2008 Buell 1125R - First Look

Video sneak peek of a whole new Buell.


2008 Buell 1125R - First Look

You've read the rumors, now see the video. Buell will pull the wraps off a new and much more serious sportbike, the 1125R, at its international dealer show Sunday, July 8th, but the wonders of the web have delivered this Buell-produced video of the bike in action a day early, courtesy of our news-sniffing mates at England's Motor Cycle News.

A clever ploy to turn up the volume on the bike's viral buzz? A slip by the MCN tech in charge of video "flight time?" Who knows?

Here's what wedoknow from viewing the video. Rumors have pegged the motor as Rotax-built, and the tape does nothing to disprove that. Powerplant is listed as a 72-degree V-Twin displacing 1125cc with a six-speed gearbox. It's obviously liquid-cooled, a first for a Buell. Horsepower is claimed as 146 bhp; that's undoubtedly at the crank, so expect 125-130 at the rear wheel, more than enough to vault the 1125R into a whole new performance league. The addition of a slipper clutch underscores the new bike's seriousness.

Though the footage is dark and shadowy, the familiar XB-series look is carried over. The bike appears to have a main half-fairing and a smaller shroud for the signature under-engine muffler (why change now, when the rest of the sportbike world seems to be adopting Buell's muffler placement). Wheelbase is 54.5 inches, up 2.5 from the current XB12R. We're told the gas-in-frame configuration is still used, though capacity has grown to 5.6 gallons. Likewise, there's the next-generation of Buell's rim front brake.

So, what we've got here is a new Super Buell, true to the brand's iconoclastic nature, but taken to the next level by a motor that doesn't have its design roots anchored in 1957. Looks like Ducati and Aprilia will have a new sport-Twin to worry about in 2008. Tune in to www.cycleworld.com later for Tech Editor Kevin Cameron's overview and an 1125R photo galley.