Is The Unsinkable Erik Buell Finally Done?
Poor, poor Mr. Buell. Once again Erik has to see his dreams shelved, and quite possibly for the last time. EBR announced the sad news that it is once again halting production and looking to un-ass all of its surplus product, parts and production equipment. I really hate to hear this. Buell has held a special place in my heart ever since he brought test-ride bikes to MMI in Orlando back early ’95. While I never owned any of his bikes, I found them interesting— even necessary— because the big American builders mainly concentrate on cruisers and baggers and the really sporty bikes are all imports. That was true back then, and it’s still true today, even if Harley is finally getting a little sportier than the ’Sporty with its Street 500 and 750 rides.
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Erik Buell Racing On The Skids
In spite of several near-failures and recoveries over the years, EBR is once again looking at shutting down. The factory cites lack of dealership growth and production shortfalls as the primary contributing factors, but unfortunately I’m a’feared that the harsh truth is that maneuverability isn’t enough for most sportbike riders, and the lack of performance-per-dollar keeps most lookers in the Japanese, European and British catalogs. Perhaps it’s the fact that, although most can’t articulate an informed answer as to why, sport-ohs like to hate on Harleys, their engines and their riders. The fact that EBR uses an engine that is in any way connected to H-D could by itself be enough to torpedo sales, just based on bias. Not sayin’ it’s right, just sayin’ it is.
Owners of Buell and EBR products, worry not; the factory isn’t abandoning you completely. It plans on maintaining its warranty agreements and parts sales, at least on the short term. I think if I had one of his bikes I’d be snapping up all the maintenance parts I could get. I may do so anyway, and start a website for EBR parts sales to start working on making my next $million.