If you’ve been keeping your ear to the ground when it comes to the American motorcycle industry, you might be familiar with Erik Buell Racing’s latest business issues. Between the EBR bankruptcy announcement in April 2015 and some other rumblings along the way, it seemed that Erik Buell, the former Harley-Davidson employee and founder of Buell Motorcycles, would be closing the doors of EBR for good.Announced last week, EBR has officially completed the protracted Wisconsin Chapter 128 Business restructuring that was announced in April 2015. Since then, EBR has been acquired in its entirety by Liquid Asset Partners based out of Grand Rapids Mich.
Liquid Asset Partners now controls all EBR 2012-2015 model parts inventory, brand name, trademarks, patents, operating licenses, testing equipment, assembly lines and all future models that were under development during the time of acquisition. In short – Liquid Asset Partners owns it all.According to the latest news from EBR and Liquid Asset Partners, they are now reviewing business options and searching for an individual or company to acquire EBR and continue production of American made motorcycles. And that means that there is hope for everyone at EBR.Erik Buell says: “This is indeed an incredible opportunity for a huge head start on getting an American sport motorcycle business going. I have to thank Bill Melvin Jr., Bill Sr., and the team at Liquid Asset Partners for seeing this and working toward activating the assets and building motorcycles again. It is also great that they have stepped up to immediately address parts availability for EBR owners. The old company had many of the pieces in place for success, and I am very energized by the opportunity to re-engage under a new corporation with the right ownership and focus.”Kim Tordik, key management member, has worked side-by-side with Erik for over 30 years. Kim started with Erik in the early years of the fledgling Buell Motor Company, continued through the Harley years and on to the start-up of Erik Buell Racing. “I have seen and been a part of all the challenges and successes over the years. Working with Erik, we have always focused on keeping the customer first and top-of-mind. The amount of energy and enthusiasm for Erik Buell and his legacy brand is as prevalent now as ever. Knowing personally the extraordinary assets that are available and the creative talent we have, the best years are still ahead.”For current owners of the RS, RX and SX models, the closure was more than a bit of bad news. It meant that acquiring repair parts for those bikes was going to become exceedingly difficult; even worse, the defunct Buell models were also being supported by EBR manufacturing.Liquid Asset Partners have made it their first order of business to remedy that problem. With the worst of winter on its heels, their management has taken steps to begin production on new RX and SX models. Their goal is to have 2016 EBR bikes on showroom floors by mid-March.Steve Smith, key management member, says “the ‘muzzle is off’ and that it is time to reach out to EBR suppliers, dealers, customers and fans around the world. During the restructuring process it was inappropriate for the staff to talk about the specifics. Not being able to speak up was very frustrating, as there was no shortage of false information and speculation being spread. The ‘Buell Nation’ and EBR enthusiasts were inundated with all sorts of opinions and misleading stories over the last 9-10 months.“With Liquid Asset now in control of the motorcycle assets and intellectual property, we are in a position to begin the process of restarting. We love and appreciate the continued enthusiasm of the EBR riders groups; to help with the future success of EBR, we encourage riders and enthusiasts to talk to their closest dealer and prepare their personal finances for hopefully buying a 2016 model EBR.”The company says it will continue to support Buell in pursuit of creating a true American Sport bike, essentially taking on the role of “brand steward.” Few American motorcycles exist and with that in mind, we wish Eric Buell the best with his continual push to grow his already established name and the American motorcycling industry.For anyone interested in the financial end of EBR are being encouraged to reach out to Liquid Asset Partners at www.LiquidAP.com.Current owners or dealers who need support parts for EBR models should visit www.LiquidAP.com/EBRpart/
Associate Editor Teejay Adams recently attended the Yamaha Champions Riding School in Las Vegas, and she took with her the Yamaha XSR900 that she’s been riding for a while. This is the retro-style version of the MT-09, and Teejay gives us her impressions of the bike, including her thoughts versus the XSR700 that she rode previously.
The guest segment of Motos and Friends is brought to you by the faster and most technologically advanced, 2023 Suzuki Hayabusa—one of the most iconic sportbikes ever. Check it out in person at your local Suzuki dealer now, or visit suzukicycles.com to learn more.
In our second segment, Teejay chats with Cait Maher, a contributing journalist at motorcycle.com and owner of a Yamaha TW200. The two ladies met at the recent launch of Kawasaki’s dual sport KLX230s. Teejay is a total novice off-road. Cait however, although quite experienced in the dirt including her recent venture on the District 37 Barstow to Las Vegas dual-sport ride, still doesn’t consider herself an expert. Both of these girls have a positive, upbeat attitude, and their fun, energetic outlook shines through. Cait is definitely a give-it-a-go type of personality. Her take on the various challenges, experiences and adventures that she’s had make for fun listening.