Erik Buell, the founder of a motorcycle company in Mukwonago 39 years ago, is testing the market for an electric bike aimed at urban riders.
The FUELL Fllow would have a top speed of around 85 mph and an operating range of 150 miles of city riding between charges.
Priced at $11,995, it’s being test marketed through Prelaunch.com, an online tool that helps predict how consumers would react to a particular product. If the campaign is successful, Fuell Flow Inc. says the bike could go into production in the U.S. in 2024.
Buell has developed innovative motorcycles in the past including powerful sport bikes under the EBR and Erik Buell Racing brands.
For decades he’s had a limited but loyal following among sport bike enthusiasts.
In the 1970s, as a rider, he recorded the fastest qualifying time for a rookie in the history of the Daytona 200. It was significant for a guy who traveled from race to race in a van with two motorcycles in the back, sleeping between the bikes while an occasional hitchhiker shared the driving on his long-distance trips.
In motorcycle racing circles, he was known as an underdog working on a tight budget.
This bike has an electric motor integrated into the rear wheel and what FUELL claims is zero to 62 mph acceleration in under three seconds.
The battery pack is integrated into the chassis, and there’s storage for a full-face helmet and commuter bag.
“It is the most radically innovative chassis design I’ve ever done, and from the steering head to the rear wheel, it is filled with new design concepts that no one has done before,” Buell said in a statement.
Partnership with urban mobility products company
FUELL, based in New York, says it’s focused on urban mobility products.
In addition to Erik Buell, two former Buell Motorcycle Co. employees, Dan Hurda and Ed Laben, are also with FUELL.
The company has developed an electric bicycle but is new to motorcycles.
It’s much more difficult to design an e-motorcycle, Buell says on FUELL’s website.
“It’s more of a transition for a motorcycle rider, but it’s needed,” he says. “Two-wheelers are a huge part of the future for personal mobility in the cities. It’s really the rational solution.”
The Fuell Flow was designed as an urban electric commuter, capable to go on highways, but not a replacement for a gas-powered touring motorcycle, according to the company.
It remains to be seen whether the Fllow goes into production.
Various iterations of Buell motorcycles have come and gone over the years. One of the brands was Erik Buell Racing which was a sequel to Buell Motorcycle Co. that Harley-Davidson owned for more than a decade.
Buell had a factory in East Troy that once employed 170 people until it closed in 2015. Bikes were left unfinished on the assembly line when the company filed for Chapter 128 receivership, a state court procedure similar to bankruptcy.
In February 2021, a new version of Buell Motorcycles, without Erik Buell in charge, was unveiled in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It aimed to launch 10 bikes by the 2024 model year.