Buell Fuell Flow motorcycle

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gogo   10 MW

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Buell Fuell Flow motorcycle

Post by gogo » Apr 01 2019 10:45am

https://www.forbes.com/sites/billrobers ... 26c5a1e7bd
fuell.jpg
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Erik Buell is go-fast guy and a living legend in the world of performance motorcycles, and ten years after his association with Harley-Davidson came to a sudden, unexpected end, Buell is back with a new bike venture, Fuell, that strangely seems to shadow Harley once again.

Fuell recently introduced two bikes, one of which is actually a bicycle, called the Fluid, albeit an electric one. The other machine, called the Flow, is an urban-focused electric motorcycle. Both bikes will be available in two trims with different power outputs.

First, some context: Buell, 68, has been a motorcycle racer and outside-the-box engineer for decades, building bikes so well (and so unusual) that Harley-Davidson first invested in and then outright bought his outfit, Buell Motorcycle Company.


Buell had initially worked as an engineer for Harley-Davidson beginning in 1979 and after leaving the company, remained connected to personnel inside the company while pursuing his own ventures, which consisted of crafting highly-upgraded Harley-powered sporting machines. Impressed, H-D brass came calling in 1993, hoping Buell's eccentric creations would give them entry into the Asian and European-dominated performance and sportbike markets while retaining Harley's signature V-Twin heartbeat.

Back in the Harley fold and given free license (and funding) to innovate, Buell designed a series of highly innovative machines with features like massive frames that also held fuel, unusual rim-mounted brakes, and exhaust systems that exited underneath instead of to the side of the motorcycle, all in the quest to cut weight, centralize mass and improve handling. He also coaxed huge amounts of power out of what were essentially glorified air-cooled cruiser engines until he could design and implement his own liquid-cooled, high-performance motor. The Buell bikes, while quirky, were industrial design showcases and were sold at Harley dealerships. They were well-received by riders and reviewers but were undeniably niche.

Then, in late 2009, Harley unceremoniously pulled the plug on the Buell experiment as the motorcycle industry was hammered by the Great Recession. A month after the split from H-D, Buell spooled up Erik Buell Racing (better known just as EBR) and began building the 1190R series, $46,000 street-legal, lightweight track weapons that put out 185 horsepower. He also partnered with India-based transportation maker Hero, which was beginning to look into producing electric bikes. Unfortunately, the partnership fizzled and EBR went into receivership in 2015 after producing a limited number of bikes.

Resurgent once again with Fuell, Buell has now teamed with an experienced and well-connected leader, François-Xavier Terny, who will serve as CEO of the concern. Also in the mix is fellow engineer and businessman Frédéric Vasseur, who hails from F1 and the new Formula E electric racing universe. The trio gives Fuell a solid base in engineering, management and funding.

While both new Fuell bikes have clearly broken cover, final specs will likely be revealed at an official announcement on April 23rd, but much is already known. The basic version of the Fluid should hit the market at $3,295 and the larger Flow will be $10,995. Each machine will be available in two power output trims. The base Fluid ebike will have a 250-watt crank-centered electric motor, while the "S" version bumps up to a 500-watt motor. Wide frame spars will hold two batteries totaling 1kWh of juice, enough to roll the Fluid 125 miles, likely with pedal assist.

The Fluid has a clean, mountain-bikeish "normal" profile that makes it hard to tell its even an electrically powered conveyance. Top speeds in the flat should be about 20 and 28 miles an hour respectively, in line with most current electric pedal-assist bikes and within most regional ebike speed regulations.

The Flow electric motorcycle is clearly something different, with a bulbous, rounded body and the motor located within the back wheel, an unusual choice for an electric motorcycle. Buell says that the tech in the back wheel is unlike anything else on the market today but stopped short on specifics.

Buell told Forbes that he considers himself a futurist and he's been interested in electric transportation for years, including all the way back to his time at Harley-Davidson during the Buell partnership. And while Buell is known as a speed merchant, the Flow machine is clearly aimed at commuters, with motor options making either a tick less than 15 horsepower, or a full 47 ponies in S trim.

Those numbers indicate the base Flow will be able to outrun most scooters but will fall short of achieving highway speeds. The S model should be capable of hanging with freeway traffic for short distances but Buell said his focus for these bikes is accessibility, enabling affordable mobility and ease of use over raw speed.

Pricing will start at $10,995 for the base Flow, and the bike also features a copious amount of onboard storage since there's no need for a gas tank. Range and other specifications have not yet been announced. The Fluid ebike should debut later this year with the Flow motorcycle hitting the streets in 2021.

As electric vehicles including cars, bicycles and motorcycles begin to increase in popularity, Buell's timing with Fuell could be good. The reveal from Fuell comes shortly after Harley-Davidson officially put their Livewire electric bike effort into production, and perhaps not coincidentally, prototypes and concept designs for more Livewire machines includes a bicycle-style creation and even a retro-ish scooter idea. Whether those machines will ever reach production hasn't been confirmed by Harley-Davidson.

Indeed, Motorcyclist online claims Buell was also part of the initial electric motorcycle brainstorming trust at Harley-Davidson before they parted ways. Buell confirmed as much to Forbes. It seems Harley and Buell can't escape each other's gravity.
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Re: Buell Fuell Flow motorcycle

Post by MJSfoto1956 » Apr 15 2019 5:02pm

Decent specs. Appears to be only one brake handle and no foot brake either -- 100% regen braking perhaps?
High res photos here: https://photos.google.com/share/AF1QipP ... JCaGZ1Y3VB

Fuell Flow Specs.1280.jpg
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Re: Buell Fuell Flow motorcycle

Post by Dui, ni shuo de dui » Apr 16 2019 1:27am

Looks a bit ugly and fat :(
Not a big fan...
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Re: Buell Fuell Flow motorcycle

Post by Chalo » Apr 16 2019 1:35am

Dui, ni shuo de dui wrote:
Apr 16 2019 1:27am
Looks a bit ugly and fat :(
Yes, it is a motorcycle.
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Re: Buell Fuell Flow motorcycle

Post by mistercrash » Apr 19 2019 7:00pm

why build another electric bicycle that looks like a motorcycle or scooter? 1kw battery and a 500w motor :roll: for over 10 grand?! No thanks. the bicycle looks good but that anemic little motorcycle wannabe is super lame.
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Re: Buell Fuell Flow motorcycle

Post by gogo » Apr 19 2019 10:08pm

mistercrash wrote:
Apr 19 2019 7:00pm
why build another electric bicycle that looks like a motorcycle or scooter? 1kw battery and a 500w motor :roll: for over 10 grand?! No thanks. the bicycle looks good but that anemic little motorcycle wannabe is super lame.
500W and 1kWh are specs for the upgrade bicycle ($ unspecified), not the $11k basic motorcycle.
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Re: Buell Fuell Flow motorcycle

Post by John in CR » Apr 20 2019 5:50pm

35kw with a hubbie that has flat smooth side covers will be a fail in real world use. The engineers obviously didn't learn much in their thermodynamics class. That's one thing QS got mostly right with their side covers on the 273 motors, though I would have gone further to increase surface area both outside and inside the side covers along with making the relief higher to make it act even more like blades to stimulate more air flow across the surface. While there some negative to aerodynamics, cooling the motor is drastically more important in stop and go traffic and uphill grades. Another easy mod is to add air deflectors on the swingarm to redirect some air flow toward the motor that would otherwise bypass it completely to increase the air velocity at the side covers to increase the heat transfer coefficient.

I hope they become hugely popular so I can pick up motors from wrecked bikes.

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Re: Buell Fuell Flow motorcycle

Post by gogo » Apr 20 2019 6:56pm

I suspect the pics are CGI and may be leaving details, like the actual cover, out.

[EDIT] I'm wrong, the Fuell website linked in a post below has a video of an actual machine in action. It also lists the motor as proprietary, so I'd hope Buell isn't risking his reputation on a motor prone to overheating.

Also on the website it reads, "There is even a 11kW version to meet reduced licensing requirements". I wonder what market that's intended for.
Last edited by gogo on Apr 25 2019 8:56am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Buell Fuell Flow motorcycle

Post by MJSfoto1956 » Apr 20 2019 8:10pm

I actually like it. Neither motorcycle nor scooter, but something entirely new.

N
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Re: Buell Fuell Flow motorcycle

Post by MJSfoto1956 » Apr 25 2019 7:35am

You can put a $500 downpayment on a Fuell Flow today.
$10,995 for 11kW vs. $11,995 for 35kW (which is a bargain IMHO).
100% regenerative braking on the rear wheel.
30 minute charge time!
Delivery in late 2020.

More info here: https://fuell.us/us/flow.html

Screen Shot 2019-04-25 at 8.13.17 AM.png
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Re: Buell Fuell Flow motorcycle

Post by gogo » Apr 25 2019 9:37am

I wonder how useful the rear camera is.
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Re: Buell Fuell Flow motorcycle

Post by fechter » Apr 25 2019 10:50am

That's interesting.

Here's the bicycle version:
Fluid City.jpg
Fluid City.jpg (78.57 KiB) Viewed 695 times
Another shot of the Flow:
Flow White.jpg
Flow White.jpg (55.18 KiB) Viewed 695 times
My son's old school XB-9. Incredibly loud but handles well.
Fechter's Buell.jpg
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Re: Buell Fuell Flow motorcycle

Post by boars » Apr 25 2019 8:02pm

Bah the Fuell Flow cannot do 100km/h sustained? :(

Also: First Flow deliveries are scheduled for end 2020.
Likely 2021 before we see any of these about in any markets.

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Re: Buell Fuell Flow motorcycle

Post by Chalo » Apr 25 2019 9:15pm

boars wrote:
Apr 25 2019 8:02pm
Bah the Fuell Flow cannot do 100km/h sustained? :(
In what real city can anyone do that? Other than maybe in the middle of the night?

If you can, please do not try to make a case for your "real city". Move to one instead.

Needing a commuter vehicle that can stay at highway speed indefinitely is like needing a daily driver that can tow your cabin sailboat twice a year. Need is not the right word. It's really best for everybody if folks get a vehicle that fits their typical use case (and spend some effort to make that typical use case reasonable), and rent a different vehicle or hire a driver for unusual situations.
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Re: Buell Fuell Flow motorcycle

Post by John in CR » Apr 26 2019 5:48am

100kph is just 62mph. Apparently though you live in Texas you've never been to Houston or Dallas, where you better be able to maintain a higher cruising speed than that if you want to be safe. Going slower than traffic simply isn't the safest way to ride on two wheels.

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Re: Buell Fuell Flow motorcycle

Post by Chalo » Apr 26 2019 9:54am

John in CR wrote:
Apr 26 2019 5:48am
100kph is just 62mph. Apparently though you live in Texas you've never been to Houston or Dallas, where you better be able to maintain a higher cruising speed than that if you want to be safe. Going slower than traffic simply isn't the safest way to ride on two wheels.
The only way you can blast across one of those cities (freeway-addled shitholes, both) at a steady >62mph is to do it deep in the night when there's no congestion. Buell claims their bike is able to go 85mph. Even though it doesn't seem to be designed as a freeway bike, it does seem capable of dealing with city freeways as they are.
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Re: Buell Fuell Flow motorcycle

Post by MJSfoto1956 » Apr 26 2019 10:52am

Chalo wrote:
Apr 25 2019 9:15pm
Needing a commuter vehicle that can stay at highway speed indefinitely is like needing a daily driver that can tow your cabin sailboat twice a year. Need is not the right word. It's really best for everybody if folks get a vehicle that fits their typical use case (and spend some effort to make that typical use case reasonable), and rent a different vehicle or hire a driver for unusual situations.
Agree 100%. I might add that the Fuell Flow would be ideal for many in suburban areas -- I never need to go on the highways with my scooter when I'm bopping around on errands or appointments. I could see getting something like a Fuell Flow in the future. But for now I'm enjoying tinkering/experimenting with my eZuma.
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Re: Buell Fuell Flow motorcycle

Post by boars » Apr 26 2019 5:28pm

Chalo wrote:
Apr 25 2019 9:15pm
boars wrote:
Apr 25 2019 8:02pm
Bah the Fuell Flow cannot do 100km/h sustained? :(
In what real city can anyone do that? Other than maybe in the middle of the night?

If you can, please do not try to make a case for your "real city". Move to one instead.

Needing a commuter vehicle that can stay at highway speed indefinitely is like needing a daily driver that can tow your cabin sailboat twice a year. Need is not the right word. It's really best for everybody if folks get a vehicle that fits their typical use case (and spend some effort to make that typical use case reasonable), and rent a different vehicle or hire a driver for unusual situations.
90% of my commute is on a Motorway.
I don't live in an American city, so I'm not familiar with and don't have to deal with traffic as bad as your major metros.
Being able to maintain 100km/h (+ a little burst) for periods of 20-25 mins would be ideal for where I live and the commute I do daily.
I'm not arguing that I live in a typical city or that my commute is a typical experience - it is just somewhat disappointing for my particular circumstances.

Make a case for my city? Move to a real one instead? Yeah, sure, why would I want to move to a city where traffic doesn't flow properly?
Happy sticking to my smaller, (mostly) free flowing traffic city.

Besides, it's nice to sometimes take your commuter bike out on a cruise on weekends to other locations and getting to those via back roads is either not possible or practical.

It's great to have the option to go on any road comfortably.
Frequently see people riding scooters on highways and motorways, stupidly putting themselves at risk of an accident, if you cannot maintain the speed, you shouldn't be on that particular road.

I get it though, it's just not a bike built for my use case, I'm not gnashing my teeth or making a mountain out of a molehill.
Was just a simple comment of disappointment :P

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Re: Buell Fuell Flow motorcycle

Post by Dui, ni shuo de dui » Apr 29 2019 1:06am

Chalo wrote:
Apr 25 2019 9:15pm

In what real city can anyone do that? Other than maybe in the middle of the night?

If you can, please do not try to make a case for your "real city". Move to one instead.
Well I do that every single day. Except maybe when rain is pouring, like today...
I live in Shanghai, dunno if that qualifies as a "real city" for you, but good luck to find a bigger and more congested one. :wink:
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