Exclusive: EBR 1190AX Confirmed as Sport-Adventure Bike

Rendering of the EBR 1190AX 2 photos
Photo: Gabriel Brandusescu
EBR 1190AX rendering
Nobody knows exactly when the EBR 1190AX will show up, but we know it’s going to be a very interesting bike. An exclusive interview with Gary Pietruszewski, VP of global sales for EBR revealed that our guessing skills have only gotten better. After the supposition that KTM will dish out a “street-adventure” in the form of the 1050 Adventure turned out to be true, it was time to learn that the same future is envisioned for the upcoming 1190AX.
The fact that Erik Buell is “back from the dead” is well-known. After the H-D hiatus, Erik rose like a phoenix and established Erik Buell Racing (EBR), managed to get financing and even drew solid interest form huge Indian bike manufacturer Hero MotoCorp.

Two new machines rolled out, the 1190RX and the 1190SX, both sharing the same 185 hp v-twin platform and promising to become a really hot presence in the high-performance sport bike segment. Still, it looks like EBR is more than willing to become a global player, so expanding the offer beyond fully-faired sport bikes and monstrous roadsters is the next step.

The sport-adventure segment is becoming stronger

We’ve seen KTM and BMW unveiling their sport-adventure bikes at EICMA 2014 and both manufacturers admitted that this is the new fashion in the two-wheeled industry. More and more customers are searching for bikes with sport specs and a hefty dose of racey vibes, but they are also looking for day-long comfort inspired by the touring and full-on adventure bikes.

The manufacturers got the point and have tweaked their existing platforms. Smaller cast wheels replaced the wire-spoked ones of the off-road bikes, while the engines of the sport bikes have been loaded in frames with longer, more compliant suspensions. To some, this might look like lacking vision, but there is an actual demand for such machines.

Basically we are looking for people who want to go road-touring aboard comfy and fast machines, and for whom short, easy gravel sections are more than enough. And if they’re willing to pay for the perfect bike for the task… why not offering them the chance to do so?

The 1190AX will not arrive in 2015

Still, there is some waiting period until the 1190AX will be revealed. EBR has indeed mentioned it from the early days of their new website, but it looks like that name will still remain greyed out for a while. Pietruszewski confirmed that the 1190AX is in the company’s plans, but with no certainty as to when will it be delivered. “For sure not in 2015,” he told us.

Anyway, he confirmed that the AX will be a bike built on the same platform as the other two 1190s. Thinking about the upcoming bike, there is one particular thing which puts an even bigger grin on our faces, and this is the perspective of an 185 horsepower engine in a sport-adventure machine.

Now, this is still in the supposition territory, but there is one thing which might support this. Most manufacturers who produce naked versions of their sort bikes detune the engines a bit. This did not happen at EBR. The SX has the same grit the RX is so proud of, and we might simply get to see the AX with the same engine and transmission.

Does an 185 hp sport-adventure sound like a crazy idea? It might, but again, it looks like this is the new trend in the business. Nobody said these machines would be a beginner’s BFF, after all.

The future EBR 1190AX could definitely use a bit of taller suspensions, just in case, and maybe the composite wheels could become a tad stronger for the same reason. A new profile for the seat is mandatory, but this is a relatively simple task.

The taller, upright riding position in turn commands a touring windscreen, with an adjustable “vario” element being a nifty upgrade. Maybe a more traditional height-adjustable single-piece windshield could be better if traveling at 200 km/h (124 mph) on a highway is envisioned. At the same time, a Rain engine mapping could be a very good complement to the multiple traction control settings of the existing 1190 machines.

Surely we could throw in a bashplate for extra protection on gravel roads, and hand guards to match it. Panniers would be the next logical step, and maybe the top case could be even included in the initial package. We know that EBR is not planning to add electronic suspensions to the 1190 in the near future, so the price will also be a competitive one.

Now, EBR will have one more advantage until the 1190AX rolls out: that of being able to analyze what works and what doesn’t seem to work in this new class. Observing how the others’ bikes perform will give EBR extra knowledge on how to build a successful sport-adventure machine.

In a way, it’s like the new Windows Mobile phones. After several years of fray between iOS and Android, Microsoft steps in with a finely-tuned offer which seems to draw a lot of attention. Will EBR be able to do so with the 1190AX? Time will tell. Meanwhile, we're offering you a rendering of the machine the quench your sport-adventure thirst.

UPDATE: The pictured bike is not the actual  AX model but a photo manipulation.
If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram

Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories