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Anonymous

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Phil West  says:

Harley-Davidson closes Buell

In an astonishing move Harley-Davidson has stopped all Buell production and no more Buells will be built – ever! The announcement was made this afternoon by company founder Erik Buell himself in a video posted on the Buell website (link here). A clearly emotional Erik Buell thanked customers for their support and said he was very proud of what the firm had...

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  • Posted 5 years ago (15 October 2009 14:11)

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Andy949494

Joined:

Feb 08

Posts: 817

Andy949494 says:

Oh..

I liked the idea of a Buell and would have been more tempted than with a Harley. Its so much more European.. However I did find the range of models a little confusing (far too many tiny variations) and didn't have a nearby dealer...

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yphrum

Joined:

Oct 09

Posts: 1

yphrum says:

Harley-Davidson closes Buell

I work in a H-D dealership and have been fortunate to have met Erik Buell. You could not meet a man more passionate about motorcycles. He has devoted his life and his health to Buell motorcycles and it is a very sad day to see Buell go.

Granted, they never sold well here, but those who dared to try them were rarely disappointed. We've seen Ducati & KTM owners (among others) return from test rides with wide grins and we've seen 1125r bewilder Gixer riders on track. The narrow minded quest for the biggest bhp figures has left Buell behind, even though in the real world, on roads, they're more fun.

Best of luck Erik.

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MarJay

Joined:

Oct 09

Posts: 3

MarJay says:

I'm a Buell owner

I'm a Buell owner and this announcement makes me very sad. Nobody else makes bikes with the same kind of feel as Buell bikes. Do you think that Honda would make a bike like the XB12S? No way.

I feel that this is the worst case of corporate protectionism I've seen in a long time. Harley seem to trade on the fact that people put an emotional attachment on their product, and yet they are cutting off the youngest segment of their market. I cannot honestly see that 'classic american style' motorcycles will last much beyond another ten or twenty years. With Buell they had a chance of a brand that they could promote and develop. I suspect that a bunch of VPs and execs realised that something was for the chop, and being that Buell was semi independent they could safely do that without jeapordising their own jobs. This is extremely short sighted in my view, as who is going to buy chromed out fat boys when all of the leather clad bearded bank managers have died of heart disease?

Harley don't seem to realise that their core brand is actually what holds them back as well as what keeps them afloat. If they took a bit of a risk every now and again (IE developing the Buell brand) they'd be on to a winner. Instead we'll see the UJM (universal Japanese Motorcycle) take over. And if you don't think that is so bad, you've just got to look at the VFR1200 to realise where we'll all end up. Thank god for Ducati and Triumph!

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MarJay

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Oct 09

Posts: 3

MarJay says:

To those who talk about poor build quality high weight etc:

Ride a Buell!

They are better than the stats suggest. I've had two now, an XB12R and an XB12S and they were both well built and reliable. The gear shifting could be a nanosecond or two faster, but that doesn't actually matter on the road. In case you hadn't noticed, you can't actually ride an R1 or Fireblade even close to its limit on the road, so why not make room for a bike which matches up nicely to road usage? As for weight, the dry weight of an XB12R is 179kg, which is a mere 10kg heavier than most recent 600cc sports bikes. The Yamaha MT-01 weighs 220kg dry!!

The XB9 did have some design flaws which had been rectified, and I'm sure the same would have been true for the 1125R. I will agree however that the 1125R was the ugliest bike ever made and that is saying something.

I do find it a little, shall we say... uncharitable for those four cylinder japanese sports bike fans to say they are glad to see the back of Buell. Its not exactly a threat to 'their' style of bike is it? The great thing about biking is that there are lots of different types of bike, and unfortunately we are in danger of the Japanese homogenising bikes and making them all based on 600cc and 1000cc liquid cooled fours. Yawn city. FZ6 anyone? No I thought not.

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v1nn1e

Joined:

Jan 09

Posts: 845

v1nn1e says:

Anything that reduces choice

Is a real shame.

Can't say I'd ever have got around to buying one but as they say, variety is the spice of life!

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Bigdog365

Joined:

Feb 09

Posts: 26

Bigdog365 says:

A real shame

Seldom has a corporate decision seemed more short sighted.  I'm sure the Japanese manufacturers will be happy, as it's bound to increase their share of the American sports bike market.

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jonnyconcrete

Joined:

Oct 05

Posts: 100

its a shame

they dared to be different
its a real shame , i guess the global lack of money has hit them hard
Ducati , Triumph, Buell and KTM are probably the only brands i would consider,
why stand in line when you can stand out ?

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Lindt

Joined:

Apr 03

Posts: 14

Lindt says:

Is it a shame? Yes.             It's not realy "astonishing" though, is it.

Making play things in small numbers you either have to be rich and prepared to loose money like Bloor, David Brown, Martin Lilley, Peter Wheeler. Or be premium enough to charge through the nose, like Ducati.

Poor Erik. Great vision. Wonderful ideas. And lots and lots of passion. One of the best uses of a life I could imagine. I hope he doesn't take it too personnaly.

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Victor9098

Joined:

Jan 08

Posts: 74

Victor9098 says:

Buell Blues

I have an Ulysses XB12XT, bought in July '08 and absolutely love it. Was excited on trading it in for an Uly with the new rotaz motor fitted. Love the brand and have a great dealer. Will try to keep the bike running as long as it is economical to do so. After that there will be no need for me to go back to anything H-D as they have nothing else to offer me personally. Damn shame, I only hope they are prepared to sell Erik back his name so he could attempt to keep things ticking over, best case is that some investment will come his way to keep this brand alive. I was happy to be a lifelong Buell owner...

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Rumoy

Joined:

Aug 09

Posts: 11

Rumoy says:

My Ulysses was a brilliant bike, I'll watch prices closely. If others don't buy and the price comes down I'll be in for a bargain.

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