A short film made by the Denver Art Museum to go along with a Samurai exhibition featuring the Pikes Peak race bike, Ronin #1 OISHI YOSHIO.
The founders of Magpul and Ronin Motor Works have always respected the Buell® motorcycle philosophy--challenging the Status Quo (see the “Book of Buell”)--and with the release of the 1125 series with a liquid-cooled engine, it looked like the beginning of interesting times in the motorcycle world.
In 2008, when the Buell® 1125 was first released, there were press shots of the bike showing the engine, frame and swing arm with all of the body panels removed and simplicity of the design was evident.
Unfortunately, the production 1125’s most interesting engineering aspects were hidden under plastic body panels that tried to make the bike look conventional, without succeeding very well.
In 2009 Harley-Davidson® announced the elimination of the Buell® brand and with that, Harley-Davidson® dealerships started liquidating their Buell® assets. At that time Magpul Industries Corp. acquired two Buell® 1125Rs to use in a design exercise to explore what sort of bike could be built around the revolutionary engine and frame. Eight months later, the resulting concept bike was revealed as the Magpul® Ronin at the 2010 SHOT show in Las Vegas.
Taken from the Japanese word for a Samurai who lost his master, the name "Ronin" was chosen to signify Buell® motorcycles that will continue on after the demise of the company. The Ronin concept featured a custom monoshock linkage suspension system, front-mounted radiator, unitized handlebar assembly, new ram air intake, cast aluminum tail section, and high-flow exhaust system. The features enhanced the bike’s ride while also decreasing the total weight by 54lbs from stock.
Because the bike was designed as a concept it was not a conventional design in appearance or function. People either loved it or hated it, but enough interest was generated to investigate a limited production run of the Ronin design.
Ronin Motorworks was born as a limited “pop up” manufacturing company dedicated to producing a production version of the Ronin concept.