Erik Buell Racing Returns?
Erik Buell Racing, which ceased operations after filing bankruptcy on April 15, may make a return. Though not officially confirmed, news sources in Thailand are reporting that Hero MotoCorp has acquired all EBR shares from Eric Buell, and now owns 100-percent of the American motorcycle manufacturer. If the EBR buyout rumor mill is true, Hero MotoCorp likely got one hell of a deal.
Thailand news also reports that Hero MotoCorp – based in New Delhi, India – has offered Eric Buell full-time employment. If these rumors are true, EBR likely will remain in East Troy, Wis., where the company employed 126 people.
This may also mean a return of the Team Hero EBR World SBK team, which was forced withdrawal from the international road-racing series shortly after the EBR bankruptcy announcement. And if it does return, Larry Pegram likely will continue his role as rider and Team Manager.
Erik Buell had many ups and downs throughout his long career. In 1983, the ex-Harley-Davidson engineer began creating his own motorcycles. 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. The 1190RX was well received, and immediately provided serious competition for other popular sportbikes such as the BMW S1000RR, Ducati Panigale, and Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R.
We’re hoping to receive something official soon, and see Erik Buell back doing what he does best – creating amazing American sportbikes.