It has just been announced that Erik Buell Racing has received $20 million in funding from foreign investors. A part of the federal government’s EB-5 program, the deal was brokered by FirstPathway Partners, a company that specializes in facilitating the funding of companies through wealthy individuals that are abroad. The announcement is a boon for EBR, as the company has struggled for financing since it began operations after the closing of Buell Motorcycles by Harley-Davidson.

The $20 million in funding will go towards building more affordable models, says the Milwaukee-based company. In turn, this news means that Erik Buell Racing will need to bring on more staff, and expand its facility for production at a greater volume (54,000 square feet says Buell). Erik Buell Racing hopes to start selling $20,000 street bikes once it gets its business in order for larger volume, with the expectation being that those models will be similar to the EBR 1190RS, though without such high-spec components.

With $100 million generally being the number touted to bring a full-scale motorcycle company into fruition (i.e. one with full-production, distributors dealers, support chains, etc), the $20 million raised by EBR is one step down a much longer road of financing, though a critical piece in the puzzle of finding more funds.

With the investor(s) not being named, one has to wonder about whom it was that invested in Erik Buell Racing. With Hero MotoCorp’s Managing Director Pawan Munjal talking to Bloomberg about his interest in acquiring Erik Buell Racing, India’s largest motorcycle brand certainly seems like a likely suspect for today’s transaction — especially with the partnership already in place between EBR & Hero, as well as Hero’s sponsorship of the Erik Buell Racing’s AMA Superbike racing effort.

Source: BizJournals & FOX 6 Milwaukee; Photo: © 2012 Jensen Beeler / Asphalt & Rubber – Creative Commons – Attribution 3.0

  • So, H-D spends $20 Million to shutter Buell Motorcycles in 2009, and now Erik Buell scores $20 Million in foreign investment to continue building American motorcycles in America. Sorta makes Mr. Wandell and Co. look like real a$$hats, doesn’t it?

    Keep it up, Erik. At least you have the dream, desire, and ability to make America proud. Go kick some more a$$!

  • RGR

    Already saving my pennies…

  • Cpt.Slow

    I don’t need anymore bikes but if this ebr superbike is good (and under $20), I would seriously think about getting one!

  • RJ

    Very happy for Eric and Co.

    A $20k Buell Superbike?

    If you build it, they will come…

  • Adam

    This is great news. I have personally me Erik and owned a Buell. It was not the fastest bike on the planet, but I really enjoyed riding it. I will be taking a serious look at the new machine from EBR when it arrives.

  • Rick

    Erik is my HERO! I ride #98 that raced Daytona 200 in 2009. Ride it on the street now. Luv ya man! ( :
    Congrats and Good Luck!

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  • smiler

    So fortunately there is klike after being runover by a Hog. That is great. You see a Buell sometimes and they always make me smile. Innovative, sound great and can really go.

    That’s great.

  • Ducman

    Congrats to Erik. The man is genius – getting 20 foreigners to invest a Million each in exchange for a green-card is absolutely brilliant. I could be wrong but I think with the EB5investment visa there is no guarantee that the investors will see a penny back, basically they have already been rewarded with a green-card.

  • GeddyT

    So where’s he going to get the bikes? I thought EBR was using leftover 1125R stock as the basis for their new bikes and supporting racers who were riding the existing models, hence the high cost and limited numbers. I always was under the impression that this was a short term deal, as leftover 1125Rs wouldn’t last forever, and EBR is basically just a tuning and race support company for the 1125R.

    Doesn’t H-D still own the rights to the engine and chassis tech that Buell uses in the superbikes? So what does this new investment go to? If EBR actually goes “for real” and starts building new bikes, is he going to start from scratch with a new chassis and engine? And doesn’t H-D now own the patents on fuel in frame, perimeter brakes, etc. that you’d expect to see on a new Buell design? So how does he get around that?

    Maybe I just have the details of the breakup all wrong.

  • Tom

    Whether or not you like Buell or his bikes, one thing is for certain. You cannot call Buell a shit talker. He is a doer who makes things happen. In a world of so many talkers, he is a breath of fresh air.

  • @ Geddy. You are miss informed. The 1190RS is not an 1125R. While all the tech is similar, in order to dodge the patents from Harley they “revamped” the chassis, and the engine was built by Rotax. Harley does t own anything Rotax does, and Again the engine has been modified to dodge Harley anyway.

  • meatspin

    the new superbike looks good. All that stuff he built b4 looked too goofy and I would not have bought any of them. Expensive too.

    maybe buell finally learned something instead of having a cry when HD pulled the plug.

  • meatspin- Do a little research and you’ll discover the truth that came out after H-D killed Buell. The “goofy” design elements were a direct result of H-D micromanaging Erik and insisting on things Erik did not want to do. H-D never understood the Buell philosophy, or actual performance for that matter, and through their actions became Buell’s biggest roadblock to success. The high prices were just one example of “Harley thinking”- heck, H-D charged Buell retail price for the Spotster motors used in Buell models. Buell Motorcycles didn’t need an enemy as long as they had Harley Davidson. Good riddance. Just look at the success Erik Buell is having without the limitations imposed on him by H-D. Finally, Erik is able to make a world-class motorcycle America can be proud of. It’s a shame H-D held him back so long, but now he’s free to use his genius to its fullest. These are exciting times!

  • MikeD

    Good luck to this man. He deserves it. NOW…….about that motorcycle for $20k…i don’t know about that…sounds still too $teep.

    Make a Superbike for 15k or less, a naked for less that 10k and smaller fries 500-800 in the 6-7k and maybe some kind of Ninja 250 CBR250R competitor and maybe he’ll have a line up more edible by the regular underpaid Joe…not just the few well heeled Schmocks ?

    Otherwise he will remain some NICHE Builder for the rich crowd…and i would rather buy something cheaper, proven and reliable alltogheter.

    I hope to see a future Ligthning and Ulyses againg and why not explore some other genres too while at it ?
    Screw the whole superbike crack pipe dream, they ain’t selling like HOT BREAD anymore….it’s 2012, NOT 2007 or before.

  • Damo

    He’s getting closer. Once he makes a bike below the $16k mark, I’ll line up for that one.

  • BikePilot

    Any chance we’ll see a superbike dressed up as a reincarnated Uly? My Uly might just be worn out by the time this show gets on the road…

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  • Paul McM

    I have great respect for Buell as an innovative, forward-thinking designer/engineer. But a $20K bike? Come on… When Honda can’t give away VFR1200s for $11K? If Buell is serious about building a marketable product (and not just raising cash for his racing program), I think he should look at building a high-performance standard, along the lines of a street-tracker. Nobody offers such a thing. Light-weight chassis, torquey motor, high bars, decent seat/seating position, optional bikini fairing. The Ducati Monster is getting old now, it’s high-maintenance, and it’s uncomfortable for a lot of people. The market is saturated with sportbikes, cruisers, and ridiculous 600-lb “adventure bikes” that will never go off road. Go back to the basics with a bike that looks better than a triumph, can hang with supermotos without the torture seat, and fills a market need.

    Note to Buell, take a look at what Richard Pollock is doing over at Build me something like this, , with turn-signals and and injected motor, and I’ll be the first buyer.

  • X-10shooter

    Paul, you are totally missing the point of why Honda can’t sell those VFR’s. It’s not a Buell, it didn’t come from America and it’s not the underdog in the cycle world. The 1190 has become an icon for those of that prayed that an American company would do something other than some dogged out push-rod v-twin from the 40’s or a failed attempt at making a super bike that did not perform to expectations. It’s new, fresh and no B.S. thanks to a CEO that believes in something. The Duc’s and had their place in time and it was in the past even though they sell plenty of bikes and I really do love them. We all knew that the 1190 wouldn’t blow anyone’s doors off but, Mr. May currently resides in 5th in AMA points on a bike that has seen the track for just over a year. Tell me Mr. McM, when is the last time Honda or Duc developed something that did that?.. Oh. Sorry they don’t even participate in AMA superbike except for Honda which will show up at Laguna.