News Motorcycle Industry News Erik Buell Racing Ceases Operations

Erik Buell Racing Ceases Operations

Erik Buell Racing Ceases Operations
EBR 1190RX

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.”

Erik Buell Racing Ceases Operations Erik and Larry Pegram
Larry Pegram and Erik Buell

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.

Erik Buell Racing Closes
EBR 1190RX

Ron Lieback
Ron Lieback
One of the few moto journalists based on the East Coast, Ron Lieback joined the motorcycle industry as a freelancer in 2007, and is currently Online Editor at Ultimate Motorcycling.

Marc Marquez: 4 – Yes 4 – More Years with Honda MotoGP

Yes - you read that correctly. Marc Marquez has extended his contract with Honda Racing Corporation by four years - something we don't often see...

2020 Indian Scout 100th Anniversary Review (9 Fast Facts)

2020 is a big year for the Indian Scout as Indian Motorcycle celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Scout. It started in 1920 with...

2020 Harley-Davidson Fat Boy 30th Anniversary Review (8 Fast Facts)

The Harley-Davidson Fat Boy grows up in 2020. The petite 107 is dropped, and you have only one motor choice for The Plump One—the...

2020 KTM 1290 Super Duke R Test at Portimão & Algarve Streets

The 2020 KTM 1290 Super Duke R makes no bones about what it was designed to do, with nearly every aspect of it being conducive to collecting tickets as if they were merit badges.

Honda VF700C Magna : One of the Hondas that Harley Built (Tariff Bike)

Say what? Harley built Hondas? Well, no, not in so many nuts and bolts. But back in the early 1980s, Harley-Davidson did take some actions that led directly to a series of bikes from Japanese motorcycle manufacturers as a result. They are sometimes referred to as the “tariff bikes.”

2020 Triumph Tiger 900 Rally Pro Review (27 Fast Facts)

The 2020 Triumph Tiger 900 Rally and Rally Pro are the English marque’s brand-new off-road-focused adventure motorcycles. The pair are part of the all-new...