Yes – you read that correctly. Due to financial struggles, Erik Buell Racing (EBR) has ceased operations, according to an article published today by the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel.
The East Troy, Wis., based Erik Buell Racing, which was funded by Erik Buell and the world’s largest motorcycle manufacturer, Hero MotoCorp., is now filing for protection under a state statute that is similar to federal bankruptcy law.
“The turn we recently took, after we thought we were moving forward, was unexpected,” Buell said in a statement. “We thought we had secured funding, but in the end, we were not able to get the funding in place. Therefore we need to do the best we can under the circumstances for all parties in interest.”
The Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel reports that bids will be solicited for EBR as part of the Chapter 128 process, with the winning bid to be determined by the court.
The ex-Harley-Davidson engineer began creating motorcycles in 1983. Harley purchased 49 percent of the company in 1993, and in 2003 “Buell” became a subsidiary of The Motor Company. But after nearly 137,000 Buell motorcycles sold to mostly a cult-following, Harley dropped Buell in October 2009.
From there, Erik Buell lost the rights to his own name, and began EBR (Erik Buell Racing). Its first bike was a race-only 1125R. After some wheeling and dealing, Erik Buell purchased some V-twin engines and tooling from Rotax, and soon the street-going 1190RX arrived.
Next, Erik sold 49 percent of the company to the world’s largest motorcycle manufacturer, Hero MotoCorp, for $25 million. Then came the entry into World Superbike last season; this year, the Team Hero EBR team consists of Larry Pegram, who also acts as Team Manager, and Niccolo Canepa. There is no news on the fate of the Team Hero EBR WSBK team.
But now, the sad news arrives, and EBR and its 126 employees have closed down.
“To say this setback is a disappointment does not begin to express what I feel right now. I am personally grateful for the support of our outstanding workers, customers and vendors. While this is a sad ending, I personally hope for a new and better beginning,” Buell says.
We’re waiting on some reply from EBR; stay clicked to Ultimate MotorCycling for more as this story develops.