October 18, 2009 at 4:43 am #22927
Saturn was a good idea, ruined by mismanagement of GM. GM never cared to support innovation or advertising and when GM came on hard times…, well the only question is whether to close the doors or sell to the lowest bidder?
Buell is in the same boat. They had the Herculian task of providing non-cruiser bikes for the “American buyer”, making a name for themselves at the track and building a good reputation, all while being the unwanted and unassociated red headed step child of HD. Companies open innovative ideas under a new brand name for one reason only. To cut themselves off from the losses in the event of financial or marketing problems. If Buell was dependent on HD for both parts and distribution, it was only a matter of time before he was betrayed. Unlike Saturn however, Eric Buell is man with a face who has the task to telling each of his employees on a first name basis that they didn’t make the cut. They have my sympathy. I would have liked to bought a Buell someday.
As for the AMA displacement thing… really?! Why even have standards? I understand HD wasn’t gonna give Eric any R&D $$$’s to innovate a new powerplant, but that shouldn’t be a free pass because of an abusive step parent.
Well, I get the impression that Eric Buell is a highly motivated man. Maybe his passion will resurface if he can find another backer for his product. Although I’ll bet that HD will claim ownership to his intellectual property…November 25, 2009 at 7:24 pm #23527
In case anyone else out there is interested, Buell is back!
No street bikes for now, but if he really is serious about this (as I suspect he is) he’ll have to homologate with road models eventually.
ERIK BUELL ESTABLISHES ERIK BUELL RACING
New Venture Will Build Buell 1125R-based Racing Motorcycles and Supply Parts
Milwaukee, Wis. — (Friday, November 20, 2009) Harley-Davidson, Inc. (NYSE:HOG) announced today that following the company’s recent decision to discontinue the Buell motorcycle product line, Erik Buell, Chairman and Chief Technical Officer of Buell Motorcycle Company, will leave the company to establish Erik Buell Racing, an independent motorcycle race shop.
Erik Buell Racing will specialize in the supply of race-use-only Buell motorcycle parts and race preparation services for engines and motorcycles, and the building and sale of Buell® 1125R-based race-use-only motorcycles under license from Harley-Davidson, as well as providing technical support to racers of Buell motorcycles.
“I’m looking forward to helping Buell racers keep their bikes flying,” said Erik Buell. “We’ve got some exciting race development projects in the works and it will mean a lot to me personally to see Buell racers competing for wins and championships in the 2010 season and beyond.”
“I’m pleased that Harley-Davidson is assisting Erik in establishing this business to continue supporting the racing efforts he has had so much passion for over the years,” said Buell President and COO Jon Flickinger. “Harley-Davidson and the Buell Motorcycle Company will always be proud of their affiliation with Erik, and we wish him well in this new endeavor to support Buell racers.”
Erik Buell Racing will be based in East Troy, Wisconsin and will be staffed by Erik Buell and a veteran team of personnel. For more information, after December 1, 2009, contact:November 25, 2009 at 7:29 pm #23528
I was really sad to see Erik’s dreams get crushed earlier, and I’m glad to see he’s mustered up the guns to have another go. It is pretty F’d up that he has to license his own technology from HD, but I guess that’s business as usual.November 26, 2009 at 1:14 am #23537
The man’s passion for motorcycles is unlike anything else found in the industry. It’s almost enough to want to make you buy his products whether you’re a fan or not, just to keep the dream alive.November 26, 2009 at 3:44 am #23543
Ever since HD pulled the plug last month, the Buell forums have been going nuts (as you might imagine). Even I’ve gotten a little sick of it, and I love these bikes.
Badweatherbikers is probably the most comprehensive, and one of its regulars is a close friend of Erik Buell’s. Anyway, as soon as things went down, there were nearly immediate requests for info on how people could financially support a new Buell. Sure, sure, I figured, everyone’s a big talker/spender on the internet, and emotions are running high.
But checked again recently, and they now have a list of investment firms that if you have accounts with them, you can participate in *something* they’re cooking up. Incredible.
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