Buell Motorcycle Company, the innovative sports motorcycle arm of Harley-Davidson Motor Company, announced to its dealers that it will produce and sell a liquid-cooled, 450cc four-stroke motocross motorcycle by 2009 – although an MXi source says that he would not be surprised if the motorcycle arrives sooner than that.
“It will be a 450, and the engine is being made by Rotax,” the source said. “They showed an artist’s rendering of the bike, and I know they have been riding prototypes already, so I wouldn’t be surprised if we see it sooner than that. I mean, why would I as a dealer care now about what they were going to be making in 2009? Our concern as a dealer is that it could end up just like their VR1000 Superbike program, where the bike was competitive with what was on the track while it was a prototype, but by the time they went racing with it, it was obsolete. But they have assured us that will not be the case this time.”
Buell plans to produce the motocross version first, before moving into other segments of the off-road market, such as enduro and supermoto.
Buell has hired former Yamaha of Troy team manager Dave Osterman for the project and that former AMA 250cc Motocross Champion Gary Jones is rumored to have been consulted as well...