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Last Buell Motorcycle Rolls Off the Line

Thursday, November 19, 2009
Last Buell motorcycle rolls off the assembly line.
Last Buell motorcycle rolls off the assembly line.
It’s the end of the line for Buell, literally, as the final of 136,923 motorcycles produced by the American manufacturer rolled off its East Troy assembly line. The announcement, sent through the Harley-Davidson newsline, announced the final bike in a terse paragraph:

“On October 30, a Buell Lightning XB12Scg rolled off the company’s East Troy, Wis. assembly line, the last of the 136,923 motorcycles built in the company’s 26 years of operation. Parent Harley-Davidson announced on October 15 that the Buell lineup of motorcycles would be discontinued effective December 18, 2009. Buell motorcycles will continue to be sold through existing dealers until inventory is depleted.”

Buell employees will now swell the ranks of our nation’s double-digit unemployment rate, but why did Buell get the axe?

“It’s the economy stupid!” is the simple answer. Yet as bad as the current economic downturn is (unprecedented, we’re told, in most of our reader’s lifetimes), healthy, robust companies don’t fall prey to the inevitable economic lows. Recessions, like predators, cull out the sick and the weak.

What do you, the readers, think spelled the end of Buell?


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Comments
Donald -Madness  May 31, 2010 02:48 PM
Harley Davidson destroyed its own sport bike,if you do not no what i em talking about you never shopped for one in a harley davidson dealer ship,and in my view after riding for 30 years every thing from long fork choppers to triumphs and every thing between the Buell fire bolt and the Buell lightning long were the best bikes i ever road,and there thunderstorm engine was magic and it's minimal style and design was built to last,so if Buell would be it's own company they would due ok.(PS) The madness is Harley dose not see it.
Jason Leth -Mr  May 22, 2010 03:46 AM
The powers to bee at Harley realy screwed up here. Buell is so much better than they are and seeing that the name Buell was so good I'm stuffed at why they did this. Yes I understand they did it to save the Harley name, by use the cash saved to keep Harley afloat. But real Harley. a top bike that even out sold you over the years in many countries and still to this day has a much better name than you do. Talk about a company shooting themselfs in the foot. WHAT A HUGE MISSTAKE!
canarynoodles -towing&transport  March 24, 2010 09:48 PM
again some other bike company will pick up the buel investment loss, like arlen ness, jessey james, or orange county,and many others. bet it is selling dirt cheap ! maybe ill buy it to keep buell alive for all us crazy riders what do yall the america what the hell it worth it!
canarynoodles -towing&transport  March 24, 2010 09:41 PM
yes a total lost of a fantastic hell n machine,but yet now we all can buy them cheap as low as $500. per motor cycle. i love it,the ression is the buyers balls from all motor vehicles to realestate thank god for america, feels like the 1950s price cheap!
puzzled. -husband is freaking out.  February 27, 2010 08:02 PM
is there any chance that these particular bikes will become more valuble to people now that they are out of production now? only asking because my husband, who is worried about money thinks he needs to pay it off and trade it asap so he doesnt lose out anymore than "he already has"...
MAV -BUELL 1125CR  January 25, 2010 09:49 AM
AMA WIN JUST CAME TO LATE.BIKES THAT WHERE BUILT ARE AWSOME AND NOW A WANTED COMMODITY.ERIK BUELL, YOU'LL KEEP ON ROLLIN.BURN THEM DOWN BOYS'.
Stu -Buell  January 25, 2010 12:01 AM
What a waste ,, thats yanks for ya
motojefro -what?  January 20, 2010 09:19 PM
Eric why did you smash that single? I had one, loved it. It could show big sportbikes the way on the twists. Had a M2 Cyclone, loved it. Lots of power, good handling, 50mpg. I'm gonna find a Firebolt or a Lightning, they good bikes. Now that the hog has rooted you out, I fully expect to see Wee Willy G get back on the sportbike..er..Sportsterbike kick, remember? Ahhh, The hog ridin fools will be rollin in and looking good. They better do something thier market is dying off quick. I bet that if hog would have put an hd logo on the bikes insted of Buell they could have sold them all..Dude, Ih just picked up one a them sweet hd sportbikes for the ol' lady.
Sean Duncan -Mr. M2 Cyclone  January 20, 2010 12:21 AM
I was hooked as soon as I saw my first Buell Brochure in 1995. It was my dream bike from then on and Ive been riding motorcycles since I was seven. I like a lot of bikes but I Love my 1999 M2 Cyclone. Buell may not be everyones cup of tea but as an American motorcycle company offering a sport/standard/naked/unique motorcycle concept with an inovative heart it is certianly worthy of continued existence. I wonder how many of us Buell fans would entertain putting up some cash say a grand a piece as an example, in order to resurect our beloved motorcycle company from the ashes. What an American story that would be. I mean imagine Buell Motorcycles owned and operated by its riders. Shareholders in its future and prosperity. I bet ya Eric would be on board with that. So what do ya think All?
Moises -A Big Bummer  January 14, 2010 01:18 PM
A big bummer. I ride a Night Train and a Buell M1 and can say that the Buell concept is a good one. I think the idea of a v-twin - air cooled sport bike that is truly american is concept that must evolve. And yes HD handling of the brand had a lot to do with it. Im so proud to own a Buell thats for sure. Some will never understand the ride, the feel, or the concept.
JPVET -Spinger  January 13, 2010 07:26 AM
its a sad day when Americans aplaud the demise of an American company.The blame on unions is just crazy.They raised wages across the board in the US and built the middle class that is going away now.
Thank god my father canot see the college boys yucking it up while rideing thier japasukies and americans loseing their homes and dreams.
Enjoy your starbucks boys.
Jim -Stinking in Milwaukee  December 29, 2009 04:28 PM
Well boys and girls, here's a lesson in the typical economics that exists in the U.S. today. And how many of you HOG riders out there really believe that all of your parts on your Pigger is made in the U.S.? Just a question to ponder before making your next HD Pigger purchase. The idea that Buell was a blemish on HD is criminal as is the truth behind what is happening internally at HD today. It's just so damn convenient to pin the closing of Buell on the economy. If someone really wants to get in the dirt and root out the evil in HD, (particularly shareholders) a nice little investigation by the securities commission might just be what HD needs today. What we really need is a good old fashioned expose' on what's really going on in Milwaukee. Wille G, your name is about to become synonomous with all that we have come to know that was bad about HD years ago. Are you really ready for that? How many more people will HD be sending to the unemployment line? Bye Bye American Pie. Stinking like pigs in Milwaukee. I can smell it from here.
Phil -Buell demise, little marketing  December 29, 2009 09:27 AM
As a Harley guy I've been to many dealers and Harley events around the country. Buell's usually sitting in a corner in a Harley store. Most Harley salesmen knew or cared squat about them. I don't even recall seeing them at the Harley expo during Sturgis. As a sport bike, they needed the individuality to compete with other sport bikes. Buell's simply sat in Harley's shadow almost unoticed. How many Buell advertiseing has been seen? Certainly not enough to compete with anyone and 180 people are unemployed because of poor/no marketing.
Hank -Speculation in truth  December 28, 2009 09:42 AM
Eric seemed so distraught in his message about Buell shut down, seems he is not at liberty to tell the entire truth. If the blogger speculation is correct about the threat of success apart from H-D and profitability where Buell could buy out the H-D shares and become a stand alone company, then it stands to reason that H-D does not want them around.
Art -Buell lives  December 26, 2009 11:04 PM
under engine exhaust originator..hmmm,all the japanese sport bikes seem to have THAT now..harley's SPORTSTER cams,heads,iso-engine mounts..and you have to admit,the ulysses is a neat bike..mr. buell will be back in a big way..count on it.
Art -Buell lives  December 26, 2009 11:03 PM
under engine exhaust originator..hmmm,all the japanese sport bikes seem to have THAT now..harley's SPORTSTER cams,heads,iso-engine mounts..and you have to admit,the ulysses is a neat bike..mr. buell will be back in a big way..count on it.
Stan J -Buell S1 Lightning  December 22, 2009 11:50 AM
My brother is big into bikes- me not so much. But the Buells appealed to me the way no rice- or macaroni-fuelled bike could. Sort of like a WWII P-47 Thunderbolt fighter plane compared to frail Japanese Zero or Messerschmitt fighters. Powerful, throaty, built like a tank; but it got the job done and it was American Made! I bought a used '96 S1 and it still turns heads like no other bike. Its got its quirks, but when you have a good race horse, you don't mind if he bits you now & then.
Nick -Very Sad Buell Lover  December 18, 2009 04:29 AM
Another sad day for all motorcycle enthusiasts, (whether you appreciated this brand or not) as one of the very most technically advanced and inovative motorcycle manufactures, fall to the almighty corporate axe. I've been selling all brands of motorcycles for over 26 years, and I have to say that Buell's were always my favorite bikes to carve up any road. Their inovations have made even their bigger competitors take notice, and afterall, they just won the world championship.....that has to say something!! My only wish is that some wealthy enthusiasts out there see the light, and take action to maybe buy the rights from Harley and bring this superb motorcycle brand back to life!!
Tom -Buell  December 15, 2009 06:50 PM
I was intrigued by the Buell concept: tried and true V-twin engine married to cutting edge chassis design. So I took a test ride on a Buell Lightning. Tons of low-end torque. Effortless acceleration. Excellent transmission. Unfortunately Buells are a niche bike aimed at seasoned sport bike riders. My impression of the Lightning I rode was it was a bit too demanding and required a seasoned rider to get the most out of it. And that I believe is a major factor in Buell's demise in the U.S. marketplace. A shame nonetheless.
Mike R -Buell Demise  December 13, 2009 11:59 AM
The only thing is Buell built a better "sportster" than harley. Harley buys MV Agusta. Buell, treated as anathema by Harley is destined for extinction. How would a Harley Shop, present a more friendly atmosphere for an Italian name plate sportbike segment than the made in America one?

As the baby boomers exit the market this decade the nostalgia business strategy will fail. Its hard to be loyal to American brands when their corporate management is so out of touch with the american marketplace, insensitive to their american employees, and quite frankly, unpatriotic in its policies.


Glenn -Well it's because  December 11, 2009 06:16 PM
The resent Buells had good and bad features. As an owner of an XBR9 and a Triumph Daytona 675 and an older CBR 600 it's the rest of the bike. The frame/chassis/swing arm are a gem. The clutch, tranny and engine got Buell in trouble. I like the V Twin but heck my Triumph is worlds better in all aspects. My Ducati 916 I sold in 2002 had a better transmission. Plus HD never liked them and most HD riders hate on Buell riders. So how do you think Buell had a chance of developing a decent clutch and tranny or and decent water cooled engine. Finally the 1125 comes along way too late. I have friends who don't own a bike and they rake on Buells all the time. It's Gixer this and Busa that and they have never ridden ever. It wasa an up hill battle and they didn't get the support they deserved.
Mikec -Ulysses  December 5, 2009 11:21 AM
Wish you'd keep the Ulysses and 1125R. I like the thunderstorm engine. I rode the Ulysses. It was powerful and a torque monster. Now they made some real improvements. Some one should buy Buell and keep it going.
Ferris -Bueller  December 2, 2009 05:18 PM
Got three of them.( Buells)Love them all.Each one assembled by hard working, intelligent non-union workers capable of negociating their own pay and benefits based on what they bring to the company, insted of being sold as a package by union thugs looking to rise through the ranks on the backs of the laborer. Wise up people, this country is going to hell in a basket because of unions. I was a 22 year union member(not by choice)and all I can say is it was the worlds most expensive magazine subscription.
stan -buell  November 30, 2009 09:48 AM
the real reason for buells down fall was because they started winning at racing with a non harley engine!!!!!!!!! enough said
Davy de Verteuil -fatal marketing choice"ignoring Asia"  November 30, 2009 04:40 AM
I have never seen a Buell in South East Asia, how on earth you'd expect to stay afloat. Asia has 2/3s of the world population. Buell is a superior bike.
Fred -Buell's did not sell  November 23, 2009 10:09 AM
there is only one reason buell was crushed, They did not sell at all. dealers would be given the buell's and be told good luck, the buell's would sit on the floor collecting dust and nobody would touch them, i don't even think buell made a profit... ever. so the reason buell was killed was cause everybody with the money for a new sport bike would be torn between a gsx-r and a cbr.... buell was never really able to crack the market open. Thunderstorm motor was also a joke and the only time buell really hit the mark was on the 1125 but by that time it was alittle too late. p.s. I Love my 1125r and its hands down the best bike ever to be produced and sold for sub $20K.
milwaukee mike -no more Buells.....hooray!!!  November 22, 2009 09:15 PM
HD does't need anymore warts on it's proud tradition.

The target audience was not the typical HD buyer. So why carter to some lunatic fringe that wants ugly and goofy motorbikes? Buell riders are a lot like scooter sissies.
fia -Buell- is poor marketing and LACK of Union Support.  November 22, 2009 04:16 PM
Had Buell had union workers these workers may still have had a job. I have heard of rumors that another "sport bike" is on it's way. As a Union worker, we are not killing the company, it is the big wigs and their huge bonuses which exceed, a whole plants yearly payroll. I foresee a new marketing plan to sell a "new name" bike, which will be a knock off so to say of MV and Buell put together, HD just needed the info to be able to build it. Now that they know true cost, then they can pay UNION workers to build the "new" bike. Just my two cents and common sense. And for those who don't believe in Unions, fine and dandy, but a union worker makes just enough to get by on with some good medical benefits. It is those companies out there which want to ship everything to china that is hurting the american people. Unions work when we buy American made products. The only reason any workers from HD are laid off, is because Americans aren't supporting Americans. A Harley is a luxury item, just like owning a Yatch or a sportscar! They laid people off too.
Sammy -Buell  November 21, 2009 10:51 AM
Let me guess the unions took our jobs oversea's?
dbert -Buell  November 20, 2009 05:40 PM
Unions are the backbone of corporate greed. It gets too expensive to build good machines due to high labor costs, combined with lack of sales from the big expensive bikes (really - can you blame the consumers for NOT buying big $$$ HDs??), so Buell takes the fall. Its just bad management. If they learn anything from this, hopefully they'll integrate Buell's ideas into some modern HD bikes.
JimmyH -Buell closes  November 20, 2009 03:38 PM
Non union workers are slaves to the bosses and their quest to ruin this country thru greed.
Truth -RBJ  November 20, 2009 03:13 PM
“Buell was able to produce their first modern engine, paid for it themselves, and did it cheaper and more efficiently than H-D could ever dream of doing”. Actually Rotax built the engine not Buell and Harley paid for it because they own Buell neither Buell or Harley are capable of building a modern engine. This is why Harley at on point needed Buell and Buell needed Harley. Harley probably dumped Buell after they realized that even with an AMA championship the 1125R was a poor seller.
irksome -Bite me, HD.  November 20, 2009 02:35 PM
I will cheer the day that the last anachronistic Road Pig rolls off the line, doomed by a myopic business plan that relies solely on updating an outdated "image" that never really existed in the first place. When the last Harley rider dies of a heart attack while at the wheel of his American flag festooned RV while sucking down his final fat burger, I will raise a flag in memory of a truly American company; Buell Motorcycles. RIP.
Wheeler -Buell  November 20, 2009 12:52 PM
I too am sadened to hear of Buell's demise. Unfortunatly, Harly did buy the Buell name. And they are still employing Eric Buell, so it does not look like their will be an imedeat reserection of the monicer.
What killed the line? Mismanagment, poor sales positioning or advertising. Yes to all of the above. Your right, they should have tried to sell the bikes in multi model shops. But then, Buell was a Harly. First desighned to be a sport bike incarnation of the Sporster, with all it's stranths and weaknesses.
Perhaps a public outcry form riders? A demand from the sport bike crowed to the company that it be returned? But then, would you all buy the bike?

Harly makes more money of the 'T'-shirts and gegaws then the bikes themselves these days, so don't expect a suden reversal on their part any time soon. When was the last time you saw a Buell 'T'-shirt or $200.00 jaket?
Dick -Buell  November 20, 2009 11:38 AM
To Mike ..... Buell was made by a non-union work force..
Bill -Buell  November 20, 2009 08:58 AM
UGLY !!!
EAB -Buell RIP  November 20, 2009 08:04 AM
I have been to two Hardley shops in my life and they strike me as the "Kool aid drinking lemming" gathering place. Once was when I went to the HD/Suzuki dealership (connected by a small hallway) in 2004, a year before they got rid of Suzuki. The guy was really nice until I told him what I was looking for. Boy, once he found out I wasn't a lemming wanting a chromed out tractor and the pirate outfit to boot, I was trash to him. Though I have no personal experience, I would be sure that the majority of Buell customers weren't treated much better. The ONLY, and I mean ONLY thing wrong with a Buell ever was A)the engine and b) the dealer, and some would argue the engine was never a limiting factor. Erik Buell developed innovations that are still being copied by the industry. Just too damn bad he sold his bike at the lemming gathering place. Kind of like selling soul food at a KKK rally.
SICKWITHIT -BUELL  November 20, 2009 07:44 AM
Yea!!!!!! AMA Daytona and Supersport won't have cheater bikes this year!!!!! Take that DMG!
JohnR -Buell  November 20, 2009 05:23 AM
Corporate greed is what killed Buell.
dg -duc engine  November 20, 2009 03:23 AM
Just an FYI Dave, Ducati does have a single crankpin. The difference is in the angle between cylinders.
Chris -Marketing  November 20, 2009 01:50 AM
What's the old motto? Location, location, location! Right? How do expect to sell a sporty bike when you 100% of your viewing customer base are into big cruisers? Duh! I'm not a marketing major, although I did stay a Holiday Express one time, but I think it would have served Buell better to have them at a multi line-up dealership. If a potential R-1, CBR1000, GSX-R or ZX fan walked into a dealership and then could also look at a Buell, it might have made more sense and cents! But I guess no one ever asked me...I can say I wasn't a huge fan, at least until the 1125's were introduced, but it's sure sad to see any motorcycle line-up become extinct. Hopefully Buell will find a partner and will hit the ground running soon. I don't think this is the last of Buell.
Dave C -Thanks Eric!  November 19, 2009 08:57 PM
I ride a 2007 XB12SCG after owning a Ducati and a Kawasaki. The Buell is a pleasure to ride with tons of power and torque on tap. Riding from Utah to Sturgis and back this year was great fun.

The closest thing to a Buell is a Ducati but it just isn't the same without that single crank pin engine. Thanks Eric for doing the seamless melding of a Harley engine into a super high performance bike.
RBJ -The Truth Will Come Out...  November 19, 2009 08:53 PM
So, for financial reasons H-D discontinues Buell production. Most are unaware of all the obstacles H-D has placed in the way of Buell's success for more than a decade- yet Buell had persevered. Buell was able to produce their first modern engine, paid for it themselves, and did it cheaper and more efficiently than H-D could ever dream of doing. In 2008, Buell sales grew exponentially compared to H-D sales. In 2009, Buell won an AMA Championship- something H-D has never been able to do. We now have seen the photos Buell's next bike- the Barracuda, which has the looks and performance to take on the best the world has to offer. What's more, the Barracuda has no Harley sourced parts- none. So, H-D needs to stop Buell production for financial reasons. Hmmm- something doesn't sound right here. They're selling MV Augusta, but they claim Buell is "too integrated" with H-D to sell. H-D is spending at least $120 million to shut Buell down. Buell's next bike looks world-class and has NO HARLEY PARTS... how does that make it "too integrated"? If I were an H-D shareholder, I would be VERY interested in why upper management is throwing away a successful division. There are investors ready to pay good money for Buell. Why is Buell being buried instead of sold? Sounds more like a personal vendetta than a sound financial decision. If I had money tied up in Harley stock- I'd be demanding some answers. If I were a securities investigator, I would be looking into the reasons why a division of a publicly-traded company is being shut down and 200 workers are being let go-all while that division is operating in the black. How is it ever a good financial decision to take something of value and destroy it? This has all the appearances of spite. More people should be demanding answers about this travesty. There's definitely something rotten in Milwaukee.
Bub -Mike  November 19, 2009 08:40 PM
Mike, although I agree union labor is slowly choking the US in terms of being competitive both on quality and value in manufacturing and in service; the fact is Buell motorcycles were built in a non union plant. Only Harleys are assembled by union labor.
Bub -Larry C.  November 19, 2009 08:21 PM
“Why were the bikes so expensive? Super-rare materials? Super-high demand? No, the bikes were so expensive because they were owned by Harley Davidson. Period”. I am not sure what you’re talking about because every 1000cc bike offered by Japan cost more than any Buell offered in 2009 (except 1125RR). It wasn’t the price of the Buell, it was simply the Buell…the import bikes are better!
Downtime -Hang on Buell  November 19, 2009 07:23 PM
Ya, I agree with Tim. I'd love to see that Rotax on Ulysses. Don't let this one die Eric. Those not just unique but fantastic well engineered rides. I own a 800 GS now but I've ridden many Buells including the new CR and a fantastic week touring the South west on Ulysses and I never wanted to get off! Point is, I feel these bikes have really just been born. It's just the momentum that died. Keep this ride alive!
dg -buell  November 19, 2009 06:48 PM
I just ordered an 1125cr. The dealers are getting 5k$ off their cost from HD. I`m getting out the door for under $5500 on a bike that lists for nearly $12k. I don`t know why HD pulled the plug, but most Harley dealers are not oriented toward catering to sportike owners and I think that was a big part of the trouble with marketing the brand. Perhaps they should have looked at selling bikes in dealers that cater to sportbikers. BTW, I work at a Ducati dealer, and it is clear to me that you have to target your customers and offer them more than just a sale in order to have any chance at success. The experience of ownership is an integral part of selling smaller brands, because you simply cannot compete with the Japanese on a bang-for-buck basis. Eric and co. proved this year their bikes are capable performers, and I hope to see them again.
Jim Russo -Buell Lightning XB12S  November 19, 2009 05:20 PM
The only reason H-D shut down Buell is obvious, that being the lack of sales. What else is new. Everything comes down to money, so as I wrote earlier on this subject things could change. Because America needs manufacturing of the kind that Buell provided. My 2004 Buell XB12S Lightning was compact, easy to maintain, looked sharp and was a lot of fun to ride. It also had design features that worked as good as they looked. My current ride is a 2008 H-D FXD and I think the same of this machine. The engineering talents that Buell provided need to continue, someway somehow. That's my two cents on the subject.
Ron -Buell  November 19, 2009 04:58 PM
The Ulysses was to be my next bike and possibly still will be. Looks to me that Harley has decided to be short sided on their marketing to new riders and a broader customer base. Not everyone wants a cruiser, but there people that want an American made bike.
Brandon -IMO  November 19, 2009 04:52 PM
1.Sportbike riders did not want to go into harley dealerships to look at sportbikes, conversely most harley dealerships loathed the Buell line. 2. Buell bikes on paper were less performance for more money. 3. Showed up late to the party and only recently started to make a effort to catch up to the big 5. 4. Image image image, its a hard thing to change. That being said I love my XB12Ss, funnest bike I have ever owned.
Mike -RIP Buell  November 19, 2009 03:58 PM
Union labor is what killed Buell and will seriously damage HD if they don't break the union and get back to some cost effective labor structures. American labor unions are a GOLD MINE for off shore manufacturing.
Chris -buell  November 19, 2009 03:54 PM
HD big wigs didn't like the success of Buell and it racing starting to go well. A small company with their budget was no drain on the 2 billion budget of HD. Buell was just getting ready to really get big, without Harley, and HD shut them down.
Larry C. -Whose fault? Really? Seriously?  November 19, 2009 02:35 PM
Let me start by saying that I LOVE Buell motorcycles and all they represent. I remember going to the Honda Hoot in Asheville NC and Knoxville TN to take demo rides. Buell was the only manufacturer that let you actually RIDE the bikes....I've had many a "spirited" demo ride on a Buell. I've also ridden an 1125R ON THE TRACK at a Buell track day. No other manufacturer does that!

The motorcycles were produced at such a high price point that, for the consumer dollar, there were more appealling offerings for less money. I know there is some pride in having such a "rare" bike, and in their ingenuity, etc. but the average consumer had to consider the cost of the unique Buell vs. the cost of the excellent competition from Japan.

Why were the bikes so expensive? Super-rare materials? Super-high demand? No, the bikes were so expensive because they were owned by Harley Davidson. Period. Buell failed and Harley's sales are dropping because they have been charging too much for their product for too long and now it is biting them in the foot. I love Harleys too, don't get me wrong, but there is no reason for them to cost what they do. Demand is no longer the answer to that argument.

One of two things I hope will happen...Harley will see the problem and will drop their prices to more justifiable levels, or they will not drop the prices, and the current economic situation teaches them a lesson about supply and demand. It is a shame Buell and the consumers have to suffer. By the way, I buy them to ride...Kawasaki, Honda, Ducati, KTM, even Harley...not to be part of a club...whose colors are fading...
Vince -Bad marketing on HD's part  November 19, 2009 01:19 PM
Simply put, you'll never get old geezer-gliders to get interested in a Buell. Also, a Buell is so different from most other sportbikes that you'll never get a the average 20-something sportbike rider into a HD dealer to look at a Buell. Still, HD insisted on not letting Buell be in non-Harley dealers. It's no wonder Buell didn't sell very well. If Buells were in multi-brand dealers with the likes of Triumph, Ducati, Aprilia, and others you might see an increase in Buell sales. I think the bikes speak for themselves. Even with the relic of a powerplant, there's no denying the great handling and character the XB line had and the 1125s were coming into their own for those who NEEDED top speed as a buying requirement. It's a shame, and HD is the one to blame. I hope Erik Buell hitches his wagon to an investor or two that can resurrect his vision of a potent and unique American sportbike and get these factory workers back to their livelihood.
Andy N. -HD Mis-Management  November 19, 2009 01:15 PM
Seems to me that the decision to sell MV makes a lot more sense than the decision to buy them ever did. However, the decision to shut down Buell makes absolutely no sense. BMC was proving a consistent increase of significant growth, although small by lage manufacturer standards. I think the numbers I've seen equate to >50% growth in the last five years...Hardly a company that should be considered for disposal!

Rumor has it that the 2011 model line-up for Buell was firmly set to have new offerings that would expand upon the market share, as well as introduce greater competition in both AMA Superbike and WSB. We may never know how the rest of Erik Buell's "200-year plan" was to play out, but I sure hope that is not the case.

America needs innovation and motivation like what Buell brought to the table. What we don't need are companies that churn out the same bikes year after year, with the greatest focus being on apparel and chrome-bathed accessories.

How can HD say, in the same breath, that they want to focus on their core business and expand to younger markets? I don't know of many young people with a deep-rooted desire to ride a bagger.

Shame on you, Harley-Davidson. At least make Buell available for purchase, even if you must do it on the condition that components tightly tied to HD (distribution network, etc.) are not part of the sale. Buyers will without question be knocking at the door.

Why did you REALLY shut down Buell? Seems that the truth has yet to be made public...
Mac -Buell  November 19, 2009 01:04 PM
Not around long enough to have established a super loyal client-base. ALL motorcycles are feeling the recession BIG TIME but those without the die hard super fans are toast. AND let's face it Harley COULD have kept them going.
Tim -Just a thought  November 19, 2009 01:01 PM
Hey Mr. Buell. Change the name, call Rotax, beg a lot, get busy!
Tim -Buell R.I.P.  November 19, 2009 12:46 PM
My heart goes out to the employees who are losing their jobs. Too bad Eric Buell hitched his star to Harley Davidson, a company that has always been stuck in a rut! One motorcycle type and then only if approved through the autocrat/dictator Willie D. No sportbikes. No dirtbikes. No anything that appeals to the millions of riders who don't want lo-tech, overweight cruisers. I mean no offense to those who prefer that type of bike, but, no diversity in design type = narrow market = disaster during recessionary times. I hope H-D doesn't own the Buell name! I'm confident he'll be back.