Buell was a US motorcycle company and Harley’s subsidiary named after its founder Erik Buell. It specialized in producing sport motorcycles, motorcycle parts, accessories, and more. A range of great vehicles was produced under this brand, most of which used Harley-Davidson engines until it discontinued in 2009. Today, different sport motorcycles are manufactured under the Erik Buell Racing name.
The company was founded in 1983 by Erik Buell, a racer, and a service mechanic. He has always had a passion for racing and bikes and, and he rode his very first motorcycle when he was just twelve years old. When he was experiencing a need in additional money to pay for his education, Erik started to work for a local motorcycle company, where he quickly got promoted to service manager.
Erik also started taking part in road racing. Thanks to his passion and talent, he made his way from an amateur to one of the best professionals. Erik finished education in engineering aiming at working with motorcycles. Soon, he became an engineer for Harley-Davidson, and over the next several years, Erik obtained a few patents for motorcycle component.
Erik kept dreaming of creating his own company, and in 1982, he decided to leave his current position to build his own race bike. In one year, his company was established, and the RW750 was developed especially for the AMA Formula 1. Unfortunately, the motorcycle did not match the requirements because some rule had changed, and Erik decided to focus on building a US sportbike for the street.
A range of innovative models was created from 1987 and 1993, and all of them used Harley engines and different interesting features. Soon, the company owner decided to expand the business and attract more customers, which required financial support from outside. This is how he got an investment offer from Harley.
In 1993, nearly half of the company was purchased by Harley-Davidson. In a year, the BRAG was created to host various events throughout the US, which lasted until 2006 when it was discontinued. Further 49% of the company was purchased by the main investor, leaving Erik with only 2% share and an employment contract that allowed him to participate in the production process.
Harley supported the brand since 1993. Particularly, it supplied V-twin engines, which allowed the company to create a range of both innovative and standard models for the street. In 2003, the XB9R model, the first from XB-series, was launched giving Buell new opportunities to increase the market share.
There were several updated conducted on the engine with new parts. By 2008, Harley started experiencing certain difficulties particularly related to the sale problems of Buell motorcycles. After Keith Wandell, a new CEO of Harley conducted an analysis of "the adrenaline market," and decided that it is more beneficial to invest in cruisers rather than sport bikes.
Eventually, the end of production of Buell motorcycles was officially announced in 2009, explaining this fact by the aim of Harley to manufacture vehicles only under own name.
Erik began looking buyers and found BRP. In 2009, he founded Erik Buell Racing to create motorcycles exceptionally for racing and parts for them based on the 1125R model to support racing lovers. Nearly the half of the company was purchased by Hero MotoCorp in 2013 to distribute scooters and motorcycles in North America.
Due to a range of difficulties with completing a deal with Bruce Belfer, EBR appeared on an auction where no bids were placed. In a year, the remnants of EBR were purchased by Liquid Asset Partners that soon announced a goal to do everything possible to revive the business. They managed to resume production in 2016, launching a limited edition of 1190RX. According to information on the EBR's website, the company is working under creating a dealer network to distribute the new motorcycles.
Buell Most Popular Models
The following are some of the best Buell models based on customer reviews:
This bike was launched in 2007. It has a 1,125 cc Helicon V-twin engine and 146 bhp. It includes a range of unique design features and a ZTL2 brake. Its front end is lighter than that offered in traditional designs. The motorcycle has a drive belt instead of a drive chain. All parts of the design create mass centralization.
The XB12S Lightning
This bike was produced from 2003 to 2009. It comes with an antique 1203cc engine, an innovative stubby street-fighter chassis, and has 100 bhp. Low seat weight is 780mm. It is a very individual motorcycle that ensures an enjoyable ride.
The XB12R Firebolt
This model was produced from 2003 to 2007. It comes with a 1203cc Harley-Davidson engine and a stubby, high-tech frame made of aluminum. It may not be the faster motorcycle but great in stacks and corners.
The XB9SX City X
This bike was produced from 2004 to 2009. It comes with a 984cc v-twin engine, a high-tech chassis, and 84 bhp. It has a great look despite a simple design. It seems like every detail was carefully thought through in the design of this motorcycle.
Production of this bike started in 2008 based on the 1125R and the 1125CR models. It has one-piece handlebars and extra upright bars. The bike is equipped with a 1125cc engine and has 146 bhp. It really differs from the other bikes of the same brand.
The following are interesting Buell facts:
· The brand’s 100,000th bike was produced in 2006;
· All in all, 136,923 motorcycles were built under the Buell brand;
· Devin Battley, a former owner of Harley-Davidson, had the RR1000, in his own collection;
· Erik agreed to make his own house a security to protect the first investment for Harley-Davidson despite his attorney’s warning;
· Erik was the fastest newcomer at the Daytona 200 race in 1978;
· Buell was the first brand to produced braided brake hoses made of steel and upside down forks;
· Closing the brand cost Harley about the same amount of money as the total investment in the brand over past 25 years.