Erik Buell Racing is well on its way, after announcing today that the American sport bike company has secured inventory financing from GE Capital. An important step in setting up a strong dealer network, GE’s commitment to Erik Buell Racing means that EBR dealers will be able to purchase their inventory on credit (the standard industry practice) from a top-tier financial institution.

GE Capital has become the go-to financier in the motorcycle and powersports industry, and the group has been making some very competitive offers to up-start motorcycle companies in the recent years. For EBR, getting GE Capital on-board with the fledgling company is a crucial step in building out the company’s dealer network, and putting bikes on the showroom floor.

GE Capital’s involvement is also a good indicator on the health of EBR’s business, which so far has only manufactured 100 units of its EBR 1190RS sportbike since the company’s 2009 inception. In that same time span though, Erik Buell Racing has signed a technical partnership with Hero MotoCorp, and has been rumored to be making a variety of other machines, from dirt bikes to small-displacement road bikes.

“As we ramp up our production capabilities and introduce other models, it’s great to know that we have a finance company that can support us as we expand,” said Erik Buell. “I’m pleased that GE Capital, with its decades of experience in the motorsports industry, continues to support emerging manufacturers like EBR.”

“We’re not just bankers, we’re builders,” said Sameer Gaur, the commercial leader of CDF’s motorsports group. “Across businesses and industries, it’s important for us to contribute to the growth of American manufacturers at every stage of their development.”

Source: GE Capital; Photos: © 2011 Tom Davenport / RD Image – All Rights Reserved

  • joe

    love the innovation, yet too steep a price for me and most riders out there.

  • John

    Joe, financial backing like this will allow EBR to make larger production runs and exploit economies of scale. This news means more, cheaper EBR’s available on the market.

    This can only mean good things for the consumers over the next couple years!

  • Actually John, this won’t help too much with EBR’s production…beyond the fact that dealers will be able to actually buy the bikes that EBR produces.

    This isn’t GE Capital investing in EBR, it’s GE Capital helping dealers purchase EBR inventory.

  • joe

    i do not doubt that higher volume and possibly lower cost models will help the average buyer. i just dont see it happening here.

  • Halfie30

    If he makes a smaller displacement bike that is even in the same vacinity of other bikes they will do fine. I hope EBR realizes their best bet is smaller better ha doing machines. 70+ grand super bikes. If they make a 250-400cc sport bike that out performs the competition and costs more, I’m in!

  • Rob

    Unless EBR can make a sub $20K bike they will never be a mainstream bike. They are essentially in the same place as many of the electric motorcycle upstarts. They all will be out of business unless they can make something affordable.

    By the time you order a 1190RS and get it you could have just bought an RSV or 1199.

  • MikeD

    Great for him ! Does it do something for the regular Joe like me ? NOPE.
    Unless he starts selling sub 10k bikes he’s as much on my radar as….let’s see here……ah , yes ! that 911 Turbo AWD i have always dreamed about but won’t be able to afford not even on my wildest dream.
    Better team up with your Indian Buddies and do something about it…or u’ll be back to your old “once upon a time” dead on the water status.

  • smiler

    Cannot believe the negativity of comments here.

    I really like Buell. He produced THE most innovative bike in the US ever and it was a great bike. Done some track days with people riding those and they really go. Looked brilliant as well.
    Got royally shafted by Hog, spat out without his company and now he is back.
    I think he is savy enough to know he needs to produce a cheaper bike but without finance he cannot build quantity cheaply. So I think he should get all the support he needs.

    About his early biking career:
    “My Harley was….Red metal flake paint and those crazy two-piece ape hanger handlebars, which would come loose and swing back and forth. I’d shove wads of steel wool into the mufflers to quiet it down for the cops, but when I was really hauling, it would shoot these glowing balls of flame out the back. Man, that’s cool stuff when you’re a kid!”

    Carroll Shelby of US motorcycling. I will own a (2nd hand) Buell one of these days.

  • At first, I was frustrated by the seemingly ignorant comments here- it’s like someone complaining that they love GM but can’t afford a Corvette. But then I realized that not everyone has been following what Erik Buell is up to. Yes, EBR has built 100 Inaugural 1190RS models at $39,999 each (add $4,000 for Carbon Edition), but that was just the start. With the successful production of the EBR Superbike, Erik has secured investors (Hero MotoCorp), sponsors (Hero, Amsoil), is setting up a dealer network (floorplan by GE Capital), and has been building soon-to-be-released new street and dual sport models (RX, SX, AX)- all priced to compete directly with the competition.

    From the EBR website:

    “EBR is the very definition of the American spirit. Motorcycles designed and manufactured in East Troy, Wisconsin embodying superb technology from around the world. Whether it’s Austrian four-stroke, liquid-cooled power plants or Swedish suspension components, EBR engineers global performance integration into every model.

    We’re starting slowly, building only 100 of our inaugural 1190RS models. After that, we’ll ramp up with more production and other models.”

    As from the beginning, Erik has been working to build a world-class American motorcycle manufacturer, and now free of the H-D yoke his dream is becoming a reality. EBR has been working non-stop for over three years now, and the fruits of this labor are about to come to fruition. The 1190RS was just the beginning, so be patient, curb the negativity, and prepare yourself for more amazing things from the genius mind of Erik Buell.

  • JeCo

    Whats the possibility we see Hero use this as a well to get the bikes stateside. Slap the EBR label on their bikes (IE: the ones Erik is consulting on), get small dealerships going, and add in the top tier of what Erik is building with the 1190 as their mecha line.

    Heart you Erik, heart my XB9 city, and I will heart you even more if I can get a street fighter version of your 1190 (IE: It should look like the pegasus typhon).

  • Robert

    I had a xb12r firebolt and loved it! He truly is a genius with his designs and we should all hope for his continued success now that he is free of HD. The article that cycle world, I think, was a great read on how he was done “wrong” by the motor company. Even thou I own a Harley because of the way they did him it will be the last one that I own. Here’s to you Mr. Buell!

  • Lori Bird

    Congratulations Eric. This is such great news and we are happy that good things are happening for you.