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Buell Out of Business

Thursday, October 15, 2009
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.”

Recent Buell Motorcycle Reviews
2014 EBR 1190RX First Ride
Erik Buell Racing wants to establish itself as a true contender in the Superbike arms race. MotoUSA's Road Test Editor evaluates the 1190RX at the Brickyard.
2009 Buell 1125CR Comparison
The 2009 Buell 1125CR goes up against the Aprilia Tuono 1000R and Ducati Streetfighter in this Streetfighter motorcycle comparison review. Find out how this motorcycle stacks up against the competition.
Buell Motorcycle Dealer Locator

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Comments
JC -Huh?  January 21, 2011 05:56 PM
What a joke. HD tried to garner the offspring of the morons who ride backass HD's and they blew it. For those of you who know the truth behind HD, you know they have done nothing for their benefit. HD was simply in the right place at the right time and that is called LUCK.
Who remembers AMF? I do.
Ezekiel -Very sad this happened  November 4, 2010 06:01 AM
First off I have to say to all who posted that it wasn't a true sport bike, Eric Buell has more racing experience than you can begin to wet dream about, you probably never rode one due to you biased attitude or fear of what others would say, sheeple like you keep the J4 where they are. Buells commercials never said own the track, own the road, the bike was designed to lean quickly, transition through turns, and have enough torque to not have to play with the gearbox just to do so, it achieved all of those things. 160+ hp, Buell has a bike that tops that(post HD) but then again most of the squids on here don't know how to handle the bikes they ride. HD may only put out 65 hp so what, that's accompanied by 86 ft lbs of torque, which is what gets you moving to begin with. Eric Buell is a American bike builder pure and simple, and as long as people continue to show their non commitment to this country we will never have a competitive race bike. The 1190rr puts out 186 hp and 100 ft lbs starting at 2500 rpm and a variable of 6 ft lbs all the way to 11500 rpms, sounds like performance to me.
kaw -hd/buell divorce  October 31, 2010 12:40 PM
y did buell even bother with !@#$%^&harley2 begin with???
LOL!!! all the dentists, teachers, and yuppiedavison!@#$heads
stay outta the way.

ALAN SMITH -YOU ALL ARE FOOLS  October 10, 2010 03:49 AM
This is not about who rides what its about x number of Americans out of jobs..... another small piece of the USA dead !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Jim -RIP Buell  August 6, 2010 08:07 PM
Good riddance to another sorry excuse for a motorcycle. In the finest tradition of parent company H-D (whose obituary will be next), Buells were nothing but overpriced, overweight, underpowered, lousy handling, crap suspension, ugly, no braking, no cornering pieces of junk. If you're stupid enough to own one, it sucks to be you.
Shane -...  August 5, 2010 08:25 AM
I love how this thread is nothing but people people bashing each other for what they ride and like. Like they say opinions are like assholes everyone's got one. It doesn't matter what you have, if you like it who the hell cares? So shut up, get on your bikes and do what you were meant to do, Ride.
donny -1950 tech, for lots of coin  July 8, 2010 05:53 AM
Buell had to go,this made room for harley davidson new line of sportsters,the 1950s are back in 2010 with harley davidson motorcycles druggy tail bone crusher 2000xlrr nightster,and do not for get your tool truck and ice pack for you but.Buell was a 2010 bike in 2010 and that confused 75 year old men with heart conditions ready to die in a few years.(PS) What will harley do when the baby boomers are gone.
Tony -What I like about Buell  June 17, 2010 09:36 PM
What I like about Buells is that they have Sportster derived V Twin engines. I like the sound, the torque end the way these engines look.
I also love the way Buells look, I just bought a XB9SX and a XB12S and I intend to keep the forever along with my Harleys.
By the way I also bought a BMW S 1000 RR. I would be boring if all motorcycles were the same.
Xavier -Hope they sell the technology of buell to other manufacturers  June 6, 2010 10:30 PM
I always liked the Buell line up and I don't know why. To me it was a great looking bike too bad its gone now. The only reason I never bought one was because they had the Harley engines on the XB's, the ones that I still like a lot but the engines suck. Also I like H.D motorcycles but one must admit the engines are very...., well I don't want to say more since there are a lot of H.D riders that cant even take an honest comment. Last but not least, it sucks to hear Buell MC's are gone.
125 HP!!! -V-Rod  May 28, 2010 07:01 AM
I will kill and 750cc or lower sport bike on my v rod with out making a single mod to it. I laugh my a$$ every time a gxr600 or ninja zx6r come up to me on a red light and think that they can smoke my just cause im on a cruiser with a v twin. News flash its called a power crusier for a reason, you may have more hp than me, but most of you dont know you bikes and cant get off the line quick enough. As for hd's other bikes which do have a lower hp, thats for a reason. They dont wanna drag, or street race. Do you see people who wanna tour the country buy a sport bike, NOOOOOOOO thats because you buy a bike for the kind of riding you wanna do. Also i dont know where you guys are getting your age demagraphic from because im only 19 and i own a hd, i also know about 8 people my age all with hd, we do heavy tour riding not fast around the corner riding.
Night Rod Rider -I hate my generation  May 28, 2010 06:45 AM
I own a 2008 H-D Night Rod Special, I have three other friends who own bikes, two also own H-D's and the other owns a Kawasaki, and we all ride down the street together in unity. Why cant everyone else, why is there so much hate between hd riders and sport riders. The older hd guys should just accept the modern changes to the motorcycle world and embrace them. The younger generation should stop disrespecting the hd franchise, because rather you like them or not the single handly made motorcycles possible. If it wasent for them creating such a huge market in the world for motorcycls sport bikes would have never been thought of. Im so sick and tired of my generation disrespecting the roots of such a deep heritage as hd. You dont have to like them but dont you dare disrespect them because like i said if it wasent for hd there would be no honda, kawasaki, ducati, or suzuki
AmanoJyaku71 -PS  May 16, 2010 05:19 PM
Danny Eslick on that Buell was some of the coolest racing I have ever seen.Talk about some true dogfights.The last time there were dogfights like that was the old 500GP days.Yea I know the buell was a monster to the 600s but boy what a show!!!!!!!
Jason -Blaming Harley  April 14, 2010 10:25 AM
for Buells demise ?...Come on...if Buell was a profitable brand they'd still be around. Once things get better for the MOCO financially Buell will be back. So simmer down yall.
Tom -whinners  March 26, 2010 12:52 PM
I have owned them all! From suzuki , yamaha, honda, bmw. Nothing is more fun to ride than a harley, it has a spirit that no other bike has, many of you will learn as you grow up out of your squirly kid phase. I still like riding other bikes, but my harley is the most satisfying.
Finhook -Corporate Critic  January 10, 2010 06:17 PM
Corporate should have taken it away from them and given the bikes multiline dealers who are actually interested in selling bikes to people beyond Harley D's (kinda like Micky-D's, isn't it?) clearly-defined demographic. The reviews were generally good and the bikes had real credibility, it's just the guys charged with selling them didn't give a rat's sphincter for the line, their customers, or, as it turns out, their own futures. Fools all.
buddhaboy -whatever  January 1, 2010 05:01 PM
Damn this is interesting. If a HD rider 'dresses' like the typical he's in need of counseling, but if a pseudo racer does the same he is not? I have ridden most bikes out there, though my current is a 77 shovelhead I bought in 84, and I've been riding since 68. I'm not sure which group that puts me in, but ti isn't in the marketing plans of HD, or Honda, or any of the other big makers who ALL market their particular version of what motorcycling is supposed to be. Anyone who actually has been inside a new HD can easily see how the company has evolved the machinery without losing its franchise, of course to those who can only judge via casual observations this would be lost. And most of this discussion is relatively pointless; buy what you like and shut up. Chances are you are grossly inadequate at maximizing the power and potential of your particular choice anyway, so maybe most of the whiners would be better off on the comparatively underpowered HD selections, at least the ones that haven't yet wrapped themselves around a tree while passing on a double yellow.
Mike B - UK -Buell  November 30, 2009 03:28 PM
Buell motorcycles brought some real innovation to the biking world. Surely there is a corner of the Harley factory where production can be restarted. It is too good a sporting motorcycle to let go. Alternatively look at production in the Far East.
I am in the manufacturing business in the UK. The going is tough, very tough but we do not give up, we just try harder.
I always thought that the Harley Group had a heart and soul but it looks like Wall Street is in the saddle.
motorcyle enthusiast - literally!! -I hate to hear this  November 22, 2009 06:49 AM
As a person who has a natural passing for all things two-wheeled, it saddens me to hear what harley calls better business management. I mean just think of how long its been since anything harley based competed in ama let alone won a championship. Buell did it almost right out of the box. Now I don't want you guys thinking im one sided on this because Im not. Like I said I am a true enthusiast of all bikes. I love Harleys and plan to own a harley but I currently own a sportbike (cbr1100xx). For someone like me, the buell 1125r is the perfect blend of two bikes. A high perfomance vtwin on a race designed frame sporting lightweight and high torque. I mean this vtwin puts out as much if not a little bit more horsepower than my sportbike. Bottom line, thats impressive as hell to me. Fuel in the just lets me know that someone was thinking out side the box plus it balances weight distribution. If Harley only made 10 different models vs 30, 10 of which are built from the same base bike just with a different suspension/engine setup, maybe they could keep the buell division alive. I mean how do you win a championship and then shut the doors in the same year?
new to Buell -Somebody needs to keep Buell engineering alive  November 13, 2009 08:04 PM
I have had BMW, Honda and Suzuki. Two yeras ago a bought a XL1200R and had to make several changes to make it handle. I traded it for XB12XT cause I like the bike and engine config. I should have bought the Buell to start with.
I am keen to be on this Buell as much time as I can. Smooth power and great handling.
Erik any chance of making a bid for Buell. I like the Rotax engineering (as of course to BMW).
robert baker -buells are cool  November 7, 2009 02:35 PM
I have a 1125r and just bought a ulysses. the 1125r is a great handeling bike with plenty of power. the ulysses is a different breed altogether. I dont realy like harlys but the buell is so different that i just love them. i am truly saddened to see the (horable) harley davison group shut down buell. buell made harly a all around bike manufacture now harly is just back to the DATED and old style bikes it has produced for years. the avrage age of a harly rider is 53 years old. wake up harly your customers are dieing and you needed new blood (buell) to survive the years coming up.
to eric buell great job and thank you.
skeeter -CCH, you blow!  November 6, 2009 06:03 PM
Dan, I agree with you 100%.
CCH -Buell blows  November 5, 2009 12:06 PM
Good riddance Buell... your 2 stroke GP bike was cool back in your early years...nothing original since then. Fuel in the frame....geez really? Been done. Rim brakes? ditto....too much gyroscopic effect. All of his ideas were to solve problems that were already solved...just like that Cyz whatever bike that came out a couple of years ago. If any of Buells "innovations" were worth a crap they'd be using them in real racing...not the lame AMA Extreme rigged races.

Harley was still racing flathead motors when we had a man on the moon...
Dan -doing my own work  November 5, 2009 08:56 AM
Ok, no it was not cheap getting the 92HP , was clost to $1200 with the exhuast, now that price is with me doing all the work ! You guys do do all your work ? Valve adjustment etc ? woops, there is no adjustment on a harley,oh well Im sure its cheap on a rice burner. by the way my underpowed bagger has 95ftlbs of torque just above 2200rpm, I ride above that right after letting out the clutch , lets see Kapawaski's sport tourer has a lot more HP, no arguement there, but max torque is not a whole lot more and at a higer RPM, that doesn't really impress my GF, after all ,all day rides are common for Us and over 80mph is hit maybe once during the day if I really have to pass someplace that I probably shouldn't be dilling around. ill take more storage capacity, Stock CD player, rider to rider communication, CB radio, cruse controll and seating that my GF never complains about over the Asian counter parts, I have no issues with Asian or other bikes, but for me right now My HD dresser works well and I get asked every weekend from my GF if we can go for a ride, thats hard to ignore considering when I had my GS 850 L it was more of the "lets go to the beach or down the coast a few miles then go home kinda rides because of comfort and storage. Loud Pipes have been mentioned here, Im not sure how many of You have modified there Exhuast on there bikes or where you live but here in San Diego County let me tell You the Guys on the Rice burners aren't exactly running stock, from where I live I can here the high Pitched Singer sewing Machines comming down the interstate many miles away, so don't give me this noise level argument all parties are responsible for that ! bottom line I have never ever seen Harley imitate a Jap bike but I can't say the say for The Jap bikes, there cheap coppies really are amusing. If You want to go fast and pretend to be ricky racer even though you never have even walked on a track its all good, Posers ? well you get the point , none of this has anything to do with the fact that We just lost one more choice, doesn't matter if it would have been your choice or not its a loss for the sport in general and that doesn't help anybody . keep on rockin in the Free World
skeeter -Harley Envy  November 4, 2009 12:29 PM
All of you fruity yuppies with your his & his matching gear do so much to inflate my ego with your stupid comments. When you decide to man-up, go to www.harley-davidson.com.
marc -History repeating  November 3, 2009 02:40 PM
This all sounds very, very familiar. Remember Aermacchi? Harley bought a 50% share in this motorcycle company and rebadged their bikes. Later after this adventure failed they sold it to the Castiglioni brothers....ring a bell....MV Augusta anyone? We now can firmly conclude that the only thing Harley can do is building prehistoric obsolete old iron based on nostalgia marketing solely pointed at the USA. Selling bikes outside the USA is just collateral or luck or chance. Buying MV Augusta was like a push cart company from Montana buying Ferrari. By shutting down Buell and wanting to sell Augusta, Harley throws away the only thing that can save them:modern technology
Lurker -Big Al  October 26, 2009 10:48 AM
Wow- Big Al just bought a new 1950/2010 Road Glide De-Luxe. The only think new about a 2010 Harley is there new paint and chrome scheme. I guess there is a sucker born everyday. Overpriced - Underpowered - No Resale - and don't forget that wonderful HD 1950's look and technology. Don't forget the get your HD belt buckle, t shirt, leather vest, do rag and most improtant - about $10,000 worth of Screaming Eagle crap so you can get the HP up to at least 75.
Have to Laugh -HD R&D  October 26, 2009 04:26 AM
HD has a huge R&D department. They spend lots of time and money doing research on the latest style in belt buckles, how big the eagle should be on the t shirts, how many and how long the tassels should be on the handlebar ends, and most of all how loud they can make the screaming eagle exhaust pipes. The motorcycle itself they got covered. Just keep putting out the same old 1950 model with new and thicker chrome because most HD riders just polish there bikes in the driveway. Overweight, underpowered and ugly junk.
Big Al -I disagree...  October 24, 2009 12:38 PM
For starters, Buells should never have been sold along side of Harleys. They should have been sold from their own franchised dealers. No matter how you slice it, Buell and MV Agusta didn't account for a very big percentage of sales. It is really not a big loss in terms of profits. It sucks that Buell is gone though. MV Agusta...I could care less. In my life, I've maybe seen 2 or 3 on the road. Now, everyone wants to bash Harley, and make predictions that they are going under. If you dig down and look motorcycle sales are down tremendously for all the manufacturers. With Harley being the big boy on the block, it only stands to reason that when their stock and sales are down, it's big news. When the demand was high and there were 2-year waiting lists, they expanded manufacturing. Demand has leveled out and the ecconomy is in the toilet, so they are cutting back, like any other company would. During the cutbacks in North america, Harley has been expanding in Europe and Asia. They also have watercooled Dynas in the works for 2012. I ownd a Honda Goldwing for several years and just bought a 2010 Harley Road Glide Deluxe, so I really don't care what anyone rides.
Skip -Harley Buyer  October 23, 2009 02:23 PM
The only people that I see riding a HD are guys in there 50's or older or guys that look like they just got out of jail or are waiting to go to jail. Never see a helmet, just some silly outfit that is supposed to make them look like an outlaw biker or something. Well, pretty soon the older guys will be to old to ride and the wish I was in jail crowd will not be able to buy one because Harley is canceling there credit program. It worked real good - if you were breathing you got credit to buy a Harley. When this happens Harley will be out of business. Anybody in there right mind would not buy a new Harley. There are to many used ones for sale cheap. A new Harley is a real museum piece - buy a brand new 1950 motorcycle. And like others have mentioned, you can wear your official Village People HD riding outfit.
Damon -Screw Harley  October 23, 2009 01:11 PM
My guess is that Erik will take a short vacation and get back to work building something else. I will ride ANYTHING BUT a Harley-Davidson now.
Big Ron -Re: Lurker - Get your head out of your @#$  October 23, 2009 12:31 PM
"Our city fathers are now working on an ordinance requiring all motorcycle exhaust to be original equipment. I applaud there efforts and hope that next summer I will not have to listen to all the Harley morons riding around with loud exhaust. I was in Stillwater, Mn this summer and the local cops had a bunch of Harleys pulled over and each one got a $600 ticket for loud exhaust." Wow Lurker, To say that you applaud more restrictions on bikes regardless of the style is alarming. Wait until they restrict something that you like. Its called divide and conqueur. Get your head out of your fourth point of contact. We live in a world that is becoming more and more restrictive of personal choices because some pencil pusher behind a desk who has never had a real job knows whats best for you and I, or some special interest group feels that there beleifs or way of doing things is far superior to everyone else so thats the way it should be done and they have the money to influence the politicians and beurocrats to make it happen. This is America and if Dan wants loud pipes I dont give a sh$% and neither should you. Special interests and the people trying to impose there ideas on everyone else is ruining this country. Motorcycling is an absolute blast that the majority of Americans will never enjoy because they are too scared to step out of there comfort zone. It is about individuality and freedom. So dont jump on the party that wants to take that away regardless of whether you want loud pipes or not. If you dont, its your money and you dont have to buy them. FYI, I dont like loud pipes, but again I dont care.
Lurker -Comment for Dan  October 23, 2009 10:19 AM
Wow Dan - 92 Horsepower. What did you have to pay Harley to get a whole 92 horsepower? Yes, I do wear protective gear when I ride my bike, unlike the 90% of Hardley riders. I am sure there leather vest and do-rag provide some protection though. Our city fathers are now working on an ordinance requiring all motorcycle exhaust to be original equipment. I applaud there efforts and hope that next summer I will not have to listen to all the Harley morons riding around with loud exhaust. I was in Stillwater, Mn this summer and the local cops had a bunch of Harleys pulled over and each one got a $600 ticket for loud exhaust. The whole group of Harley riders looked real cool dressed up in there Village People outfits.
Dan -Facts about other peoples bikes  October 23, 2009 09:33 AM
I just Love how some people that have never even riden a particular bike have all the facts down , like your buddy has this , my buddy has that, sure that makes you an expert on there bikes, Your buddy that has the screamin eagle parts well im not sure what parts he has , I have a screamin eagle kit on my bike, you know 1550, b grind cam, computor and that mega horsepower K&N filter :-) mines dynoed at 92HP and 95 ft of TQ at 3100rpm, funny seems like I ride right around there a lot, go figure ? anyway, I can ride 2 up with all my extra clown cloths for Us both and still pull any grade in Xcess of 80mph, been there done that many many times, Oh you guys do bring extra cloths ? or do you wear the same SUPER MAN Ricky Racer leathers day in and day out when you go out for more then a few turns ? Bottom line , I have owned a lot of different Bikes, will own a lot more before Im done , the opinion of any select group that has nothing better to do then bash others won't change what I buy or ride. You Guys want to talk about how the future holds nothing for Harley after the baby boomers are gone, well could be right, what about your future ? How long do you think its going to be that you will be able to ride as free as you do now ? there already setting up cameras , putting sensors in the road and im sure some other tactics to monitor drivers, soon you will just get mailed your speeding tickets , then will the future of the Sport bike be promising ? If we all don't pull together it will come sooner then later ! so bashing each other just because they don't live or ride the way you think they should is only going to bring it on sooner , relax ,spend you energy for all to be free to ride what ever they like , Keep on rockin in the Free World :-)
Lurker -Dressed Like The Village People  October 23, 2009 05:05 AM
Well the blue book price and what you get are two different things. My neighbor has a 1999 Harley he has been trying to sell for 1.5 years. Has not had an offer close to what the blue book says its worth. He rides around with a bunch of guys dressed up like the Village People going from bar to bar on "Poker Runs". He is a typical HD rider. He suckered for the Harley Screaming Eagle parts to get his horsepower up to a whopping 68HP. I don't think I could handle all that power. He also has the loud pipes and the typical Harley riders Clown Outfit for riding. HD markets to people like this. They can keep selling them the same old overpriced outdated motorcycles but that will stop in a few years as the Harley buyers reach older age. The younger motorcycle buyers do not even consider a Harley. Way to much money for 1950's technology. If I wanted to ride around slow and show off I could buy a Jap V twin for less than 1/2 the price of a Harley and have better quality and modern technology. Of course then I would be in the t-shirt, shorts and sandals group. At least the HD riders wear a do-rag for head protection. HD found out that they cannot market there clown outfits to Buell riders or the Screaming Eagle crap either.
YAMAHA RADIER -TO DAN THE POSER/OR CLOWN!  October 22, 2009 02:25 PM
I find it so funny the first thing a Hardley owner says to defend his bike is that (well it will be worth what i paid for in in ten years!)
Well times are changing,and I know real motorcyle riders are just that! they buy there bike to (RIDE) it!!!! not sell it
Well on that note,SEE YA IN THE SLOW LANE!!!!
Cal Harling -Buell was a motorcycle company, HD is a marketing company  October 22, 2009 09:16 AM
Every time I read comments from Erik Buell they were about engineering and a passion for motorcycling. All I've read recently from Harley executives is about managing the Harley "brand" or leveraging the "brand". Apparently that means things like HD fashion stores in airports selling overpriced junk to nonriders. Am I the only one that thinks this kind of marketing is eventually going to kill the hardcore devotion that keeps Harley going? Picking a CEO with NO experience with the motorcycle industry doesn't help. Harley currently lacks the engineering capacity to even develop a new engine. Look what happened to their VR1000 superbike program a few years back. The Vrod engine was outsourced to Porsche. Ducati is one tenth the size of Harley yet develops world class engine technology. Something is very wrong with Harley's priorities. Shutting down Buell is just another example of that. It doesn't even make economic sense. Buell sold nearly 13,000 units last year, they had to be close to profitable. Losses this year would have been small potatoes compared to taking a 125 million loss on closing the company. It seems likely that the unreasonable hatred for Buell, prevalent among much of Harley's management, had at least as much to do with this decision as economics.

To those of you who have never tried a Buell, you ought to. I love my Super TT. It's one of the best handling bikes I've ever ridden with a character that's missing from most of today's bikes.
Real World -Harley Resale  October 22, 2009 08:44 AM
If I wanted to buy a Harley all I have to do is look in the classified section of my local newspaper. There are always 15 to 20 Harleys for sale as bargain basement prices. Buyers who got tired of being a poser and realized what a piece of crap they bought. The local motorcycle dealers will not take a Harley on trade as they cannot sell them. People buy a Harley not realizing they are buying years old technology and a bike that does not handle well in corners and are dangerous for inexperienced riders to buy. The guys that ride slow and dress like pirates or whatever don't give a crap about technology as all they are after is image and something that sounds good and loud with straight pipes. When the current baby boomers reach 70 or so Harley will have no customers. Buyers in the younger age group will not sucker for the "life style" crap and they will not dress up like morons with all that Harley crap.
Dan -dressed like a clown  October 22, 2009 08:13 AM
boy there is some pretty insecure people here ! truth is I have owned several Harleys, have 3 right now . 1947, 1964 , 1999 dresser , before the dresser the last new bike I bought was a 1986 wide glide, out the door price was $9800 , uhm lets see you go check the cycle trader a see what its worth, willing to bet that the 23 yr old harley is worth a bunch more then a 1986 rice rocket ? any bets ? and being scared ? yep I am, of you guys out there that I find slid off the road on most weekends here in San Diego county and it aint Harleys , hey If I could afford the Insurance I would love a GSXer , but i have had liter suzuki's and what most came from that was tickets for exibition of speed and speeding tickets :-( , right now my next bike will probably be a 2010 BMW 1300 Gt , I just don't like not having a stereo :-). I only have 41000 on the dresser so i will wait until mid next year. I ride what i like not what anyone else thinks is fast or cool or whatever , Oh buy the way Im the Guy You will see up in the local San Diego County Mountains in shorts and tank top and yes even sometimes sandels so you see Im not so bright ! kinda comes with 38yrs with class M1 License. One last note, My GF hated to ride Motorcycles until the TJ toy run 5 yrs ago, 1 ride on the back of my Ultra Classic and now its Her that asks every weekend if we can go for a ride , thats the only reason I keep this bike, handles like crap but is comfortable for Her. Ride what You Like .
EAB -Marketing worked too well.  October 22, 2009 07:14 AM
To be sure, the Harley Davidson marketing machine works well, almost too well. Really, how many folks do you see on a Harley that are geared up with the bright colored, safety minded gear? None. Now, regardless of age and/or background, how many dress like the typical "Hardley Rider?" You know the marketing shtick. To ride a Harley is to be free, to enjoy the open road and the rumbling of the big powerful V-twin classic American motorcycle. Remember the commercial that showed the Harley with a bra hanging off the handlebars? See, you get laid more often by riding a Harley too....Of course, for those of us that DON'T drink the Kool Aid, what are we to do? I have always said that with the lack of a modern V-twin engine like the other companies use combined with the "lifestyle" that is almost a requirement, Harley runs off more people than they attract with their product. That's the main reason Buell didn't sell. I never looked at a Buell because to do so I had to go into the "Lemming lot" and deal with one of "them." Am I alone?
UJimbo -Just a thought...  October 22, 2009 02:50 AM
HD sponsored Buell because they were supposedly the sporty-HD's. Sport machines diven by HD motors. Then Buell decided to change the HD motors with Rotax engines. No money making from selling engines to Buell and of course, since it's not sporting an HD engine, it's not an HD anymore. I'm not going to even bother with commenting on why the heck would a 50 year old tractor manufacturer like HD bought the MV brand...
UJimbo -Just a thought...  October 22, 2009 02:44 AM
In plain words... Ok Buell you want to sell motorcycles but not with HD engines? You want to invest in non-US Rotax engines? But, Buell was supposed to be the sporty-HD's! I'm not making a profit from selling you engines.. Bye Bye...
Merkel -Dan Posers  October 21, 2009 07:53 PM
“find it enteresting that guys buy bikes that will never ever see there top speed , never ever will they have the balls or the experience to ride up to the capabilties of the bikes they buy, talk about leather ?” Now just because these sportbikes scare ya Dan doesn’t mean you have to get jealous of the riders out there that DO know how to handle them. Maybe you should try a riding school or track day to help you get over your fears.
“One thing that never seems to get mentioned is that when I buy my harley for $10,000 I pretty much know that every 10-12 years the price of the bikes double making my harley worth almost as much as I paid for it with all those miles free :-)” On the contrary, this Harley myth is an old fable that has been told time and time again, maybe about 10 yrs. ago this was true but not now. Dan, do you really think anything you typed made sense? If Harleys keep increasing in value over time then how did you purchase one for only $10,000? I’ll tell ya how.

The current used market is flooded. The current new market is flooded. This is why Harley has to cut back on production and sell MV and end Buell. Check Ebay and Craigslist and see how poor the resale value is for Harleys right now.

“I get out traveling a bit myself and on the open road You will see 10 harleys to 1 bike of your choice mile after mile, be honest, you see it to” I do see it Dan and the peer pressure making me want to be like everybody else is just too great to resist anymore…NOT. What is your point with this post Dan? Are you saying you are just a follower?

“Everybody thinks there some kind of expert on buisness strategy, funny how they have all the inside info to make all theses shoulda coulda woulda choices for other Peoples companys” ! That’s what these message boards are for Dan; Sharing our thoughts and Ideas. Some of us here have independent thought and ideas and are also secure in speaking our minds about these subjects.

“So put on them bright colored leathers and pretend your ricky racer, if that gets you off its all good” . Bright colors Dan help you get noticed by other drivers on the road, it’s sort of a smart like safety thing. Now what is the reason for you guys dressing up like S&M clowns, pirates, gay cowboys, the village people, dirt bags, old burn out farts, wanna-be bad boyz, HD leather clones, rejects from a b-rated 1980s post nuclear war film?



NWDave -HD as investment tools  October 21, 2009 03:55 PM
Gosh Dan, you must work for EF Hutton......investing in a Harley...and it increases in value every year...so you essentially get it for free?? How come the rest of the world hasn't figured this out?? Wow, so those piles of excrement that AMF pumped out in the '80's would be worth more than a Da Vinci or Michaelangelo....that's just so cool!!
You bash SB'ers then drop this mental turd. Very impressive. You must be part of HD's management team.
Dan -Posers ?  October 21, 2009 03:04 PM
find it enteresting that guys buy bikes that will never ever see there top speed , never ever will they have the balls or the experience to ride up to the capabilties of the bikes they buy, talk about leather ? hey hotshot cool looking race leathers, and that helmet with the broom staw mohawk, ya, now were talking coooool! Buell, well my brother has one and the few times I took it out for the day was a great ride, no they didn't balance them like a singer sewing machine but hey I didn't expect it to , kinda expected to ride a motorcycle ? I have owned honda, suzuki, yamaha , triumph , and of course several harleys , yes you know the ones that cost tons more then the japanese bikes , One thing that never seems to get mentioned is that when I buy my harley for $10,000 I pretty much know that every 10-12 years the price of the bikes double making my harley worth almost as much as I paid for it with all those miles free :-) and Im not sure how far a lot of you are alowed to go from home but I get out traveling a bit myself and on the open road You will see 10 harleys to 1 bike of your choice mile after mile, be honest, you see it to , that is if you do travel and not just go local and do a few corners and call yourself a biker. Everybody thinks there some kind of expert on buisness strategy, funny how they have all the inside info to make all theses shoulda coulda woulda choices for other Peoples companys ! So put on them bright colored leathers and pretend your ricky racer, if that gets you off its all good .
EAB -Gold Wing is in Japan  October 21, 2009 09:19 AM
One correction: I live within a half hour of the plant. Honda's plan is to move ALL street motorcycle manufacturing to Japan and that includes the Gold Wing. I am not positive when they the move is to be completed. For all I know, it's already happened. The GW was the main draw for the Honda Homecoming and it didn't even happen this year. Oh, the Buell shutdown. I never had much interest in Buell. Hardley engine on a sportbike was always much akin to hubcaps on a tractor or a Miata with a Briggs & Stratton engine. The main indicator that Hardley has not a clue is that they have no plan's to take the 1125R engine or VROD mill and put it on the Electra Glide or, better yet, brand new touring bike. Really, if the Hardley business model had any long term luck, Chevrolet would cease production on all other models and just make 20 variations of the new Camaro, oh, except the NEW camaro would in appearance be a dead ringer for a 1969 model, not "a modern interpretation." I read a comment out here a few months ago that said it best. With all due respect to Milwaukee Mike and those of his ilk, not everyone wants to ride an antique. And yes, there is a market for Hardley, both for them and the aftermarket. I don't have any doubt. But it ain't for me. Thing is, if Hardly made a bike that was even close to my generic sub $7000 UJM that I ride right now and had a dealership that wasn't run and frequented by a bunch of overweight, ignorant douchebags, I'd be riding a Harley right now. Prior to the early 70's, Hardley actually had a full line of bikes. With their narrow minded focus, Buell never had a chance. The fact that Erik is going to continue to work for them sickens me. They are killing his baby and he doesn't seem to give a f*ck. Sad.
Not That Stupid -Hardley a Harley  October 21, 2009 08:35 AM
The financial arm of Harley is loosing its ass. They financed thousands of bikes and now they are getting them back. The typical pony tail, tattooed, do-rag, leather vest Harley rider walks into a Harley dealer and they give him a bike. No salesman needed there so why should they mess around with a Buell. A Buell rider is not going to sucker for any of the aftermarket Harley garbage either. A guy would really look stupid riding down the street on a Buell dressed like a pirate and a Buell does not look cool parked in front of your favorite bar.
buell wanna be -profit margins  October 20, 2009 10:56 PM
This is a simple business decision. Harleys cost 50 cents to make and sell for 15,000. buells and MV's can't come near the profit margin. A no brainer for the board room. simple profit driven myopia.
Gabe -Buell gets "Gouged."  October 20, 2009 06:27 PM
Mr. Buell needs to do what the core group at Harley did in '79. Beg,borrow, and find a way to assume ownership of Buell. And, get far away from '50's technology.
Scott -Buell shutdown  October 20, 2009 05:42 PM
I wonder where HD would be today had AMF decided to cease immediate production in 1979 or 1980.
Phil on a yamaha -buell  October 20, 2009 04:33 PM
I wonder who will pick up MV? A Chinese or Indian company might could do something with MVs engineering mind and a cheap labor pool. Buell will be harder to save but I wouldn't be surprized to see that Rotax engine show up in some serious iron. The one Aprila used in the Mille is in the CanAm spider and it powers that three wheeler with poneys to spare.



Silent Ghost -So Long Buell  October 20, 2009 04:05 PM
It is a true shame that Harley Davidson has ruined Buell. I owned a Buell Lightening City Cross with a 984cc in it. It may have lacked power, but it sure was fun and comfortable even if it proved to be an unreliable engine for me. I have personally met Eric Buell at a Buell ride 4 years ago and he is as down to earth as the rest of us. The entire time I owned that bike any H-D dealership I went to for service, parts, or information was met with employees who didn't want to give me the time of day. Buell should have figured out a way to stay in business years ago before they sold out to Harley Davidson. It's the H-D dealers that killed the Buell Motor Company, not the economy!
HD OVER -smell like Cows  October 20, 2009 02:45 PM
That's nice just when i was looking to buy a Buell there let go!
trust me going in to a Harley Dealer now days is like going to the
zoo! smells like Cows and there are plenty of hefers walking around
looking to spend 50-dollars on a t-shirt. Harley has just not kept up with the times and want why too much for the 60hp bikes! i hope Buell comes back and not with Harley.
Motobill -XR 1200  October 20, 2009 02:43 PM
This bike is kind of a Buell/Harley hy-brid. The bike has good power, standard seating and handles like a dream.(it also stops) May not be good enough for you super heroes but great for an average guy.
Motoman -HD & Buell  October 20, 2009 01:29 PM
Anytime we loose a motorcycle brand motorcyclist loose a choice and like them or not the Buell really represented a differnet choice. It wasn't the bike for everyone but for some it was the "just right" choice. Most Harley dealers really did Buell a disservice -- they weren't knowledgeable about the product and most really didn't care to be. The Buell didn't fit the Harley "Bad Boy" image and most Harley riders considered them to be an amusing oddity. If the Buell had been sold at differnt dealerships they may have sold better. Its a damn shame they're gone.
RJ -Buell  October 20, 2009 11:55 AM
Love them, hate them, we all lose as consumers with one less American brand. Wake up people and stop with the typical branding arguments as this is just marketing hype encouraged in some way by the manufacturers. These are tough times and they will get worst if we continue to allow manufacturing to move overseas no matter what the product. The current US economic plan, which is just absolutely absurb, is to wait for the Chinese middle class to build up and drive the demand for quality goods thinking that US manufacturing will bounce back after decades of devastation. Politicians funded through special interest groups eat this up pushing us toward a global economy. When the "know how" technology, and tooling equipment is not maintained and falls behind on development, it will be lost and there is no bringing it back. We'll find ourselves sitting in a country with poor infrastucture, high taxation, and continued record unemployment rates. We need to rethink how we conduct business worldwide before the US cannot bounce back. Don't celebrate this shutting down of Buell, this is just one more industry impacted. Understand there is going to be a huge fall out if we don't stand up and support ourselves in the very near future.
David -The End of Buell  October 20, 2009 11:53 AM
This is a real shame, guys. Erik Buell was pretty much forced to use the Sportster engine, as tall and top heavy its architecture is, because of EPA emissions and durability testing which had to be done using an existing platform to cut development costs...even so, the 103hp Firestorm would have had to be run through this as a new engine family, at least to a point, so full marks to Buell for getting so much out of a motor which DID NOT REQUIRE VALVE ADJUSTMENTS, CAM BELT OR CHAIN REPLACEMENTS, FINAL DRIVE REPLACEMENTS, and making it so eminently suitable for road use. As far as the comments regarding how "HD needs to concentrate on its core audience," this is the same strategy which has caused disaster for the American car manufacturers who overemphasized both large sedans and SUV/truck sales. While profit centers for decades, where are we now? The "HD Brand" is more a lifestyle statement than it is a statement regarding the overall engineering prowess of the Motor Company. It's too bad, because they have a history of lackadaisical support for anything resembling a sporting motorcycle, yet they still parlay their dirt track success with the over 3 decade old XR-750 as germane?
whyne -buell  October 20, 2009 04:53 AM
i dont have buell. where do i can buy...dont buy!!!!! now you know.
hutch312 -Buell Harley Dealership  October 20, 2009 02:28 AM
I went to two Buell Harley dealerships about a year ago in Chicago, they had no Buells... Had to go out about 20 miles into the suburbs to find a dealer and they had a handful and no knowledge. Harley they could hook it up, buell was a total after thought with no attention. DEALERS KILLED BUELL
cc -my conspiracy theory  October 20, 2009 01:54 AM
Why does Harley make such desperate move when it's still profitable? My conspiracy theory is that they are foreseeing serious trouble in the financing arm - probably heavy losses coming.
FRANK the SKANK -OHHH the agnoy!  October 19, 2009 09:28 PM
Funny how this thread turned mostly into a H-D bashing... LOL. MAN! I can't believe it, so close! Finally Buell comes out with a new bike with the potential to win some new sport riders over and SPLAT! It's over. I liked the looks of the new bikes (which is always subjective). I even thought the sportster powered bikes were cool but Buell shouldn't have hung his hat on them for so long. I considered buying a Lightning in 07 but picked out the Triumph Speed Triple instead. My thought was that I liked the more relaxed/comfortable "naked/streetfighter" bike but wanted more balls from my engine. The Speed Triple became a "no brainer". If the CR had been out back then it would have been a tougher decision. I also think that if Buell had got the hell out of the H-D dealerships it would have done better. I am also a H-D rider but I hate their "lifestyle" mega-marketing dealerships. Buell was definately treated like the "bastard step-child" there. Anyone for a nice H-D candy dish or ped set?
Steven -Poor Buell  October 19, 2009 04:57 PM
If Buell or HD had made a twin in the 130 hp range, I would have bought one.... so I went for the Ducati.
Jack F -Sorry to see you go  October 19, 2009 03:07 PM
I dropped by a HD dealer one day while riding my Aprilia. The salesman I talked to didn't even know the Aprilia-Rotax-Buell engine relationship. Granted the engine's are different, but similar. I asked about Buell's and he wanted to sell me a v-rod. If I wanted something with forward controls, I would have asked for it. It wasn't design that killed Buell, it was the stupid dealer network. Hope to see some of your stuff soon Eric.
Sinderella -RE: Harley WanaBee  October 19, 2009 02:05 PM
True, funny, and brilliant!!
Fireboy -Will still buy another Buell  October 19, 2009 01:06 PM
I have owned an R6 Yamaha, GSXR 750 Suzuki and an XB12R Firebolt. The Buell was by far the most fun to ride. American Enigeering is far more superior than the overseas junk. The import bikes may be fast, but they have that "cheap" feel to them. I am still planning on upgrading to an 1125R next Spring and will continue to support the Buell product. It's sad to see all the hatred towards American products.
Harley WanaBee -Harley Bashing  October 19, 2009 10:33 AM
Hey quit making crap out of HD. Whats wrong with dressing up like a pirate and cruising from bar to bar on your Harley? Just stop and think. If Harley was not in business the makers of leather vests, tee shirts with a skulls or eagles on them and most of all do-rags would all be out of business. All the beer belly Harley bikers would have to take there pick ups to the bar instead. I kind of enjoy riding by the bars and seeing all the beached Harleys parked out front. They are fun to look at. Some have tassels hanging from the hand grips just like my daughters trike. I love the tall handle bars and the mud flaps hanging from the sidecases. And best of all are the super loud exhaust. Just sitting at a stop lite revving your Harley with the loud exhaust must make your dick an inch longer.
BIg Ron -Re: Cayman  October 18, 2009 06:08 PM
I enjoyed our discussion and I have met those same guys. I either dismiss them or dish it back. Some people need to belong and according to Woodman the HD lets them "join the club." Keep it between the lines.
babaganush -why  October 18, 2009 05:47 PM
all i have to say is.... why? why buell if im not mistaken eric buell worked miracles with harley engines and this is how he is repaid
HDBreeze -Buell  October 18, 2009 05:37 PM
Buell sold over 135,000 bikes. He took a Sportster motor and got 103HP out of it. His innovations, such as radial mounted brakes and under-frame exhausts, have been copied by BMW, Yamaha and others. I have ridden several Buells over the years and I own a 96 White Lightning. What these bikes lack in top speed, they more than make up for it with sheer handling. The newer bikes, I'm sure are even better. When you think of 103 HP at around 6000 rpms, it's very impressive. Eric Buell had the opportunity to use the Harley VR1000 motor design, but chose to use the Sportster motor, and make it better. I currently own a 97 Kawasaki ZX7RR that I use for track days, and a 2006 Suzuki SV1000S that I use for sport touring, and I recently sold a 2006 Yamaha R6. My Buell will outhandle my Ninja and my SV, and it's in the ballpark of the R6. For those of you that judge the Buell motorcycles on conjecture, and have never ridden one, you are way off the mark.
Big Al -Harley Buyers  October 18, 2009 05:16 PM
In 1994 the median age of a "new" Harley buyer was 47. In 2008 the median age was 43. This is information that was published in the New York Times. As far as anything else, I really don't care what anyone rides. I'm a 57 year old Nam vet, and owned several Harleys. I stopped riding for some years, and then bought a used Suzuki in the mid 80's that I rode till I bought my 2002 Honda Gold Wing. I put a ton of miles on the Wing, and it was a great bike. Recently, I bought a 2010 Harley Road Glide Custon, and sold my Honda. I love the Glide! It's dead smooth, comfortable, and has more than ample power. It's not quite as fast as the Wing, but it makes up for that shortcoming with style. I did need to replace the little wind deflector with a real windshield though...lol
milwaukee mike -Victory is next  October 18, 2009 04:16 PM
Real American riders have always longed for the best. The best is not a metric poser bike. Buell tried to attract metric riders, and Victory is an unabashed metric product.

In this market, only the strong will survive.

And Honda is trying it's best to get out of the market by offering dumb bikes like the DN-01, Furby, and another V-twin dirt style bike with saddlebags!

Remember,...only the strong will survive.


Woodman -HD ain't dead yet  October 18, 2009 06:45 AM
I posted this on another website a few minutes ago, but it bears repeating. All the Japs can do at this point is try to copy HD. Look at 4 marque bikes for '10.

Star Stratoliner Deluxe. Direct copy of the super popular Street Glide series. Not even availible until January, did not even have a bike at BTF to show. $18K!. Lots of 07-08s left heavily discounted on showrooms right now.

Kawasaki Voyager, $18k. "Metric Ultraglide" local dealers words, not mine.

Star Venture, $19K, still carbed, (not always a bad thing), Came with a cassette player until last year (might as well have an 8 track option). Finned covers bolted to the motor to make it look like an aircooled HD.

Honda Fury, I have no comment.

"Well, I buzzed out to Biketoberfest last night around 6pm. The local HD shop is visible from the highway. There wer throwing a huge party with about 10,000 folks singing partying and dancing in the parking lot. All night long, all free. Every HD dealer within 100 miles of Daytona is doing the same thing.

About 80-90% of the bikes I saw in the last 4 days at BTF were HD. You buy a life style with HD, You get to “join the club”.

I rode home a different route. Past a huge dealership the sells Suzuki, Triumph, Victory and Ducati (thier sister store also sells Honda) Surely they would be partying into the night except they went out of business last month. Both stores.

Don’t start throwing dirt on HD yet. They are far from dead. The strong survive."

PS. I ride Stars, heavyily modifed.
Caymann -Big Ron  October 17, 2009 09:25 PM
Big Ron thanks for a meaningful reply. “The CB750 was a standard that has evolved into the modern sport bike”. Precisely Big Ron, this was my point, that bike has evolved…a lot. The Harley has not evolved very much and when it does make a small improvement people act like Harley parted the Red Sea.

“With a SB most people will constantly push their limits; few novice riders are able to push the bike to its limits. Most SB riders I have met have no training beyond the BRC, if they have that much, and are a hazard to themselves. They ride in the triple digits wearing tennis shoes, a t-shirt and sometimes a helmet. The street isnt the place to test your limits yet people try it all of the time, myself included, and get injured or killed in the process, I have seen it and its not a pleasant experience”. I agree, but not all SB riders who ride fast on the street are squids and the older I get the easier it is for me to ride at more sane speeds on the street with my sport bike but again when I owned cruisers I also dragged hard parts when cornering and saw triple digits speeds more often than I should have and same goes for the other cruiser riders I rode with. I have also ridden with some sport bike owners who never went above 80 mph; their bike was just a piece of jewelry or a tool to meet women.

“What would you do if you were riding over 100mph and met a trooper going the opposite direction on a divided median highway? I bet you are gone before he even thinks about turning that squad car around”. Honestly I would pull over because I have tried running when I was younger and it did not end well. Now I am older and smarter I have a good lawyer who happens to road race and has gotten me out of a few jams, for a pretty price, but my record says I haven’t had a ticket in over 14 yrs.

‘The point I was making is that not all HD's cost $20K and weigh 800 lbs”. Your point is well taken, look at the 2009 XR1200. But my point was why would you spend the extra money on a Harley when there is a less expensive Japanese alternative unless of course you saw some form of extra value in that Harley. My opinion is the Harley does not have any technological or performance edge over the Japanese bike, the looks and fit&finish are very subjective at best. This is where the brand equity of Harley-Davidson comes in and that’s fine, that part I have no problem with it’s smart business, but it is the attitude that this marketed perception of motorcycling superiority that has transcended from something created to sell bikes has now turned into a cult like religion for many Harley owners. They think that the clever marketing that has helped HD sell bikes is real. They think they are more American, a better or real rider because of it. They think their Harley is the best bike on the market and anyone who disagrees is just an un-American queer. Most Harley riders I have met are this way and I have met a lot of Harley riders and judging from many of the posts I have read at multiple web sites I am not the only one to have had these experiences.

I really don’t care how people enjoy their motorcycling but when they tell me how to enjoy my motorcycling then I have a problem. I don’t recall too many if any for that matter none Harley riders telling me how much of a mistake it was for me not to own the same bike they had or how inferior my bike was to theirs. Or how I’m not a real rider because my bike is not the same as theirs. Guess that’s what individuality and freedom is to a Harley owner. Years ago I was sitting at a red light on a 1995 Ducati 900ss CR when some Harley rider rolls up and says “them rice burners are like fat chicks fun to ride but no one wants to be seen riding one because it is just cheap Jap crap” I said this bike is a pasta twirler and at least my bike is fun to ride.
Big Ron -Re: Cayman  October 17, 2009 07:21 PM
I have looked into a Harley, not an M109.

"Gee and what group of riders out there have adopted this attitude and live by it…hmmm could it be Harley owners." I agree, but this comment applies to both sport bike riders and HD riders as well. There is alot of senseless agression from both sides, why, are we still in high school?

"Could you imagine if Honda’s cb750 was still in production as their flagship bike and new for 2010 they added 50cc and a sixth gear would anyone consider this progress or technologically competitive?? The CB750 was a standard that has evolved into the modern sport bike. One of the earliest metric cruisers I can remember was the Yamaha Virago which was in production, basically unchanged until recently. The star line consists of basic Vtwin cruisers... Nothing ground braking with the exception of the Vmax.

"You don’t have to be LOW tech to ride down the highway at 90 mph either." HMMM, i find it very hard to ride my high tech sport bike down the road at 90 mph, typically much faster. How about you, seriously? Do you really ride close to the speed limit? What would you do if you were riding over 100mph and met a trooper going the opposite direction on a divided median highway? I bet you are gone before he even thinks about turning that squad car around.

"WTF are you saying you’re an avid sport bike rider who doesn’t understand why you have a sport bike for the street or something???" I am a sport bike rider that seldom rides on the street, my sport bike spends most of its time on the track. I seldom ride it on the street because I ride "excessively fast" according to the CoHP. With a SB most people will constantly push their limits; few novice riders are able to push the bike to its limits. Most SB riders I have met have no training beyond the BRC, if they have that much, and are a hazard to themselves. They ride in the triple digits wearing tennis shoes, a t-shirt and sometimes a helmet. The street isnt the place to test your limits yet people try it all of the time, myself included, and get injured or killed in the process, I have seen it and its not a pleasant experience. With a naked bike the excessive wind and noise provide the rider a clear indication that they are going fast. From my experience you dont get the heightened awareness of speed on a faired sport bike until you are well above 140mph.

I agree with the 600 comparison but ulitimately a stratoliner and a road king are comparably priced, provide similiar equipment and will provide the same enjoyment to the customer. On the road neither bike is going to outshine the other. The new touring HD's handle well, have smooth transmissions and are a pleasure to ride. That being said the Stratoliner is an outstanding bike and I would struggle with the decision of which one to buy. The big difference is the stratoliner will lose a large chunk of its value in the first two to three years, the HD wont. I believe this is because the jap mfgs continually change models and styling thus dating there older bikes. HD bikes styling has not changed much in the past 20-30 years thus there is not a perceived downside to having an older HD and consequently they maintain a high base value.

I have seen people with Triumph, Honda, GSXR, Kawasaki, John Deere and Catarpillar tattoos, but yes your point is well taken. I do not subscribe to the lifestyle but to each his own. I dont care, do what you want.

"Do you need a $20K heavyweight cruiser do go down the highway at 90 mph?? Couldn’t you do this with an $8k middleweight cruiser or a heavyweight cruiser made outside of the USA costing only $12K???" If I want a bagger I would spend the extra loot on a road glide or the new stratoliner deluxe; otherwise I would get a dyna or maybe a Bonneville or that retro Ducati. I would get an SV 650 or a hypermotard if I needed a commuter, depends what I am going to use it for. The point I was making is that not all HD's cost $20K and weigh 800 lbs.

If you like metric bikes, great, good for you, I do as well. My appreciation for the metric bikes doesnt mean that I have to hate HD. You may have misunderstood, I am not a Harley guy. I dont wear HD underware and have HD crap all over my house. I just get sick of hearing people compare my fat boy to my zx-10. HD makes a nice bike, dont let your dislike for all of that leather keep you from having some fun. If you take the time and talk to some of those guys you may be pleasantly surprised at the smiling face looking back at you. PS, send me your address and I will mail you one of those silly leather HD hats someone gave me as a Christmas present; you can wear it on Halloween, just kidding.
Cheers
c -Focusing on the Unique strength of the HD brand  October 17, 2009 03:21 PM
Sounds like just what harley needs, the problem has always been not focusing enough on brand the brand. I never bought a harley, but only because I looked at it thinking ... what ? this bike is all go and no-show. What I want is a giant orange shield on two wheels. Maybe if Harley weren't playin about building sportbikes and racin they could finally build me the bike I want. Today I wander, is it my birthday? cause now it seems Harley's got the sac to rubout any true motorcycle enthusiasts gettin in the way, and build that rolling orange shield for me. Just like the true souless american coorporation I always knew it could be. Cheers, yah shallow greedy bstrds im finally excitedto give yah my money.
John -Cayman  October 17, 2009 03:09 PM
Nice one. It's hard to see the screen after I spat my beer on it. Thanks.
Caymann -John  October 17, 2009 03:03 PM
“As far as the "best" bike arguement goes, there's no such thing except this...the best bike in the world is the one you currently sit astride”. John I agree. the “best” is hard if not impossible to say. It’s like asking who’s the best hottest-skank actress Lindsay Lohan or Tara Reid. I guess it would depend on which one you are currently sitting astride.
John -Cayman and Big Ron  October 17, 2009 02:27 PM
Personally, Whirlpools suck. Don't even get me started about Sears Kenmore! Now to motorcycles...

Of all the entries, mine included, Cayman brings up the best points. When HD dove into the sub-prime nonsense, it was only a matter of time before they felt the pain of their ill-advised decision. I wonder how much the HD board members received in bonuses?

I own a BMW K12LT, a '95 Triumph T-bird, and a Ducati 1100 Monster and I have ridden Buells (1125R). I was close to buying the Buell, but I remembered the level of support I received from the same HD dealer who at the time, sold Triumphs. It was almost non-existent. The level of attention I received did not match those who would gladly pay a $3-4K premium over MSRP for the privilege of buying an over-rated and under powered motorcycle. And from what I've heard, the same holds true for the Buell line.

Buell made very interesting bikes. Some of his engineering can be seen in KTM and just about every UJM sportbike.

As far as the "best" bike arguement goes, there's no such thing except this...the best bike in the world is the one you currently sit astride.


Caymann -Big Ron  October 17, 2009 01:55 PM
“There is not a technology gap between HD cruisers and metric cruisers”. Is that so. Have you ever looked at the inside of a Harley engine sitting side by side with an M109R engine? The gap is miles apart! Just because Yamaha makes an air cooled engine for some of their cruisers does not automatically bring the technological superiority of all the other metric cruiser (and American,Victory) engines down.

‘Riders as a whole need to get over this egocentric idea that there make, model or classification of motorcycle is the only one out there worth riding and everything and everyone else is crap”. Gee and what group of riders out there have adopted this attitude and live by it…hmmm could it be Harley owners.

“In the past 3-5 years they changed the engine from 88 to a 96 cubic inches, they switched to a 6-speed transmission” Wow 8 more cubes and a sixth cog. Could you imagine if Honda’s cb750 was still in production as their flagship bike and new for 2010 they added 50cc and a sixth gear would anyone consider this progress or technologically competitive?? I don’t care that Harley has old tech I don’t buy their products anyways, but what I don’t like is Harley owners or sympathizers who try to equate Harley with Asian and European bikes.

“You dont have to be high tech to ride down the highway at 90 mph”. You don’t have to be LOW tech to ride down the highway at 90 mph either.

“a sport bike you need to keep the rpm up, 9-12k on a liter bike and 12-16k on a 600 because that is where they develop their power and that's where you manage the engine speed for both acceleration and rolloff. RPM's in this range are not realistic for the street, so why have a bike on the street designed to operate at this engine speed?????” I am confused Big Ron, aren’t you the one who also posted this…”if you have read my comments before you know that I am an avid sport bike rider; its like having two girl friends”. WTF are you saying you’re an avid sport bike rider who doesn’t understand why you have a sport bike for the street or something???

If I compared the price of a Harley to say the new Indian would you say the Harley is a bargain or would you say the Indian is overpriced? Depending on your opinion either way one of those bikes are worth something to somebody. So regardless which bike you compare to a Harley in terms of price is irrelevant because with the Harley there is a marketed image or perception of the bike and the brand that is very Iconic; therefore people’s emotions will affect their judgment on deciding if the Harley is worth its price. Only commodities and appliances can be compared side by side to see if their price is over priced or under priced to one another. For example a washing machine made by GE can be fairly compared to a washing machine made by whirlpool. Sure some people will be brand loyal but by in large people will look at each machine as just that a machine that has a job to do and will pick the one that does the best job at the lowest cost. As for motorcycles the 600cc class is pretty much like these appliances the bikes are all within 2% of each other and have a very specific job to do, so pick your favorite color and which ever one has the best price and you will do just fine.

Not the same story with Harley. People don’t tattoo the brand name of their refrigerator or lawn mower on their body, that’s more than just brand loyalty that’s a brand lifestyle. This very factor is the largest motivator and persuader for Harley owner’s decision to buy one. If you disagree then I will use some of your own logic: Do you need a $20K heavyweight cruiser do go down the highway at 90 mph?? Couldn’t you do this with an $8k middleweight cruiser or a heavyweight cruiser made outside of the USA costing only $12K???
Caymann -fast2win  October 17, 2009 10:08 AM
“While porche had a a large part in the V-Rod design, it does not build the eng. They are built in Kansas City”. Built in Kansas, I think you meant to say assembled in Kansas. All if not most of the v-rod engine parts are made in Germany and various other parts of the world and shipped to Kansas to be assembled. This fact is well documented in many articles and in some documentaries on cable TV.

“DMG had a record crowd at NJR so they did something right”. One track where people actually showed up to watch the DMG races and at a track that offers the only near by racing for the entire north east population probably had much to do with it and Mladin retiring. What about all the other races that were ghost towns?? Does one successful race cancel all the others out?? What about TV ratings being in the toilet both before and after they switched coverage to same day telecasts?? What about Miller Motor sports Park telling Mr. Edmondson and DMG to pound sand??

“Buell had a great bike I owned one for 10 yrs”. I have no problem with Buell or their innovative philosophy.

“More kid's on their 600's would come to me to buy a bigger gsxr month's later, because the out grew the power they would say, when asked where they are shifting oh 7-8 grand they would say. Had they road a Buell in the 1st place and felt the tq. they would never had bought the 600 in the ist place”. Funny you mention this. I used to sell motorcycles too and had these very same conversations with kids and adults alike. Regardless, just because these inexperienced and or untrained riders did not know how to exploit the true potential of a 600 does not make the 600 a bad machine for either the street, back road or the track. I have owned both v-twin sport bikes and I4 sport bikes. I love the extra torque of the twin and I also love the satisfaction of timing my exit of a turn just past the apex when the 600s motor is at its boiling point. It’s more difficult to ride a middle weight I4 fast than it is a twin but successfully conquering this challenge is very satisfying.

the Sportbike class was set up to allow bike's with similar power/wght. compete and it worked. Yeah it worked for Buell…well sort of. Did you happen to see how easily the Buell would pass the 600s on the straights from being as much as 3 or 4 bike lengths behind when entering the straights?? Did you ever see any 600 pass the Buell on the straights (not under braking, under power) even when the 600 had a draft??

You made a car racing analogy. What car racing series ever allowed one make of car to have nearly 90% more displacement than its competitors??? And the smaller engine cars not allowed any help from a turbo or supercharger. In the 17 yrs. you have watched motorcycle racing what racing series allowed one bike to have nearly 90% displacement advantage (not including air cooled bikes running against liquid cooled bikes)???
“some of his design principals are now being copied by the japs .Look how close they try to get their exh. under the bike”. I would say the jury is still out on this one. Whether the OEMs want to admit it or not a lot of the reason the exhaust is being crammed under the bike is because of the huge 3 chambered catalytic converters and other emission crap. Kind of like when the say the retuned the bike for more “midrange” when all you see on a dyno sheet is a softening of the top end and the midrange looks the same; that “tuning” was more than likely for emissions. Sometime around 2000 the OEMs were told by the EPA that in 2004 they need to cut emissions by 70% and then cut that number in half by 2008. This is also the reason all Harleys have FI now even the 883 and the bigger twins moved into a 6 speed tranny for less mechanical noise. It is also why you see huge drops in power from some of the 600 sport bikes. Some like the 2009 cbr600 and r6 are making near pre 2000-2001 power at the rear wheel.
Big Ron -Re: Fast2Win  October 17, 2009 09:48 AM
I have to agree with Fast2Win. Sport bikes, cruisers, naked bikes, dirt bikes, AT's.... are all built for a specific purpose and to compare them to bikes from different classifications is pointless. Sport bikes are designed and built for the track, not for the street. In order to get the most power and have the most throttle control from a sport bike you need to keep the rpm up, 9-12k on a liter bike and 12-16k on a 600 because that is where they develop their power and that's where you manage the engine speed for both acceleration and rolloff. RPM's in this range are not realistic for the street, so why have a bike on the street designed to operate at this engine speed????? That's where your naked bike comes in to play. More comfortable up right seating position, V-twin or an inline 4 that has more torque and develops HP at lower rpm, more usable on the street. Cruisers, not all of them are baggers that weigh 800 lbs. They develop torque down low and they are a pleasure to ride on both urban and rural roads. Everyone has a different opinion of what is fun to them. If hauling butt through the twisties at triple digits is your idea of riding then that's great. If you want a commuter, awesome. If you want a cruiser so you and your girl can do a casual ride around town or go cross country, good for you. Riders as a whole need to get over this egocentric idea that there make, model or classification of motorcycle is the only one out there worth riding and everything and everyone else is crap. Its your money, get what you want and what makes you happy. Be happy your neighbor rides, don't worry about what he rides. As far as the clothes, who cares, what is this grade school, dont be so controlling, the freedom to express yourself is part of riding. It is a shame that more riders have not riden a standard or naked bike; they are much more applicable to street riding.

Time for a little defense of HD. HD makes a great cruiser; I have ridden the new Star Raider and preferred my fatboy, that's why I bought it and if you have read my comments before you know that I am an avid sport bike rider; its like having two girl friends. To say that HD hasn't developed there bikes past the 50's is not accurate. In the past 3-5 years they changed the engine from 88 to a 96 cubic inches, they switched to a 6-speed transmission, they changed the frame on the Dyna line and the touring line and all of there bikes are fuel injected. The Yamaha Stratoliner, which many consider to be the best cruiser made also uses an air cooled engine. There is not a technology gap between HD cruisers and metric cruisers, they are all low tech compared to sport bikes. You dont have to be high tech to ride down the highway at 90 mph. HD's typically place first or second in cruiser shoot outs and they are not priced excessively higher than there competition. You cannot compare an HD bagger to a VTX, not the same product. Compare the price of a vtx 1800 to a Dyna super glide or a street bob, they are comparable, please feel free to look it up. HD's attention to detail and the amount of chromed steel as opposed to chromed plastic has a lot to do with any price differential. My one gripe is that they intentionally sell them under powered so that you will go in and spend money on their aftermarket air box, pipes and fuel controller.
fast2win -4 out of 4  October 17, 2009 06:54 AM
While porche had a a large part in the V-Rod design, it does not build the eng. They are built in Kansas City. 10yrs. of the aging customer may be true but the average age of all m/c customers has gone up to around 47 from 40. But until the economy H.D.still sold more bike's every year. DMG had a record crowd at NJR so they did something right. the Sportbike class was set up to allow bike's with similar power/wght. compete and it worked. Buell had a great bike I owned one for 10 yrs. While race replicas are great for the track they are just plain poor street bike's.I could actually cruise down lakeshore on my Buell in relative comfort,but when I hit the back roads no one got around me but a "better rider" regardless of machine. Now that his company was finally headed in the right direction H.D. pulls the plug. What they needed to do was let him build a lot more models w/rotax. while keeping the aircooled, Touring ,sportourin, single's. More like what BMW has done over the last 15-20 yrs. More kid's on their 600's would come to me to buy a bigger gsxr month's later, because the out grew the power they would say, when asked where they are shifting oh 7-8 grand they would say. Had they road a Buell in the 1st place and felt the tq. they would never had bought the 600 in the ist place. Never mind that it did'nt look like all the other 600. Might not fit in. Most bike rider's in this country want cruiser's and dress just like the H.D.guy. Regardlees of the cruise he's on. So what, have a ball. Next time you get passes by an old guy on slow old touring bike, don't forget about all that great tech. you got their, it happens all the time. Technology needs to be a benifit for the rider was Buells philosophy. some of his design principals are now being copied by the japs .Look how close they try to get their exh. under the bike. They said his ztl would'nt work on a race bike but on a 1125rr it's 1st time out 10th in Superbike and 6th 2nd time out. He gotr shut down just as it was getting good. I guess I'll root for aprilia or ktm next year.
Mike Dunn -Bill Smith  October 17, 2009 03:59 AM
"Eric, there are very valid reasons why the REAL sport bike designers won’t support fuel in frame, calipers in swing arms, single rim-mounted brake rotors, large (ugly) under-frame muffles" Is it some mechanical shortcoming or patent infringement? As for the muffler, have you ever gone 130 mph on a motorcycle that has the "can" on a single side? There is drag.
cc -Harley and GM  October 16, 2009 10:43 PM
GM went down by selling low performance, bulky cars that consumer want to buy on macho psychology. In a way, Harley is doing the same thing. No rescue for Harley, though.
DRMANIA -Dardley forever!  October 16, 2009 09:47 PM
I think the goverment should stimulate HD! Otherwise, how will they keep up those Disney tourist stores? Maybe even set a "handlebar clunker" program, so we'll be able to trade those horrible Buells with efficient chinese scooters, that will kick them back up...I hope some worthy business man will take Eric under it's wing and continue building these great bikes with the right respect!
Lamar-2000 Cyclone owner, since new! -Buell's demise  October 16, 2009 08:29 PM
Ya gotta hand it to Buell, since he went balls to the wall in 1983 and stayed the course.....135K bikes later, he has a class winning machine, with his name on the tank. Granted it's double the cc's of some but racing against other machines of closer displacement, i.e. water-cooled twins and other large air-cooled engines. And I don't like the fact that the "american motorcycles" logo came off the tank.
H-D should have cancelled the name (buell) a decade ago and used their name and money to get away from the sportster engine and their profits to groom the next generation of bike riders. Hopefully, Buell will come back from the deadv, and continue to build very cool machines.....
milo -Buell  October 16, 2009 08:23 PM
Buell was targeting a small niche in the market. Folks who wanted a great handling bike, but not top end speed. HD treated Buell like the bas****, red head child at most dealerships. I have had numerous HD owners impune me for wanting a Buell. I'm stupid, why would I want that, etc. The only reason why I don't own one is b/c my lovely wife had to have a cruiser. She didn't think a back rest would look good on a Lightening, LOL, guess I can't disagree. Good bike, good ideas, bad business plan.
Caymann -Skeeter  October 16, 2009 07:53 PM
“If you look at official statistics, the median age of people that purchase Harleys has come down over the last 10 years” Ahh…maybe Skeeter you should take a look at the statistics. Here don’t take my word for it read some of these articles. There actually are many many more but this is a good start.

http://www.mutualofamerica.com/articles/Fortune/2002_08_01/fortune.asp
http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/Investing/StockInvestingTrading/is-harley-davidson-over-the-hill.aspx
http://seekingalpha.com/article/166998-harley-davidson-executives-investors-wear-generational-blinders
http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-133523733.html

“That's what I want, not some lifeless yuppie machine”. Skeeter, if a Harley isn’t a yuppie machine then what is? Harleys ARE the iconic yuppie machine.

Nearley every other cruiser manufacturer has coppied that "1950's technology". Really, you mean all of those Suzuki, Kawasaki, Honda cruisers that have multi valve cylinder heads, OHC, and liquid cooling have copied Harley’s 1950s tech. Hmmm…something sounds a little wrong here.
Maybe it is Harley who copied the Japanese with their V-Rod.

Skeeter maybe you and fast2win should get together and have a beer; a Harley beer of course in your Harley mug while smoking Harley cigarettes wearing your Harley jeans and Harley T-shirt and rest your Harley beer that’s in the Harley mug on a Harley coaster next to your Harley magazines on the coffee table next to where your Harley yuppie machine is parked in the living room.
Caymann -fast2win  October 16, 2009 07:26 PM
According to MCN (the American MCN) the M109 out performs the V-rod but you or I could find an article to defend each one of our points but at least Suzuki built their bikes engine and drive train.

“In 2002 or 03 JD powers rated Harley #2 less than 1% behind Honda”. Usually when I hear someone claiming a particular brand as being the best I don’t think of them coming in second place, no matter how close of a margin. I will also bet the people at JD who rate these bikes don’t even own a bike.

“they shipped 184000 in 1999 and 359000 in 2006” Good catch, I obviously have gotten my dates mixed up. To date Harley is going to sell only about 222,000-227,000 this year.

“While Yamaha imo builds the nicest Jap cruisers, they still are top models are expensive 17,300 stratoliner, Road king 16,900.So much for overpriced Harley's” Well only if you think the Harley is worth $16,900. To me, none of their bikes are worth more than $12-13K except for the touring models maybe $15K.

“about motorcycle racing, been watching for 17 yrs. also do track day's”. If this is so fast2win then why do you not see how silly your comparison of car racing to bike racing is and why do you not understand how wrong it was for the Buell 1125R to race against 599cc I4?

“I've been hearing this aging customer base theory for 10yrs”.

Did you still want to take a stab at supporting your statement?
I have a little to support mine: http://www.mutualofamerica.com/articles/Fortune/2002_08_01/fortune.asp
http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/Investing/StockInvestingTrading/is-harley-davidson-over-the-hill.aspx
http://seekingalpha.com/article/166998-harley-davidson-executives-investors-wear-generational-blinders
http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-133523733.html
Skeeter -Get a grip...  October 16, 2009 07:23 PM
The whole country is in a recession, and many areas of production are hurting, including the automotive industry. You can walk into any Japanese or Triumph motorcycle dealer and find new 2007 models still on the floor. Buell and MV Agusta don't account for much in the scheme of things. In other words, it's no big loss. Harley is building what people want, a real motorcycle in it's purest form with class a nostalgic feel. That's what I want, not some lifeless yuppie machine. For those of you that think only older people are buying Harleys, you are wrong. If you look at official statistics, the median age of people that purchase Harleys has come down over the last 10 years. Also, the amount of first time Harley buyers and women that ride Harleys has gone up. For others that don't care for the "1950's technology" that Harley uses, get your heads out of your a**es. Nearley every other cruiser manufacturer has coppied that "1950's technology". We will see who has the last word when the ecconomy is out of the crapper!
cc -harley  October 16, 2009 06:25 PM
@moosestang: if you like the cityX, i'm sure you'll enjoy a hypermotard or a husky SMR. @fast2win: Harley bikes are exactly good for that: parking.
moosestang -Why Mr. Buell?  October 16, 2009 06:06 PM
Why would anyone stay on with a company that shut down their business? I own a xb9sx and love the thing. It's more fun to ride than either gsxr or fzr i've owned. It was never meant to compete with Japans crotch rockets. People like me that bought into buell did so because we like to ride, not because we are speed freaks or have a death wish. Not sure what I will buy next, nothing else interests me.
KM -Let's Clarify  October 16, 2009 05:54 PM
No american wan'ts to see any US based company go bust; Buell could have been a great motorcycle if they had the right technology. If you want to build an american V-Twin supersport take the time and give us somthing that will seriously compete with Honda, Yamaha, suzuki, Kawasaki, and Ducati. Do that and you wont have to worry about money becouse there wont be a true american not wanting to buy.
fast2win -caymans assumtions  October 16, 2009 04:28 PM
Caymen first I don't own a Harley, I own a BMW. #2 your statement about sportbikes is accurate, the second part applies to almost all cruisers. #3 a V-Rod over a M109 its faster in 1/4 mile by almost .8 seconds ahuge margin when drag racing . In 2002 or 03 JD powers rated Harley #2 less than 1% behind Honda. they shipped 184000 in 1999 and 359000 in 2006. While Yamaha imo builds the nicest Jap cruisers, they still are top models are expensive 17,300 stratoliner, Road king 16,900.So much for overpriced Harley's. about motorcycle racing, been watching for 17 yrs. also do track day's. Like I said it ain't easy but here goes.
themountain -uiiiii  October 16, 2009 04:28 PM
well...thats a shock...mildly said!!
Never fit a buell with my 6"6 but I always liked the look of these things....what a pitty!!
I don`t think thats a too smart move from HD...but what do I know??
Sachin -Buell should rise again!  October 16, 2009 03:25 PM
I believe in couple of years time, Buell would have been giving tough competition to the v-twin streetfighters from the Japs and Europeans! And that would have been fantastic to the public. Buell started to improve and showed hope that they can haul ass! I really hope that Buell rises again with or without anybody's help!
Bill Smith -Bill to Caymann  October 16, 2009 03:01 PM
Your comments are amazingly accurate – I own a V-Star 1300 because it is far superior to any curser built Harley Davidson. And you can purchase one new for $8,500! What America needs is a West Coast motorcycle brand designed by the minds from top online technology firms, grads from Stanford, built by the greatest refined manufacturing experts in Japan. My comments regarding “bad Ideas formed in cheese chalets and back-yard beer festivals in Milwaukee Wisconsin!” is a real but sad testament to the American vehicle design and manufacturing industry (please exclude Navistar and Caterpillar from this group)!
Caymann -fast2win  October 16, 2009 02:47 PM
“Arguing with idiots isn’t easy, but here goes”. Yeah especially when you’re not as smart as one fast2win!

“Harley builds the best cruiser's that's why they cost more”. Mere opinion fast2win just like my opinion is they cost more because there are people out there like you who would actually pay those prices for poor quality.

“Comparing sportbikes to any cruiser is just stupid”. I totally agree. Sport bikes are on the leading edge of technology, performance, and achievement something that Harley and their cruisers are definitely not.

“When parked next to each other it's very plain to see that the paint castings chrome and style are better than the jap cruisers and they perform as good or better”. Really, maybe like an old Honda shadow 1100 but certainly not any of the Yamaha Star models and what Harley out performs Suzuki’s M109R?

“I've been hearing this aging customer base theory for 10yrs”. Well it’s not a theory fast2win it’s real. Harley now manufactures and sells HALF the amount of bikes it sold 10 yrs. ago. As a matter of fact 1999 was Harley’s best year ever in terms of total units built and sold. Did you get a chance to read their 2009 3rd quarter financial statements yet? The average age of a Harley customer has gone from 44 yrs. old to 52 yrs. old in the past 10 yrs. How many young people do you see riding Harleys?

“And for you dmg haters get a clue cars have raced each other with varing eng. sizes ever since they where 1st built”. Typical Harley guy who knows nothing about motorcycle racing using a CAR racing analogy, brilliant

Bill Smith -Buell  October 16, 2009 02:43 PM
If you look exclusively at Buell numbers, their inability to innovate to or beyond the level of the Asian/Italian manufacturers, and Eric Buell’s stubborn insistence to cram bad V-twin engines in poorly designed sport bikes you cannot act surprised. Eric touts innovations that in fact were nothing more than over-priced poor concepts confirmed by leading competitors (there are no adaptations of Eric’s ideas overseas). Eric, there are very valid reasons why the REAL sport bike designers won’t support fuel in frame, calipers in swing arms, single rim-mounted brake rotors, large (ugly) under-frame muffles, and belt drive (which I happen to like). They were all bad Ideas formed in cheese chalets and back-yard beer festivals in Milwaukee Wisconsin! Placing Harley engines (excluding the V-Rod/Rotax engine) in sport bikes made Eric the laughing stock of the sport bike industry. Buell was never a threat to the Asian/Italian competitors and was always the bastard step-child of Harley Davidson. A combination destined for failure. I was always quite surprised the Harley Davidson (HD) corporate culture didn’t fix the obvious problems at Buell (in the design shop) and the lack of any real marketing to the proper target segment. But then again, HD knew Eric had been designing substandard product that just could not compete with power-house designers/manufactures like Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Yamaha, and Ducati. Good luck Eric, The sad owner of a Buell 1125r (any interested buyers???)
vsgofast -Buell  October 16, 2009 12:58 PM
Let's just get a bunch of us together and buy Buell from Harley it's obvious they don't appreciate what they have!!
Monterey Mike Dunn -Buell was innovative  October 16, 2009 12:38 PM
I owned a 2001 F4i and put 19000 miles on it. In my opinion the Buell is a desirable motorcycle due to it's innovation. I hope Buell gets acquired by another company.
DC -Big Mistake  October 16, 2009 12:11 PM
Buell is what got me back into a HD dealer. I bought a Buell but won't be going back to HD for the next bike. Really sad decision HD
fast2win -clueless HD haters and brainless squids  October 16, 2009 12:09 PM
Harley's decision to drop Buell is terrible. Just when they where starting to win in a national championship. Arguing with idiots is'nt easy, but here goes. Harley builds the best cruiser's that's why they cost more. Comparing sportbikes to any cruiser is just stupid. When parked next to each other it's very plain to see that the paint castings chrome and style are better than the jap cruisers and they perform as good or better. overweight? ever put vtx1800 on the scale 800lbs. no bags radio nothing just overweight. I've been hearing this aging customer base theory for 10yrs. And for you dmg haters get a clue cars have raced each other with varing eng. sizes ever since they where 1st built. Buell won that championship aganst the heavily funded and developed bikes. Harley should have invested more in Buell to be able to build all the other segments that they don't. sportourer off road etc. their line up was too small imo. Sad to see them go
Haggis -Typical mismanagement from HD USA  October 16, 2009 11:55 AM
I am very sorry to hear of Buell being closed down...and I think this shows a fundamental flaw in Harley's management and the (lack of) decision making ability.
Buell was (finally) a ground breaking AMERICAN manufacturer and could possibly have had a very positive impact on the staid and stodgy technological "advances" at HD.
HD USA's 1st mistake was to market Buell's thru their existing dealer network. One of the local HD dealerships I went to in order to test ride a 1125 CR had uninformed and disinteresred sales staff who were openly dismissive of the Buell's. Having Hog riders trying to sell crotch-rockets is a recipe for disaster. I had a blast riding the 1125 and was on the verge of buying...although not at that dealer.
Now? No chance. I do not have any faith in HD properly servicing or supporting a badge they sh@t on.
Pull finger out HD, you won't be around much longer if you stick to the path you've chosen.
EDZ -Daytona Sportbike Championship  October 16, 2009 10:12 AM
How can Mr. Buel even comment about garnering the Daytona Sportbike Championship with a bike having DOUBLE THE DISPLACEMENT compared to the 600cc bikes? Does he really think American motorcycle riders are that ignorant? It just shows how DMG has corrupted motorcycle road racing in America. I more than anyone would like to have an American made motorcycle compete at the highest level... but let's compare apples to apples and not an 1125cc against a 600cc bike. I've raced at the highest level and know there is a difference.
Jake -Harley is next, for sure  October 16, 2009 10:02 AM
Buell was a long way ahead of harley in quality, handling . suspension and even in their engines. I never owned a buell but have owned 26 other bikes and was considering a xb12x ulysses. Harley will not be in business after a couple of more years. They are overpriced, outdated lumps. Their intended audience is all over fifty years old now and even most of them realize that the quality vs price just doesn't make sense. I guess what I am trying to say is that Harley Davidson is an antiquated piece of sh_t and they got rid of the wrong division. Jake
Sick Of It All -poseurs, stuntas, and you  October 16, 2009 09:48 AM
First off, as a former owner of a '98 S1WL, I feel like a lost a friend when I read this news. But just as troubling and frustrating is reading the responses from a$$clowns like Skip and others wanting to run this brand or that rider down. So what if Harley riders like their leather and chaps and lots of chrome? What do YOU ride? A Japanese sportbike? One could make fun of the fur/neon/wheelie down the highway while wearing a tank and flipflops crowd that ride them. Or do you own a BMW or Goldwing, and only people who have the time and means to put 10,000 miles a year on the cool ones? All of you please stop judging other riders by your standards, just because their styles aren't the same as yours.
Bottome line, whenever we lose a manufacture, especially one as innovative as Buell, we all lose - we lose choice, we lose competition, and even more people in this country are going to lose jobs. Grow up and look at the big picture, and realize all riders share a bond and share in the loss.
Brock -HD Sportbike  October 16, 2009 09:43 AM
Since HD wants to be in future markets and wants to expand globally. They will need to do one important thing. Make and sell a well designed sport bike. This is particularly important to sell to customers in the Europe market since most motorcycles sold there are sport bikes. I understand that in the USA most motorcycles sold are cruisers, but the younger crowd myself included wants to ride light, easy handling, quick, and stylish sport bikes. RIP Buell
Jester -2011 release?  October 16, 2009 09:29 AM
Blake Rudy - What is this 2011 release that we will never see now? Is it a middleweight V-twin with a sweet Rotax engine? How I would have loved to see Buell produce a bike along those lines. Please give up the goods; what was this mystery bike going to be?
Jeff -HD - Done as a stand-alone company?  October 16, 2009 08:53 AM
Does anyone else think that HD is positioning itself to be bought? Do the major shareholders now think that the best way to make money off the brand is to sell it? It sure crossed my mind. After first seeing the 2010 HD lineup, my thought was, "they've given up on product development." There was nothing new on the VRSC front, and every other "new product" was just repackaging or paint scheme changes. This seems to be the trend since the failure of the VRSC "experiment." Now they're getting rid of Buell and MV (I don't actually care so much about MV). I'm no financial genius and of course I don't really know what HD is thinking, but it sure looks like they're getting ready to sell. Do they really think that their core asset, the image of the brand, is enough to create long-term growth without solid underlying products? How can that be? Without real product development, when will people forget what the brand is all about? Look at the current product offering. There are some appealing bikes, but in my opinion, most of the bikes, particularly the "new" models, are basically caricatures. At some point, won't people start to feel silly riding a caricature? Maybe not, and certainly the brand is too iconic to disappear any time soon. I just can't help thinking, though, that the people who own the majority of the company stock have decided they can best make money by selling it. The best way to do that would be to get rid of everything that isn't considered part of that core asset. When I looked at the HD stock price today, it was up slightly. How is that possible after an announcement like the one they've made. Is the smart money thinking, here's a company with a sound manufacturing strategy for the long term, or are they thinking that the shares will be worth something when the company is bought out? Of course, I don't know, but that would be my bet. Can you say, "Harley Davidson, a wholly owned subsidiary of Honda Motor Corporation?" It hurts me to do so, but I can.
Skip -Buell  October 16, 2009 08:46 AM
My neighbor has a Harley and it looks like a circus wagon with all the extra garbage he suckered for when he bought. He looks like a clown now with all the Harley crap he puts on when he goes for a Poker Run every weekend. He goes on these 20 - 30 mile rides and he thinks he is a big time biker. He is most proud of his loud pipes which he has to let everyone in the neighborhood know about. I really think this is why there is so much negative feelings towards Harley. Its the morons that ride them and sucker for paying a lot of money for 50's technology. A new innovation for Harley is some new useless piece of chrome are a flame paint job on the gas tank. Buell did not sell because they were using a 1950's motor in there bikes plus the buyers they were after would not be caught dead in a Harley dealership.
xb9s -HD =crap  October 16, 2009 08:26 AM
personally the only reason i even liked any of the HD's was because of the Buells. I never wanted A Harley before i got into Buells and then they started to intrigue me. Now that they have killed Buell im going to have to go back to Jap bikes besides the Buell im never gonna sell. And i will never Buy a New HD bike.... RIP Buell. Eric made a truly AWESOME MACHINE!!!!
Kawi Rider -No arrogance now?  October 16, 2009 05:50 AM
So, the arrogant smugness aimed at the Blast is now replaced with some form of sad statement about having your project dumped? So sorry, Erik. Maybe if you hadn't been so insulting to your owners...
John McHan -Buell  October 16, 2009 04:56 AM
The end of Buell is something that has been coming for some time. Perhaps not as part of any business plan from HD but apparently from it's dealers.
I have seen this first hand. I worked at a HD dealership for a short time. My first experience came when I was asked by the GM at the dealership if I had a problem with selling HDs for three to five thousand over MSRP. This kind if greed was rampant in the whole HD market.
It showed in part why most HD dealers do not promote Buell. After driving the 1125R I approached the dealership with a business plan to grow the Buell line. I was told out right that there was not enough profit in Buells and that I could do what ever I wanted in the alloted showroom space given but that they were not going to order inventory.
The bottom line: The mechanics would not work on them and the dealerships did not want to sell them. Buells have always been a great bike in need of a great motor. So what happens? Now that they have the motor, HD drops them. RIP Buell.
CC -sounds fishy  October 16, 2009 04:14 AM
Something is not adding up. H-D may be suffering but it's still profitable, so why the big drama? Eric Buell was obviously caught by surprise. Doesn't make much business sense bleeding severance right now, either. Investors should steer away from companies making this type of suspicious decisions. My prediction is the Harley will lost a lot of market share in coming years but survive as a small manufacturer because there will always be people buying Harleys. Unless West Coast Chopper starts mass producing...
El Mur -Buell.s demise  October 16, 2009 03:34 AM
I dunno, I bought an "01 S-3 (new), and it (next to a new BSA, I had in college), was the worst, most poorly built motorcycle I have ever owned! When I dumped it at considerable $$$$ loss, I said, "I wonder how long they can continue to foist this junk on the buying public".
Longer than I thought!
Ross -American ride!  October 15, 2009 10:31 PM
It's no more "Buy American, Ride proud" It's now "Buy American and save our Motor Company"
Mark....XB12R -Shocked!  October 15, 2009 10:28 PM
We....as Buell owners and enthusiasts, have to keep the name alive on the street and on the track. Very bad move for H-D, success on the track track always means more sales for street bikes.....win on Sunday....sell on Monday. RIP Buell
Nick -HD for Buell  October 15, 2009 10:28 PM
Even HD has registered 84% less profit last quarter.. so much for American Machine!
wllrjstn -too sad  October 15, 2009 09:55 PM
The worst part of this is the video. Erik Buell looks like he is reporting the murder of his child (which, in a way, I guess he is). He looks like he just came into work and they told him to give the report. He looks like he is as surprised and upset, no, more so, than me. I wanted the Ulysses, and the Harley XR1200 is cool too. Now, Buell is dead, and I hate Harley for it, so I'll just have to look at the BMW GS models. This sucks!!!
Big Ron -Re: YamaDucDavidson  October 15, 2009 09:30 PM
I agree that Buell should have produced a larger displacement bike and raced it in a legitimate class. Racing success would eventually have lead to sales to riders who follow the industry and racing as a whole. Many buyers are not educated and so they buy what they know or what there friend rides which is typically the big four or perhaps a Ducati. I certainly hope that Eric Buell is able to work a deal and start over without being held back by HD. I had considered getting a road glide as a second bike; think I will spend my money with Kawasaki instead so that they are not next on the chopping block. HD lost a potential customer for life.
DaveInCSA -Buell  October 15, 2009 08:12 PM
Well this really bums me out. While I don't have a Buell I have gone into the showroom and sat on one. I downloaded the wallpapers of the XB12SS as my desktop background with the thought that some day that's what I would get. Sucks! I guess I'm keeping my Honda longer.
Catalina -XLCR get a clue...  October 15, 2009 07:32 PM
“Even Honda's one-time cash cow, the Gold Wing, is now in only very limited production since the close of the American factory”. Honda closed the factory that made the VTX1800 not the Gold Wing.

“If you read the industry sales figures you would discover that Harley has actually gained market share in the last year.” Marginally in the US but not in the global market, the market that matters, Honda sells something like 13,000,000 bikes annually world wide Harley is going to sell about 227,000 world wide this year. Harley is going to fall short of about 12,773,000 bikes. How’s that for discovery XLCR?

“Only that fact the Japanese brands are all part of large corporations has kept them out of immediate bankruptcy”. And the fact they make better motorcycles than Harley by far, offer a very diverse model line up, appeal to all market demographics not just baby boomers, are successful with their racing efforts, respond to the market’s changing conditions (and by respond I don’t mean lay employees off sell brands off and curl up in the fetal position waiting for easier times like Harley is doing, I mean improving their products, being more efficient, and bring products to market that people want and need).

“Also be aware that the Japanese have largely failed to do well in any other catagory of bikes besides Sport and dirt bikes”. Oh really, how many standards does HD sell, how many sport tourers does HD sell, how many scooters does HD sell, how many ATVs does HD sell, how many commuter bikes does HD sell, how many sport bikes does HD sell, how many race replicas does HD sell, how many middle weight cruisers does HD sell, how many dual sport bikes does HD sell, how many super moto type bikes does HD sell??? So just be aware that Harley ONLY sells heavy weight cruisers and that market is dieing. Harley Davidson, XLCR, is the only manufacturer to have “largely failed” in EVERY category except heavy weight cruisers, up till now of course.

Many times facts are enlightening and sometimes sobering. It is a fact that all OEMs are not doing well now, but some are positioned better than others. Harley needing to sell MV and dissolve Buell shows just how poor their position is and that is a fact.

KM -Buell  October 15, 2009 07:13 PM
Oh no what is AMA going to do for next year; I know come up with some good racing where 600's compete with 600's. I give Buell a thumbs up for them trying to make somthing work even though it was impossiable; stuffing a harley motor in a buell is like putting a corvette motor in a ferrari. It dosn't work.
Olivier Corbeel -Thank you Eric  October 15, 2009 07:09 PM
No one in recent times was as passionate as Eric Buell to build a truly great motorcycle. I loved my Buell,it was really one of the best motorcycle I ever owned.
Blake -Harley-Davidson Inc. Killing Buell Motorcycles is Very Bad Business  October 15, 2009 06:39 PM
What appears to be a glib, cold-hearted closing of Buell by Harley-Davidson Incorporated is bewildering; it makes no good business sense that I can see. Buell is literally poised on the cusp of unprecedented major growth in market share with its planned 2011 model release. That model release would have been just seven months after the reported date of closing, just four months after employee severance pay effectively begins to run out. So for the lack of a few million dollars in continued operation versus having to pay tens/hundreds of millions in severance and contract obligations such as with Rotax, HDI somehow figures it is a sound business decision to kill the company? Please explain. And why the closing instead of a very lucrative sale of Buell? The stockholders absolutely deserve an honest accounting of the reasoning behind this drastic abandonment of an entire portion of the motorcycle market and strange refusal to allow the sale of the company to interested parties. At a minimum Harley-Davidson Incorporated should have the honor and integrity to allow the sale of Buell Motorcycle Company. Intentionally killing BMC with the excuse that it is too risky to allow a sale and thus for competitors to enter into the dealer network or other lame excuses rings hollow to this business man's ears. This kind of glib apparently ego-driven behavior towards so many customers, Buell motorcycle enthusiasts, employees, dealerships, aftermarket vendors, and subcontractors is unprecedented not only in its cold-heartedness but also in its bewilderingly poor business sense. It's not like the corporation is losing money. Buell has a truly honest shot at doubling its market share through the planned 2011 model release. Shame on the miserable ego-driven jerks at HDI/HDMC who have been working overtime to kill Buell Motorcycle Company; they are there and you know who they are. Shame on all the haters who have done nothing but criticize and denigrate Buell. It's not too late. Dear Mr. Keith Wandell, President and CEO of Harley-Davidson, Inc., Please get out of the boardroom, away from your corporate office, and take another serious look at this. You are making a HUGE mistake. Sport bikes are a major growth industry and Buell is poised to gain market share in leaps and bounds. The planned 2011 model is key to that; give it a chance through this economically difficult period! Please. You will not regret it. Get the naysayers the heck out of the place. They are miserable people who are more interested in being critics and in their own biased personal views. That is no way to run a business. What would it take to turn this around? How many millions to give Buell a mere three more years to double their market share and gain impressive profitability? Instead of viewing Buell as some kind of bothersome hindrance, cut them loose! Let them go on their own, absent any and all interference from and organizational structural dependence upon Harley-Davidson. Let Buell run their own parts system, their own customer service, and their own distribution system, and let them choose their own dealership criteria. Let those Harley-Dealerships who are enthused and eager to support the brand do so, and let Buell fill any gaps in the dealership network by allowing eager non-Harley-Davidson dealerships to pick up the brand. What are you afraid of??? Bold aggressive positive action is what is called for, not regressive negative reaction. The risk is so minimal to HDI as to be laughable. Please reconsider. Stop the micro-managing and let Buell fly! Erik and associates will not let you down! Blake Rudy
cdunc -HD BS  October 15, 2009 06:39 PM
Right on Hardley Davidson. I'm not a huge fan of Buell but loved what they and their riders stood for, a little left field but totally cool. Now H-D can focus on their true customers; Lawyers, Dentists and Veterinarians who put on their little outfits and ride down to the little beer bar on the weekends. Yes honey, I'll be home by 5:00. I will never own one and couldn't care less if they fold. Suck-it.
Jeremy Jester -Buell/HD  October 15, 2009 06:12 PM
I want to be one of the first to congratulate HD on a superb decision to terminate operations at Buell Motor Company. Buell, as a company, was cutting edge, was innovative, and unconventional. Their employees were devoted to the customer, the motor...cycles, and the vision of the company many times making personal sacrifices in order to further the motorcycle they built. Their story was inspirational embodying all that is great about America and the dream of making something from nothing with only sheer will, hard work, and sacrifice.

I can completely understand the business decision and reasoning behind Harley Davidson's decision to terminate Buell's operations. None of the characteristics listed above to describe Buell apply to Harley Davidson any longer. What was on...ce a story about a great American company has been supplanted by a narrative of corporate calculus and quarter by quarter myopia.

Thank you, Harley Davidson, for showing us the way. We no longer need to be concerned about American workers or American companies. We can now be free of corporate jingoism in our feckless race to out "American" the next person in our mot...orcycle purchase decisions. We can apply the same criteria you have provided and select our motorcycles by lowest price and maximum bang for the buck.

Whereas the "bar and shield" used to invoke feelings of patriotism and pride in the products of American workers, it will now and forever conjure images of Goliath crushing David.

Bravo!
So close! -Buell  October 15, 2009 05:48 PM
Unfortunate. I think Buell was one step away from producing a world-class machine. Sadly, the Helicon Engine arrived about 6 years too late, and should have been a better-developed 1200 to make it more competitve against the likes of the Ducati 1198 and the Japanese literbikes. Racing against 600's? Sad.... Also, that Helicon motor should have had a 650-750cc variant to go up against SV650s and other similar machines. I think they would have sold far more of those than 1125's. At any rate, I'm sad to see Buell close up shop. The drem of an American Sportbike dies yet again...
Chris -If you gotta go...  October 15, 2009 05:28 PM
If you gotta go...best to go out while your on top. Thanks for the ride Buell. AMA Pro Daytona SportBike championship in 2009!!!
wllrjstn -bummed out!!!!!  October 15, 2009 04:36 PM
I was so looking to coming home from Iraq and buying a Buell Ulysses at the end of my deployment. It's kind of the motivator, the light at the end of the tunnel. Harley just turned the light off. Maybe this will cause people to be even more cautious of buying a Buell and I'll be able to pick up the Ulysses for chump change when I get home. Today is really a bad day for all motorcyclists, it's the handwriting on the wall.
XLCR -So you think it's only Harley?  October 15, 2009 04:28 PM
If you read the industry sales figures you would discover that Harley has actually gained market share in the last year. Their sales have tanked, but not as badly as the Japanese brands, some of which are down over 50%. Only that fact the Japanese brands are all part of large corporations has kept them out of immediate bankruptcy. But even large corporations get tired of losing money. I read this as a sign that Harley believes the economy is NOT recovering anytime soon and they are hunkering down for the long haul. I agree. Those who are crowing now may soon see the end of their own favorite brand. Remember that, counting re-engineering every three years and the cost of massive racing support, sport bikes are very expensive to build and have narrow profit margins. Also be aware that the Japanese have largely failed to do well in any other catagory of bikes besides Sport and dirt bikes. Even Honda's one-time cash cow, the Gold Wing, is now in only very limited production since the close of the American factory. Mark my words, the blood-letting has only just started, and who knows who will be still standing when it over.
Gritboy -Waahhhhhhhhh  October 15, 2009 04:12 PM
I'm bummed. If only someone other than HD held the reins and truly encouraged, promoted and funded Buell earlier -- especially ditching that lump of an HD motor only recently-- perhaps they'd still be here. Don't know though... coulda woulda shoulda. Bummed to see an original go away.
irksome -Pitiful.  October 15, 2009 04:11 PM
Maybe they should just fold Harley instead. Harley Davidson is now a marketing firm that happens to make motorcycles. Underpowered, ill-handling anachronisms at that. Buells are an acquired taste but they were at least innovative. What will Harley do when all the fat old wannabes die off?
JavaDamutt -Please Save Buell and MV  October 15, 2009 01:58 PM
I myself like bikes that are in the forefront of innovation.They don't have to be the fastest or the most powerful,but a fine handling
bike with good power,reasonably priced and modern design will always
be a winner.I believe that Buell was trying to that and I was kinda hoping that MV Augusta will be able to help out Harley bring younger/cooler riders on board.I guess I was wrong!
Instead,Harley will basically sell the same stuff they've been selling to the same crowd for 20,30,40 years.Repackaged, of course with new paint and new decals.But the same 800 lbs. tank.That's innovation?
I sure hope somebody else will pick-up and continue on with these
2 companies.As for Harley,they will be OK.Maybe 20 years from now,
I will buy a 2020 HD FatGlideRockerBob with a new paint.........
Naaahhhh....


Richard -Buell and HD  October 15, 2009 01:57 PM
Suck..... That pretty much sums it up!
Jim Russo -Buell Motorcycles  October 15, 2009 01:29 PM
Having owned a 2004 Buell Lightning XB12S motorcycle up until last May 2008, I was sad to read about Buell today. My machine was really fun to ride and provided a different experience over the many other bikes that I have owned since 1970. I am one of those many motorcycle riders that must sell a bike to buy a bike, otherwise I would still own the Lightning. It was trouble free and gave excellent fuel mileage, along with it's many unique engineering design features. I for one would like to see someone else finance Buell motorcycles to keep it going, because it deserves to. Like the old saying, "as one door closes, another one opens", so we shall see.
Gator -buy out  October 15, 2009 01:19 PM
Come on BRP, wink wink, ripe fruit.
kpaul -AMA can go back to being real racing now  October 15, 2009 01:10 PM
Hopefully the AMA can go back to real racing where everyone has a fair shot. i.e. 600s race against 600 4s or 675 triples instead of 1125 cc V-Twin Buells.
x2468 -can-am  October 15, 2009 01:06 PM
It would be cool if can-am bought buell. they already supply the engine for the 1125R (rotax is can-am), and I know they want to expand with the on-road market since the success of their spyder trike. If they have the capital they should do it.
adam-motousa -pour out some liquor for buell  October 15, 2009 12:51 PM
man--what a bummer! Historically buell motorcycles have always gotten a bad rap for being too heavy, not enough performance, etc, etc. but the new liquid-cooled buell sportbikes just plain kicked ass. sure there styling was questionable but the fact of the matter is that the bikes just plain ripped and were a blast to ride both on the streets or the racetrack. the last two years were definitely a break through for buell so it's a real shame the suits are putting a kibosh on it all just to focus its resources on a line of products that aren't nearly as fun to ride. insane in my opinion! 99% rule proves true once again...adam
YamaDucDavidson -HD & Buell  October 15, 2009 12:47 PM
Too many opinions from too few with real world and long distance riding experience. Different bikes for different rides. Its all good, I own Italian, Jap and HD. I ride the street glide just as hard as I ride the Jap and Duc. Buell's problem was they did not race WSB or AMA Superbike, I don't acknowledg DMG and never will. Buell will be missed for awhile and if somone is smart they will invest and continue to develop a good thing. Stop your selfish bickering and appreciate all two wheelers for what they deliver. Freedom, wind in your face, adrenalin rush and becoming one with nature. Individuality comes in many packages.
jjyl -focus  October 15, 2009 12:39 PM
A high cost Rotex engine that wrapped by toy-like plastic and then glued on a tiny pity pipe just won’t fly. Now HD can go back to do what they did the best: selling more leather vests and boots.
kpaul -Burlington  October 15, 2009 12:23 PM
You said it best. I predicted Harley's trouble for awhile given the poor future market demographics of Harley buyers but there is nothing like the Great W Recession to speed things up a bit.
John -Demise  October 15, 2009 12:22 PM
1. It's never good to celebrate Americans losing their jobs.
2. Erik Buell was on to something with his designs. "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery," KTMs, UJMs and others have copied some of Buell's designs.
3. The local HD dealership had the Buells displayed prominently and sold more than their fair share.
4. HD became involved in the sub-prime business. Their fault and now a uniquely American company suffers for it.
5. Hopefully, someone will pick up the pieces and Buell will begin manufacturing again.

Larry Hannemann -Buell and DMG  October 15, 2009 12:12 PM
I can see it now. DMG will homologate a SportsterR for Daytona Sportbike and an XR1200RR for American Superbike next year. Heck, just make 'em, both spec series. With DMG forcing the Japanese manufacturers out of the AMA series, and now Buell's demise, that leaves Larry Pegram's Ducati and a bunch of privateers. Wow, great racing.
My only personal experience with Buell was a test ride on one of their bikes in the mid-90's. It vibrated so bad at idle, my glasses shook so much inside my helmet I could not see oncoming traffic to pull out of the parking lot. I had to release the grips, check traffic, grab the grips, and go. Scary
Burlington -past, present and future  October 15, 2009 12:00 PM
All of the motorcycle OEMs are REALLY hurting right now in this economy all over the globe. Harley’s problem is they don’t have a good product mix or a diverse customer base. Harley only sells heavy-weight cruisers to mostly 50+ yr. olds.

Harley is a corporation first motor company second and right now Harley is making short term corporation decisions on how to keep themselves from folding. Buell and certainly MV Agusta were the future, but Harley is thinking of how to survive in the present. Small motor companies like Buell and MV can survive and be competitive; look at Triumph and Ducati; both of those companies combined are smaller than Harley Davidson.

Harley Davidson can not stay on the same path they have been on for the past 30 yrs. It really doesn’t matter how modern they make their bikes either because the V-Rod is modern but is a poor seller. Harley has to again do what they originally did that made them so successful, build a new brand image and perception.

The bad boy wanna-be Billy bad a$$ biker boy S&M clown look is over and done with; at least to those who see how old, played out, and laughable it is.

Good products alone won’t sell a bike. The Europeans and Japanese produce and sell wonderful machines but still have to compete fiercely in the market.

My opinion is that once Harley Davidson can no longer farm easy profits by selling heavy weight cruisers they will close up shop too because otherwise why would Harley sell MV and end Buell when both offer Harley their best shot in the future markets???

KT -Bad move Harley  October 15, 2009 11:52 AM
I don't own a Buell but from recent moto reviews of different Buell bikes, it seemed as if they were getting close to producing a "sportbike" americans could be proud of. Then Harley cans the project in favor of more underperforming and over priced "name brand" on wheels...

Harley will miss out on the growing sportbike market again. They'll be back. Trust me.... But it may be too late, again....
buell owner/rider -hmmm  October 15, 2009 11:49 AM
i for one am sad to see buell go. i own a 2007 lightning super tt.how do you win a championship and then shut the company down 2 months later harley has no idea how many people they are losing with this decision i love everything about my bike especially that ive never seen the same model on the road anywhere,at least now my pretty rare bike will be a wonderfully exclusive collectors piece to the buell haters shutup and stop riding bikes that your friends buy way to fit in losers
N.W. -Ignorance is bliss  October 15, 2009 11:39 AM
You clearly have no clue as to what riding a motorcycle is about. You must be a 21yr old kid still completely obsessed with the latest and greates 160+hp bike that you could never even hope to ride anywhere near it's potential. Stop reciting a tired old cliche' it makes you sound foolish. I will all but guarantee that I log far more miles on my HD then you ever will, and the lowly 65hp my bike produces is more than enough to easily propell my down the highway at 90+mph. I also find it amusing that a bunch of wannabe bigshots think they know more about running a business then one of the most succesfull businesses in America. Get over yourselves. "Jake - I agree with Randy and RT Rider October 15, 2009 11:00 AM I agree with pretty much everything said here. I avoid Harley dealerships like the plague. If I wanted to be part of the "poser" biker bunch I would buy Triumph Bonneville. Most Harley riders never go outside the city limits because a typical Harley rider just wants to ride around and show off there loud pipes, leather vests and do-rags. Plus with a wopping 65 horsepower a Harley is not much use on the highway anyway. Harley better get out of the 1950's if they want to stay in business."
Hondaman -HD  October 15, 2009 11:29 AM
Some day the bubble will burst on the huge marketing machine that is HD. The product is no good and is quickly being left far, far behind by many other manufacturers. The one thing they do right is merchandise.
milwaukee mike -no more Buells and MVs  October 15, 2009 11:27 AM
It's about time HD divested itself of brands that actually go against the grain of what the company does best,...building the type of motorcycles that real american buyers want.

The money that was funneled into Buell to lure metric riders was a total waste. Metric riders are only interested in trying to prove that metric brands are somehow better. But history has (and is) proved that a quality product wil sell even in bad economic times, and tradition is what buyers truely will pay for.

Both MV and Buell are not targeted at real riders, rather than the "Walter Mitty" types that are more about talk rather than really riding.
TheWave -Suddenly, it's a vintage bike  October 15, 2009 11:24 AM
Don't be a hater, just ride your own ride. I liked the diversity that Buell brought to a world of look-alike sport bikes. At least this way there is more room at HD shops for $40 t-shirts and $300 chrome stem caps. RIP Buell.
MotoFreak -Buell  October 15, 2009 11:23 AM
Didn't Buell see this coming? Why did they invest so much into racing and the 1125 R and CR if they weren't selling. And for Harley to keep the MV's instead of Buell? I'm sure MV is next to go.
Big Ron -Buell Advertising non-existant  October 15, 2009 11:16 AM
The new 1125 series is a great performer and it is really too bad that the slumping economy hit when Buell appeared to be moving in the right direction with a modern water cooled power plant. I got back into riding four years ago and had no idea what a Buell was until long after buying an FZ-1. Harley Davidson has a huge advertising budget yet there subordinate company gets little press and isn't even on most peoples radar screen. I believe this failure rests squarely on HD marketing. It is a sad day when people in this country cheer for the demise of an American motorcycle company just because it doesn't build there ride of choice. Harley is in trouble; there isn't anyone out there to replace there largest market; the baby boomers. Our local bike night is 60% sport bike and it will be another 20-years before most of those kids would consider buying a cruiser, and if they do they will probably stay brand loyal.
2Cents -My 2Cents  October 15, 2009 11:12 AM
Survival of the fittest...especially in this economy, and rising interest in having the most up-to-date technologically advanced 2wheel weapon between your legs...sorry buell, but "America" really needs to step up their game in this industry like the Japanese (Big 4), Austrians (KTM), Germans (BMW), and Italians (Ducati)...Seriously, we cannot look to Harley/Buell to represent what America is or the potential to what we can become...Where is OUR signature weapon like the named above...c'mon red, white and blue, it would be cool to represent an elite american product that smashes the above...why does the US have to be represented by outdated metal that revolve around cruisers? It's like Hell's Angels meets motorcycle for the first time, like a one-night stand that lasted 30 years too long...Buell, I do have to give it up for your innovation and thinking of outside the box, but listening to the consumer might have been better...
Jake -I agree with Randy and RT Rider  October 15, 2009 11:00 AM
I agree with pretty much everything said here. I avoid Harley dealerships like the plague. If I wanted to be part of the "poser" biker bunch I would buy Triumph Bonneville. Most Harley riders never go outside the city limits because a typical Harley rider just wants to ride around and show off there loud pipes, leather vests and do-rags. Plus with a wopping 65 horsepower a Harley is not much use on the highway anyway. Harley better get out of the 1950's if they want to stay in business.
T. Gray -Sad Day For Motorcyclist  October 15, 2009 10:52 AM
It's truly a sad day. As a motorcyclist that rides everything (including Harley, Japan's "Big-4", Norton, BSA, Triumph, and Redneck Engineering choppers) I appreciate the work of Mr. Buell and his employees and look forward to taking delivery of a Firebolt. The bikes have exceptional handling, are fun to ride and provide a riding experience no other bike can deliver. Although I have never met Mr. Buell, I understand his passion and love of motorcycling. His designs and innovations have improved the bred and given us a view of what is possible in engineering and design.

I truly hope Harley Davidson will consider working the Firebolt and 1125 into their lineup or allow Mr. Buell to take the company public or seek new partnership opportunities. It would be a shame to allow this company to fade into history like Norton or BSA...only to seen in a museum or vintage events.
Jeff -Awful decision HD  October 15, 2009 10:51 AM
"HD bought Buell and tried to make it work but you just can't sell strange, overpriced, standard motorcycles in Harley dealerships."

If the Harley dealerships actually tried to sell Buell's rather than putting them in a back corner and trying to steer customers that came in for a Buell away from Buell to a Sportster their sales would probably have been much better. The only reason I and many others ever went into a Harley dealer was for the Buell's. Now to get a bike with excellent handling I'll have to look outside of the US... again.
Bill -Buell was just not that good  October 15, 2009 10:23 AM
HD bought Buell and tried to make it work but you just can't sell strange, overpriced, standard motorcycles in Harley dealerships. This has been coming for a long time and most people will never know what a Buell is much less want to buy one. I say let em die and put that money into better bikes that people want.
Sam -I agree with Randy and RT  October 15, 2009 10:16 AM
Harley’s problem is that younger riders aren’t interested in their product and the Boomers are getting older now and buying fewer new motorcycles. This situation will only get worse as boomers age. One reason younger riders avoid Harley’s is our perception of those who ride them. Overweight pseudo-bikers that seem to have sucked all the cool there once was out of riding a Harley. The whole look is clownish and overdone, with the dew-rag and leather vest that needs an extension buttoned in to accommodate the extra girth that seems to be a prerequisite. Buells were just ugly motorcycles and Harleys only have style because someone in the 30s, 40s and 50s had a sense of style.

The Brits are doing it again to H-D as more of us who like the classic look buy Triumph Bonneville’s that scream retro cool.

Steve -Buell  October 15, 2009 10:08 AM
I have always thought Buell made a very unique product, I would certainly own one if my budget allowed. Unfortunately the economy has caught up with HD.

People need to stop hating on Harley, HD has always given their customers what they demanded: classic style cruisers with air cooled v-twin engines, plenty of chrome and a nice paint job. Just because their bikes are not powered by 160 horsepower, DOHC inline 4 cylinders, does not mean they run on 1950's technology. Not every bike needs 160 hp, not every rider wants that.

Harley has released several new bikes, engines and transmissions in the past few years, how does someone infer they don't have a fully functioning R&D department?
Jester -Holy bad decisions, Batman!  October 15, 2009 10:01 AM
So now America is only represented by rolling anachronisms (and Victory)? Come on, H-D. You have to move into the future sometime, and if that means dropping some of the same 25 crappy bikes you've been making since before I was born, then so be it. But to discontinue Buell right when they started using modern Rotax engines and have some success in racing (however controversial) is a terrible decision. Some accountant that drives a Ford Excursion decided that more money could be made by continuing to milk the baby-boomers for over-priced chrome accessories, than to actually invest in the future by making a modern motorcycle. The 1125R may be ugly, but it goes like stink, and was a step in the right direction. Boo on you, H-D. Now you stand NO CHANCE of ever getting me into your showrooms, or onto one of your bikes.
Hutchy -Missing Buell  October 15, 2009 09:57 AM
You guys obviously miss the point. Sure, there's stuff to complain about with Buell but the fact is Europea is/was a big market for them. People liked it more than folks did here is the US unfortunately. You know, I spent a few hours over the past decade hanging out with Erik and the guy is down to earth and his heart was/is in the right place. Everyone has an opinion but my opinion is that it is unfortunate that Buell is out of business becasue we are officialy going to miss the added character that Erik brings to the industry and their 1125-series, as ugly as it may be, is actually pretty bad-ass to ride. So, don't be such haters boys. This isn't a good thing.
Rotten Randy -Buh Bye Buell...  October 15, 2009 09:40 AM
Thanks Eric for making America look like crap since 1983. Let this be a warning to Hardley as well. If you want to be around in the future, you should have a fully functioning R&D department with actual performance development activity, and not just baby boomers goofing off decorating parade bikes with ghost flames.
RT Rider -HD & Buell  October 15, 2009 09:35 AM
Harley better wake up and improve on there 1950's technology or they will be out of business. Quotes from other forums: "So the pool of people willing to spend too much money for the opportunity to ride slowly and dress up like one of the village people is not bottomless?" "What happens when all the credit boomers stop dressing up like pirates and can't hold up an 800-lb bike?"