Meet the Buell XBE, a fan-made revival of the popular Harley Davidson subsidiary that shut shop in 2009, but never left our hearts. Combining a little of Buell’s rich automotive legacy with the newly formed FUELL brand started by the same Erik Buell, the XBE is a futuristic racer that looks to the stars but doesn’t forget its roots. It still has the broad, aggressive style of its former brand, albeit with an electric powertrain as opposed to the internal combustion engine you usually find in Buell’s previous motorcycles. Look at the rear wheel and you’ll also see the six-pointed star built into the wheel rim – a signature trait found in all of Buell’s creations.
Designer: Théo Cauchy
The XBE is an exquisite-looking beast that feels distinctly different from Buell’s racers, as well as from its spin-off FUELL’s commuter bikes. It has the kind of rough aggression you’d expect in a bike its size, but the chiseled, low-poly design with straight lines gives it an elegant futurism that’s oddly appealing to look at. The front forks are edgy and muscular, and designer Cauchy’s been incredibly judicious with the use of curves, resulting in an e-bike that puts the dynamic in aerodynamic.
Unlike FUELL’s Fllow commuter, the XBE retains its cafe racer aesthetic and does have an arrogance and audacity that the graceful-looking Fllow doesn’t. Sitting on it makes you feel powerful and respected, although I’m not entirely sure how comfortable that cantilever seat would be to sit on. The entire upper surface of the ‘fuel tank’ doubles up as a display on the XBE, becoming a rather unique dashboard that’s large enough to display a whole variety of visual elements. It isn’t quite unclear what those transparent panels on the sides of the bike are, on the left and right of the battery pack, although they do somehow color-match the windshield on this BMW Motorrad concept.