From road to track: A look at the Buell SuperTouring 1190

Buell SuperTouring 1190 touring motorcycle concept
Buell is on a mission. Hot on the heels of the release of their Roland Sands-designed Super Cruiser concept, the American company has just thrown the wraps off the latest iteration of the upcoming Buell SuperTouring 1190. And we have questions.

First teased a year ago, the SuperTouring was originally pitched as a high-speed tourer. But Buell has refined and evolved the concept since, and it’s now being touted as a ‘modular superbike’—or an ‘adaptive motorcycle.’

Buell SuperTouring 1190 touring motorcycle concept
In plain English, that means that all the bits that make the SuperTouring a tourer, are designed to bolt on and off in minutes. The idea, according to Buell, is to build a bike that can go from street-legal to track ready in less than an hour. Which, although not entirely groundbreaking, is sort of clever.

Motorcycling in the US is more about leisure than transport. So a bike that can do multiple things—like hit the open road one weekend, and the track the next, while also maybe commuting—is a nifty proposition.

Buell SuperTouring 1190 touring motorcycle concept
On the surface, the SuperTouring looks like a revival of the Buell XB12XT Ulysses. Which is unavoidable, really, given the marque’s inherent design language, and the touring underpinnings of both bikes. On closer inspection though, it’s more akin to a bulked-up 1190SX.

It was designed in collaboration with J. Ruiter—an award-winning industrial designer with a knack for creating left-field motorcycle concepts. You’ve probably seen his blocky, utilitarian Moto Undone and Snoped concepts.

Buell SuperTouring 1190 touring motorcycle concept
The differences are easy to spot. The SuperTouring features a sturdier subframe, no doubt to support luggage and passengers. It also sports a comfier-looking two-up seat, and removable passenger pegs, luggage racks and hard panniers.

Sitting up front is a pair of LED headlights (a classic Buell touch), wrapped in a modular fairing with varying screen heights on offer. The faux tank covers and side panels look to be largely carried over from the 1190SX—and like on the SX, they’re all made from carbon fiber.

Buell SuperTouring 1190 touring motorcycle concept
Buell haven’t released too many details yet, but they have confirmed that the SuperTouring’s chassis and engine are the same as those on the 1190SX and Hammerhead 1190. And that tells us a few things.

The 1,190 cc V-twin engine in the 1190SX is good for 185 hp and 137.8 Nm. And while the SuperTouring is likely to feature its own engine tune, we can probably expect numbers in the same ballpark. Compare the SuperTouring to the 1190SX and Hammerhead 1190, and you’ll also spot the same swingarm, wheels, and Buell’s signature perimeter disc brakes.

Buell SuperTouring 1190 touring motorcycle concept
We can also expect the SuperTouring’s fuel-in-frame chassis to hold the same amount of petrol as its two stablemates; 17 l [4.5 gallons]. That leaves it with slightly shorter legs than some of its competitors, like the Harley-Davidson Pan America (5.6 gal) and the Ducati Multistrada V4 (5.8 gal).

You can’t blame Buell for using an established platform though. They’re still a relatively small company—and developing a new types of bikes on an existing platform is far less expensive than building everything from scratch. But the SuperTouring will probably need a few more tweaks to truly shine.

Buell SuperTouring 1190 touring motorcycle concept
Given the modular concept at play here, will Buell offer some sort of auxiliary fuel cell to help the SuperTouring go further? And will parts like the foot pegs be adjustable, so that riders can optimize the bike for each riding scenario? Only time will tell.

One thing’s for sure though—Buell is listening. The SuperTouring is only slated for production in 2025, but Buell are showing it off at Daytona Bike Week right now, because they want to know what people think of it. The company’s CEO, Bill Melvin, has stated that customer feedback is central to Buell’s development process.

So if you have an opinion on the SuperTouring, let ’em have it.

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Buell SuperTouring 1190 touring motorcycle concept