Erik Buell Racing Ceases Operations

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News being broke by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says that Erik Buell Racing has ceased its operations. The East Troy company plans to also file for protection from creditors under Chapter 128 of Wisconsin’s bankruptcy code.

Under Wisconsin law, EBR will be placed into receivership (the company will be run by attorney Michael S. Polsky), and ultimately bids will be made on purchasing the bankrupt company. If no bids are made, the company’s assets will be auctioned off, with the profits going to EBR’s creditors.

“The turn we recently took, after we thought we were moving forward, was unexpected. We thought we had secured funding, but in the end, we were not able to get the funding in place. Therefore we need to do the best we can under the circumstances for all parties in interest,” Buell said in a statement to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

“To say this setback is a disappointment does not begin to express what I feel right now. I am personally grateful for the support of our outstanding workers, customers and vendors. While this is a sad ending, I personally hope for a new and better beginning,” Buell added.

Though a shock to the whole industry, as well as EBR dealers, the news is perhaps unsurprising given EBR’s lack of success both on the race track and on the dealership floor, the latter being the more important metric.

Sales for the EBR 1190RX and EBR 1190SX street bikes never materialized over the last year, with dealerships offering steep discounts on the MSRP price to try and move the models.

Erik Buell’s business efforts have been buoyed heavily by investment from Hero Motor Corp. From this news, one would presume that the Indian company cut-off its lifeline to EBR, especially since Buell mentions funding in his statement.

It’s not clear what the final nail in the coffin was for the American sport bike company, though premium price point and generic build-quality certainly played a part.

It will be interesting to see if a new party bids on Erik Buell Racing at auction, and carries on the dream for a true American sport bike.

Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel