“Ronin” is an old story of a Samurai who lost his master. This is how the small company named “Ronin Motor Works” lost its master.
Until 2009, there was a popular motorcycle brand named “Buell”. Unfortunately it wasn’t selling well enough to avoid its eventual sale to Harley-Davidson.
Just before the brand closed its doors, in 2008 (one year earlier) Buell produced an advanced bike called the “1125R”.
Based on the Buell 1125R a designer named Mike Mayberry and financier Richard Fitzpatrick created a stripped down version of that bike named the “Magpul”.
The small team at Ronin began by removing the bike’s frame and body panels to show-off what they really loved about the 1125R; they loved its engine.
The Buell 1125R’s engine was a “Rotax V-twin”. This engine was liquid-cooled which was a technology in its infant stages of development. However Buell would not have an opportunity to perfect it due to the sale of the company.
Back to the loss of the master.
While Buell was liquidating its assets (left over stock of motorcycles), Ronin Motor Works bought 47 of the 1125Rs. The number 47 was simply to pay homage to the Japanese folklore story of the 47 Ronin.
The first 12 Magpuls only came in a black and gray color scheme . They would sell for $38,000 which is a lot yet it didn’t come close to covering their cost.
Removing the 1125R’s out-side paneling helped the Magpul to shed 57 pounds for a little additional ease of handling. But more importantly, this gave their designers the opportunity to make each Magpul into an individual and unique work of art.
Every new Magpul comes with a bamboo toolbox to which the name of each unique bike is engraved on.
This silver/gray one is my personal favorite. Details on this version simply make me smile.
Both Mugpul versions in the photos above and below may seem to be really ugly but it’s actually Ronin’s own design to give respect to Buell’s touring/off-road bikes such as the “Ulysses Xb12x”.
Photo below is a Buell “Ulysses Xb12x”
Art can be a funny thing. Whether you like or hate the Magpul, if you see one…you’ll turn your head for a second look.
The high price of the Magpul continues to grow and the story of Ronin’s lost master lives on in this interesting motorcycle.