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Buell Not Dead, Buell Racing Continues

Friday, November 20, 2009
Buell is back. Or at least it isn’t totally dead. Coming a month after it cut loose Buell Motorcycles, Harley-Davidson has announced that Erik Buell will leave H-D to establish an independent race shop – Erik Buell Racing.

Buell rider Danny Eslick won the first road racing championship for the American manafacturer.
Danny Eslick won the 2009 Daytona SportBike championship for Buell. Erik Buell will continue to support the 1125R in racing through the Erik Buell Racing shop.
Continuing to be based in East Troy, Wisconsin, and staffed by a “veteran team of personnel”, Erik Buell Racing will support the future racing efforts of the Buell 1125R. The new Buell Racing will provide “race-use-only Buell motorcycle parts and race preparation services for engines and motorcycles, and the building and sale of Buell 1125R-based race-use-only motorcycles under license from Harley-Davidson, as well as providing technical support to racers of Buell motorcycles.

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

Said Buell on the new venture: ““I’m looking forward to helping Buell racers keep their bikes flying. We’ve got some exciting race development projects in the works and it will mean a lot to me personally to see Buell racers competing for wins and championships in the 2010 season and beyond.”

Erik Buell
Erik Buell and his RW750 racebike, which started the Buell story 26 years ago.
As for Harley-Davidson’s role in the Buell situation, Buell President and COO Jon Flickinger said in the official release from the H-D PR department: “I’m pleased that Harley-Davidson is assisting Erik in establishing this business to continue supporting the racing efforts he has had so much passion for over the years. Harley-Davidson and the Buell Motorcycle Company will always be proud of their affiliation with Erik, and we wish him well in this new endeavor to support Buell racers.”

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

Erik Buell Racing promises more information on its website, www.erikbuellracing.com, beginning December 1. Stay tuned for further developments.
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Mel Halliday -And the crowd roars. 3/28/10 08:52PM  March 28, 2010 08:55 PM
The other day at Fontana A.M.A. Superbike the Buells were kicking ass,the Aprilas , Ducatis and Hondas had nothing on them.It was bitchen.
davo -buellishness  November 29, 2009 08:32 PM
wow, lot of hating on buell every brand is allowed to exploit the rule books, no one ever had a problem with aprilla being in the mix as long as they didnt win! also ducati has there 848 in that class also. the point is buell has a superior engineering, the 1125s will run with the superbikes look into your racing a little more. better than all that quit hatting and get your ass on the back of one you will quickly shut you hole and be pleasantly surprized. I dont hate jap bikes or italian bike all two wheeled machines are great!
SICKWITHIT -Frak is right  November 25, 2009 05:42 AM
I was at VIR and in Superbike the buells where not running the same pace as the inlines. And I do not agree that they should be allowed to compete with the 600's just because they can't be competitive with the 1000's. Yea this is the USA and we should back our brands, but we need to produce a product worth backing. Now we all look like cheaters to the rest of the world. And what kind of a win is that for Buell anyway? As soon as DMG lets go of AMA, Buell's spotlight will dim quickly.
Frak! -Shawn Higbee  November 23, 2009 12:36 PM
Shawn's highest finishes were at Topeka, 13th & 14th... where 4 riders who finished higher overall did not compete, including Mat Mladin. I was at Mid-Ohio, & the Buell's simply weren't competitive an SuperBike at all. Its true, the DMG races were REALLY tight... but, should a race between 1100's & 600's be close at all? There aren't any Ducati's running in DMG.
Frak -...  November 23, 2009 10:45 AM
Shawn Higbee raced a Daytona Sportbike spec 1125r for the season. The Superbike spec 1125r wasn't ready until the last 1/3 of the season where it finished consistently in the top 10.
Frak! -Confirm your statements  November 23, 2009 10:01 AM
The highest overall standing by any Buell rider in STuperBike was 18th, Shawn Higbee. Many riders who finished AHEAD of the Buell ran half seasons, where as Higbee missed only 4 races. http://www.amaproracing.com/rr/events/standings.cfm?class=sb
cycleguy -frak  November 23, 2009 09:39 AM
Cory West, 7th place, Taylor Knapp 6th, ran as high as 5th before being run off the track in race 2. Both Buells finished ahead of every CBR1000. I call that "running with them". Maybe you guy's should start bashing Honda for not being able to "run with them".
Frak! -cycleguy  November 23, 2009 08:24 AM
If Buell can build something, that'll run in the Superbike class, & run with them.... not merely enter the race, but have capacity to actually run with them, then I'll SUPPORT the brand. But, I'll still hate the DMG for playing favorites...
cycleguy -What???  November 23, 2009 07:58 AM
I'm amazed at how misinformed some people are, especially considering the Buell 1125R is an American bike. Forget about the AMA/DMG Daytona Sportbike class, Cory West finished 7th in the Superbike class at New Jersey on an 1125R that was in the early stages of developement, beating a bunch of AMA top 10 regulars like Blake Young, Geoff May and Chris Ulrich, all on GSXR 1000's. The 1125R still had a huge amount of untapped potential. Buell was ready to launch the Barracuda in 2010 before HD Shut them down. This bigger bore, 1195cc engine with hotter cams and bigger valves was significantly more powerful and would have been very competitive in next years Superbike class, giving every American racing fan something to be proud of. Buell was a company doing all the right things despite a lack of support from HD, and was on the verge of something special and all you guy's can do is rip them up.
Frak! -This is soooo bass-ackwards...  November 23, 2009 06:09 AM
The Buell's were good STREET bikes! Hell, I would've bought a Buell...FOR THE STREET! This is so ridiculous... I'm going to boycott the DMG AND HD hence forth.
Tim B -Be Careful What You Wish For  November 23, 2009 01:33 AM
Erik sold his soul to the devil when he sold Buell to Harley Davidson. I know Erik poured his heart, soul, and his life into Buell and then sold it to Harley in order to complete his dream of offering bikes to the public. Selling Buell to H-D not only made this a reality, but it also made it much easier on Erik and his personal finances. But in the end he screwed himself out of his own company and his own dream which happens to bare his name. It's a sad story when you think about it.

Hopefully he can somehow buy everything back from H-D, especially his designs and patents. I don't think Harley would let it go easily, though. If this happens, Erik, pick a better motor! If there's one thing H-D can't do it's that it can't manufacturer high performance engines.

I wish Erik the best of luck. And I hope H-D frees Buell from it's low performance, ill-handling grip so that one day we once again see Buells sold to the public. Only this time I hope we get much better engines!
milwaukee mike -Buell racing?  November 22, 2009 09:22 PM
Remember that Buell spelled backwards is: Lleub.
Coincidence? Think again!
Vince -I care  November 22, 2009 11:03 AM
I think that if Erik Buell can keep his name out there and keep a business venture going, then it's a good possibility that Erik Buell can get a brand name of motorcycles out there again. AMA shenanigans aside, Buell built good bikes. If this keeps the pilot light lit for Buell motorcycles then I'm all for it.
Nathan -Really?  November 21, 2009 09:12 PM
Does anybody really care about this? His involvement in DMG racing is sham and everybody knows it. He's just prolonging his public embarrassment.
Who Cares -What a Joke  November 21, 2009 09:57 AM
How embarassing to need a displacement advantage of over 500cc compared to the inline 4 cylinder bikes. Like a Heavyweight boxer fighting a middleweight. I respect Erik Buell and what he has done but the new DMG racing is a JOKE!
irksome -Bite me, HD.  November 21, 2009 07:19 AM
Homologation rules require building a minimum of 50 bikes for public sale. HD got around this back in the '90s by building "street" VR1000s and selling them at ridiculous prices. The current 1125R has already met these rules, but how they will get around further development of the bike will probably prove interesting.
Guy -Race Bikes...  November 21, 2009 06:45 AM
Don't you have to build a minimum number of production bikes (50) to race the AMA series? How are they going to pull that off? Or is DMG going to bend the "so called" rules again?
bikerrandy -Buell  November 20, 2009 07:22 PM
Supposedly Danny Eslick is going to defend his Buell winning Sportbike title on a 600 Suzuki in 2010!
GRIPTION -Purpose built race bike in a production seris with no 2010 production bikes.  November 20, 2009 06:31 PM
What is DMG gonna do with this?
DB -Pace bike is back?  November 20, 2009 05:19 PM
Can we look forward to Erik Buell pace bikes in AMA racing now? YEEHAW
Jaime Cruz -The link works better...  November 20, 2009 04:55 PM
...when you spell Erik's name correctly! http://www.erikbuellracing.com/