Buell Battletwin – American bike crush


Lately we’ve been hankering after a superbike.

And we’re not talking about the current crop of super-clean, electronically assisted appliances that stalk the streets and track-days of the English summertime.


We’re talking about a 1980s behemoth. One of those ridiculously lumpen, raw bits of toothpaste painted kit which, in the 1980s, set the flat-cap-and-pipe brigade of British biker all outraged like.

And it doesn’t get more 1980s superbike than the Buell Battletwin.


Story goes on these bikes is that Erik Buell wanted to get into the short-lived ‘Formula 1’ race series and had built a bike called the RW750 on a frame made by Welsh company Barton (who had made The Silver Dream Racer of David Essex shclockfest fame). By the time the frame was complete, F1 cycling had been axed – and so Buell set out to build Harley’s first sports bike.

He stuck 50 1000cc ‘evolution’ Harley engines into the RR1000, and when these ran out he used the 1200 unit that powered the sportsters.

There were all sorts of trickery around the running gear and suspension to produce that low, centralised weight you can see so clearly. Apparently only 69 of the 1200 versions were sold.

We love its simple brutality. And we want one. We’ll just have to sell a kidney.

Thanks to Death Spray Custom for the heads up!