Note: Some of the pictures in this post are from the web not from the listed ebay auction.
Ahh…what could have been….the EBR 1190RS, “built to prove an american sportbike could compete with the best in the world”. Sure we have heard that line before but from a technical standpoint, the EBR actually did it, most famously being reviewed as being as near as makes no difference to the benchmark Ducati 1199 Paginale. The EBR matched the best the world could offer on the track too; EBR took a couple of the 1190 bikes campaigning in the Superbike World Championship and became the first American OEM to earn Superbike World Championship points.
For those readers not familiar with the EBR brand, the company was launched after Harley Davidson made a somewhat shortsighted decision to focus on its core market and shut down the Buell motorcycle brand. NOTE: Harley Davidson also sold off the MV Agusta brand at this time.
Buell lineup namesake and renowned designer Erik Buell, not content to go out with a whimper, raised some funds and launched EBR/Erik Buell Racing in 2009. Some DNA of previous buell models can be seen in the 1190 RS (such as the frame serving as the fuel tank) but the bike was a clean sheet design designed to generate levels of performance equal to the rest of the worlds top bikes. On the plus side, the 1190RS had pretty much all of the most exotic items in the EBR catalog as standard and only 100 of this carbon bodied edition were built.
On the minus side, the 1190RS was probably priced incorrectly; EBR set the price for a new 1190RS at $40,000 USD, which was within a hair of the Ducati Paginale it was intended to compete against. The price makes sense from a competition standpoint but it was a huge sum for what was an unproven brand/first bike from a new motorcycle company. Sales languished and were further impacted by EBR’s introduction of two significantly cheaper but identically powered street orientied models known as the RX and SX models within a year. Meanwhile EBR’s initial round of funding was being exhausted and a second round never materialized, resulting in the whole EBR effort being suddenly shut down in April of 2015.
While still new in crate versions of the RX and RS appear regularly on sites like cycletrader and ebay, the RS version is a much rarer thing. Available units seem to appear now and then, with sellers being mostly dealers who are holding out for buyers who want to pay the full asking price (here is an example on cycletrader). This one is being offered by a Texas dealer with a 10,000 price reduction so its a relative bargain in the 1190RS world.
Now the question; is this EBR 1190RS Carbon edition worth the $29,999 USD asking price? If the buyers intention is to actually ride it, then the answer is clearly no; very low mileage and even new RX models can be had for about half of that and will offer nearly the same riding experience as the 1190 RS. This bike will probably only appeal to a collector with a long term vision, someone who can tuck this one away for about 10+ years, at which point it might become one of those “what-might-have-been-bikes” ala the Fischer MRX650 or Harley Davidson VR1000.