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The Foolishness of Resurrecting Buell Motorcycles

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The news that the Buell Motorcycles name would return from the shadows of the motorcycle industry has certainly stirred the two-wheel world . The American brand was not without its rabid fans, but it garnered plenty of detractors as well over the course of its history, and through its various incarnations.

Never quite at home inside the Harley-Davidson family, the Buell Motorcycle Company was shuttered in October 2009. Not one to quit though, Erik Buell continued the company's ideals in another self-branded endeavor: Erik Buell Racing.

This startup would be short-lived though, bringing only two models to market, in its roughly five-year run. Despite being unshackled from Harley-Davidson, EBR foundered in the marketplace, and floundered on the race track.

At the conclusion of both of these separate ventures, there was Liquid Asset Partners - a Michigan-based company that makes its business from buying the assets of bankrupt companies and flipping them to buyers for a profit.

But for Bill Melvin (the CEO of LAP), the motorcycle brands of Buell and EBR were not business as usual.

At the end of EBR's road under Erik Buell's management, LAP continued its operations, albeit in a very limited manner, assembling motorcycles from the plethora of parts LAP had acquired in the bankruptcy proceedings, and selling them to EBR's remaining enthusiastic customers.

When the chance came to buy the Buell name from Harley-Davidson, LAP didn't hesitate. The two estranged motorcycle companies of Erik Buell could now merge under one roof, and Buell Motorcycles was born again.

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