Buell Motorcycle makes a turn away from its sportbike heritage with its upcoming Buell Super Cruiser, a club-style hot-rod cruiser that leans on the heritage of Harley-Davidson’s vaunted FXR chassis originally created by Erik Buell.
The Super Cruiser concept began with a conversation between Buell’s CEO Bill Melvin and noted customizer Roland Sands. It only took seeing a sketch from Sands for Melvin to approve the concept and greenlight a prototype built around Buell’s existing sportbike powertrain.
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“The FXR was our muse for this bike,” Sands told us. “To the core V-Twin customer, the FXR really represents the core of motorcycling, and that was an aesthetic we borrowed for this bike. It’s honoring the fact that Erik Buell was involved in designing that bike (the FXR), and that gives us the leeway to build this with Buell.”
On Feb. 10, Sands roared the Super Cruiser in front of the media at his impressive Roland Sands Design complex in Long Beach, California, brapping Buell’s 175-hp V-Twin in celebration.
“When Bill first approached us about building a high-performance cruiser using the Buell motor, it was as if the bike designed itself,” said Sands, who is no stranger to building sport-focused cruisers. “Considering the history of Buell and the market’s need for a truly high-performance cruiser and the build quality of the existing Buell chassis parts, motor, and rolling kit, the project was a natural fit.”
“I’ve been working on projects like this for 20-plus years,” Sands continued, “and this is the first time we’ve been able to build a performance cruiser without the typical V-Twin performance compromises of weight and motor width and length.”
Although the Super Cruiser is only in its developmental stage, Buell reps are excited to bring it to production for 2025.
“The design lends itself to the West Coast scene, where customization is part of bike culture,” said Melvin. “And Roland was enthusiastic about incorporating Buell technology into that culture, creating the fastest, coolest cruiser on the market.”
The Super Cruiser uses a new steel-tube frame wrapped around Buell’s liquid-cooled V-Twin engine, adding up to 175 hp in a package weighing just 450 lb. Combined with Buell’s existing inverted fork, aluminum swingarm, wheels, and the company’s unique perimeter front brake system, the result is a machine that Sands said is unapologetic in its aspirations to be a high-performance bike.
“To me,” Sands noted, “this is what’s badass right now – this profile, this style of bike. It stops, it goes, it wheelies, it goes around corners really well, it’s comfortable, and it’s a gas. You just jump on the bike and immediately feel tougher – it’s pure attitude. When you sit on the bike, it makes you feel like a badass, and that means something.”
Melvin added that building a cruiser was something Buell always contemplated. “The market is full of American manufacturers known mostly for big, heavy bikes – not fast, hot ones like the famous V-Twins of the 1930s. Our Buell Super Cruiser will be the hottest bike on the market. Period.”
The Super Cruiser, observed Sands, “is a bike that Harley should’ve built fucking 20 years ago. Is Harley going to look at this thing and say, ‘Shit, we should’ve built that bike?’ Maybe.”
Is the world ready for a superbike-powered high-performance club bike? Quite possibly, yes. We’re anxious to take one for a ride!