47 Ronin Resurrected
By Tony Franklin on September 7, 2018
The Japanese tale of Chushingura (literally the 47 loyal retainers) has popularly come to be known as The Revenge of the 47 Ronin in the west. A Ronin is a soldier with no master. This true story is about a Japanese lord who was forced to commit bushido (ritual suicide) because he displeased a rude Master of Ceremonies in public. That lord’s soldiers (who then became Ronin upon the death of their master) spent an entire year plotting revenge for the death of their master. It has become one of Japan’s most famous stories.
Today it is being brought to life.Our story begins back in 2009 as Harley Davidson stocks were dropping and a group called Magpul Engineers decided to work on the design of Buell motorcycles, to test their limits. Reaching for inspiration from mid-20th century Buell models, they centered their work around the frame and engine of the Buell 1125. They bought, stripped, and redesigned a new Buell 1125, and after 8 months, the Ronin prototype was born.
January 28, 2010, Buell Motorcycle Company began a liquidation sale. Magpul Engineers struck while the fire was hot and acquired 47 new Buell 1125s. They assembled a team of engineers who used old world craftsmanship and new technology to redesign the concept of the Revenge of the 47 Ronin through these motorcycles. Each motorcycle was assembled, tested, and refined one by one. Upon completion, they were each given a name and a number to honor the 47 Samurai warriors.
These motorcycles were released in 7 waves.The first release was 12 silver and classic black designs at $38,000. The second release was 10 solid-black designs at $41,000. The third release was 8 solid white designs at $45,000. The fourth release was 6 vintage race designs at $50,000. The fifth release was 4 Crye Camouflage designs. The sixth release was 2 RAW designs. The seventh and final release was 5 distinctive special designs.
Last December, the last bike was completed, and production has ceased. The studio is now a showroom which displays the last few Ronin motorcycles left.
Specs:The front end of these Ronin motorcycles has a linkage fork that has been redesigned to improve the handling capability of the Buell 1125 chassis. It functions almost as if it were a telescopic fork and has a trail increased by 13mm. This design allows for better suspension adjustment for rider weight and road conditions and gives a more aggressive stance befitting the Ronin concept.
The engine runs hot enough to boil the fuel, so coolant measures were paramount to the creation of this bike. It has a single radiator core and an integrated radiator overflow tank in the left fork leg. That core is protected by an injection molded grill which can be removed to replace the headlight.
They have a custom made exhaust and free-flowing muffler system. It comes with cast aluminum ends and a stainless steel body. Because of the hot motor and the free-flowing exhaust system, Ronin bikes breathe differently than their Buell 1125 stock counterparts. Therefore each motorcycle had to be tuned individually to achieve that ideal balance of power, ride-ability, and engine performance, and new fuel mapping was required as well.
These motorcycles are a testament to the artistic ability and cultural consciousness of Magpul Engineers and have become legends in their own time.