Buell Not Dead, Buell Racing Continues

November 20, 2009
Bart Madson
By Bart Madson
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Bashing away at the MotoUSA keyboard for nine years now, Madson lends his scribbling and editorial input on everything from bike reviews to industry analysis and motorcycle racing reports.

Buell is back. Or at least it isn’t totally dead. Coming a month after it cut loose Buell Motorcycles, Harley-Davidson has announced that Erik Buell will leave H-D to establish an independent race shop – Erik Buell Racing.

Buell rider Danny Eslick won the first road racing championship for the American manafacturer.
Danny Eslick won the 2009 Daytona SportBike championship for Buell. Erik Buell will continue to support the 1125R in racing through the Erik Buell Racing shop.

Continuing to be based in East Troy, Wisconsin, and staffed by a “veteran team of personnel”, Erik Buell Racing will support the future racing efforts of the Buell 1125R. The new Buell Racing will provide “race-use-only Buell motorcycle parts and race preparation services for engines and motorcycles, and the building and sale of Buell 1125R-based race-use-only motorcycles under license from Harley-Davidson, as well as providing technical support to racers of Buell motorcycles.

Buell’s latest incarnation returns back to its roots as a purpose-built racebike program. It all started back in 1983 with the RW750 for AMA Formula One racing. Now, presumably, the racing effort will focus on the AMA Pro Road Racing series, with the 1125R having a Daytona SportBike title to defend in 2010.

Said Buell on the new venture: ““I’m looking forward to helping Buell racers keep their bikes flying. 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.”

Erik Buell
Erik Buell and his RW750 racebike, which started the Buell story 26 years ago.

As for Harley-Davidson’s role in the Buell situation, Buell President and COO Jon Flickinger said in the official release from the H-D PR department: “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.”

So the Buell name lives on for now in a diminished racing capacity, but the Buell Motorcycles production future remains open-ended. However, Mark Twain famously said, “The rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated,” and when the sudden demise of Buell Motorcycles was announced in October, riders had to sense that Erik Buell’s motorcycle dream hadn’t truly given up the ghost either.

Erik Buell Racing promises more information on its website, www.erikbuellracing.com, beginning December 1. Stay tuned for further developments.