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This is terribly sad.

For H-D in the short-term, it's probably the right thing to do. For the long-term, I think it could turn out to be a mistake. But we all know public companies don't usually think long-term these days, especially companies that are bleeding money.
 

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Wadding up that Blast seems even less funny now, doesn't it?
 

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Aging Cafe` Racer
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Tough times all around. Harley's sales are in the gutter along with the Jappers and everyone else. Guess you have to cut back but too bad for Buell, Erik came up with some really good ideas, they are what the Sportster should have become
 

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Buell Shut Down

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.
 

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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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Super Duper Mod Man
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"Time to team up with someone and start anew. I think that there are three possibilities: 1- Motoczyz 2- Fischer or 3- Roehr."

Boy those are some great choices there. I'm sure Erik is just chomping at the bit to get to one of those powerhouses and get out of that horrible H-D hellhouse!
 

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Who knows maybe its a blessing in disguise. Iam sure he'll bounce back, how well, remains to be seen but I wish him luck. Maybe its time for one of Rotax's major players to step up. Even I remember the Can-Am motorcycles. Hell I'v been buggin our Can-Am rep for years, "when the hell you guys gonna build a motorcycle?"
 

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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.
Sounds nice, but I'm absolutely certain that HD got a no-compete contract out of Erik when he signed on. I would.

I swapped a few emails with Michael Czysz after the Isle of Man Electric TT fiasco; he's apparently totally focused on electric power only. I doubt Buell is interested. Also, guys like that tend to be who and what they are because they are individualists who do their own thing, making them unlikely candidates for mergers or partnerships.
 

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Super Duper Mod Man
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My take on why Buell is getting shut down is because Erik got duped. He got bamboozled, hoodwinked, flim-flamed.......and not by the eternally evil H-D.........but by the Internet and the fickle so-called American buyer. I think Erik read all those Internet boards that told him if he put a REAL motor in his bike they would buy one. Well, Erik ambled down to the H-D powers that be and presented his case, and bet the house on his new 'real-motor' bike. He was all in. To say the 1125 was a bust is being kind. So times got tough, and H-D called in Erik and let him know that losing all those millions developing that new bike that didn't sell for crap wasn't appreciated. And they told him that in the most convincing terms.....by shutting the whole business down. The lesson for Erik here is not to listen to Internet blowhards that aren't going to buy American anything, much less a sportbike. The closing of Buell wasn't sudden. It was in the making the day Erik dreamed that the Internet blowhards would actually buy the 1125. You know......the one with the 'real motor' in it.
 

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I think Erik read all those Internet boards that told him if he put a REAL motor in his bike they would buy one.
I've always thought that the sweet spot would have been a middle ground between H-D and Buell - sporty bikes with fairly conservative styling, some kind of modern cafe-racer types using the "old" engine. Buell's bikes were too modern for the Harley crowd and not Universal Japanese Sportbike enough for the squids.
 

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Hell, I bought one with the "old" engine.


Annnnnnnnnd H-D stock up 12% yesterday in heavy trading.
 

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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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The Toad
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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.
Sometimes you have a real talent for understatement, Ace. If anything many of the dealers did their best to sabotage Buell. Heck, a lot of them don't even like to sell Sportsters.

I think LR's comment about Eric being suckered by internet buzz is on the mark too.
 

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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?"
And I think you have the crux of it, in that last statement.

I could see the pain in his eyes and face. I don't know if he'll rebound from this one or not. "Buell" as a company - even as a part of H-D - was something he'd vested Heart and Soul into.
 

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"Point is, Erik's name is his marketing. "

Really? How'd that work out for the Buell Company? Sportbikes are losers in any market. They don't make money. All those companies you named that are setting world records and holding their own aren't making a dime. They are run by rich guys that have nothing else for a tax writeoff. The rogue company that makes it big is such a romantic idea, but there was a big reason Erik partnered up with H-D. They were the only ones that would have him
 

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The Toad
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"Point is, Erik's name is his marketing. "

Really? How'd that work out for the Buell Company? Sportbikes are losers in any market. They don't make money. All those companies you named that are setting world records and holding their own aren't making a dime. They are run by rich guys that have nothing else for a tax writeoff. The rogue company that makes it big is such a romantic idea, but there was a big reason Erik partnered up with H-D. They were the only ones that would have him
At least Eric made a good go of it. More that you can say for Czyxtlplx or whatever his name is and his "we'll be marketing a cutting edge sportbike real soon, just keep sending me those investment dollars" bs.
 

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At least Eric made a good go of it. More that you can say for Czyxtlplx or whatever his name is and his "we'll be marketing a cutting edge sportbike real soon, just keep sending me those investment dollars" bs.
Sure he made a good go of it. He also hooked up with some deep pockets to get him started. I think Erik had some good designs and some nice bikes. I always like Buells. He was destined to be a niche guy though, and that niche has been squeezed.
 

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"They should have let Buell hold it's own as a company instead of being tied to HD dealers. "

Business wise, that would have been an exceptionally bad idea.
 

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Sure he made a good go of it. He also hooked up with some deep pockets to get him started. I think Erik had some good designs and some nice bikes. I always like Buells. He was destined to be a niche guy though, and that niche has been squeezed.
Maybe the Japanese can hire him for some original ideas like putting the muffler below the bike.
 
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