It wasn’t a long ago when MB Cycles built a silver-red, glamorous High Neck Hardtail Chopper for one of its regular customer Andy. The finished product left Andy speechless and he wanted another one. This time he gets the Buell Rigid Racer.
MB Cycles and the Buell Rigid Racer have a history. Martin Becker, the owner of MB Cycles, has a special spot for this motorcycle in his heart. And there’s a solid reason behind it. You see, every year at the end of summer there’s a race weekend in South Germany. It’s called the Glemseck 101.
The Glemseck 101 features many races. One of them is called the ‘Starr Wars’. No, I didn’t misspell it. It’s actually called ‘Starr’. It’s a German word which means rigid or hardtail. The ‘Starr Wars’ race was founded by a guy called Rolf Reick from Kraut Motors. He and Becker are friends.
It was in the middle of August when Rolf visited Becker’s shop and told him about a few vacant places in the Starr Wars race. Somehow he convinced Becker to participate in the race. Although Becker did agree to it, he didn’t have much time to get things going because the race was in three weeks.
So, that was it. The first bike that came to Becker’s mind was the Buell. For three consecutive weeks, he worked on this motorcycle day and night. And just three days before the race he finished it and went to race with it. Becker had no idea whether the Buell would even start or not. She didn’t disappoint him. His hard work paid off. He not only raced that weekend but finished a respectable fourth position. It was after the race that his loyal customer Andy called, and told him that he wanted the Buell.
If you look at the Buell Rigid Racer, you wouldn’t believe that it not only was a part of a race but helped Becker jump to the fourth place from sixteenth. The bike has a very distinctive look, even though it is a hardtail. It appears to be very old, or, perhaps, vintage is the right word. Becker left it like that. The bike has no paint, no powder coating, no polish, nothing but raw and rusty iron parts. But that’s the beauty of it. It features a Buell 2002 stock S1 Lightning V-twin engine which churns out 80 hp of power. It’s mated to a 5-speed gearbox. The carb is of Mikuni HSR 42 make. And the air filter is the Screaming Eagle by K&N which is massive in size. It fits perfectly with this engine.
This setup along with the MB Cycles self-made exhaust really gives you the sound you’ve been looking for. I reckon that it’s super fun to ride. The Müller Easy Clutch would make it even better. Like other hardtails, this one, too, is belt-driven.
The frame of the Buell Rigid Racer has been sourced from VG Netherlands. It’s a hardtail frame with casted steering head and axle plates. The steering rake is set at an angle of 32 degrees. The front forks are the Buell USD units shortened up by about 2-inches.
MB Cycles installed a 4-piston Buell caliper with a 10-inch rotor at the front. And the rear sports a 2-piston caliper from Honda which works on an 8.5-inch disc. The front wheel measures 2.50 x 21-inch and got 60 spokes single hub DNA, whereas the rear one is 8.5 x 18-inch with 60 spokes dual hub DNA.
The headlight of the Buell Rigid Racer is a Chinese setup but MB Cycles did install a Night Rod style windshield. The tail light is Paschburg LED. MB Cycles also built the rear fender with integrated turn signals and tail light.
The exquisite fuel tank is an original piece taken off directly from an Indian from the 70’s. The handlebar belongs to the ZXR Kawasaki family. There’s no speedometer on this machine. The seat and foot pegs are self-made by MB Cycles. The red vintage leather of the seat suits the rusty appearance of the metal parts. The license plate has also been hand-built and is of aluminum.
The Buell Rigid Racer is a masterpiece from MB Cycles yet again. It’s a beautiful machine. Andy should feel lucky to have such a fine custom-built motorcycle parked in his garage. We wouldn’t be surprised if we hear him buying another custom-bike from MB Cycles.