In 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.
Erik 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.