triumph 600.
Where does Buell fit in this mix??? Aprilia and to a lesser extent Triumph have entered the mix and had relative success. They have had success because they developed, built and competed against Honda and Ducati. Once they built a race bike they were able to sell a "Sport Bike". What has Buell done other then develop a marketing plan.
Even Moto Guzi is developing a sport bike to compete in the 20004 WSB. What will Buell do, develop another marking plan...
Until the Buell customer demands a bike that can compete with the established race bikes Buell will at best be considered an oddity not a sport bike by any stretch of the imagination
Well, of course I haven't read the book and I don't intend too. But, what is there to learn about yet another failure in trying to create a motorcycle company. Look at the successes instead, Polaris, Triumph. It's not about dreams and pretty blue wishes it's about knowledge about the product and hard work. You want an interesting story in the making - watch Kenny Dreer and his new Norton America company.
It became that off shoot the second some idiot tried explaining to us what a "real" sportbike is, or isn't. By your definition my ZX9R isn't a real sport bike, because it isn't raced or hasn't won anything. Thanks for taking KPaul's place while he is away. We always need one like him.
If you don't like Buells then mount your 600, rap it to 15000rpm to achieve what buell do in 4000 rpm. Oh yeah, since when do any 600s even approach the low rpm torque of a Buell. The Buell will be around whether you are intimidated by it or not. Jap bikes are like computers, the moment they leave the dealer the manufacturer has one in the works to obsolete the one you bought. That's why used jap bikes ain't worth didly.
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