Saturday, October 04, 2008

2009 Roehr 1250SC riding impression


The best sportsbike ever made in America? That would be the Roehr 1250SC!

When it’s launched in November this year, the US$50,000 Roehr 1250SC is likely to be the quickest, fastest, most exotic superbike from the US yet. With its supercharged, liquid-cooled, 60-degree, 8-valve v-twin producing a claimed 168 horsepower at the rear wheel, and the bike weighing in at 196 kilos dry, the 1250SC’ performance is likely to be a bit special.

Kevin Duke, at Motorcycle.com, recently tested the Roehr 1250SC. Here are some excerpts from what he has to say about the bike:

The Roehr is powered by the ‘Revolution’ v-twin from Harley-Davidson’s V-Rod lineup [and] a belt-driven Rotrex supercharger is the key to big power from this engine.

Mounted under the faux fuel tank and driven by a toothed belt, the Rotrex supercharger weighs just 3kg. It basically operates like a belt-driven turbocharger, but pumps the intake system with pressurized air that rises proportionally to engine speed. During idle, cruise and deceleration, a bypass valve recirculates unneeded air into the compressor, reducing parasitic drag and allowing the engine to function in its normally aspirated form. It’s a brilliant system, and operates as advertised.

The Rotrex unit supplies a very linear surge of power throughout its powerband, before running into a 9100rpm rev limit. Oddly for a bike with this much power, there are no steps in the powerband that create the palpable surge of output like a normally aspirated engine.

As such, winding out the 1250SC through the gears wasn’t as viscerally exciting as expected. However, watching the V-Rod-sourced speedometer speedily ratchet upward left little doubt about this engine’s efficacy. Dual underseat Akrapovic mufflers have quieting inserts to keep the big twin’s bellow relatively modest, while the supercharger whistles away almost imperceptibly.

Response from the stock V-Rod fuel injectors was glitch-free everywhere except for a slight kink when dialing on throttle from a closed position. But once the right grip is twisted open, you’d best be prepared for a never-ending blast of grunt that sweeps through its five-speed gearbox like nothing else on wheels.

There is plenty to like here. First off, it’s simply gorgeous, and I think it should assume the title of most dazzling American motorcycle ever to wear a fairing. Second, it’s exotic in a way few others are – there are 50 units planned for production, making a Desmosedici seem like a CBR. It’s all enough to almost make you forget it costs $49,999.

For the full road test, visit the Motorcycle.com website here. For more details on the bike, visit Roehr's official website here


Here's an interview with Walter Roehrich, founder of Roehr Motorcycles. Walter is an Illinois-based engineer who’s been designing and building his own sportsbikes since the late 1990s. Here, he talks about the 1250SC…

Also see:
Big CC Racing's Harley V-Rod Turbo...
MV Agusta F4 1078RR riding impression...
Master Blaster: Kawasaki ZX-10 Turbo...
Supercharged, 150bhp Honda VFR800...
The world's first supercharged KTM RC8...
AM Racing's Yamaha MT-01 Turbo...
Raging Buell: Supercharged Lazareth XB12S...
Supercharged, 200bhp Yamaha R1...

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