First ride: Erik Buell’s EBR 1190SX streetfighter
By Loz Blain
August 11, 2014
The 1190SX streetfighter has landed, and we were fortunate enough to join the local importer at an abandoned warehouse to photograph and play with the very first SX out of the crate in Australia. Unlike most super-nakeds, the SX retains the full 180-odd horsepower of its superbike stablemate, the 1190RX, which we reviewed last month. Here’s a few first impressions and a bunch of highly irresponsible photographs to tide you over until we get a chance to do a full road review.
Knee-deep in pigeon poo and worse, I spent an afternoon photographing and playing with the new EBR 1190SX. As we reported recently, the SX is basically a no-compromises, unfaired street rendering of the 1190RX. Not retuned for midrange, not downgeared for easier access to revs. Erik Bueel and the EBR team have basically pulled off the fairings, stuck on a new headlight and a flat handlebar, and sent the SX out ready to roll.
The riding position is best described as "aggressive nakedbike" in that you’re still leaned slightly forward in an attacking position, but the weight is taken off your wrists. Something about the flat bar also makes the EBR’s heavy clutch feel easier to manage than it is on the RX superbike.
The full-color dash is identical to the race bike’s, but it’s much easier to get to the buttons with no screen in the way. Likewise, the SX also retains the RX’s outstanding LED headlight.
One area I felt could be improved on was the SX’s turning circle. Lock-to-lock you’re looking at a front wheel that won’t turn any further than the sportsbike version, so it’s not the most maneuverable thing in the world. The SX will also be considerably less agile in between lanes of traffic, as its bar sits a few inches wider and the mirrors don't fold in like they do on the RX.
Riding position aside, though, you’re still looking at one aggressive and racy bike. The pegs are the same knurled metal footrests, including the pillion pegs. The front brake setup may have lost the RX’s odd cooling ducts, but it still delivers truly mad stopping power, and that full-fat engine will still be a handful around town, while sipping fuel at an admirably economical rate – at least, when you're not smoking up the back wheel at a standstill!
We’ve got motorcycles falling out of our pockets for the next few weeks, but we’ll look forward to taking the 1190SX out in the twisties, where its wider handlebars should give it even quicker steering than the RX, which is saying quite a bit, since the RX handled about as well as anything I’ve ever ridden.
In the meanwhile, enjoy the photo gallery!