UPDATE 3: April Fools.

UPDATE 2: Avril Foujour of BRP has made a statement to Asphalt & Rubber confirming the press leak.

UPDATE: It looks Bomber Motorcycles has twitter and Facebook accounts both suggesting news to be released on Friday. Logo addded to the story.

A day ahead of its scheduled release, it would appear that someone inside Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP) has leaked an announcement that Erik Buell Racing and BRP will form a new motorcycle company called Bomber Motorcycles. The press release, which was posted on the Buell enthusiasts forum Bad Weather Bikers has now been taken down, perhaps by request of Erik Buell Racing or Bombardier. But it appears to have come from someone at Bombarider, and was thankfully forwarded to us by a quick spotting member. This would seem to confirm earlier chatter we heard last week in the Buell camps about a Bombardier connection that we dismissed as fallout from the Alan Cathcart article in DealerNews.

The surprise announcement couldn’t come on a worse day, although it looks like it was actually scheduled to occur tomorrow to avoid April Fools confusion. Never-the-less the press release outlines the creation of a joint-venture between the two companies, with a 1190cc sportbike slated for arrival late in 2010. Dubbed the Stratofortress, the bike features what sounds like a new Rotax powerplant that has 1190cc’s on board, and uses a 60 v-twin configuration. According to the release, the Bomber Stratofortress certainly sounds the part, making 160hp and weighing an alleged 365lbs dry. More after the jump.

Explaining the basis for the joint-venture and Canadian production facility, Bombardier Recreational Prodcuts PR Correspondent Avril Foujour explained to Asphalt & Rubber that, “after BRP’s offer to buy Buell Motorcycles was rejected by Harley-Davidson, BRP began exploring creative alternative possibilities with Erik Buell himself. While Harley-Davidson refused to sell the Buell brand and infrastructure, we realized the core essence of the Buell legacy was the man behind the machine, Erik Buell himself.”

Unfortunately for BRP, part of Erik Buell’s severance from Harley-Davidson included a non-compete clause that barred Buell from making motorcycles. “Erik’s hands are tied by Harley-Davidson and their lawyers, as such Buell cannot create street-oriented motorcycles by law,” Foujour explains. “However the contract provision is unenforceable under Canadian law, and in particular here in the French-Canadian provence of Quebec. Both jurisdictions have much more favorable provisions regarding non-compete clauses, which have allowed us to achieve the announcement we were planning on releasing tomorrow.”

Foujour continued telling us that “by having Erik Buell Racing move across the northern border of the United States and into Quebec, both companies effectively sidestep this road block put in place by Harley-Davidson. Additionally since this is joint-venture by BRP and Erik Buell Racing, Buell himself is not necessarily making any motorcycles, as BRP will be undertaking a large portion of the engineering and production for Bomber Motorcycles, an important technicality based on the wording set out in Buell’s contract with Harley-Davidson”

BRP would not confirm the rumor, but there is some belief that Harley-Davidson specifically added the non-compete clause to Buell’s severance contract in order to block him from colluding with BRP. Despite their alleged efforts, to us this sounds like some crafty lawyering by both Erik Buell and BRP. Erik Buell’s non-compete clause is rumored to expire in just under 18 months, which could see the newly formed Bomber Motorcycles land back on American soil, once again reviving the dream for an American sport bike. In the meantime, we’ll just have to wait for the spy shots of the Stratofortress to come zooming down from the heavens. More as we get it.

Leaked Press Release from Bombardier Recreational Products:

Bombardier Recreational Products and Erik Buell Racing Announce Bomber Motorcycles Joint-Venture

Valcourt, Quebec, Friday, April 2, 2010 – Bombarider Recreational Products Inc. (BRP) is pleased to announce, in conjunction with Erik Buell Racing, LLC, the formation of Bomber Motorcycles Ltd., a joint-venture between Erik Buell Racing and BRP. Bomber Motorcycles® will produce performance orientated street motorcycles out of Quebec, Canada that will be tailored to meet the needs of North American sport bike enthusiasts. These motorcycles will showcase unparalleled performance characteristics, and benefit from cutting edge technology seen nowhere else in the motorcycle industry. Featuring BRP made Rotax® engines, Bomber Motorcycles will revolutionize motorcycling with its unique chassis designs and styling.

Bomber Motorcycles expects its first motorcycle to be available in the fourth quarter for 2010 with the the 2010 Bomber Stratofortress® being the first motorcycle to come from the new company, and will feature the very best elements of both companies involved in the joint-venture. The Stratofortress® will utilize the new Rotax 1199, a 1199cc liquid cooled 60°v-twin power plant that produces 160 peak horsepower. The street version of the Stratofortress® is expected to weigh 365lbs without fluids, making it a class leader not only in North America, but also abroad.

Along with the announcement of the 2010 Bomber Stratofortress®, BRP and Erik Buell Racing are also pleased to announce Bomber Motorcycles’ plans to enter several AMA Pro Racing events during the 2010 season with the Stratofortress® platform (pending AMA Pro Racing homologation requirements), and will rely heavily upon the knowledge brought by the Erik Buell Racing team to Bomber Motorcycles.

As a part of the joint-venture agreement, Erik Buell Racing will be moving its headquarters to Quebec, Canada, but will not become a owned subsidiary of BRP. This will allow Erik Buell Racing to be closer to the production facility for Bomber Motorcycles, and to more easily integrate its business processes with BRP as the two firms establish Bomber Motorcycles.

BRP, a privately-held company, is a world leader in the design, development, manufacturing, distribution and marketing of motorised recreational vehicles. Its portfolio of brands and products includes: Ski-Doo® and Lynx™ snowmobiles, Sea-Doo® watercraft and sport boats, Johnson® and Evinrude® outboard engines, direct injection technologies such as Evinrude E-TEC™, Bombardier* ATV all-terrain vehicles, Rotax® engines and karts.

Erik Buell Racing, based out of East Troy, Wisconsin is a race and performance parts manufacturer for the Buell line of motorcycles. Its services include not only tuning and producing performance parts, but also providing a limited number of race prepared motorcycles for various racing classes around the world. It currently offers the track-only 1125R, 1125RR, and 1190RR motorcycles to cup racers and track day enthusiasts.

Source: Bad Weather Bikers

  • Doctor Jelly

    60°? The 1125 is a 72° isn’t it? Hmm…

  • fearnow

    The date, y’all. the date.

    As much as I’d love for EB to get back into streetbikes and Polaris/Bomabardier stop building choppahs, look at the date.

  • Requiredname

    Doctor: You’re right. The Helicon, is @ 72 degrees.

    Fearnow: What about the date? The article does say: Leaked Press Release.. And, they’re planning on releasing a statement tomorrow. Hello, McFly!

  • cycleguy

    All of BRP’s current large V-Twin engines are based on the Rotax/Aprilia, 60deg V-Twin. The max displacement is 990cc. I can’t find the 1199c version the article is referring too.

  • The press release mentions that this is a new motor, why would you assume it’s based off 72 degree Helicon?

  • Bjorn

    Avril Foujour is pretty busy this time of year, I’m suprised they had time to issue that release.

  • Requiredname

    There’s no assumptions on my part. A question was posed about the 1125.. I answered it. Clearly, there are more details to come out about this new engine; One in particular.. will this be an 1190 or 1199?

  • chris

    does’t ” Avril Fou jour” mean “crazy april day” in french?

  • “The press release, which was posted on the Buell enthusiasts forum Bad Weather Bikers has now been taken down, perhaps by request of Erik Buell Racing or Bombardier”

    Bogus, the article was taken down by us because it is non factual and we will not be involved in an elaborate hoax.

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  • Y’all had me going for a little while!

  • Wavex

    bastards!!! LOL

  • fearnow

    McFly is listening, McChumps! ;-)

  • Thats worse than getting Rick Roled

  • Ecosse

    chris says:
    04/01/2010 at 2:36 PM

    does’t ” Avril Fou jour” mean “crazy april day” in french?

    my google translator agrees with you: “April Fool day”

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  • BikePilot

    Well played Jenny Gun.

  • Gary

    More sad than funny really. The only people who will believe it are those who desperately want it to be true and then, when common sense gets the better of them, it will just be one more kick in the gut.

    There are so many fun, funny possibilities for jokes, I don’t know why you chose this one.

  • Doctor Jelly


    I presumed it would be Helicon based because:
    *I don’t think HD can stop Rotax from using their own motor (and Rotax probably has a good supply of spare parts/tooling that would be a waste of money if not used)
    *It would cost them more money to develop a new motor from the ground up than to reuse the helicon design (which is a perfectly fine motor)
    *And your title says it’s an 1190 motor (though the “press release” says 1199) and there is already an 1190 Helicon putting down a claimed 185 HP. Not a far cry for a street legal version to drop to around the 160 mentioned in the article.

    I don’t know, it just seems silly to develop a whole new motor IF it’s real…

  • Doctor Jelly


    Rotax also builds an 1125cc 72° Helicon engine for the Buell 1125R bikes. It’s the first engine listed under ‘motorcycles’ on Rotax’s site:


  • Eduardo Chaves

    Here in Brazil, we are very pleased – me and my brothers from Buellbr.com – with the news! Now, we expect to be able to import such a beauty! Go Erick; go! Eduardo Chaves, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

  • Gary

    There’s, frankly, no way it could be real. A clean sheet design with new engine ready for production by the fourth quarter? Ridiculous. This is a ham-fisted ‘joke’ at best.

  • Gary

    Dr. Jelly,

    Unfortunately HD CAN prevent Rotax from using the engine because the design was commisioned by Buell (Harley), and, from what Steve Anderson wrote in his Cycle World article, Harley maintained the rights by buying out their contract when they shut down Buell.

  • Swordsman

    Er, why are we still discussing this? It’s a hoax. The website registrant’s name is poor French for “April Fool’s Day”, the address is the historic founding location of Bombardier with a non-existent street, and one of Badweb’s Anonymous posters (almost always a close Buell affiliate) says it’s bogus. There’s no point in even questioning it from a logistical perspective. =/

  • Ecosse

    Swordsman, expect to have your comments of meaningless common sense ignored. Don’t you know that if it’s found on the interweb it MUST be true?!

    Go sell your logic somewhere else. :-)

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  • Doug

    That Alan Cathcart article appeared in AMD (American Motorcycle Dealer), not Dealernews.

  • Joe
  • (Sigh…) Time to punish the asphalt to relieve my disappointment.

  • eze1976

    almost evil, but well done never the less…. I am using this as a reason I can take next april fools off.

  • Jake318

    What made this almost beleivable was the fact Bombadier aggresively tried to buy Buell 4 times . Even Wall street analists berated Harley on the Bull headed refusal to sell to Bombadier . saying that Harleys exsecutives disliked Buell and made personal dislike cloud good business decisions