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IDK i sort of feel that alot of MVs bike look like every other sports bike.
It's really the other way around. The F4 body was penned about a decade ago. Many current bikes look as good as a 6yo MV. Sad to see her up for sale. Maybe the Koreans can buy it. I still stick by the VW idea. They have a hard on for BMW, Honda and Suzuki for being able to sell bikes and cars. The MV thing could work out. Then they can call them MVW.
 

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I just read an article about Eslick signing he's sontract or the 2010 AMA season. Good time to look at stepping up to Superbike with the Aprilia RSV4.
 

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There's millions of dollars of Harley investment stuck in the pipes. Can't believe they developed a new engine, got Buell shoe horned into Superbike competition, developed multiple new models, contracted with guys like Eslick to race their bikes, only to shut it all down on short notice. Too bad, I was really thinking that 1125 would make a great base for a sport tourer, dual sport and standard. Best of luck to Eric, hopefully he can resurrect the brand in another form.
Rotax built the motor off a platform that was developed by Erik. Buell probably saved millions doing that. As for Danny- he's signed by RMR not Buell. RMR has a 3 yr contract with Geico, but Rossmeyer sponsorship is as valuable as Geico. Question is (Ken may be able to answer this) the Triumph franchise at Destination- Is it Rossmeyer's or someone elses? I could see him pedelling a Daytona 675 and not catching nearly the shyt he caught on the 1125r.
 

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"They made the decision to sell MV within a year of buying it. I feel this is much more significant than them shutting down Buell. MV was to be their great, white shining hope in Europe, the future of Harley and a way to entice sport bike riders in Europe into Harley dealers and so on."

"To put it on the market within a year of buying it (MV) ... it beggars belief really," Lock said.

As in Michael Lock- Ducati North America.
 

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If I read these statements correctly, MV is for sale but Buell is just shut down? I wonder why they aren't trying to sell the brand rather than just taking a fairly large write off on it? With the Rotax-built engines couldn't someone else continue to build them even if H-D refuses to sell them Sportster motors for the air-cooled line (but given their sales, they would probably welcome the cash)?

Granted, it would take really deep pockets as I imagine Buell hasn't been terribly profitable, if at all, but given silly investments in dead brands like Indians using Harley clone engines with big fenders, Excelsior-Hendersons that nobody outside of a Guggenheim exhibit would recognize, and others, there appears to be money ready to invest in motorcycle brands.
Puzzling isn't it? I think that it was shut down because some "ass" on the board didn't want Erik to have to opportunity to buy back his brand. Erik isn't going to stay at HD until retirement. The statement made yesterday sounded like his heart was crushed by the corporate machine. How does anyone stay with a company when that company throws you under the bus? He'll stay employed, but he'll be looking elswhere soon.
Time to team up with someone and start anew. I think that there are three possibilities: 1- Motoczyz 2- Fischer or 3- Roehr.
I can see a melding of engineering talent that any investor would take a shot at. Give him until March of next year and rumors of the next gig will start circulating.
 

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You don't always have to be a "powerhouse" to be a player. Czyz has that electic TT bike setting world records. Roehr is building bikes that, albeit expensive, apparently aren't so expensive as to not be profitable if made by the small team he's assembled. Fischer needs marketing. I'd bet that the little bike will hold it's own against like bikes from Asia. He's selling them for less than $9k, too.
Point is, Erik's name is his marketing. If he joins forces with another running company instant cred it delivered. Kind of like Tamborini bounching from Bimota to Ducati to MV. No matter where he goes money flows with him. People want in. Even if the company isn't making large profits. If Erik joined one of these guys instant financing would be freed up by someone ready to take a shot.
As for the non-compete. Designers come and go in motorcycle and auto industries. I'd bet that there is a contract, but no non-compete. Erik's only bound by a non-disclosure of proprietary information.
I read an article by Kenn Stamp that made since. His belief is that HD screwed the pooch on Marketing the company. They should have let Buell hold it's own as a company instead of being tied to HD dealers. Those "Sportbike" shops that exsist around the country like Corse Superbikes should have been the dealer network rather than HD shops and their less than enthusiastic sales people.
The "real motor" argument is fair, but I think that the majority of the problem was marketing. Buell makes a great streetbike, but everyone wanted to compare it to bikes that were clearly not in the same category of bike. You can't directly compare a bike built with track intentions (the 1098R) to a bike that even Buell calls a streetbike. So, Buell was left in this weird middle ground of "how do you market it" and things blew apart from there. Jouros wanted to compare the bikes to hardcore sportbikes and usually Buell came out the loser. Erik should have adapted earlier to that or stuck to his guns by continuing the "it's just a great streetbike" idea. He flexed thinking you can compare the bikes to modern track style bikes. His DUH! button was stuck on that call. But the question is, "Was Buell bleeding money or where they just the easiest way to control cost and keep the unions happy?"
 

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LR- you're too cynical. Buell managed to take an underfunded business into it's 26th yr of business. Harley's business model had Buell as a footnote. If HD would have let Buell market independent from HD shops the customer base would have been much broader. Ducati, MV, Bimota, Motor Guzzi, and KTM (street bikes) all sell at or under 10k bikes a year in N. America. If Buell was within the same percentile of annual sales they could have competed on the same sales floor. He could have operated and marketed as the boutique band that Ducati was in 1998-2003.
Those guys with money and a desire to start new motorcycle ventures are what keep us happy. Czysz is finding the financing he needs to continue, but having a guy with Erik's skill on a team like that would certainly make a difference in R&D, marketing and sales.
Great Czysz quote Ken. He saw that the 4cyl off-set motor couldn't accomplish what he wanted. He opted to engineer his way into a land speed record using the "green" technology we tend to make fun of. He's looking forward and using a small team to do it. If Erik were disgruntled wouldn't it be better to start over somewhere that would appreciate and exploit your talents rather than stiffle them in a huge, sterile corporate environment?
 

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That's a good point, a little self-loathing thrown in the mix with whatever other psychosis he displays.....

Probably be the next Ted Bundy
You mean Al Bundy> Selling womens's shoes and hating his wife and kids?
 

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"Would be neat to see a ATK/HD designed dual sport though. Very interesting...but stoopid!"

$10k ATK's are a hard enough sell. But maybe the Harley loyal would pony it up if the sticker's looked right- LOL!
 

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So, I was cruising blogs today looking at some of the stupid ideas to keep Buell alive and like a bolt of lightning it hit me: Why would HD not shed the whole Buell name? I know that they believe that the dependency of the brand is link to HD because of the parts and distribution, but what if someone could come along and turn Buell into America's version of Bimota?
They could still use all that engineering brain-power and start churning our bikes with different powerplants. At one time Bimota was shipping bikes with Ducati, Suzuki and Yamaha motors in them. Seems plausible doesn't it?
I could see all kinds of interesting pieces come out of that place. Inlines, twins and triples. Hell, Yamaha is developing a 1200 parallel twin that is supposed to be able to crank out about 110hp- and the motor is supposed to be very light. Or maybe the Triumph 675 triple. I'm not saying it's a slam dunk, but it's an interesting idea that could keep Buell developing. Maybe even work on a GP2 bike. If King Kenny can build a frame for that I'm sure Erik can.
 

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F*ck, it's worse than I thought.

I (almost) completely agree with HFL.

I wouldn't take H-D's financial reporting as gospel, but it indicates that Buell was a minor problem at worst. H-D is getting killed by its financing division and flagging sales of H-D motorcycles and merchandise, not Buell and MV.

They have no cash, other than what they've borrowed. (What the f*ck did they do with it the last 20 years?) They can't afford to support three brands, so they're shoring up the most valuable one, even though it's probably suffering the most. No brainer, really, at least for the short term.

They better hope that the economy rebounds relatively soon and there core customers start buying bikes again or they're in deep ****e. They don't seem to have the resources to do much else.
HD Credit (Eaglemark) would regularly buy paper on people with credit scores in the middle 500s. Well, defaults killed them. Defaults killed Buell and MV actually, but you get the point.
Buell could have easily survived the storm of this financial tailspin recession if they were a stand alone company. They weren't actually losing money. They were more or less breaking even. Development would stall for a while, but with sales better than that of Victory I think that they could have lived on.
OR- HD didn't want Buell to team up with Polaris if they cut him loose. That would be one hell of a twist, huh?
 
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