Erik Buell Racing Eyes 450cc Off-Road Machine

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In an interview with Alan Cathcart, Erik Buell talks to the famed motorcycle journalist about his departure from Harley-Davidson, and what the future holds for Erik Buell and Erik Buell Racing. Perhaps one of the most interesting things to come out of the pair’s conversation (read a translated version at Motonline) is the fact that in late-2006/early-2007 Harley-Davidson killed off a project to build a 450cc Buell off-road machine. Still believing that there is a market for a Buell-branded dirt bike, Buell confessed to Cathcart that EBR is taking up the 450cc project again, which uses a special single-cylinder Rotax motor as its power plant.

While Harley-Davidson reportedly used millions of dollars to develop the 450cc dirt bike idea, EBR is developing the motorcycle for obviously significantly less money. Centered around a gas and oil in-frame design, Buell says the bike will be very light with its aluminum frame, although maybe not the lightest bike on the market. With a focus on reliability and ease-of-start, it’ll be interesting to see how EBR takes its track oriented brand, and applies it to the off-road world.

We imagine funding is the biggest issue right now in getting the EBR off-roader off the ground and into the dirt, as our sources tell us Buell has actively been looking for financial backing since his departure from Harley-Davidson. We have yet to hear of a major investor stepping in to help the innovative company, but rumors of a Bombardier acquisition have been heating up (who knows if this has anything to do with that).

Source: Motonline

Jensen Beeler

Despite his best efforts, Jensen is called one of the most influential bloggers in the motorcycle industry, and sometimes consults for motorcycle companies, whether they've solicited his expertise or not.