Erik Buell Leaves Harley-Davidson for New Venture

11/20/2009 @ 5:56 pm, by Jensen Beeler19 COMMENTS


Harley-Davidson, Inc. has just announced that Erik Buell, Chairman and Chief Technical Officer of the soon to be closed Buell Motorcycle Company, will leave the company to establish Erik Buell Racing, an independent motorcycle race shop that will specialize in making 1125R-based racing motorcycles and parts.

UPDATE: Erik has made a video that explains his move to Erik Buell Racing further, and rehashes the information already available in Harley-Davidson’s press release.

Erik Buell Racing will specialize in supplying race-use-only Buell motorcycle parts, and will also offerrace preparation services for engines and motorcycles (presumably for Buell engines and motorcycles). Erik’s new venture will consist of the making and selling of Buell 1125R-based race-use-only motorcycles, which will are under license from Harley-Davidson. The company will also continue to provide technical support to Buell racers.

“I’m looking forward to helping Buell racers keep their bikes flying,” said Erik Buell. “We’ve got some exciting race development projects in the works and it will mean a lot to me personally to see Buell racers competing for wins and championships in the 2010 season and beyond.”

Echoing Buell’s enthusiasm, Buell President and COO Jon Flickinger also commented, “I’m pleased that Harley-Davidson is assisting Erik in establishing this business to continue supporting the racing efforts he has had so much passion for over the years. Harley-Davidson and the Buell Motorcycle Company will always be proud of their affiliation with Erik, and we wish him well in this new endeavor to support Buell racers.”

Erik Buell Racing will be based in East Troy, Wisconsin and will be staffed by Erik Buell and a veteran team of personnel.

  • Joe Rosa

    Hopefully the next announcement willbe that Buell motorcycle company is being sold to Erik Buell and will continue on seperate from Harley Davidson.

  • Hope he moves beyond just racing again. RT @Asphalt_Rubber Breaking: Erik Buell Leaves Harley-Davidson for New Venture

  • Erik #Buell leaving H-D

  • PTO

    Like many American motorcycle enthusiasts, I’m glad to hear that we haven’t heard the end of Erik Buell, and that the author’s assertion in “Buell Builds Last Motorcycle Before Closing” that his name would never appear on another motorcycle was completely wrong. My next hope is that the future company will end the charade of racing 1125ccs against 600ccs and recover some of the respect they lost while doing so. I hope for great things in an American sportbike in my lifetime.

  • i wonder if they’ll get the same treatment from AMA ;)

  • Way to go Erik, I knew he wouldn’t give up!

  • Dave

    Will 1125 CR’s be supported as well in CCS Suntrust Moto, or other sanctioned events that currently includes XBRR’s and XB12R’s?
    How about the “Barracuda” concept bikes I have seen pictures of lately? I have put money down on a remaining BUELL….until now…..

    Lastly, Will racing only parts/ bike be purchased through current Buell dealers or will a new network or system be developed?

  • mog

    As a CCS licensed racer, the only folks capable of getting parts for racing would be………… LICENSED racers.

    There is an object here that is a machine, built and INSURED as a RACE ONLY unit.

    Maybe later on, certain parts may be offered for general public. For now though, the liability issues of this being a street bike/parts would monetarily crush the fledgeling race company.

    Crawl, walk, run. I am turning blue, holding my breath that Buell Racing succeeds at this entry point.

  • Marko Kuipers

    Good luck to you, Erik and your great new initiative! That the 2010 results for Buell racers may be spectacular!

  • tim

    I was wondering to myself if Erik and the racing department might be a basis for a tilt at a Moto2 ride in the future? I dunno, it seems like it could be a good fit, and with two rounds of the MotoGP series in the US presently there is good exposure there…. pure speculation of course.

  • D.Willan

    I’m glad Harleyis droping Buell. I hope Harley dose the right thing and sells eric his company back. If they do id gladly buy one, right now I would never buy one. In my mind Harley gives buell a bad name.

  • Been riding Harleys since 1968, they are without doubt the best motorcycles on this planet.
    The very best Harleys have had Buell written on them; it is very depressing (to me at least) that Buell has been ditched, because the future needs this marriage between Harley and Buell.
    I don’t care much for racing, but the way that Erik grabs new technology and makes it his own is an exceptional gift, one that can only enrich the parent-company.
    I am a 500%-loyal Harley man after 5 decades of riding only Harleys…except for the ’98 S1 and ’02 X1 that I believe to be absolutely amazing bikes in the ‘real world’…safe, reliable, sexy, non-clone styling…I hope that Buell may get another life building H-D powered bikes. But then, that is only me…

  • I have owned Buells since 1999, and have championed the brand thru my tenure working for a Harley Davidson dealer before starting my own venture. I have an 1125R in front of me and love it! One of the most playful bikes you will ever ride. Congratulations to Erik and we look forward to what is coming!

    Jason Cooley
    Gongshow Riderz

  • Charles Haussman

    As a Harley owner I have come to the conclusion that the future of the Company must be based on more innovation. Eric Buell was the key factor. Harley sales will continue to slide unless they (Harley-Davidson) comes to the realization that selling expensive images with outdated engineering to a bunch of sheep (HOG) is not a long term strategy. Eric Buell was the future of Harley-Davidson. Wake up Harley, the world has changed big time!!!! I am disappointed with the leadership of Harley-Davidson. I know that I am not alone.

  • Was greatly saddened to learn that HD was dropping Buell. Have been racing my 1997 S-3 Thunderbolt for the last 9 years (AHDRA & local vinues) looks like I’ll be retiring it after the 2010 season since it is a collectors item now. It has won me a few purses so it’s earned the right to be put on the back burner. Don’t know what I’ll be racing next year money’s tight and no one seems to want to step up … but things may change for the better. Good luck to Eric and thanks for helping me go fast by designing great bikes.

  • josh haus

    Gotta say im glad to see it going in a racing direction and not closing the doors for good, that would be a sad day. im betting once this takes off we will see and brand new model of buell hit the streets again brought on by popular demand

  • Buell was Harley’s ticket to selling a motorcycle to someone less than 50 years old. They thoroughly bungled the whole thing by offering too many models and options for a fledgling motorcycle. They way over invested and expected far too much way too soon. Now they have nothing to offer other than 800 pound Hogs and a Sportster just for laughs. Look for Harley to be asking the Govt. for a handout to keep afloat in the future because their customer base has shrunk to nothing.

  • Don

    I like Harley and i like Buell . What is Harley Davidson doing ?…. They say there broke !…., so they cancel Buell . Then they come out with Five new bikes ….. What is wrong with this picture ?….. I met a Buell owner thats more confused then Hank Hill at an Elton John concert and i do not blame him. Talk about stabbing a customer in the back . He said the Harley dealer said they have the XR1200 now : / . He said what dose that have to do with my Buell xb12ss , i feel for the guy . I hear a lot of rich guys are jumping ship and buying other brands. I hope the stock holders storm the board room with pitch forks and torches . Whats next ?….. when i walk in a (HD) dealer ship will they try to sell me the Harley Davidson BBQ grill ; / . Who would buy a motorcycle with no rear seat ?… Who are some of these bikes being made for ?….. Confused ,dazed , but i still can see straight .