View Full Version : RIP Buell

Gas Man
10-18-2009, 12:49 AM
I cant believe this is not on here already.

FLASH NEWS from Thursday.

As of the end of the month HD is ending all production of Buell. In order to trim up the ledger and protect the core line up (HD). They are ceasing all production of Buell and MV is up for sale.

You can see a somber Erik Buell at http://www.buell.com The man is a genious and this was his baby.

When I found out Thursday and still today, makes me feel like a family member died. The whole thing makes me sick to my stomach. Its simply terrible.

I went today to the dealer and picked up a couple t-shirts before they are all gone. Also, if you're in the market for a Buell. HD is backing the dealers and they are going to be selling them at about 50% retail for the new bikes. They are for sale all across the country for $6k on a new 1125.


Some more info and links

Harley-Davidson Inc. said Thursday it will discontinue its Buell motorcycle brand and divest its recently acquired MV Agusta lineup as part of the company's long-term business strategy.

The news that Harley was dropping two lineups came as the struggling manufacturer also said that its third-quarter income fell 84% to $26.5 million, or 11 cents a share, from $166.5 million, or 71 cents a share a year ago.

The company had $1.12 billion in sales in the quarter, down 21% from $1.42 billion in the third quarter of 2008. Worldwide motorcycle sales at Harley dealers fell 21% during the third quarter compared with the same period in 2008. The company said it shipped 27% fewer motorcycles in the quarter.

In a news release, Harley said it would discontinue its Buell brand, based in East Troy, and divest the Italian MV Agusta brand. The Buell decision will result in the loss of about 80 manufacturing jobs in East Troy and about 100 salaried positions.

"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," CEO Keith Wandell said in the release.

http://www.jsonline.com/business/64352232.html (http://www.jsonline.com/business/64352232.html)


We just got off the phone with Harley spokesperson Paul James. According to him, Erik Buell is in ongoing discussions with Harley about taking on an advisory roll at The Motor Company, in which capacity he'll contribute to future product design. The rest of Buell's 180 employees won't be so lucky, they'll be out on the street as of December 18, the day the Buell plant shuts down. This news will come as a shock to them, like the rest of us, they only found out about Harley killing Buell this morning.

Paul didn't have Buell sales figures to hand and we don't believe they're published by Harley, but he suggested that this year's sales were down compared to last's about the same percentage as Harley's better-than-industry-average 21.3 percent figure. Indeed, Harley isn't killing Buell because it's unprofitable, it's killing Buell because it wants to invest every last penny back into Harley to save that brand from possible failure. It's not actually sales that are Harley's biggest problem -- although they can't help -- it's the troubled finance wing. Harley's practice of giving sub-prime motorcycle loans to unsuitable candidates has bit the company in its proverbial ass, forcing Harley to borrow $1 billion in operating capitol at 15%. That's only enough money to see it through to the end of the year. So far this year, revenue at Harley is only down 17 percent, yet net income has fallen 71.4 percent.

The decision was made to shutter rather than sell Buell because it's product range and distribution network are so heavily dependent on its parent company, that there's relatively little value in the company that could be transferred to a new owner.

Asked how Harley intends to replace the customers that will now be lost to Buell's competitors and how Harley intends to expand its appeal to post Boomer generations, Paul is insistent that Harley's current range already has the ability to appeal to that audience, saying, "Keep in mind, in the U.S., H-D holds the number two share position overall (all size bikes) among young adults 35 and younger and we are the share leader in heavyweight motorcycles among this group, so we know our motorcycles appeal to young adults.

"We will continue to develop products under the Harley-Davidson brand that appeal to riders under 35 years old. That said - and while I can't discuss the specifics of future product plans - you can expect us to focus on high-impact product introductions that attract new riders and help define the future of motorcycling. We are not ruling anything in or out...we simply will pursue it through the Harley-Davidson brand."
Wes Siler. October 15, 2009 Permalink

Interesting take from the Soup.

It's truely a sad sad sad thing. Not that I agree with the Soup. However, its true. The owners and followers were cultish. But for good reason. They went up to everybody that sad it couldn't happen and it wouldn't work and showed them it would. They took on critism from the big jap companies and their riders. Still pushed on. If you don't get that, then you must be dead or without any passion for these great machines.

I was just hanging out with a buddy in PA that had one. Simply gourgous bike.

Still aren't convinced its sad?

It's all about a dream of one guy

10-18-2009, 12:59 AM
Can't believe it's not on here? You replied to the thread:


Gas Man
10-18-2009, 01:30 AM
MOFO... I looked and didn't see it. I can't remember which forum its on and not.

Please merge Bob

Gas Man
10-20-2009, 02:15 AM
Something more on the horizon

http://m.passionperformance.ca/motorcycle/articles/5900/ (http://m.passionperformance.ca/motorcycle/articles/5900/)

10-20-2009, 08:38 AM
The last article makes you wonder about a dealer network. I doubt HD will keep them on board for long if this does go through. Will they end up in exclusive dealerships like BMW, or will they seek to include them in the metric 'have-it-all' stores? Could you even convince those dealers to carry another brand, especially Buell?

Gas Man
10-20-2009, 12:47 PM
The buell bikes really need to be in a dealership network with more similar bikes and rider attitudes. Something like a ducati dealer, aprilla, mv, etc.

I heard something else from a bud... and I totally agree. Buell did nothing but help HD, but HD did nothing for buell but hurt. As far as the dealership relations. No young guy that is into sportbikes goes to the hd dealer. It just dont happen. That has always shielded buell from the market they are trying to reach. Hurt.

10-21-2009, 08:50 AM
I always liked the lightning but I have only gone to dealers to see them twice... both times the dealers treated me like a punk... I think I may go look at those lightnings and see what they are going for... it would be nice to pick one up for $5k brand new... I think someone will pick it up. It's like Toyota dropping Scion after they invested all this money into building a brand. Dumb move on HDs part. But I agree with the above post... had it been at a duc or aprilia dealership, I may own one.

Those with the clear tanks back in the day were tits.

Gas Man
10-21-2009, 09:00 AM
Well in the defense of some of the dealers. YOu can find a good one that will activily treat buell owners great.

10-21-2009, 11:20 AM
American Harley Davidson in Ann Arbor keeps all the Buells in the same room with the apparel!

10-21-2009, 03:56 PM
YOu can find a good one that will activily treat buell owners great.

Why do I have to "find" one? They are underpowered, underengineered bikes compared to the Jap and Euro bikes I normally prefer... For me it's 90% customer service when I buy something. I would have bought one to support an american company, cause they give me a semi... they are hot bikes. But the Suzuki and Honda dealer, great service!!

I buy my guitars from the Music Go Round, used product, cheaper than new, but a little more than ebay or online... why?... Service.

Guitar Center, they are assholes and try to talk to me like I don't know what to buy and they are all "musician" elitist...

Same as the punk HD dealers... they think that a sportbike rider is below them. F them!

Gas Man
12-22-2009, 11:46 AM
Just like all Greats of time, the last Buell along with several others have been saved.



12-22-2009, 11:50 AM
I'd like to find a cheap Blast and tear into it. I've seen some pretty nice looking bobber style Blast.