Harley Dumps Buell
What a week in the motorcycle industry… Whatever may have been happening in the motorcycle world stopped on Thursday morning when Harley-Davidson Motor Company announced it was pulling the plug on American sportbike manufacturer Buell, and also moving to sell MV Agusta.
Much has been written already about Harley-Davidson Motor Company’s stunning press release earlier this week announcing that they are ceasing production of Buell-brand motorcycles. Some in the industry have gone as far as stating that this action was long-rumored or even expected for quite some time. I guess I missed the invitation to drink the Kool Aid and eat the Oscar Mayer wieners and bologna being served by Harley-Davidson, so I’m not convinced that the death certificate has been signed yet.
Erik Buells Speaks…
Click video to see Erik Buell talk about the sad news that was announced today by Harley-Davidson. Erik Buell wanted to share this personal message about the Buell Motorcycle Company closure. At this point it looks like the only American manufacture of sportbikes (Buell 1125R, 1125CR, XB Firebolt, Lightning and Ulysses) has lost it’s future promise. Somehow I hope Erik Buell finds a way to keep his motorcycle innovations alive.
Dear Erik Buell and Jon Flickinger,
Right now it is difficult to find the words to speak that will accurately sum up my shock, anger and disgust at Harley-Davidson’s announcement this morning.
I had always hoped that Harley management would one day learn what I saw first hand – that while Harley may have a larger market share and a longer heritage, the future of building quality motorcycles efficiently and productively belonged to Buell.
Buell Motorcycle Company officials thanked the company’s customers, employees and dealers for an unforgettable ride, following today’s announcement by Harley-Davidson, Inc. that it will discontinue the Buell product line as part of Harley-Davidson’s go-forward business strategy. The new long-term strategy aims to drive Company growth through a focus of efforts and resources on the Harley-Davidson brand.
"I want to personally thank all our past and present Buell employees, dealers and suppliers for their efforts.
Buell: America’s Sportbike
Please click video to learn more about the the now defunct Buell Motorcycle Company. After today’s announcement that Buell would now be shut down, we wanted to run this video as a tribute to the last and only American sportbike company. We are dissappointed to see Harley-Davidson close the doors on Erik Buell. And we hope that Erik Buell finds a way to continue his efforts in the near future.
The Buell riding experience embodies radical designs and intuitive performance that rewards uncompromising riders. From the race track to the back road, a Buell motorcycle will take any path necessary to put its rider out front because Buell believes a deep bond between rider and machine is the essence of motorcycling.
Turn-key AMA Superbike Entry
Buell Motorcycle Company today introduced the 1125RR, a race-use only motorcycle intended for competition in the AMA Pro Racing American Superbike class.
"The 1125RR is designed to give privateer racers a turn-key machine to compete in the American Superbike class in AMA Pro Racing. We want to build on our program that has proven so successful for privateers in the Daytona SportBike class," said Erik Buell, Chairman and Chief Technical Officer, Buell Motorcycle Company.
After the initial motorcycle press launch, select journalist had mixed reviews regarding the styling the actual performance of the 2008 Buell 1125R motorcycle. Subsequently, up-and-coming but largely unknown Danny Eslick hops aboard a relatively stock 1125R and proceeds to start cleaning-up in the new AMA Pro Racing Daytona SportBike class.
Activities Include Demo Rides at AMA Road America Round.
Motorcycle enthusiasts are invited to visit Buell Motorcycle Company’s Wisconsin headquarters for the company’s 2009 Homecoming celebration, which will be held June 5-7, 2009, at the East Troy factory in conjunction with AMA Pro Racing’s scheduled stop at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis.
Scheduled activities at East Troy on Friday June 5 include:
When asked how long he has wanted to build a water-cooled production sportbike, it takes a moment for a telling expression to wash over Erik Buell’s face. A nearby engineer overhears the question and erupts with knowing laughter—yet another unspoken confirmation that a large part of Buell’s nearly quarter-century of bike building has been tinged with a bit of unconsummated technological craving.
American Superbike, Euro Motor
At a press conference, Erik Buell brushed aside questions about the use of non-Harley powerplants in Buell motorcycles. He pointed to the marketing advantage of the Harley-Davidson motor, and, of course, Buell (the brand, not the man) is owned by the Motor Company.
The progenitor of Objectivism, Ayn Rand, claimed art is "a re-creation of reality according to an artist’s metaphysical value judgments." Erik Buell recasts that statement for motorcyclists to embrace: "Every time you ride, you’re creating a piece of performance art."