Friday, November 20, 2009

A Lifeline for Buell?

From a press release dated November 20:

New Venture Will Build Buell 1125R-based Racing Motorcycles and Supply Parts

Milwaukee, Wis. (November 20, 2009) - Harley-Davidson, Inc. (NYSE:HOG) announced today that following the company’s recent decision to discontinue the Buell motorcycle product line, Erik Buell, Chairman and Chief Technical Officer of Buell Motorcycle Company, will leave the company to establish Erik Buell Racing, an independent motorcycle race shop.

Erik Buell Racing will specialize in the supply of race-use-only Buell motorcycle parts and race preparation services for engines and motorcycles, and the building and sale of Buell® 1125R-based race-use-only motorcycles under license from Harley-Davidson, as well as providing technical support to racers of Buell motorcycles.

“I’m looking forward to helping Buell racers keep their bikes flying,” said Erik Buell. “We’ve got some exciting race development projects in the works and it will mean a lot to me personally to see Buell racers competing for wins and championships in the 2010 season and beyond.”

“I’m pleased that Harley-Davidson is assisting Erik in establishing this business to continue supporting the racing efforts he has had so much passion for over the years,” said Buell President and COO Jon Flickinger. “Harley-Davidson and the Buell Motorcycle Company will always be proud of their affiliation with Erik, and we wish him well in this new endeavor to support Buell racers.”

Erik Buell Racing will be based in East Troy, Wisconsin and will be staffed by Erik Buell and a veteran team of personnel. For more information, after December 1, 2009, contact:

Erik Buell Racing, LLC
2799 Buell Drive, Unit C
East Troy, WI 53120


ProCycle said...

Hmm... A zombie motorcycle company. Freshly dead and crawling out of the grave. Al least Erik Buell will be doing what he has always really wanted to do - build racebikes. Doesn't that put him back where he started about 25 years ago?

Jerry Smith said...

What I'm wondering is whether there will be enough Buell racers in the future to keep Erik Buell Racing's doors open. There isn't anywhere in the U.S. to race a Buell on anything close to a professional level except DMG, and who knows how long it'll be before DMG collapses under the weight of its own incompetence? Even when Buell was a going concern the brand was a marginal player, and needed a boost from the rules to stay competitive with 600cc fours. How many pro-level race teams will gamble that EBR will be able to supply all the parts they need to run a full competitive season? And what if DMG decides it's not worth it any more to prop up Buell with obviously biased rules?