Buell Out of Business

October 15, 2009
Steve Atlas
Steve Atlas
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This garage situated on a farm outside of Mukwonago  Wisconsin is where Erik Buell started Buell Motorcycles out of.
Erik Buell founded Buell Motor Company in 1983 and today will mark the official end of it’s run, though Buell himself will stay on with Harley-Davidson.

Harley-Davidson just announced today in a series of press releases that it will be shutting down Buell Motor Company to “further focus on the Harley-Davidson brand”. As part of their “go-forward business strategy” they will divest MV Agusta as part of this strategy as well.

“While the environment remains challenging for us, we are mildly encouraged by the moderation in the decline of dealer retail Harley-Davidson motorcycle sales,” said Keith Wandell, Chief Executive Officer of Harley-Davidson, Inc. “And moving forward, our strategy is designed to strengthen Harley-Davidson for long-term growth and deliver results through increased focus.

“As our announcement regarding Buell and MV Agusta indicates, we are moving with the speed and decisiveness required to bring our business strategy to life,” said Wandell. “The fact is we must focus both our effort and our investment on the Harley-Davidson brand, as we believe this provides an optimal path to sustained, meaningful, long-term growth.”

Said Buell company founder Erik Buell: “I will always be proud of what we have accomplished. It is a testimony to what a small group of passionate and inspired people can do, and with brilliant innovations, we’ve produced some of the best-handling bikes of all time. I personally look forward to exploring how I can continue to work with Harley-Davidson to bring advanced product technology to riders.

A look inside Buell Motorcycles factory where all of its motorcycles are built in East Troy  Wisconsin.
Despite being out of business, Harley-Davidson stressed they will continue to supply replacement parts for current Buells.

“I have also had the great fortune to meet and get to know many Buell riders over the years, and they are an amazing and interesting group of free thinkers,” he added. “May you ride with pride into the future. And may your roads ahead be as adventuresome and rewarding as mine have been for the last 26 years.”

In the release, current Buell President Jon Flickinger went on thank all the previous and present Buell employees and owners for their support. He also stressed that dealers will still have models for sale on their floor and Harley-Davidson will provide replacement parts and honor existing warranties, but production will wind down by the end of October.

The Buell release finished with the following statement: “A wholly-owned subsidiary of Harley-Davidson, Inc. since 1998, Buell Motorcycle Company was founded in 1983 by Erik Buell and produced more than 135,000 motorcycles. Over the past 26 years, Buell motorcycles won numerous design accolades and awards, and countless races and championships around the world, including the AMA Pro Daytona SportBike championship in 2009.”

It was added in the MV Agusta release that “the Company will immediately commence efforts to sell the business, which is based in Varese, Italy.”