Buell Factory Liquidation. Everything Must Go Now.

buellliquidationLast Thursday January 28th was the first day for the liquidation of all Buell assets and equipments at their East Troy, Wisconsin factory. A couple of friends of mine were there waiting in line with other 350 people for an opportunity to visit the ex-Buell plant and in their case maybe get a few cheap tools and a piece of memorabilia. This liquidation organized by Liquid Asset Partners is scheduled to last until February 28th or until the last bolt is sold, whichever comes first. Not surprisingly, like for all auctions lasting several days, they tell me that on this 1st day nothing was really cheap.

Worth the visit only if you absolutely want to get this now rare Buell sign that will never be duplicated or if you have a very special affection for the brand to the point of buying a used tool for the same price than a new one at Sears… And of course, because everything must go, prices are going to decline every day. But I would never had written this post if my friends didn’t tell me that Erik Buell made an apparition, which immediately made me think about the way any business owner feels when he sees vultures scavenging his “empire”. Have you imagined the flow of emotions? Erik Buell is well known for his passion, dedication, the sacrifices he has made, and it’s no secret that he feels, let’s say…very frustrated. Personally, I would choose to be not physically present. And you? But as you know Erik is already busy working on new projects at his new racing company (see my November 21st, 09 article).

Zipper's

18 Responses to “Buell Factory Liquidation. Everything Must Go Now.”


  1. 1 Patrick R. Jan 30th, 2010 at 5:08 pm

    Sad, sad, sad.

  2. 2 4Cammer Jan 30th, 2010 at 10:20 pm

    HD should be so proud.

  3. 3 stephen Jan 30th, 2010 at 11:50 pm

    H-D will be next. They will sell up all their US plant and set up in China. Soon the only made in USA bikes will be from the custom builders.
    Looks like Honda did not kill the American motorcycle after all, it was our very own HD…

  4. 4 Irish Rose Jan 30th, 2010 at 11:58 pm

    The local HD dealership in my valley closed it’s doors last week. It’s not surprising with what is happening at the corporate level.

  5. 5 sdbiker Jan 31st, 2010 at 10:17 am

    Buell never made a profit for the 15 years it was with Harley. Now if you ask me, Eric had a pretty sweet gig.

  6. 6 Bud Jan 31st, 2010 at 11:10 am

    I heard a rumor that approximately 700 Buells were crushed rather than sent out to the marketplace after they shut down. Maybe it wasn’t worth it for dealers to keep them on the floor? Hard to believe but If it is true, even if 70 or 7 were wasted, it’s sad.

  7. 7 4Cammer Jan 31st, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    With all of the dealer and marketing support Buell received from HD you would think Eric (sic) would have been in the black at least one year, no sdbiker? Oh, wait…..he got less support than the black T-shirt sales ever did.

  8. 8 just my opinion Jan 31st, 2010 at 11:30 pm

    sdbiker is right how could anyone whine about having a free ride for that long and not turn a profit. The fact that it went on so long is a miracle. That free ride went on so long I believe it may be able to qualify as a government program now.

    4Cammer; Just how much more should HD have done? They let him ride their coat tails for many years. His NON selling bikes sat next to the HD’s in every dealership in this country during the hay days. Hell lets just say it like it is Buell could not turn a profit even when everything with wheels was selling. I am sure that HD did not like having to admit defeat.Throw the dirt in the hole already their dead. NEXT.

  9. 9 sdbiker Feb 1st, 2010 at 8:16 am

    JUst for the record, I own a Uly and a 1125R along with a 03 Roadking. I paid MSRP for both Buells from my dealer a year ago. I love all three bikes. The problem with Buell wasn’t the Dealer network or HDMC, it was the price point in a very competive market. Once Buell shut down they had no problem selling inventory when you could get one under 6000. But I feel I did pay what the bike is worth.

  10. 10 Woody Feb 1st, 2010 at 9:54 am

    I’m surprised there’s still so much hard feelings and finger-pointing on the Buell situation. They simply weren’t competitive at that price point and folks didn’t buy them in sufficient numbers to make a profit. The MOCO did the right thing and stopped it. They were good bikes and probably had more performance than most riders will ever need, but like exotic sports cars-that’s not what sells sportbikes. They hobbled them selves by starting out with the XL-based powerplant and seemed to feel that just “being a Harley” would make folks line up to pay more than a ZX14. It wasn’t Harley’s marketing or lack thereof-if folks had wanted Buells they would have found them and bought them. Harley dealerships are often good traffic “destinations” and even a dark corner would have more deep pockets walking by it than most metric dealerships. A key component in expensive sports cars selling is that they can’t get beat up by inexpensive sports cars, even if it’s just in magazines.

  11. 11 sdbiker Feb 1st, 2010 at 11:07 am

    hey stephen, you might want to renew your subscriptions to some good magazines because then you would know that Harley is investing millions in a new plant in Your, PA. Last time I checked that is still in the US.

    Irish Rose, yeah it is true that there are HD dealerships closing, but the one that are, are underperfoming and where put in place when there were more bikes available. They are closing because they just are not profitable. And in comparison far more metric dealers and auto dealers have closed during the same time period. In fact, harley has actually gained in market share. Just my 50 cents worth (2 cents just doesn’t go as far as it used to, even in a down economy!)

  12. 12 Jeff Nicklus Feb 1st, 2010 at 11:45 am

    Looks to me like Liquid Asset Partners is the only company making any money here …. seems they are the new “Asset Liguadation Company” to the former stars!

    Just an observation!

    Over & Out,

    Jeff

  13. 13 Dave Blevins Feb 1st, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    I hate to see the Buell go… I wonder if HD has any other performance oriented (not the V-Rod) cycles in the works, or if it’s just back to the basic Big Twin/Sportster line up?

  14. 14 cwglide Feb 1st, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    Sad to see but its the best move i think HD can make. What i am still confused about is the selling off MV shortly before the announcement to let Buell go. Why would HD acquire MV in the first place? To replace Buell? or to get into the European market eventhough Europe is HD fastest growing market segment in its class. I dont seee MV a company to flip and make a profit given this economy. So why acquire MV only just to flip it in a matter of months later? WTF?

  15. 15 fuji Feb 1st, 2010 at 3:25 pm

    If gusta was sold who bought it.

  16. 16 fuji Feb 1st, 2010 at 3:53 pm

    Proclaiming to sell off a company or liquidate any part of Harley Davidson drives the stock up so the company did its deed without batting an eye, Just implying made forward gains for them
    I have not heard of anyone stepping forward with intent to purchase. MV Agusta and production continues.

  17. 17 Brett Feb 2nd, 2010 at 5:25 pm

    One thing people need to understand is, people are very loyal to the brands they like. Harley Ultra Classic riders do not go buy Honda Goldwings. Triumph riders do not go buy Sportsters. Also the people who like bikes like the Hayabusa & Ninja do not & never did go looking for a Buell.

    It’s just like Chevy lovers don’t buy Ford. Ford owners don’t buy Toyota.

    Buell’s were always in a tough spot. They aren’t Harleys & they aren’t the Japanese Sports bike, so to get it a market.

    Funny to, when people talk about last American bike company or whatever. If you mean where the corporate headquarters are? If so, then yes HD is all American. Other then that, they are no more American then Honda or Kawasaki. In today’s market, parts for everything come from all over, China, Korea, Canada, Mexico, US……

  18. 18 Axel Feb 8th, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    What kind of an idiot would claim that Harley is no more American than Honda or Kawasaki? You think all those factories in Wisconsin and Kansas and Pennsylvania are just for show?
    Honda doesn’t even have a factory in the U.S. any more. And the Kawasaki factory in Nebraska (if it’s still being used) is just to assemble Jap parts.
    The engines and sheetmetal and frames and fiberglass and lots of other stuff on Harleys are still made here. That makes a Harley over 90% American by weight. And that’s plenty enough to be called American. More American than someone who claims that Harleys aren’t.

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