While we have been expecting Erik Buell Racing to join forces with a larger company at some point this year, today it comes as a bit of surprise to learn that EBR has partnered with Hero MotoCorp. The deal sees Hero becoming the title sponsor for two teams in the AMA Pro Racing National Guard Superbikes Championship — Team Hero and AMSOIL Hero, while Erik Buell Racing will give Hero design and technology inputs for bikes destined for the Indian market.
In practicality, this partnership would seem to suggest that Erik Buell Racing will help Hero MotoCorp, a company recently freed/dumped from its partnership with Honda, build sporty two-wheelers for the Indian motorcycle market, while the cash-infused Indian manufacturer will help the boutique American sport bike maker continue to go racing in the United States. This news also puts Danny Eslick on the Team Hero EBR 1190RS for the 2012 season, while Geoff May will continue with the AMSOIL Hero EBR 1190RS. Thanks for the tip Kevin!
Press Release from Hero MotoCorp:
New Delhi, February 22, 2012: In a landmark development, the world’s largest two-wheeler manufacturer, Hero MotoCorp Ltd. (HMCL), today announced forging a strategic partnership with Erik Buell Racing (EBR) of the US, encompassing multiple areas of collaboration.
As part of the partnership, HMCL will receive support in terms of cutting-edge technology and design to develop future models from EBR – the East Troy, Wisconsin-based firm, which specializes in designing and manufacturing powerful and high-speed motorcycles.
Announcing this here today, Mr. Pawan Munjal, Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer, Hero MotoCorp, said “It gives me immense pleasure to welcome Erik Buell to the exciting world of Hero MotoCorp. This is in keeping with my objective of quickly scaling up our own in-house R&D capabilities to a global two-wheeler technology power-house by leveraging a network of strategic international alliances. Erik and his team have been working closely with our engineers and designers to develop our next-generation range of products with cutting-edge technology and first-of-its-kind features.
“The Indian two-wheeler industry is set to evolve, and it is only natural that as the market leader, we are driving this change. As a part of this plan, Erik is going to play an integral role in giving shape to some of my dream two-wheelers for the discerning youth of today. So my R&D team and Erik’s team together have made some definitive progress in this direction, and we will hopefully be putting a few scorchers on the roads soon.”
Mr. Erik F. Buell, Chairman & CTO of EBR, said “EBR is delighted to partner with a company as iconic as Hero MotoCorp. Both HMCL and EBR share the common commitment to manufacturing world-class two-wheelers with technology of the future. I have personally been deeply impressed with and inspired by Pawan’s vision. He has given us a challenging brief, and our highly-motivated team is working towards giving shape to that dream. We look forward to designing technology solutions which are in line with contemporary global standards and also futuristic in their appeal and utility.”
Through this alliance, Hero MotoCorp will also for the first time enter the exciting world of international motorcycle racing. The company will mark its foray into the racing arena by sponsoring two teams: Team Hero and AMSOIL Hero – a first by any Indian two-wheeler company at the AMA Pro Racing National Guard Superbikes Championship. Popular young racer Danny Eslick will represent “Team Hero” while another well-known racer Geoff May will represent team AMSOIL Hero – both riding on EBR 1190RS bikes.
Hero MotoCorp also showcased an EBR 1190RS bike at the press conference here today.
The first race is scheduled at the Daytona Speedway, at Daytona beach, Florida, USA between March 15th & 17th, this year.
Commenting on the racing debut, Mr. Munjal said, “This is also a key part of our alliance with EBR. Both Erik and I felt that we should carry forward our partnership into the race track. As a company, we have always supported and nurtured sports and sporting talent in India. It is indeed a pleasure to sponsor two EBR teams at the AMA Championships and we are delighted to be taking an Indian brand to a highly-competitive and highly-popular international motorcycle race arena. We look forward to superlative performances from both Danny and Geoff.”
Commenting on the tie-up, Mr. Buell said, “I deeply appreciate the support provided by Pawan and Hero MotoCorp to our two teams and this will only make Danny and Geoff perform better this season. As I kept meeting Pawan over the past several months, I realised his keen interest in moto-racing and the ‘Team Hero’ at AMA Championships is really a natural extension of our strategic collaboration. Top-class motorcycle racing is a very popular sport in the US, and the presence of the ‘Hero’ brand name is going to lend a lot of stature and excitement to all EBR fans out there.”
Hero MotoCorp is also developing the concept hybrid scooter called ‘Leap’, showcased at the recently-concluded Auto Expo, in collaboration with EBR.
EBR 1190RS is the flagship bike from EBR, and an exclusive engineering marvel, as the company is producing only 100 inaugural units of these, including a handful of the carbon edition package. The EBR 1190RS is taking the American motorcycle racing world by storm with its performance, styling and handling.
Before he became successful engineer, motorcycle designer and motorcycle manufacturer, Erik Buell was a motorcycle racer, and he has brought all his past experience from the race track to build the 1190RS.