Saturday, February 25, 2012

Update on Erik Buell Via Cyril Huze Blog

If ya haven't ridden a Buell, well ya haven't ridden a modern sport bike built right here in America. Forget about taking a sportster motor out of the older tube frame models and popping it into a chopper frame. You are basically robbing yourself of one of the best riding torque beasts in existence. Erik Buell has been an amazing innovator in the Harley realm and we can thank him for many innovations. Its great news to see that he is carrying on after the debacle with corporate Harley Davidson and hopefully many more racing championships and innvoation will be coming the way of Erik Buell Racing.

175 HP 389-pound EBR 1190RS
On October 15, 2009 Harley-Davidson announced that production of Buell motorcycles were immediately discontinued. The economy started to tank in 2008 and in 2009 sales of new motorcycles crashed. At the time, Harley-Davidson CEO Keith Wandell statement to the media was “The fact is, we must focus both our effort and our investment on the Harley-Davidson brand, as we believe this provides an optimal path to sustained, meaningful, long-term growth”. In a press conference a couple of hours later, a very emotional Erik Buell confirmed the sad news he received from Harley-Davidson. What was not disclosed at the time and that only Erik knew was that he had lost it all, even the rights to the Buell Motorcycle name. A musician, Erik turned to his guitar for therapy, then decided to start a new independent venture called Erik Buell Racing (EBR)

175 HP 389-pound EBR 11, aiming for championships in 2012
From the liquidation sale of Buell Motorcycles Company, Erik kept a small building in East Troy, a 40-minute drive from Milwaukee. Erik Buell Racing is financed by his own money and other small private investments. To help cash flow, some income comes from design consulting jobs for other companies. Erik is now looking for a $20 million investment to finance development and production The goal with Erik Buell Racing is to focus on being an American manufacturer of race bikes and parts to challenge foreign manufacturers with invention and intellectual property. To go beyond by doing radical things that the rest of the racing world has never done. Last summer at the Superbike series in Lexington, Ohio, Buell debuted a pro racing version of the 1190RS, the first offering from his new company. The rider finished a respectable 10th. Later, at the German Superbike Championship, an early customer entered with an EBR bike and won, beating out established competitors on Ducatis, BMWs and KTMs…

Buell’s innovation include: Zero Torsional Load (ZTL) brake, which lightens wheel weight by eliminating the need for hubs, the underslung mufflers placed under the engine to limit noise and maintain a lower center of gravity, a fuel tank integrated within the bike frame with optional carbon fiber version which reduces vibrations and shaves off even more weight from the frame. Tthe 175 HP 389-pound EBR 1190RS is a full 50 pounds lighter than some competing bikes. The bike has been a hit in motorcycle shows here and abroad with Erik Buell signing 1 and 3-year sponsorship agreements for two riders to race in the American Superbike Championship. EBR is currently building out an international dealer network, and at the end of year 2012 the company plans to reach a production level of about 850 bikes with 50% expected to be exported. The 1190RS will be racing in Daytona in 3 weeks (March 15-17) at the 2012 Superbike Championship. “We found an additional 10 mph in the post season, and the bike can reach 213 mph in race trim,” Buell says. It would make the 1190RS the fastest motorcycle manufactured in the U.S…

Yesterday evening Feb. 22, 2012, Erik Buell Racing announced that it has partnered with Hero MotoCorp. The deal sees Hero becoming the title sponsor for two teams in the AMA Pro Racing National Guard Superbikes Championship — Team Hero and AMSOIL Hero, while Erik Buell Racing will give Hero design and technology inputs for bikes destined for the Indian market.