Erik Buell Today.

buell1190rxBlackIn 2009, Harley-Davidson President and CEO Keith Wandell decided to drop the Buell Motorcycle company, a very painful and publicized breakup ending up with a liquidation sale of Buell’s machines, equipment, office furniture, tools, parts and even mementos. Nothing had to remain… Because Harley-Davidson removed Erik Buell’s non compete employment clause (at the condition he doesn’t build cruisers or touring motorcycles), he was able to launch Erik Buell Racing, a new venture initially focusing on the creation and production of racing motorcycles aimed at the highest level of the sport.

rx1190yellowErik Buell invested some of his own money in the company and quite rapidly received a large financial support from Hero MotoCorp., the largest motorcycle manufacturer in India, which agreed to make a $25 million investment in Erik Buell Racing in exchange of getting 49.2% of EBR’s corporation shares. After producing a small number of $40,000 road racing motorcycles and doing technical consulting for Hero to help the company establishes itself in the United States, EBR has unveiled on October 2013 in Orlando at the AIMExpo, the 1190RX a model offering  the same performance pedigree that its high end road racing big brother, the 1190RS, but with less expensive components and priced at $18,995. The 1190RX manufacturing has started 1 month ago.

In 2 years, Erik Buell Racing went from 10 to 120 employees, a lot being former colaborators of the Buell Motorcycle Co., others being young passionate technicians and engineers coming from the competition or from the automobile and aerospace industry. The Buell 1190RX has the support in the US of about 60 dealers, and will compete with Ducati, Honda, Yamaha, Kawasaki and Suzuki. Quite a challenge. But Erik Buell is extremely confident that there is room for a US engineered and American manufactured street sport bike. To the point that another mass produced Buell model should follow the 1190RX before end of this year.

1190rx-11190rx-2

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21 Responses to “Erik Buell Today.”


  1. 1 Rod Jan 31st, 2014 at 9:37 am

    look at how thin the spokes on the front wheel are. I hope breakage is not an issue/. I know there are no brake forces, but there are impressive chuckholes in the roads.

    Rod

  2. 2 Bill Jan 31st, 2014 at 9:44 am

    To be involved in something like this would be amazing. I hope they make it work and work well.

  3. 3 Boris Jan 31st, 2014 at 9:55 am

    Why do sport bikes always look like insects? Modern motorcycle design leaves a lot to be desired.

  4. 4 Terence Tory Jan 31st, 2014 at 10:14 am

    Rod,the design of the spokes and the nature of the ally used is far more important than how the wheel looks.BMW for example,have had all kinds of dent issues with beefy looking mags over the years with the buttery soft alloys they used.I’m sure Erik Buell knows his stuff about designing durable ZTL wheels after about a decade of making them.

  5. 5 Peter Hall Jan 31st, 2014 at 10:21 am

    Buell. An interesting motorcycle story.

  6. 6 live2rideaglide Jan 31st, 2014 at 11:40 am

    I hope Eric does well, looks like a good start. Good luck Eic.

  7. 7 George Kay Jan 31st, 2014 at 12:07 pm

    I’ve never been really big on this style bike, I’m a bigger fan of models like the Switchback, but this is one hell of a ride!

  8. 8 SIGFREED Jan 31st, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    It rather scary that an iconic American designer is fired (and effectively bankrupted) by an iconic American company and then the said designer has to get Indian finance/backing to build “his” company, the way it should have been.

    Then people scratch their heads and ask why the US has been reduced to Basketball-players, Bankers and Burger-flippers. It seems if you do not have some harebrained “tech” idea (ie software ap. and/or related media crap), then US investors will ignore you like an offer for free membership to the US Communist Party.

  9. 9 Melinda Jan 31st, 2014 at 1:29 pm

    I’m forever in love with my 2006 XB12R Firebolt and was lucky enough to be at the AIM Expo in Orlando and get to hang out with the brilliant engineers, staff and 4 of the prototype EBR’s. Such fine bikes and just in case you haven’t heard, the red one is MINE! : )

  10. 10 BobS Jan 31st, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    Sigfreed, interesting points, but have you considered that maybe other American investors were interested but EB was not? Sure a venture capital firm or hedge fund manager may have been willing to take a 25 mil gamble on EBR but would that partnership have been as good a long term partner as a large international motorcycle company? I’m thinking EBR is good for Hero just like Hero is good for EBR.

  11. 11 Terence Tory Jan 31st, 2014 at 2:58 pm

    SIGFREED “It seems if you do not have some harebrained “tech” idea (ie software ap. and/or related media crap)”

    What do you mean? Maybe something like this page that you post on most days of the week?

  12. 12 James just another crazy Kiwi Jan 31st, 2014 at 5:20 pm

    looks like the USA has a new type of Indian circling the fort

    India has bought into allot of automotive companies in the last 10 years.
    They may end up having more financial influence and power than the Chinese in the future
    Especially in the automobile industry

    Go Mr Buell ,I hope he does well.
    Nice to see that HD let him out of the clause on sports bikes because they treated him very badly at the time of closure.
    I wonder if Keith Wandell would have done it differently now he knows more about the type of people and culture he is dealing with.

    I Bloody hope so !!!

  13. 13 CW Jan 31st, 2014 at 10:51 pm

    Can’t wait to test drive one. Great job to everybody at EBR!

  14. 14 A 1 MIKE Feb 1st, 2014 at 10:42 am

    HERO JUST RELEASED THEIR 250 STREET BIKE..LOOKS A LOT LIKE THIS ONE SHRUNK DOWN.HE HELPED DESIGN IT.

  15. 15 Dale Feb 1st, 2014 at 10:43 am

    Erik is a visionary for the industry and that industry is better with him and his talented team in it. I wish the best to Buell. Keep raising the bar.

  16. 16 richard Feb 1st, 2014 at 11:07 am

    Good luck to Eric Buell. I visited his plant in East troy (I think it was east troy) several years ago and thought the operation there was outstanding. Everything I’ve heard about Mr. Buell has been good so I’m sure he will come out on top in the end.

  17. 17 David Alari Feb 1st, 2014 at 2:22 pm

    Hey Erik

    Absolutely incredible. If it runs anything like it looks.

    I want one.

    DA,

  18. 18 Martin Twofeather Feb 2nd, 2014 at 10:09 pm

    I wish Erick the best he by far is one of the greats of our industry going the distance and giving the buyer what he or she wants in tech and speed,not to mention beauty.

  19. 19 Sasha Feb 3rd, 2014 at 9:24 am

    Bravo Erik. You are the example of passion, perseverance and results. A true inspiration in this industry.

  20. 20 kevin boyle Kustoms Feb 3rd, 2014 at 10:22 am

    in India right now …man there are a shitload of bikes here …more than I have ever seen before ANYWHERE else I have travelled in the world …just saying …

  21. 21 New York myke Feb 3rd, 2014 at 12:36 pm

    We loved the motorcycle and sold a ton of them but lost lots of money, as did HD. It was a difficult mix for us and no one knew what a Buell was as much as we tried…nuff said, and I agree with everything else said, but Wandell made a tough but correct business decision. I wish Eric and EBR all the luck in the world in this venture and hope they can a good profit as well as a great motorcycle…

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